The cherry on my first credit card was popped at Music Market in Costa Mesa, CA in the late 80s. I couldn’t tell you what I bought, but I can tell you that having the freedom to buy almost anything without having to pay for it immediately was immensely exhilarating. And Music Market was the first place I knew I wanted to break out this new piece of plastic nirvana.

Maybe I bought After The Snow by Modern English. Or Catastrophe Ballet by Christian Death. Or perhaps it was Mange Tout by Blancmange. I do know two things: whatever releases I bought were cassette tapes; and I spent at least three hours in that store, that day, just perusing the music and going down the rabbit hole chasing bands I knew, bands I’d heard of, and bands whose album cover art looked interesting. At that time, I don’t think you could hear previews of the music you were about to buy, so part of the thrill was knowing you were taking a flyer on an unknown band based on the look of their album art alone. The cool thing about Music Market (and most independent record stores I frequented for that matter) was that the staff was more than willing to impart their knowledge if asked, or if they happened to notice you browsing a favorite album of theirs. I know that’s what helped me settle on Catastrophe Ballet by Christian Death. It also helped that I was in my third year at a conservative Christian college and the very thought of blasting such blasphemy in my Hyundai Excel with the windows down while driving through the school parking lot made me feel like a real rebel. On a side note, I did the same with Bodies by The Sex Pistols. I was a subversion legend in my own mind.

Fast forward to the digital age. I no longer spend time in record stores. I think my last trip to Amoeba Records was almost 5 years ago. The rabbit hole has moved to the internet, just as my CD collection has moved to HDD and the Cloud. YouTube, Rhapsody, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Vevo, Pitchfork, Slicing Up Eyeballs…they and other countless websites all form the walls of the hole through which I constantly lose myself, seeking out music, new and old (or just new to me and old to those in the know) to quench a thirsty soul. This is my attempt to share what I’ve found. What is curated on this blog is based on my tastes alone…and I’m arrogant enough to think that others would benefit from being exposed to my music tastes, because quite frankly, my MP3 player contains the greatest collection of music in the history of music. And yes, I still use an MP3 player…my trusty 30GB Creative Zen Vision M.

I will end this first post with a track that features a side project of one of my favorite artists of all time, Trent Reznor, remixed by a band I discovered in 2012 and had the pleasure of seeing them play live twice in 2013, The Soft Moon. Enjoy!

  1. alisonquirion says:

    As Stephen Malkmus recently sang, “we grew up listening to the music from the best decade ever…I’m talking about the 80s!”

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