Earlier this week, Diane posted a musical retrospective of her school years and I had such a good time reading it that I decided to to steal her idea and do my own. So here I've listed all the bands and artist that have made a particularly powerful impression on me since the beginning of high school to right this moment. Music has always been extremely important to me - I grew up listening to and playing Classical music on the violin (I think my mom was hoping for the Mozart Effect) and even though my tastes have broadened, my love remains true!
In Grade 9, I suffered through an embarrassing pop-punk phase where I listened to Good Charlotte nonstop. Though I look back on those days with disdain, it was really a starting point. Rancid and NOFX were the first punk bands I ever really got into and they made a huge impression on me. I can't say I really listen to this stuff anymore, but it did lead me into other bands (like the Clash!) that I never stopped loving.
Rancid - Ruby Soho
NOFX - Pharmacist's Daughter
In Grade 10, I started to begin exploring the pop spectrum a little more. Beck's Guero album had just came out and it was one of the coolest things I'd ever heard at the time! The song 'Girl' is still exceptionally fun to dance and rock out to. Around the same time I met a boy who listened to music I'd never even heard of before. I don't talk to him anymore (admittedly, I was smitten at the time) but I'll always thank him for introducing me to Kate Bush.
Beck - Girl
Kate Bush - Cloudbusting
Grade 11 was a bizarre year for me, music-wise. It was around this time I started reading books about the history of punk music and was introduced to Patti Smith, whose music left an extreme impression on me. I can still listen to Horses and get the shivers every time. I also heard Le Tigre for the first time and their electro dance pop made me want to get up and move like never before. I still count Deceptacon among my favourite songs of all time! I also had a really weird industrial-goth phase in Grade 11 which involved a lot of Marilyn Manson, KMDFDM and Rammstein. Yeah, I was a weird kid.
Patti Smith - Horses
Le Tigre - Deceptacon
In Grade 12, I just remember listening to a lot of obscure British punk and post punk bands. I can't say any one specifically stuck out to me, but they certainly made a huge impression on me all together. I remember obsessively scouring used record stores for punk compilation discs with songs I hadn't heard on them before. I've chosen X-Ray Spex to represent all of these bands because this song is one of my favourites and the footage of Poly Styrene is great. The only singular artist that I truly loved at this time was David Bowie. This was a really turbulent time for me, and Ziggy Stardust definitely helped me recover from everything. Suffragette City is such a standout track and still one of my favourite songs.
X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage Up Yours!
David Bowie - Suffragette City
After I graduated high school, I opted to take a "victory lap", which means I basically came back to high school for another year because I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. It's actually pretty common to take a "victory lap" where I'm from, and even though it was an awful year (the work was not academically challenging at all) I don't regret it because I probably would've gone to a different University or picked the wrong program and not been half as happy as I am now. My favourite bands were (and pretty much still are) Minor Threat and Bikini Kill. The absolute energy and conviction of both bands absolutely knocked me off my feet, and to be honest, I am not yet standing.
Bikini Kill (I don't know the name of the song, but the footage is amazing)
Minor Threat- It Follows/ Screaming At A Wall
First year University had to be the best year of my life so far. Going to live in a different city away from home and meeting all new people was the best thing I ever did. I also started to listening to the Pixies and PJ Harvey nonstop. The Pixies are punk, but in a complex way I'd never heard before. I didn't like them when I first heard them in high school, but now I appreciate them all that much more. (Also significant, is that I'M GOING TO SEE THE PIXIES LIVE TOMORROW!) I've always had a deep love for intense female vocalists (most notably Kathleen Hanna and Courtney Love), and PJ's voice and music is so visceral that it has the power to rip me up and sew me back together all in the course of an album.
Pixies - River Euphrates
PJ Harvey - Long Snake Moan
Of course there are dozens of bands and artist who mean a lot to me but haven't been mentioned here. Believe me, it was hard to keep it to keep this bare minimum. I guess it's sort of feel right to be reflecting on the past few years as I'm moving into my first ever apartment next week! I've never lived completely on my own before (albeit I have wonderful roommates) and I'm ready to start this next exciting chapter of my life.