Music can change your life. Here's two music players and a story to prove it.
A friend is a door to more. They open up your life.
The two tricky things in life are money and access. A lot of times, without one you don't get the other. I spent much of the '80s reading about albums I couldn't hear, flipping through LPs in record shops that I couldn't buy. The library, the radio, and music videos were my best friends (being free and all), until I started working at record stores to feed my habit.
In the early '90s a record store amigo named Aaron started giving me mixtapes. He was pulling together lots of stuff I'd heard tangentially or just heard about. They came with great titles like "Far Out In The Red Sky", "It Used To Be Alright But Things Got Strange", and "Trailing On Next To Sick". Cornucopias of Agitfolk, Garage Rock, Dream Pop, Psychedelia, Glam, German Prog, Punk, PostPunk, Shoegaze, Grunge, Neo-Psyche, and Noize.
Aaron had that core understanding...that everything was related, interconnected and ever-evolving through hybrids. In pinball fashion the songs linked the '60s through to the '90s. They were new universes looped through plastic and magnetic tape.
Aaron drew gothic Beardsley-esque covers for each, and wrote extensive liner notes in pencil. Another born culture maven and archivist! His knowledge for a young person was astonishing, guided of course by his boundless enthusiasm. Thank god for those folks.
Whenever I hear The Creation, Captain Beefheart, Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett, The MC5, Marc Bolan, Mudhoney, Bikini Kill, or Jon Spencer, I give a silent thanks to my friend for the gift.
Aaron's mixtapes opened up my mind and expanded my life. I want to thank him for that on his birthday, and pass the songs on to you here. Listen to the music player above and free your mind.
A A R O N
But every door leads to windows!
Here is another music player of bands and songs that I then explored on my own over the years to the present, all in the sonic spirit of the vistas Aaron opened my doors to.
They are in basic order from the '50s to now: a howling blow-out of Rockabilly, Merseybeat, Garage Rock, Girls In The Garage, Psychedelic, Dream Pop, Glam, Funk Rock, Punk, PostPunk, Paisley Underground, College Rock, Grunge, Riot Grrrl, Noize, Neo Garage, and Brian Wilson disciples.
A splendid time is guaranteed for all! Open up a friend and pass it on...
He spoke the truth in these things
Both great and small"
-The Move, 1971
© Tym Stevens
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist