what were you listening to at 15?

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alot of indie, some hiphop and big album dance acts.

Ronan (Ronan), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 18:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Jaymc, the release date was in the spring, so you're right -- I probably bought "The Downward Spiral" while I was still 15. I associate it more with 11th grade than 10th, though. (This is also true for Sonic Youth.)

Also -- "Encendedor" is quite possibly my favorite 90's album. Props to you for listing it.

Lyra Jane (Lyra Jane), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 18:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Pulp, REM, Placebo, Suede, Beastie Boys, The Offspring

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 18:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Crazy Rhythms
White Light/White Heat
Rust Never Sleeps
Violent Femmes
No Alternative
Copper Blue

miccio (miccio), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 18:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

the smiths - best of
foo fighters - s/t
elastica - s/t
joy division - closer
new order - substance
bauhaus - the skys gone out

Stuh-du-du-du-du-du-du-denka (jingleberries), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 18:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

motorhead, hawkwind, gong, pink floyd, bauhaus, the sisters of mercy, the chameleons, joy division and the velvet underground.

stirmonster (stirmonster), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 18:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink


The Smiths/New Order/XTC/Led Zeppelin/The Beatles/REM/Dukes Of Stratosphear/INXS/Debbie Gibson/Soup Dragons/The Jesus And Mary Chain/The Kinks/Jefferson Airplane/Eddie Cochrane/Elvis Presley/Monkees/Herman's Hermits

Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

'91 and '92.

Ice T-original gangster.

Metallica-black album.

Ice Cube-death certificate.


Fugazi-3 songs.7".

Fugazi-steady diet of nothing.




Dr Dre + Snoop-deep cover.12".

Anthrax-persistence of time.

Public Enemy-apocalypse '91.

Public Enemy-shut 'em down Pete Rock remix.12".

Lard-last temptation of reid.

Geto Boys-we can't be stopped.

Cypress Hill-cypress hill.

And some old Black Flag.

Ellis, Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Pink Floyd of course. Marillion. Jarre. But also:
Grace Jones - Slave To The Rhythm
Kate Bush - Hounds of Love
Talk Talk - Colour of Spring
Scritti Politti - Cupid & Psyche '85

Omar (Omar), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Pavement, Sonic Youth, Mercury Rev, The Orb, Black Dog, Ice-T, The Specials, The Clash, The Happy Mondays, Wu Tang

eat my replacement (nordicskilla), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The Prodigy

eat my replacement (nordicskilla), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Blackstreet, Wu-Tang, Jodeci, Mobb Deep

phil-two (phil-two), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Peter Gabriel
Kate Bush
Steely Dan

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Peter Gabriel
Neil Young (I discovered Decade at 15, that's a year's worth of listening right there)
and lamentably, I went through a Zappa phase at 15

kornrulez6969 (TCBeing), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ha, Johnny Fever was watching "120 Minutes" while I was watching "Headbanger's Ball". Maybe if my mom had had cable, my tastes would've been different. As it was, I only saw MTV when I visited my dad on the weekends.

Pleasant Plains /// (Pleasant Plains ///), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Nine Inch Nails
Beastie Boys
Porno For Pyros
Faith No More
Korn (ugh...)

Whiney G. Weingarten (whineyg), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Prodigy, Doc Scott, The House Crew, Altern 8, Jonny L, 808 State, New Order, Seal, Sunscreem, Senser, Stereo MCs, Depeche Mode, U2, Blur, Therapy?, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, INXS, Metallica, Guns n' Roses, RHCP, Smashing Pumpkins

didn't really get back into hip-hop until the following year

Sociah T Azzahole (blueski), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Senser! me too!

eat my replacement (nordicskilla), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

hardcore, thrash metal, and hip hop.

- (smile), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Also -- "Encendedor" is quite possibly my favorite 90's album. Props to you for listing it.

I haven't listened to it in years! I found it quite accidentally at the public library, of all places, and copied it to a cassette, which is now sitting somewhere in my closet. But yeah, good album!

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Biohazard (gosh)
Chili Peppers
Pearl Jam
The Flying Medallions (a totally forgotten London band who effectively got me into punk rock, less through their own songs than by covering the Descendents on their album)

DJ Mencap0))), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ha, am I the oldest poster so far?

1973, the year of Dark Side of the Moon. Also:

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band ("Will the Circle be Unbroken"), Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Seatrain, Fleetwood Mac ("Mystery To Me"), Ten Years After, King Crimson, Mike Oldfield, Cockney Rebel.

