[W]hen I was asked to share my 5 Favorite Albums of All Time for Hit The Scene, I jumped at the chance. I mean, I didn’t jump—‘cos that would spill my wine and knock over my laptop and frighten my ferret—but I “leapt at the opportunity” because aside from performing and writing, I’m a MUSIC FAN first of all.
All my life, I’ve been shaped by records; I associate specific tracks with every major life event: my first kiss, first boob grab, first heartbreak, first day in a new city, first time alone in a new country, etc. People of my parents’ generation ask, “Do you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when JFK was shot?,” whereas my friends ask, “Do you remember exactly where you were the first time you heard Gish by Smashing Pumpkins?”
One of the greatest times in my life was living in a massive dorm in Buttfuck-Nowhere, Illinois. My friends and I were surrounded by a cornfield wasteland—an intellectual and cultural desert—but we turned our whole floor into a record swap. Every room left their doors open and stereos blaring, and each day you’d be exposed to new bands… mostly from the UK. And each week, we’d pour over every page of the latest NME that was somehow smuggled in.
No matter what changes in our lives, our record collection is always there… people are fickle… even our greatest loves are fleeting—our friends die, our houses burn, our ferrets run into traffic, but our favorite songs are immortal.
1. THE CURE, Disintegration: This album is flawless—lost my virginity to it. Cried a thousand dorky teenage tears over it. Held hands and fell in love to it. Genius on all levels—dark, moody, beautiful, original… and hasn’t aged a day—it’s the Dorian Grey of modern rock.
2. PETER GABRIEL, So: This album is my everything. Aside from the song Sledgehammer, which I skip every fucking time, it’s stunning. To this day, I get encouraged and inspired by it. Favorite memory is putting it on repeat on my iPod and walking 10 miles alone at night in a Chicago snowstorm years ago.
3. THE SMITHS, Meat is Murder: This album is the ultimate filter. If you don’t own this album, I will never date you and you can never be my friend.
4. JANES ADDICTION, Nothing Shocking: This defines “alternative” for me. Just total youthful freedom. A hybrid of a thousand musical styles that should not work together… but put it with Perry’s alien voice (my favorite rock vocalist)… oh, and heroin… and it’s a masterpiece.
5. RIDE, Nowhere: This record and Chrome by Catherine Wheel… oh, and Loveless by My Bloody Valentine… shaped me musically perhaps more than any other records… so dreamy, so clever (one song is a reference to a JD Salinger novel), so textural… it never ages. I’m such a super-fan that when I once ran into Noel Gallagher and Andy Bell in a guitar shop, I didn’t give a FUCK about Noel. I just fan-boy’ed out to Andy and vomited compliments until I was ushered out of the store…
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