On the awkward path to adulthood, every adolescent boy seems to walk through the same musical doorway: the Led Zeppelin phase. You may hail from hip hop, been trapped under a sibling’s regime of pop pablum, or had only ever known the sounds of Peter Cetera. But, no matter your starting place, we all ended up sitting on our bedroom floor, headphones on, trying to figure out what those four signs meant.
I wasn’t an obvious candidate. Without older brothers or sisters from whom I could steal a back catalog, the musical tastes of my youth developed in real time. Every week or so, I had a new collection of songs choppily-recorded off of live radio, and from these a new favorite song that immediately outpaced anything that had come before. Amidst this constant churn of newness, I for the life of me cannot remember how I tumbled back a decade or so into 70’s hard rock. But, before I knew it, the first 5 CDs to grace my family’s new Sony platter changer were all from Led Zeppelin: the four cd box set, and the fourth album for good measure.
Suddenly, every chord they played rocked. Every word in their entirely indecipherable lyrics was profound. And, for months, I listened to nothing else. If iTunes’ “times played” could track the past, songs like these would be in the hundreds.
I think I’ve found my new we’re-a-new-team-out-to-dinner-and-conversation-is-waning question to ask the table: what is a song that describes you?
Where would people go with that question? Let’s play it out, shall we?
Someone would quickly lay claim to a Wilco track, leaving the person next to them with their Radiohead back-up choice. Two folks consecutively would pick songs their kids love; supportive smiles would spread around the table. There’d be a guy whose tellingly-long explanatory prelude wouldn’t quite defuse the awkward pause that would ensue after he shared his Indigo Girls choice. And, inevitably, the khaki-clad guy next to him would leap in right after Mr. “Closer to Fine” to share his Clipse track, beaming with pride at his moment of seeming all tough and stuff. There’d likely be someone who would share a deeply-obscure world music track, because it’d lead right into you asking about her junior year abroad.
Me? I’m going with this one. I used it to open my radio show every week for a few years back in college, and while the references are dated the song still rings true. The occasionally all-enveloping world of the music fanatic.
After months of delay, here’s the most recent installment of the holiday mix series.
For the newcomers out there, I’ve been making mix CDs instead of holiday cards over the past several years. It’s always a wide range of genres, with a focus on the unreleased, the re-mixed, and the under-appreciated.
For the old timers, you’re correct in pointing out that we’re a bit beyond Christmas, and this isn’t even a CD per se. We’re going to give digital distribution a whirl, with one single track recording, and another version with rough track increments slotted in there.
I hope this mix brings some surprises, smiles, and artists that you’ll enjoy for months to come.
Feel free to drop comments in if you hear something you like. Enjoy, y’all.
Here’s the link the the continuous mix. It’ll take a while to download, no doubt.