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22 Nov

1989 was the year that I went from just liking music to being obsessed with music. It’s the year that I got my electric guitar. It’s the year that I started seriously following the music charts (though I was following Radio & Records more than Billboard). 1989 was the year that I began listening to radio stations like WDRE (new wave) and Z-ROCK (heavy metal); and made some of my first music purchases. And this was the first time I ever declared that I had a favorite band.

The band that I would declare as my favorites were Aerosmith. I can still remember the first time that I ever heard Aerosmith. I was at the house of one of my mom’s friends and her daughter was watching Video Music Box. They played ‘Walk This Way” and I was wondered about who the rock guys were. Later, I would get into the Permanent Vacation album. I remember getting in trouble for singing “Rag Doll” while in the back of the family car on a road trip. But Aerosmith didn’t become my favorites until the Pump album was released in 1989. It had great Joe Perry guitar work like the guitar solo in “Love in an Elevator”. It had Tom Hamilton’s stellar bass work (I wanted to play bass like Tom back then. I even had a band back then, but that’s an ugly story for another day). Steven Tyler had that crazy voice with the screams that came at such sharp angles and his wild performance style. Altogether, Aerosmith had a swagger that couldn’t be denied. Years later, Aerosmith would no longer be my favorite band. That honor would belong to Made Out Of Babies. But 12 year old Niv would be happy to know that they’re still in my top 5. And I would even get to meet Aerosmith a few years later.

Pump came out in September of 1989. And right around my birthday, they released their most successful single off that album:

Song 1083: “Janie’s Got A Gun” by Aerosmith



20 Nov

By the time I turned 10 years old, music had become important to me. I started finding bands that I cared about and songs that I wanted to own and listen to again and again. I spent a lot of time watching music videos on late night television shows (Friday Night Videos on NBC!) and recording them through the wonderful magic of the VCR. So when it came time to do this post, I found myself with a lot more choices than previous days. One of the people whose videos I used to watch was George Harrison. His album, Cloud Nine, came out just before my tenth birthday and included fun songs like “I’ve Got My Mind Set On You” & “When We Was Fab”. The day after my birthday was the release date for the Less Than Zero Soundtrack. Now, I knew little to nothing about that Rob Lowe flick but it was such a phenomenal soundtrack. There was Public Enemy’s “Bring The Noise”; the Bangles “Hazy Shade of Winter”; and LL Cool J’s “Going Back to Cali” all on one album. And at the end of October of that year, George Michael released his solo debut. Say what you will about George Michael, I always thought this album had a lot going for it, from the sparse cool swagger of “Faith” to the soul of songs like “One More Try” & “Father Figure” to the danceable “Monkey” and the jazzy “Kissing a Fool”.

But when it comes to me and that time, I have to think about the band INXS. In October of 1987, they released the album “Kick”. As a kid, I was obsessed with that album. I used to go to Blockbuster and rent the video collection time and time again. It was an album that I could enjoy from top to bottom (maybe skipping Wild Life every once in a while). So many great songs like “Need You Tonight”, “Mediate” (I thought that video was brilliant back then since I had no clue who Bob Dylan was), “The Loved One”, and “Devil Inside”. Much to my surprise, I have only posted one INXS song in this blog and it wasn’t from this album. So many good songs. I don’t know which one to post, so I’m just going to go with the title track.

Song 1081- “Kick” by INXS


13 Nov

Today was almost the first snag in the look back at the songs that came out around my various birthdays. Year 3 came in 1980 and I was stunned when I found out that the album that came out closest to my birthday that year was ABBA’s Super Trouper album. Now, there is a lot of ABBA that I can deal with. I enjoy the movie “Muriel’s Wedding” and it gave me an appreciation of the band. And how could you not enjoy “Fernando”, a pop song about old guys looking back at the war. But I’m not a fan of the Super Trouper album in the slightest, so I had to keep searching for a song and lucky for me that just a few short days after my 3rd birthday, one of metal’s greatest anthems was released, a little piece of aggressive power that seems just as vibrant over 30 years later.

Song 1074: “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead


11 Nov

When I was turning 2 years old, the world was introduced to a new single from Michael Jackson. It was “Rock Wit U” and that was the kind of song that I definitely would’ve been exposed to growing up. My siblings, who were teens (almost all of them) by this time would’ve been listening to MJ. All throughout my growing up, my house was full of MJ records from the days of the Jackson 5 onward. Funny how you grow up. I had zero desire to pick that song as my song of the day. Instead I picked a song from an album that my family would’ve never even came near to back then. November 2, 1979 (the date is under some dispute) was the release date for the album “Machine Gun Etiquette” by punk rock legends The Damned. There’s something about this sloppy grungy punk sound that resonates with me. It’s like one part Ramones one part Bauhaus. 2 year old me may not have appreciated it (maybe) but 32 years later, I’m loving this song:

Song 1073- “I Just Can’t Be Happy Today” by the Damned


11 Nov

I thought it was so interesting to see what album came out around the day I was born, I figured I would look further down the path. Moving on a year to when I turned one, November 1978. Now, I have zero recollection of that time in my life. I’m not one of those people who can recall bits from all times of their past. I’m pretty good from 4 on. So, it’s fascinating to me to look back at that time and wonder. Would my family had been listening to The Police’s Outlandos d’Amour album back then? I’m unsure. On one hand, they were living in Harlem and had a deep love for Motown. But I did grow up with a Queen 45 that I played to death. And this was the Police, a band who had some crossover appeal due to their use of reggae rhythms in their rock. That album, released on Nov 2, 1978 (3 days before I turned 1), included some great songs like the classic “Roxanne”. But today, I feel like listening to another of the singles from that album:
Song 1072- “Can’t Stand Losing You” by the Police


7 Feb

I think this is perfect song to sum up this weekend. You’ve got a music video full of snow and the desire for some summer to get there already. And at the same time, it’s a perfect name to go along with the super bowl champions. Plus, it’s the Breeders from back in the day when those Deal sisters were awesome.

Song 1070- “Saints” by the Breeders


6 Feb

Hey, I’m back. I really need to learn a way to do 10kdays posts while I’m out and about in the world. Getting to do them only at night is #1 reason for me missing posts. Gotta figure out something.

Here’s a song that I could have swore that I posted about eons ago but a quick google check tells me that I have never written about this one. I enjoy the band Say Anything. They have a great sense of humor and you can tell they have their tongue firmly in their cheek but they play it so straight. I love their tunes and here’s my fave.

Song 1069- “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too” by Say Anything