Following up on my last post about mixes, I thought I'd reiterate just how music travels in between friends, and into people's lives, and how those word-of-mouth recommendations, mixes and burned CDs mean everything.
I followed one of those Facebook memes last week - Think of 15 albums you can't live without - and I'll repost my response here, followed by who I credit for that particular band or album, and even if it was a radio or MTV thing, there's always some friend who pushes you further:
1. Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks - My dad
2. Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run - My dad and Adam
3. Wilco - Summerteeth - Adam
4. Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom - Adam, Heinecke & Ted
5. Uncle Tupelo - Anodyne - Adam
6. Calexico - Feast of Wire - Trickier, but I think I can trace Calexico back to Scott & Tim
7. Social Distortion - White Light, White Heat, White Trash - Adam, McNey, Mitch
8. Steve Earle - Transcendental Blues - Adam, Hillary
9. Van Morrison - Astral Weeks - My dad
10. Tom Petty - Wildflowers - Tricky, but I'm guessing Adam
11. U2 - Achtung Baby - Hillary
12. Billy Bragg - Workers' Playtime - Adam (via Wilco)
13. X - Los Angeles - Justin
14. Crooked Fingers - Dignity & Shame - Heinecke
15. Tom Waits - Mule Variations - Tate
And since this list of favorite albums naturally skews to favorite artists, it reflects more the bands I got into in high school rather than later, and thus mostly leaves out the years from college on, when often it was even more clear how I was introduced to music.
From the beginning of the CD burner era (can it really be 10 years already?), the givers of music were always distinguised by their handwriting on the discs themselves. Some were elaborate in their sharpie usage, turning out multi-colored mini works of art in their own right. But I (and most everybody else) stuck to the simple artist & album.
And I've always really loved turning through a friend's book of CDs and seeing my own handwriting scattered throughout...
Anyway, point being that how I came to a band or an album has always influenced the listening experience, and being able to pinpoint individual friends throughout my music collection is an important aspect of that. So, thanks everybody.
Soul Coughing - Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago (live)
Billy Bragg - Waiting For the Great Leap Forwards (live 2004)
Tom Waits - Hold On (from 1999 Storytellers performance)