Tag Archives: Music

My Music Memoir: May 31, 1990

By time I filed into my seat at the Miami Arena on May 31, 1990 I was already hooked. I was already a lifelong fan. I had watched the tour film Depeche Mode 101 perhaps 25 times, I had every album (okay cassette but you know), and I skipped first period at Homestead Senior High School on March 19th to be the first to buy the Violator album and listen to it in my car. Depeche Mode was already my favorite band. But there was one more ritual I needed to experience to make my undying loyalty complete – a live concert.  Continue reading

Top 5 Tuesday – The Queen of Soul

Just a few thoughts this morning about what seems like the inevitable end of a legends career and life. As of this blog post Aretha Franklin is in Hospice care and things don’t look good. So instead of waiting for her to pass I wanted to get my thoughts out there. Aretha Franklin is treasured in the Preston house because she was my father’s favorite singer. her voice rang out in our house on Sunday mornings as we listened to her records as our church. It was her voice that was the last voice he heard as he passed away 13 years ago.  Continue reading

What I was Listening to This Week

So every Sunday (for the most part) I am planning on writing a post focused on what music I am listening to and thinking about in terms of music. I hope that I can reach other music nerds and also highlight what I am into. If you are interested or like something let me know and let’s talk about it. I love listening to music and podcasts and I hope you do to.

This week I slowly started listening to albums on my #Preston1600 list. This album list is made up of albums I compiled for a massive data review of dozens of “best of” lists from Rolling Stone magazine to KEXP Radio to The Source magazine. From that I curated the top 1600 albums. Here are short reviews of these first few listed albums – Continue reading

From Tomboys to Boy George – Generation X and Gender

As the late 1970s turned to the 1980s there were lots of changes on the culture front. The sexual revolution was in full swing, personal experimentation with everything from sex to drugs became more and more mainstream. But on thing remained taboo. Gender was still a static thing. For the most part people who expressed themselves and their genders as anything but their biological self were often seen as strange and on the fringe. Sure there was all sorts of what I would call “gender cosplay”. Movies like Some Like it Hot and the Carol Burnett show exploited cross dressing for its comedic response. However, there were few in pop culture who were exploring this subject. The first inkling of gender non-conformity appeared in songs like Lou Reed’s Take a Walk on the Wildside and of course the forbearer of exploring gender fluidity, David Bowie. Continue reading

Oct. 11, 1975 – Oct. 24, 2006 – Generation X

I am a member of Generation X. I am the core demographic os Generation X. I was born in January of 1973 which, by generational standards places me at exactly the half-way point of Gen X. And while there are overlaps in all generations there is no doubt where I am. My favorite bands are R.E.M. and Depeche Mode, my favorite movies likely featured Molly Ringwald or Christian Slater, my favorite TV shows were Beverly Hills 90210 and Miami Vice, and my favorite athlete is Dan Marino. I am a child of the Reagan and Clinton years, the first major news event of my lifetime was the Challenger Disaster in 1986. I graduated high school in 1991 and by September Nirvana had released Nevermind, just in time for me to start college. Continue reading

Flag Frustrations Show Nothing Changes

This is not a post about football players kneeling. This is not about the politics of athletes, or the President, or whether people should or should not watch football. This post is about the frustration of censorship and the way that we always tend to elevate our own personal feelings above others. I am a 44 year-old Generation X-er and I am also a fierce advocate for free speech and expression. I have always felt like even when the message is crude, misguided, or disagreeable to me that is when I need to be even more outspoken for their protection from censorship. Continue reading

Day Four – #SeptVinylChallenge – Four Album Titles that Describe Me

This was a tough assignment. While finding four albums that describe you can be an easy task (fine four albums your love and Viola! You have the post) but in this case it was four album titles that best describe you. That is a bit harder. So I dug deep, did some real thinking, and went back into the recesses of my mind to remember which albums were actually in my collection to find four albums that describe me.

1. Strange Ways Here We Come – The Smiths

This album is one of my favorite albums of all time but also describes my life. I have lived in 8 states, lost my father to drug addiction, earned my doctorate, traveled to 49 states, been a pizza guy, fell in love, become a father, seen Depeche Mode 12 times, – I have lived a strange life. It has been wonderful and I look forward to the decades to come. This album typifies what my life has been like. Songs like Girlfriend in a Coma and Stop Me if You Think You’ve Heard This One Before create a story of how strange life is and the melancholy changes they bring.

2. The Lost Boys Movie Soundtrack

I consider myself a Lost Boy. I grew up moving all over the country, I often feel alone and disoriented. I have to be a bit of a chameleon to fit in and I don’t feel comfortable with the mainstream. This album and movie by the same name is about isolation and the vulnerability of not fitting in. While kind of about vampires it is metaphor for the kind of people who interrupt a person’s life when they are alone and vulnerable. So many times I was tempted by fitting in and I resisted. The music is also part of that equation — even if they were not sure at the time it meant anything. Echo and the Bunnymen doing a version of People are Strange, Though Shall Not Fall (Cry Little Sister) by Gerald McMann, and Good Times by INXS are all in reference to band leaders or singers who were painfully introverted but acted extroverted for their art. This lead to two of their deaths. This album shows my painfully shy and lost side.

3. Document – R.E.M.

I love R.E.M. For far more reasons than I have time for in this post. But I can tell you that this album does 100% reflect my personality. This album and it’s title is a celebration of historical context in political, social, and emotional context. Finest Worksong, The One I Love, Exhuming McCarthy, and King of Birds are all blue collar songs of memory and lesson that is mean to serve witness to those who cannot represent themselves. I believe that history is more important than the future and this album is an antebellum relic of that. R.E.M. Are southerners who have a real sense of who they are what their heritage represents. I hope I do too.

4. The Immaculate Collection – Madonna

In 1990 Madonna released a “Greatest Hits” album that was more than that. It had new songs like Justify My Love and also featured remastered versions of songs that spanned her early career. The reason I selected this album was because like her songs I am a collector of things that spark memory. Sports cards, record collections, playlists, AFI Movie lists, you name it I love to collect things. I am not a hoarder, quite the contrary. I am actually a person who lives a minimalist lifestyle. But what I do collect I do with completion and purpose. I think Madonna did that with this album. It was intentional on how it was ordered, the music selected, I have listened to this album perhaps 100 times. It’s amazing.

So these are the four albums that describe me.