teen top ten

January 15, 2017
Alright, jumping on that "10 albums influential to you as a teen, don't think too much"

1. All these classical and jazz tapes I tried to convince myself I liked, because I thought A. that's what smart people like B. I am a very smart person. This really set back my appreciation of pop music, which seemed beneath a kid of my intellectual stature. (ahem)

2. But "Weird Al" was my gateway back to pop music, starting with his self titled album, back when it was all accordion. I think I had every song on that tape memorized. (Shout out to "Even Worse" as well.)

3. "License to Ill", Beastie Boys . This album was my anthem of young teen disenchantment, I remember sulking and listening to it on repeat in the back seat on headphones. Later in a bit of personal Christian revival I destroyed the tape. And then after I got it again, though maybe not until college?

4. "Christmas Rap", a holiday tape with a ton of artists. especially the crazy mechanical looping beat of Sweet Tee's "Let the Jinglebells Rock", it really stuck with me years later...

5. "Basin Street" by the Canadian Brass. I remember listening to this over and over while writing a nerdy paper on Charles Babbage in middle school. It's not bad, but kind of feels rather square to me now . Saw them in conert a few times.

6. "Chameleon" by Maynard Ferguson. This is literally one of the first three CDs I bought when my family finally got a CD player - and the screaming title song is super influential in honk bands, and a staple of JP Honk.

7. Dirty Dozen Brass Band "New Orleans Album". One of the other first 3 CDs I bought (the other was a Glen Miller tape). Of all ten albums on this list, maybe this one stands up the best from a sheer music standpoint.

8. "Soundtrack to the Blues Brothers". Man, every stage/jazz band kid in america wanted to be these guys. We tried to dress like them, a bit, in Euclid High School's "222nd Street Jazz" Now it seems a little white guy co-opting, but back then it was just so cool. Worked up a version of Peter Gunn JP Honk sometimes does.

9. Ugh, reaching here. PID (Preachers in Disguise)'s "Back to Back". Christian Hiphop. And what good white christian in the late 80s DIDN't try to rap? Again trying to find something in the faith I had here. (Similarly- One Bad Pig's "Smash", Christian Heavy Metal. I remember arguing with my cousin about if that term was a contradiction.)

10. "Dr. Demento Bootleg Mixtape" compiled either off the radio or off the albums by Thomas Shenk. Made for my dad when he was sick, I listened to it a lot.

BONUS: EMF's "Unbelievable" single. A few variants. It was instructive that people in the band room didn't want to hear Africa Bambaataa's "Hip Hop remix" - they wanted to hear what they liked. (Runner up in the 'random cd singles' category - U2's "Mysterious Ways"

I guess this is all "middle school and high school". In college I'd be able to add The Beatles (missed them somehow growing up), Paul Simon's stuff, Deee-Lite, Ani Difranco.
animals.alienbill.com - I de-adventized my collection of Ed Emberley inspired animal puppets, to make it a less seasonal showpiece.
You know how you *shouldn't* eat those hundred calorie snacks? Seven at a time.