Daniel Peterson (polkaholic), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink


sex pistols
atari teenage riot
chemical brothers
roni size
daft punk
dead kennedys
aphex twin
front 242

t0dd swiss (immobilisme), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Daniel, you're just the most distinguished! i was feeling a bit old too - 15 in 1986.

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 20:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Miami Bass

PappaWheelie (PappaWheelie), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 20:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(mentally checks 15 yo self's tape collection)
the Beatles, the Ramones, Black Flag's "Damaged" b/w Husker Du's "Flip Your Wig", the Replacements, Digital Underground's debut, U2, REM, the Pogues, Camper Van Beethoven, the Smiths, De La Soul, Public Enemy, Tom Waits...

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 5 July 2005 20:05 (twelve years ago) Permalink

At 15 (2000) I'd only just become seriously interested in music, and my taste was Radiohead-centric. I was largely going off what the Radiohead fans I perceived as cooler recommended online and that meant DJ Shadow, Mogwai, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Sigur Ros, Grandaddy, Tortoise, Bjork, Aphex Twin, The Flaming Lips, Do Make Say Think etc. "IDM" and "post-rock" were the chief genres of interest, but I was always more interested in the latter.

Ogmor Roundtrouser (Ogmor Roundtrouser), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 20:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink


Depeche Mode
New Order
the Cure
They Might be Giants
Gang of Four

-rainbow bum- (-rainbow bum-), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 20:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Whatever was popular on the country charts at the time.

My name is Kenny (My name is Kenny), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 20:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Focus, Hamburger Concerto
Wishbone Ash, There's the Rub
Yes, Relayer
Man, Back into the Future
Van der Graaf Generator, Godbluff
Black Sabbath, Sabotage
Wonky tapes of Alan Freeman's Saturday afternoon Radio One programme complete with his hyperbolic intros over classical excerpts recorded on an iffy Bush cassette recorder that was my pride and joy. I used to write in regularly asking for Focus but he never played my requests.

Ranking Rupert (Ranking Rupert), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 20:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink


Matthew Sweet! The Lemonheads!
Weezer -- DGC Rarities / No Alternative -- Frank Black, Pixies, Breeders, Flaming Lips, Smiths, New Order, Beastie Boys, Blur, Helmet

Kate Silver (Kate Silver), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 20:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink


Not much at *all* -- this was a dry gulch year for me in all respects. 1981-1985 was my pop radio time of fascination, very end of 1987 was when I got a first proper stereo system all for myself (even if a Fisher all-in-one ;-) ) followed by a CD player. I think all I bought this year was Sgt. Pepper's and Red Wave, and the only radio hits I remember from the year with clarity were "Addicted to Love," "Rock Me Amadeus" and of course the Pet Shop Boys. Klymaxx's horribly gloopy "I Miss You" literally made me stop listening to Top 40, I remember that much.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 20:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I had just discovered punk rock, thanks to a couple of borrowed cassettes from an older friend. Basically, I was listening and relistening to the first Ramones album, the Clash, the soundtrack to The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (as a 15-year-old, I though Friggin' in the Riggin' was the greatest song of all time) and the Forgotten Rebels.

BanjoMania (Brilhante), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 20:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

My 15 yr old record collection (1985) was almost entirely metal and punk.

Black Flag
Motley Crue
Led Zeppelin
Circle Jerks
Iron Maiden
Minor Threat

darin (darin), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 20:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Me, 1985, too, but different:
The Uptones
Tones on Tail
Egyptian Lover
Tears for Fears (the hurting)
Yaz (upstairs at Erics)
Violent Femmes
Suicidal Tendencies
Generation X
Haircut 100
Jean Michel Jarre
Laurie Anderson

Bobby Peru (Bobby Peru), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 21:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(x-post) Rupert, good God!! I had all of those records too, save the Man one. But "Back Into The Future" made me think of "Remember The Future" by Nektar. On an 8-track. In my best friend's '64 Chevy Impala. Underage drinking. Ahhhh, 1973....

Daniel Peterson (polkaholic), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 21:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Despite my Britpop indoctrination by the NME, I still refused to give up on Nirvana.

Let's see, I turned 15 in Nov 95, so...

