My listening career

28 February, 2008

My listening career: at around 15 a friend introduced me to REM and the Jesus & Mary Chain. Shortly thereafter I saw the videos for The Cure’s “In Between Days” and INXS’s “What you need”, which both made a strong impression. I started on guitar around this time, so naturally listened to a lot of Beatles.

Anyway, I got into Sonic Youth and Pixies, and then shoegazer stuff: MBV, Ride, Lush.

This was followed by NIN, Underground Lovers, Ministry, Poster Children, and a brief flirtation with Hole (until I had the misfortune of seeing them live).

Following this I started getting into techno. Every Monday afternoon at university I would go down to the dam and listen to a community radio show playing German trance – epic stuff. From this I got into early hardcore (Prodigy’s first LP is teh awsom!), jungle and gabber. I got into vinyl and DJing, and entered a few contests, but gave it up, not being able to afford proper turntables at that time.

Jazz next: I started with bebop and worked my way backwards. The atonalist stuff from the 50s on held no interest for me. (As with classical, I prefered what to me is purer stuff, more closely connected with the basics people need from music.) The 20s and 30s were in my opinion the first golden age of jazz, and my favourite period.

Finally classical. My father had had a few records, and both my parents took part in Gilbert & Sullivan productions, so I had that grounding. Later I bought a couple of bargain discs of composers whose names I recognised, but still nothing came of it for some reason. But then I started listening to a disc of Chopin’s nocturnes while writing – and that was the beginning of the end!

It’s been about 5 years now of heavy exploration of classical music. I’ve recently flirted with metal, but the only real discovery I’ve made in that area is Emperor, who you should check out if you’re broad-minded.

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