We all have music that reminds us of certain times in our lives. So here are my top five albums from High School, and the top five from Notre Dame. Also, what I associate them with.
Stone Temple Pilots: Core
This was the first CD I ever owned, and my first successful move away from oldies rock and roll. Thanks to BMG. I knew my cousin Luke was a big STP fan and since I looked up to him I figured I’d give his music a try. Core is probably their strongest album, I know it is the rockingest. I’d sit in my room with the door closed and my primitive CD player cranked. Imagine my surprise when little innocent me realized what some of the songs were about.
I had no idea who these guys were, all I knew is that everybody on the Cross Country did, and thought they ruled. The first Toadies song I heard was “I Come From the Water” at the Cathedral invitational. Something like three of my buddies were listening to it at the same time and Bo was pogo-ing to get psyched for the race. I was one of the last to finish [of course] but at least I found out why Toadies were cool.
The Smashing Pumpkins: Adore
Although I always burn up this album in the fall, it started out as a summer album. After school I’d roll down the windows of my golden ’89 Corsica, adjust the stick that made the tape player turn on, fiddle with the fade, hold my mouth just right and blast Ava Adore. This is one of those songs that will forever be associated with sensory stimuli, heat and the smell of dry grass.
The Crow Soundtrack
Another influence from the good old Cross Country team. It really is strange, for someone as disinclined to athleticism as I am, how much team sports have been my favorite memories of high school and college. Anyway, to me this soundtrack is one of the best of all time. Every song is pretty strong, even the mellow ones at the end that put me to sleep, and it made me start to look in other musical directions.
Thank you Rosie. Thank you Phil. I’d always thought Metallica et al. were evil [Thank you Mom] but Rosie grudgingly let me listen to “Of Wolf and Man” [This was when they still wanted nothing to do with me] on the bus to Jay County. One of the next albums I got from BMG was the Black album, and it remains my favorite Metallica album. Phil gets thanks for letting me listen to his other Metallica albums.
Machines of Loving Grace: Gilt
My love for MolG stems directly from the aforementioned Crow Soundtrack. Track 2 is a MolG song called “Golgotha Tenement Blues” and once I hit the T1s at ND, I started downloading music on Napster like it was my job. For a while I think it was. One of the first things I downloaded was a MolG album called Gilt. MolG was popular when I was ten, so it was nigh impossible to actually find their albums. I remember tramping to the JACC through a foot of snow at 5:45am to go fencing and getting ready to kick ass by listening to Solar Temple.
This album directly contributed to me getting the most action I ever got from a Notre Dame girl. Thank you Poe. I still don’t actually know what made the girl interested in me, but when she found out I listened to chick rock [and Poe in particular] she really became interested. She was also a stripper and danced to “Not A Virgin Anymore” but I didn’t find that out until later.
Led Zeppelin III
This was the last Led Zeppelin album I purchased. I’d owned all the others since High School but waited until I was a senior in college to pick up III. Finally I grew to appreciate the mastery of Since I’ve Been Loving You, and this CD sat in my player for the last three months of my college career.
Disturbed: The Sickness
I don’t remember why I started listening to these guys, but they are the closest thing I can stomach in the world of nü-metal. In any case, this album is awesome competitive music, particularly the song Violence Fetish. I listened to that song before every fencing competition my senior year. I rarely listen to the album now, which can’t be said for most of the others.
The Shins: Oh, Inverted World
To be that indie rock guy, but to also be truthful, I have to admit that I’ve been listening to The Shins ever since they were a third page google result for a random review of a concert in NYC. I was the guy who managed to bring The Shins to the attention of my indie rock friends. There is a first time for everything, and this was the first time I actually knew a cool band before anyone else I knew about.