Oasis - Definitely Maybe, What's The Story (oh dear)
Blur - Great Escape (oh dear)
Supergrass - I Should Coco
Black Grape - It's Great When You're Straight
Teenage Fanclub - Grand Prix
Radiohead - The Bends
REM - Monster, Automatic, New Adventures
Manic Street Preachers - Everything Must Go

15 was a key year now I think of it. I think the Bends and REM definitely brought me into indie-rock pastures and away from Britpop. And then during summer '96 Dancing In The Street aired, which meant I heard the Velvet Underground for the first time. This, and getting Odelay for my 16th birthday, really opened things up.

Stew (stew s), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 21:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink


circle jerks
dead kennedys
bad religion
rudimentary peni
youth brigade
7 seconds
subhumans (uk)
husker du
8 eyed spy
velvet underground
fat boys
kurtis blow
run dmc
joy division
new order
bronski beat
bow wow wow
echo & the bunnymen
the jam

and other stuff. and whatever was on the radio. i turned 16 in october of 84, so some of this stuff i might have been listening to after my 16th birthday. i do remember that i listened to husker du all night ON my 16th birthday, drunk and alone in my dorm room at the bad boy's school that my parents had shipped me away to.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 21:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Fifteen? Let's see, that would've been October, 1982. My favorite ablums would have been.....

Concrete by 999 (I was inexplicably obsessed...pardon the pun...with this record)
Generation X by Generation X....older by a few years, but I bought it at the same time as the 999 record
Give the People What they Want by the Kinks
Joe's Garage Act I by Frank Zappa
The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden
Fire of Unknown Origin by Blue Oyster Cult
Oh No! It's Devo by Devo
Wild in the Streets by the Circle Jerks
Stukas Over Disneyland by the Dickies
Troops of Tomorrow by The Exploited
Let Them Eat Jellybeans by various artists (Alternative Tentacles)
Ghost in the Machine by the Police
Rio by Duran Duran

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 21:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"i do remember that i listened to husker du all night ON my 16th birthday, drunk and alone in my dorm room at the bad boy's school that my parents had shipped me away to." - why couldn't this have been my story?

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 21:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The Stooges

also, richard hell, the velvet underground, and random punk rock and elephant six-ish indie pop

matlews, Tuesday, 5 July 2005 21:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I should also add that at 15 I was an avid listener to the old Mark Radcliffe show on Radio 1 at 10pm. Those were the days...

Stew (stew s), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 21:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

another voice heard from 73

Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd
Live at Fillmore East
Brothers and Sisters
Eat A Peach
Idelwild South Allman Brothers Band
Hot Rocks Rolling Stones
All The Young Dudes Mott the Hoople
Houses of the Holy Led Zeppelin
Marshall Tucker Band
Alladin Sane David Bowie esp "Panic in Detroit"
Live Dates Wishbone Ash
American Beauty Grateful Dead
Quadrophenia The Who

lots of Sly, Spinners and O Jays on AM radio

I remember being slightly obsessed w/the New York Dolls debut but the cover scared me away from buying it!

m coleman (lovebug starski), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 21:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

x-post) Rupert, good God!!
Heheh! I don't think I had any Nektar records though I remember flicking through the sleeves in Middle Earth Records, Sunderland. I think you're maybe a couple of years ahead of me (I was 15 in 1975). And had better taste at 15.

My Rush infatuation was just around the corner.

(It's my latent Catholic urge to confess.)

Ranking Rupert (Ranking Rupert), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 22:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

And had better taste at 15

I meant you (Daniel) did.

Ranking Rupert (Ranking Rupert), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 22:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Lipstick On Your Collar - The Saints
Know Your Product - The Saints
Fun - The Thought Criminals
Monday Morning Gunk - Radio Birdman
Prefab Heart - The Reels
Jet Boy Jet Girl - Elton Motello
Love Is Like Oxygen - The Sweet
Sheer Heart Attack - Queen
The B52s
Low - David Bowie
T Rex
Space Ritual - Hawkwind
Red Queen to Gryphon 3
My Sex - Ultravox
Slow Motion - Ultravox
New Rose - The Damned
Watching The Detectives - Elvis Costello
Hammer Horror- Kate Bush
I See Red - Split Enz
The Modern Dance - Pere Ubu
This Is Pop - XTC
Jet Boy Jet Girl - Elton Motello
TVOD/Warm Leatherette - The Normal
I Feel Love - Donna Summer
Trans Europe Express - Kraftwerk
Shot By Both Sides - Magazine
She's Lost Control - Joy Division
Lucky Number - Lene Lovich
Pop Muzik - M
Death Disco - PIL
Rock Around The Clock - Telex
154 - Wire
Don't Throw Ashtrays At Me - Swell Maps
Money Flying - Lizards
Are Friends Electric? - Tubeway Army
Dream Baby Dream - Suicide

