Monday, March 3, 2008

my favorite albums part 1...

there is a radio station in seattle that has this thing called "desert island discs," where you pick three cd's that you would want if you were stranded on a desert island. so, here are my 3 picks. i decided to make one from each of my favorite bands. the first 2 are definate, the 3rd kind of goes back and forth...

pearl jam i think i'd have to pick no code. this album got me through some tough times. it came out in 96, when i had just turned 16 - a crappy age to begin with. that was also the year my grandfather died and my best friend moved to california and back again but decided not to be my friend anymore. so i guess, in a way (as strange as it may sound), this cd became my new best friend.

i'm not sure i would recommend this album to anyone who has not heard pearl jam before - a lot of people say that no code is the record that they made to distance themselves from all the hype that surrounded them in the mid-nineties. it's kind of an experimental album, with some songs that stretch the boundaries of the idea of a "rock song." in a good way, i think. no code also contains one of my favorite songs, in my tree (which is where the title of my blog comes from). another of my favorites is present tense. the song is basically just eddie and mike mccready playing together. i just listened to it again now, and there is a part at the end when mike's guitar playing makes me cry. it's beautiful.

and the lyrics! oh man, the lyrics are one of my favorite parts of pearl jam - just like my other favorite singer, glen hansard, eddie vedder can amazingly beautiful words. and then when he sings them.. that's just the end. i'm totally hooked forever.

1996 was also the year i went to my first real rock concert. this was during the whole time pearl jam was taking on ticketmaster (where are they now, when fees make a 37 dollar ticket 52 dollars?), and so they were playing smaller venues. they played at the civic center in augusta, maine that year. i actually really hardly remember anythng from that show, i think i was just so in awe to be finally seeing this band i had loved for four years. i do remember that there was a lunar eclipse that night, however, and during black, eddie pointed that out. (god, i'd love to find a tape of this show)

the frames this is really hard, because the frames are such a good live band (like pearl jam) and their albums don't always live up to that. but with that said, i think i'd probably say my favorite record by them is dance the devil. i really do love every song here - especially seven day mile. like eddie vedder, glen hansard is an amazing writer and storyteller. i've heard glen say before that seven day mile is about having an obstacle in your path and deciding to walk all the way around it. i think a lot of frames songs are about one of two things - finding a relationship with god (sometimes i need a revelation) or coming to peace with your own place in the world. i can definately relate to both of those quests.

while i'm talking about the frames, i also just have to say how much i love the violin playing. the violinist, colm, is incredible. it really adds a lot to the songs. plus a rock band that has a violin is just cool. right? right.

u2definately achtung baby. gosh, i don't even remember what year this came out.. i can remember listening to this album over and over during my first year of college. i don't really have much to say about it, except that i guess i like it because it's so different from their other stuff. i don't consider myself a huge u2 fan, but i do like them a lot, although their newest albums don't do much for me.

the other album that i could swap out for this place would be new adventures in hi fi by rem. i know this isn't the record most people think of when they think rem (automatic for the people), but this is where it is for me. my favorite song here is new test leper : "you are lost and disillusioned" what an an awful thing to say. if you're not familiar with
mid 90s era rem (monster and new adventures), you really should check them out.

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