what were you listening to at 15?

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XTC
Green (the Chicago pop-punk-soul band, not the Scritti Politti singer)
James Brown
the Replacements
Husker Du
Elvis Costello
Midnight Oil
Prince
the Who
Pink Floyd

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 23:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

Stereotypes of a high school sophomore misunderstood, but it's still all good:

Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out
Selby Tigers - Year of the Tigers
Pavement - Brighten The Corners
Radiohead - OK Computer
Pixies - Doolittle
X - Under The Big Black Sun
Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup
Bjork - Homogenic
Cibo Mato - Viva! La Woman
Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation...
Tricky - Pre-Millenium Tension
Portishead - Portishead
Atari Teenage Riot - Burn, Berlin, Burn

d3rs, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 08:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

When I was 14/15, my friends and I would go to the record shop nearly every day and buy up cut-out cassette singles for 25p each. Most of them were awful, but I discovered dEUS through that, and a couple of other neat things.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 09:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's safe to say that every single person on this thread was a cooler 15-year-old than I was, lol.

No worries, I was listening to Ace of Base and Enigma too. And I still like them today.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 09:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

hahaha when I was 18, I made a bunch of my friends lie on the floor of my parents' darkened family room and meditate while blasting the first Enigma album

I don't know what is more amazing, the fact that I suggested this or the fact that THEY DID IT

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 14:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

15 was also just a year or two before everything exploded for me, in terms of music. Having a car and having friends who brought back IT'LL END IN TEARS from the import bins, after a steady diet of LA punk and rock, was a revelation. Then there was all those whack jobs I met when I went off to college.

I do think that 15was the year that 91X, the San Diego rock station (you'd call it classic rock now) went from their old format to new wave/college ratio/alternative before it was alternative. I kept listening, but mostly when the batteries in the Walkman died.

Matt M., Wednesday, 2 May 2012 14:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

Turned 15 in March 1996, was mostly listening to NME-friendly dance music (Underworld, Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Leftfield), Epitaph Records skatepunk (NoFX, Bad Religion, Pennywise, Rancid) and the Cardiacs. Also still liked some of the britpop/indie I'd been into earlier (I got Suede's Coming Up that year). Wish I still had my homework planner covered in band logos...

Gavin, Leeds, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 14:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's safe to say that every single person on this thread was a cooler 15-year-old than I was, lol.

Well, 15/16 was arguably my apex of cool a music listener, but my nadir of cool as a socially functional human being.

mike t-diva, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 16:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's funny, but i don't think it really occurred to me that music could be "cool", that it could have social and fashion significance, until i was 16 or 17. i mean, i was peripherally aware that others viewed music as cool or uncool, but didn't really get where they were coming from, figured that this sort of judgement was basically the same as simply liking billy joel or not.

i didn't start listening to stuff that i personally thought of as cooler than other music until i was 18 or so. i guess that's the year i became a snob, went along w getting seriously into the proto-indie "underground rock" that jon lewis mentioned above. it's taken me along time to shake the teenage idea that some sounds, audiences, aesthetics and ways of listening are better than others by virtue of their coolness. still rooting out traces (e.g., contempt for bro-rock a la puddle of mudd, jam bands, etc)

Choc. Clusterman (contenderizer), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 16:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

Beyond kneejerk class/status etc, coolness can be a good thing, if it involves perspective, not just mindlessly melding w the artiste's self-seriousness etc--not that we don't all need someone we can feed on, comfort-wise for inst

dow, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, i'm cool w all that. it's the kneejerk/class status thing i was talking about. got really sucked into that for a while. honestly, i think it's in my nature to divide up the world that way, but i'm trying to me a bit more open-minded these days.

Choc. Clusterman (contenderizer), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Fall, the Slits, the Clash, Wire, the Banshees and the Buzzcocks were biggies, as was anything on Rough Trade. Two-Tone. Burgeoning taste in reggae, which was quite tough to find in suburban America, but Linton Kwesi Johnson was a big fave. At 15 or 16, I remember my mother asking what I wanted for Christmas, and I gave her a list of records - from which she bought Wire's "Pink Flag," the Fall's "Early Fall" and the Pop Group's "How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder?" albums. I still smile thinking about it, and the pain of waiting to play these on the stereo, which couldn't be done until my grandparents had left! Thanks, mom. Beyond that, nothing too embarrassing, remarkably, though I quite liked a lot of things that are forgotten / dismissed today - the Yachts' "Box 202," Chelsea's "Urban Kids," Henry Badowski's "Baby Sign Here With Me" and many others . . . as well as stuff like the debut Lene Lovich album, which is still pretty fine, but probably too silly to be revived in any way nowadays.

Ages 13 through 16 or so were lonely and odd . . . you can't imagine how much crap you'd get just walking down the street being into "punk rock" at this time, and I didn't even look or dress in punk-style! (I still love that the dismissive remark I'd always get from jocks riding by in a care was always "Devo sucks!" - apparently the sole weirdo-music frame of reference amongst Neanderthals.) In fact, pre-internet suburbia at that time offered few ways to learn much about punk at all - there weren't really any books about it when I got into music, and imported copies of the NME or whatever cost as much as a 7", so guess what I'd buy! Consequently, the idea I had of punk - shared by one other guy, and later two "much older" guys (one year older) - was largely self-invented, and involved things like making attaching resistors and funny looking but tiny electrical parts from Radio Shack to odd parts of our clothes, doing any drug we could find at any time and quite a lot of what today would be considered much more dada or situationist than recognizably punk. By the time I was a senior in high school, "new wave" had become just mainstream enough so that it appealed to the officially "cool" kids, and quite suddenly I was very popular and even looked up to by those who avoided me like the plague just two years earlier.

The early days of punk were great - so many concepts that are common today just didn't exist then - the idea of anything "retro," for instance. Records that weren't big sellers stayed in print for about 18 months and then you never saw them again. A lot of crucial stuff, like the Velvet Underground, was unknown to young music fans with good taste, because their best records had been out of print forever. Being into punk was a heavy choice; more or less one's musical choice was either REO Speedwagon, Styx, Kansas and Foreigner and the dregs of disco or stuff that was *genuinely* upsetting to people. I remember, around 1982, that there were suddenly records that offered kind of a middle path - you didn't have to make that crucial decision to avoid Eddie Money in favor of things that would get you beat up . . . you could listen to Soft Cell or the English Beat or something like that instead.

crustaceanrebel, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 20:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

later two "much older" guys (one year older)

That should read ". . . later two "much older" girls (both one year older) . . . "

crustaceanrebel, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 20:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

Reggae was extremely tough to find a long time ago, a crime considering how some American kids followed the British press! I used to like to read articles about reggae.

New wave and r & b.

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Bulgarian Tourist Chamber (Mount Cleaners), Thursday, 3 May 2012 12:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

Don't remember xpost "retro" til maybe late-ish 70s, a fashion thing, re bomber jackets etc--xgau defined it as "nostalgia with a will to power." When was it first applied to music? Anyway, although that was when I finally bought The Velvet Underground & Nico and The Who Sings My Generation--a punk deed, in my mind--after recently buying Nuggets, and in the wake of Patti Smith x Lenny Kaye distilling 60s into their own minimalist art-punk; ditto New York Dolls, folding "Pills," "Stranded In The Jungle" and "Don't You Start Me Talkin'" with their glam-punk originals. I bought new copies of those VU and Who LPs, but yeah, lots of other stuff now taken for granted was hard as hell to find until CDs took off. Sorry bout the boomer bait, but can't resist one more (it wasn't all Anglophilia)

dow, Thursday, 3 May 2012 16:55 (2 years ago) Permalink


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