Telegram Sam, Tuesday, 5 July 2005 22:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Joy Division
New Order
The Cure
Killing Joke
The Chameleons
Dead Kennedys
The Specials
Depeche Mode
Sisters Of Mercy
Theatre of Hate

Si.C@rter (SiC@rter), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 23:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hmm, between October 2001 and October 2002, I think I was just getting out of listening to Joy Division at that time, wasn't listening to Cocteau Twins so much, and I couldn't really afford to buy much music at the time as I had no job. I was listening to The Cure's Faith and Pornography and The Durutti Column's LC and Another Setting a lot that winter. I came across WFMU in June and really started getting obsessed with all the Factory rarities I had read about but never had a chance to listen to (and I acquired Crispy Ambulance's The Plateau Phase immediately after vaguely recalling hearing the initial LTM CD issue of it when I was little), and I was also getting into 99/Y/On-U-Sound Records-related music as well, like The Pop Group, ESG, Liquid Liquid, Glenn Branca, Vivien Goldman, The New Age Steppers, Singers and Players, and so forth. Very formative year for me, I must say!

Ian Riese-Moraine has been xeroxed into a conduit! (Eastern Mantra), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 23:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Art of Noise
Gilles Peterson / Jazz Juice 1
James Brown
Rockabilly /50s
Streetsounds electro comps
Matt Bianco
Echo & the Bunnymen
Django Rheinhard
Bill Broonzy

I was very into music but was teased for basically having advanced tatses for my age (due to cool parents and sisters)

Windy Miller, Tuesday, 5 July 2005 23:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

the best concert i saw when i was 15 was THE HORDE FESTIVAL, but at least it was the semi-cool year that they had Neil Young, Spiritualized, Soul Coughing, Morphine, Primus, Beck, etc.

Neil Young’s social media channels (some dude), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 17:36 (five years ago) Permalink

I just realized that the first show I ever saw was when I was fifteen -- Helmet / Faith No More at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC.

deploying a sewer otter unit (askance johnson), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 17:50 (five years ago) Permalink

Apparently I liked New Order (see shirt), Depeche Mode (see wall), and The Replacements (see below) I liked lots of other stuff too, but these pictures were the funnier than a list of bands I liked.

former personal denim advisor to the mayor, (La Lechera), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 17:55 (five years ago) Permalink

1990 btw

former personal denim advisor to the mayor, (La Lechera), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 17:55 (five years ago) Permalink

actually i might have been aaaaalmost 16 there -- it was the summer before i turned 16, so 1991

former personal denim advisor to the mayor, (La Lechera), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 17:55 (five years ago) Permalink

I am in my 1985 yearbook with a New Order shirt and porcupine hair

bit.ly sno cone maker (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 17:59 (five years ago) Permalink

that was my attic bedroom. i loved it so much! it was like having an apartment all to myself. i had a record player, a cassette player, a radio, tons of magazines, scissors, tape, and sometimes my friends would come over and write all over the walls. good times. some of the writing is still there.

former personal denim advisor to the mayor, (La Lechera), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 18:02 (five years ago) Permalink

lol, jon lewis' list = exactly what i was listening to in 1985, when i was 18. plus the butthole surfers, big black, homestead's speed trials comp, replacements, gun club, cramps, etc. definitely wasn't into that kind of stuff when i was 15, though. at 15, i was much closer to musicfanatic (though 12 years prior).

Choc. Clusterman (contenderizer), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 18:04 (five years ago) Permalink

lol <3 those lechera pix

Choc. Clusterman (contenderizer), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 18:05 (five years ago) Permalink

I wrote all over my damn bedroom walls too, in sharpie. Drew the bird from the cover of Meat Puppets' Out My Way.

bit.ly sno cone maker (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 18:38 (five years ago) Permalink

hoping someone will step in here and say "All I did when I was fifteen was listen to Rene & Angela records."

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 18:44 (five years ago) Permalink

i had small discreet shrine to marty willson-piper near my vanity mirror -- what do i win?

former personal denim advisor to the mayor, (La Lechera), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 18:45 (five years ago) Permalink


dow, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 22:07 (five years ago) Permalink

dow, if you were 15 when the above hits were new, then I must relinquish to you my sobriquet as "ilx's oldest known non-lurker". I'd count that as a huge relief.

Aimless, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 23:12 (five years ago) Permalink

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

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

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