Welcome to INAUDIBLE’s second installment of 5-10-15-20 in which I blatantly steal a feature from Pitchfork and ask fantastic people to talk about their musical love affairs at five year intervals. This second edition features Toronto based film editor/sound man/all around amazing dude, Stew Maclean waxing nostalgic about the songs and records that got him all fired up and ready to go.
“Let’s Dance” by David Bowie
I remember my brother Bart and I dancing around to this song a ton, but waiting for it on that old late night music video show (would have been a Detroit station cause we didn’t have cable) or on the radio. This might not have been exactly at age five but it’s really close and one of my first music memories. My love for it stemmed from a mix of us making fun of Bowie a bit but also because I had never really heard a song like this before.
My oldest brother Jay was just getting out of a huge classic rock phase at this time and he gave me his old tapes that he didn’t listen to anymore. Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath were my faves. I loved Zeppelin’s “Over The Hills And Far Away” from Houses of the Holy because of The Lord of the Rings, which I tried to read around this time but it was too difficult – instead the Ralph Bakshi animated LOTR movie was more up my alley. Also “Fairies Wear Boots” from Black Sabbath’s Paranoid was a song that Jay used to put on super super loud to pump himself up to write exams and the guitar really heated up my groin and it felt like it was something that I shouldn’t be listening to but that’s definitely what drew me to it.
This was another huge musical moment for me. Angel Dust by Faith No More. A couple of years before I had seen Mike Patton perform on Saturday Night Live and it was soooo cool. I thought he was the shit and Epic was a great album but Angel Dust blew it out of the water and I think I spent an entire year listening to this record. It totally changed the way that I looked at music because it was so different and it didn’t seem like an album because I never listened to it from start to finish (fucking tapes). It was also my third concert seeing them at State Theatre in Detroit and Mike Patton was still soooooo cool and I bought a shirt at the show and my parents never said anything about me walking around with a shirt that had angel dust written on it.
This was right around the time I started to become obsessed with the Morr Music label and that style of electronica. Arovane, Solvent, Phonem, Christian Kleine, Múm, The Notwist were all amazing! Also I remember going to bed every night listening to “Djed” by Tortoise on headphones from my boombox and I would always have great sleeps (man, whatever happened to those sleeps? The sleeps that dreams are made of Matt).
So obviously the electronic phase continued. I got into Boards of Canada from P-Dogg and Aphex Twin from Marc. I never did get to see any of those assholes live but I still loved ‘em. They were both way different and way better and older than the other electronic stuff I was listening to. P-Dogg’s boundless enthusiasm for BoC was contagious and Marc would always say that Richard D. James invented a new style of electronic music. This was also right around the time that I started to move towards other genres of music and realized that guitars were still cool.
Having the luxury of Joaquim’s amazing stereo system that we rocked out to all the time helped me get into styles of music that I never thought I would. Genesis was the biggest and best of that time. The whole concept song/album thing really reminded me of the first time I heard Angel Dust by Faith No More. Also how fuckin’ cool was Peter Gabriel with the reverse mohawk hair? And listening to their live albums on vinyl on a $10,000 dollar stereo was a really easy sell.
It’s weird when I think about this list because there are a ton of other bands and musicians that I know I listened to as much if not more than the bands on this list but these are the ones closest to the age mark. Yes.
Ed: Thanks Stew!