The Music that Mattered

27 Mar

A good friend, Aaron, recently posted a question on Facebook asking us to reveal the pivotal albums that have shaped our individual musical pasts. Albums that have opened up to us entirely new worlds of music/mindset/intellect/and feeling. The music that mattered- and still does. The stuff that when first heard made the earth rumble and our teeth rattle. Socked us in the stomach. Hit us right in the heart-place.

His albums were as follows: Nevermind, Led Zeppelin “II”, The Downward Spiral, and Ænima.

Admittedly, I got a tad carried away in listing mine. There are just so many. I’ve had at least nine lives so far, and looking forward to having a few more.

Anyway, here are [some] of the albums that came to mind when I think about music that, when first heard, made me feel like the earth was spinning backwards (but in a warm and fuzzy way):

This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About by Modest Mouse
OK Computer by Radiohead
Grace by Jeff Buckley
Louder than Bombs by the Smiths
Thrill is Gone by B.B. King
The Creek Drank the Cradle by Iron and Wine
Clint Eastwood by the Gorillaz
Surfer Rosa by the Pixies
You’d Prefer an Astronaut by Hum
Nevermind by Nirvana
The Colour and the Shape by the Foo Fighters
Superunknown by Soundgarden
Ten by Pearl Jam
Nothing’s Shocking by Jane’s Addiction
Red Dirt Girl by Emmylou Harris
Van Lear Rose by Loretta Lynn

I forgot Tidal by Fiona Apple and Fashion Nugget by Cake but hey, nobody is perfect.

Creek Drank the Cradle led to years of indie folk adoration, but Red Dirt Girl and Van Leer Rose might have led to Creek Drank the Cradle. I don’t know, I have memory problems. Superunknown was on repeat for most of my teenage years, and I still prefer harder rock that I can sing along to in anguish while driving over the speed limit. Clint Eastwood made pop music fun and cool for me. Ok Computer was just perfect.


The first time I heard the song ‘Fade Into You’ by Mazzy Star I broke a little on the inside…

But it’s always hard to say what sort of music influenced me most. A great first date question, I suppose. It makes for some nice pondering as we drive to Santa Fe to see Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum.

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