On March 1st, the one and only Mr. Ryan Fancey wrote about his experience with the album-a-day challenge for the previous month. It got me thinking about my music listening habits and the fact that I spend way more time than I’d like, listening to sports talk radio on the commute to and from work. I have a tendency to listen the music I like and not branch out beyond it. If you scroll through the Most Played playlist on my iPhone, you get a mix of Kid Cudi, Amy Winehouse, Jimmy Cliff and Kanye. It’s a somewhat varied list but even though is shows that I have a penchant for music across genres, I tend to stick with the artists I know.
I grew up listening to mostly hip hop. The first album I bought with my own money was The Score by the Fugees. High school and University was a lot of Jay-Z and Outkast as well as a look back at older rap that I had missed out since I was too young in the 80s and early 90s to care about music (I was the rap hipster kid with the KRS One poster on his wall in first year). The funny thing about my lack of diversity is that my wife has very different taste in music from me. Her music taste has changed a lot over the years (she’s a huge Beyonce fan, something her high school self could have never allowed), but she still remains tied to the music she was a huge fan of growing up. I’ve been to Alexisonfire concerts, Placebo shows and a festival headlined by AFI, heck she even somehow talked me into a Nine Inch Nails concert. This is all music that I have been exposed to thanks to her but never really sat down and listened to beyond a single album from each. I love The Clash and Ramones, but because of her I know the Dead Kennedys. I’ve been exposed to Hole but thanks to her I’m a fan of The Distillers. Radiohead, Audioslave, Queens of the Stone Age, all bands I would have zero interest in if she didn’t love them.
When I read Ryan’s summary of his February, I decided it would be a great chance to branch out a little. The challenge dictates that you choose an album you haven’t listened ever listened to from start to end. I did cheat on the 22nd when I heard the sad news of the death of a hip hop legend, Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest. The Five Foot Assasin is a founding member of one of the greatest rap groups of all time. He and ATCQ are a major reason why I love hip hop today so I spent the 22nd listening to ATCQ all day and didn’t get around to listening to a new album.
I asked for suggestions on Twitter and from my crew at TLN, but for the second half of the month I stuck to more of my own choices and artists that my wife is always telling me to listen to (I just got her tickets to The Smashing Pumpkins at Massey Hall for our anniversary so I figured I should end the month of with them). If you’re a fan of music I highly suggest taking the time and spending April listening to a new album every day. It was a lot of fun and something I’ll probably do again at some point.
Here is a list of how my month went:
- Alexisonfire – Watch Out!
- Modest Mouse – Good News for People Who Love Bad News
- Prince – Purple Rain
- Sex Pistols – Nevermind the Bollocks
- Pattie Smith – Horses
- MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
- Viktor Vaughn -Audeville Villain
- Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered.
- Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – Surf
- Portugal. The Man – Evil Friends
- T. Rex – Electric Warrior
- Massive Attack – Mezzanine
- Still Little Finger – Inflammable Material
- The White STripes – Elephant
- Modest Mouse – Strangers to Ourselves
- NOFX – Punk in Drublic
- iLoveMakonnen – I Love Makonnen 2
- Kevin Gates – Islah
- G-Eazy – When It’s Dark Out
- Wiz Khalifa – Khalifa
- M.I.A. – Arular
- A Tribe Called Quest
- Gorillaz – Demon Days
- Radiohead – The Bends
- Queens of the Stone Age – Songs for the Deaf
- Radiohead – OK Computer
- Placebo – Meds
- Audioslave – Out of Exile
- The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
- Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
- The Smashing Pumpkins – Adore