As we head into August, I'm probably going to start throwing in the occasional special now. Focus on an artist, random Bandcamp albums, I dunno. We'll see. Today, though, the usual.
NxWorries is Knxwledge and Anderson Paak, putting out one album so far along with an EP. I think it's great, and I wish you had a real track to listen to here.
The Beatles, "Birthday"
Well, now we get to discover if I have anything to add to the millions of words already written about the most famous of bands. I have a scattering of memories associated with the Beatles, and I suppose I'll just dole those out as the Beatles come up.
Magical Mystery Tour is probably the first record I can remember interacting with in any meaningful way. My dad had the vinyl, and at some point, my sisters discovered it. And, in particular, "I Am The Walrus". They played that record tons, and I thought it was pretty fun. And then I really paid attention to the lyrics, to try and figure them out. And, Young Josh was legitimately horrified by the lines "yellow matter custard / dripping from a dead dog's eye". It's really the earliest memory I can recall associating with horror. Thanks, John Lennon!
(NB: surprising nobody, I couldn't find the studio version of this song on YouTube, nor am I going to bother uploading it. So I picked a random live version instead.)
The Pogues, "Sally MacLennane"
The Pogues married Irish folk with punk, producing a sound that was wholly unique and still is eminently recognizable as their own. As punk rolled on, it became clear that one of the best things you could do with it was to take the energy and DIY ethos of it and apply it to whatever genre of music you sincerely loved. The Pogues embodied that and made a couple stone-cold classic records. This comes from Rum, Sodomy & the Lash, which is also an inner-circle Hall of Fame album name.
J Church, "Open Road"
Lance Hahn sadly passed away at age 40 due to kidney problems, leaving behind an extensive discography, and leaving me to contemplate what I'm going to leave behind me when I pass. The deaths of artists that have hit me the hardest are those of lesser known artists that I loved, like Hahn, who never had the breakthrough to the mainstream. And I think about their legacy, and it occurs to me that because they touched me, and because I still listen to their music, and I'll play it for my kids, they're still changing this world for the better.
What am I going to leave behind? I strive to be a good person, sure, and I'm doing everything I can to raise my kids right. But one of the reasons I'm also trying to make games is that I'd like for people to have things to point to after I'm gone that I've created, to say "Josh did this". It's a window, hopefully, into what I was like as a person, and maybe it's a thing that my kids will share with their kids. I really only have stories to share with my kids about what my father was like, and I'd like for them to have more than that.
Poster Children, "Dream Small"
Part of an active scene in Champaign-Urbana, the Poster Children played indie rock with both a little bit of pop sensibility and a healthy dose of noise. You can see both those tendencies in this song, with the bass in the intro, but also the choruses. They had a solid run through the 90s of good records, and apparently kept going after I lost track of them with RTFM.