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May 2, 2010 / Brittany Hendrick

I was born in the wrong year

My older brother, Guido David, was born in 1972. I came along six years later. Two years later, exactly on the same day, my sister popped out. Pretty neat. But I always wished I were born first. Not so I could be the oldest child and beat up my siblings, but so I could’ve been of-age and experienced first-hand some of the greatest movements in music history.

During the ’80s, my brother was into music. So was I, but of the MTV kind. David was at that age when most kids start getting into music. Rap and breakdancing were taking off, and it was happening at the “right” time in a youth’s life. Fat shoelaces, rolled-up linoleum and a ghettoblaster were a part of David’s repertoire.

Despite that, he didn’t buy much music (well, I guess he was still a little young for a record collection, 8th grade and all). I do remember in particular his Whodini 12″ album, though. We’d to go around singing UTFO: “Roxanne, Roxanne! I wanna be your man!” I probably have the entire script of the movie Breakin’ memorized (this actually came on TV a couple weeks ago. I hadn’t seen it in over 15 years. It’s amazing how much of it I remember).

By the ’80s end, into the new decade, David moved on to Aerosmith, Bad Company, and Steve Miller Band. My brother attended only a handful of concerts; stuff like Bon Jovi and MC Hammer. Basically, David wasn’t interested in music anymore.

Meanwhile, by the time I hit 8th grade, I had discovered college radio. Grunge music exploded while I was in 7th grade, which opened the door to other, non-grunge alternative acts becoming popular. I was into it, but quickly grew bored of radio and daytime MTV. Somehow, I found that Georgia State University’s radio station, WRAS, was also playing some of the music already heard on the regular alternative radio station: Tool, Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins (only on WRAS, would “Drown” be played in its entirety).

I’ll never forget the first unfamiliar, non-hard-edged band I heard on college radio. It was Pavement, and the song was “In the Mouth of a Desert.” My initial thought was, “They sound like they’re stoned!” Don’t know if they were or were not stoned, but it was good-old fashioned indie rock. The rest is history.

There was one problem: I was too young to see these bands in concert. To this day, I lament when people say, “I was at the Atlanta date on that Ride/Lush tour,” or “I saw My Bloody Valentine.” I missed out on so much!

And yet my idiot brother, who was the PERFECT age for all of this exciting stuff in the early ’90s, didn’t give a crap about music! I guaran-damn-tee, if I were in his spot back then, I’d have taken full advantage. Oh, to have been a high schooler/twenty-something then!

Recently, a website was brought to my attention. The site is an aggregation of all the episodes of MTV’s 120 Minutes (playlists only) and links to those videos that aired. It’s nice– as well as torturous– to see the shifts in music… from that I.R.S. Records sound, post-new wave, electro-pop, dreampop, baggy/Madchester, shoegaze, grunge, post-grunge, industrial, Brit-pop, electronica, nu-metal, to SUCK (well, nu-metal sucks, too. Though, I quite like the first two albums by both Korn and Deftones).

The website is here and is very informative if you want to be reminded of that one-hit wonder post-grunge band. Really, it’ll make you say, “I remember that one now!”

To celebrate my lost era of alternative music and the band that opened my eyes to it, here is Pavement’s video for “Gold Soundz.” It pretty much sums up my feelings on current music… even though this video is from 1994 or something… and even though grunge music is attacked. Shut it, Malkmus.


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