He’s bigger in real life.
The Sound of My 2001.
I was sixteen years old in 2001. I was living in an eighty year old German styled house in the small town of New Ulm, MN. This was the year I truly discovered music; this was the year of a summer where I grew, and this was the year of which I recall fondly, even if I swore to never completely relive the days of my youth. I mean, really, who wants to be sixteen again?
This was the year that for some reason, I switched my radio dial from FM to AM. I don’t completely remember why… it may have been because I was looking for funny AM radio samples to make sound collages with or just that I was looking for something new that I wasn’t getting on the FM dial. Either way, I found a college station being broadcast out of the Twin Cities, 770 Radio K. What I heard here changed my life forever.
So tag along with me, as I trip into nostalgia.
Section One: The Summer of Rock—
Here, I discovered a neat little diet of tunes, either from the station or from my local CD shop that blew my little teenage mind.
1) Work of Saws “Tangerines and Blue Cheese”
2) Nirvana “Serve the Servants”
3) Flogging Molly “Rebels of a Sacred Heart”
4) Black Rebel Motorcycle Club “Love Burns”
5) Spiritualized “Run”
Section Two: 1000F in the Upstairs Bedroom in an Old House in New Ulm—
Living in a house as old as this one, the vent shafts sucked. They sucked in the winter and they sucked in the summer. If you were downstairs in the living room, you were fine; you were heated and cooled accordingly. Upstairs, however, you had to fend for yourselves. There wasn’t much you could do to cope with the heat. These tunes, though, seemed to help…
1) µ-ziq “Autumn Acid”
2) The Future Sound of London “Ill Flower”
3) Meat Beat Manifesto “I Am Electro”
4) Irresistible Force “Nepalese Bliss”
5) Third Eye Foundation “To Describe You”
Section Three: Some Assembly Required—
Jon Nelson’s radio show debut on the air on KUOM 770 Radio K that spring. He had been doing a show online prior to this, but this was the first I had heard of it. It was advertised by the station as “turn table creations” and being young and not the most knowledgeable person in the world about music, I assumed I was going to hear some techno DJ mix. Instead, I got sound collages. Amuse and awed, I kept listening. I called my brother, Keith over. We sat in silence for a few songs until one of us said, “This is kind of like the stuff we make…” We had dabbled in sound collage on my old, clunky dual tape deck stereo, not knowing that this was an actual art form. My brother and I would later release a CD of our collages on Nelson’s label, which is still up for sale.
1) Escape Mechanism “Why Does the Night Fall?”
2) Emergency Broadcast Network “You Have Five Seconds to Complete this Section”
3) The Coherent Encoherence “Looking for Love”
4) The Avalanches “Frontier Psychiatrists”
5) Negativeland “The ABCs of Anarchism”
Section Four: Summer Haze—
On the rare chance that the unimaginably hot days in Minnesota would get humid, you saw this thick, goopy haze rise off of the river in New Ulm and just kind of hang there, turning the sky a light gray color but doing nothing to cool things off. These tracks offered a light release.
1) Air “Casanova 70 (The Secret of Cool Remix)”
2) Prodigy “Out of Space”
3) Joi “Journey”
4) DJ Shadow “Hardcore (Instrumental) Hip Hop”
5) Booker T. and the M.G.s “Green Onions”
6) The Beatles “Blue Jay Way”
7) Radiohead “Pyramid Song”
8) The Future Sound of London “Everyone in this World is Doing Something Without Me”
9) Lo-Fidelity All Stars “I Used to Fall in Love”
10) Supreme Beings of Leisure “Never the Same”
Section Five: Industrial Strength—
Jon’s show used to air on Saturdays. Prior to it was a two hour show run by three guys (though only two of them were on the mic.). It was known as ‘The Descent,” and it specialized in the darker side of electronica, focusing on industrial and other forms of IDM, EBM, etc… The DJs had a knack for mixing perfect sets, hilarious and cynical on-air banter, and were probably the darkest thing to hit the Midwest’s airwaves. Hearing this stuff at the age of sixteen was eye opening, as I had a really negative opinion on industrial music up until then, mostly because I didn’t get it and the closest thing most FM listeners got to it was Nine Inch Nails or Manson. At last, here was a taste of the real deal, unfiltered and loud.
1) Aphex Twin “Come to Daddy (Pappy Mix)”
2) Converter-Asche-Morgenstern “Another Monster”
3) Venetian Snares “Pygmalion”
4) Codec “Friction”
5) Velvet Acid Christ “Delaudid (Postponed)”
Section Six: Cry—
As most teens will tell you, it’s a rough time of life. All of these odd new feelings and all of that typical nonsense that tends to linger with you for a few painful years. It’s a good reason not to have to relive those teenage days. At least there was some music to get me through those rough patches.
1) Nirvana “Milk It (Live)”
2) Sunna “One Conditioning”
3) Red Hot Chili Peppers “My Friends”
4) Soundgarden “Black Hole Sun”
5) Moby “My Weakness”
6) The Offspring “Gone Away”
7) Atari Teenage Riot “Atari Teenage Riot”
Section Seven: Herman Heights—
About five blocks or so from the house stood the statue of Herman the German, all atop a large hill by a small college, overlooking a small ruined Amphitheater being overgrown by shrubs and trees. He was the symbol of the town. I have no idea where I was going with this… Some of these songs are fairly well known and were big at the time., others not so much. You go, Teenage Me!
1) DJ Spooky “Ghetto of the Mind”
2) Primal Scream “Kill All Hippies”
3) Joydrop “Beautiful Like Me”
4) The Crystal Method (Feat. Filter) “Trip Like I Do”
5) Photek “DNA”
Section Eight: Closing—
We all grow up. I moved away and most of my friends from ‘the day’ are gone, virtually vanishing into the haze. Since then, I’ve lived and Maryland, moved to western New York, become a professional mascot, worked at a bankrupt radio station and have just those random memories of days long gone. Hard to believe that was a little over ten years ago. My final thoughts on the subject lay here:
1) Clinton “Miami Jammies (Electric Ice Cream)”
2) Joe Hisaishi “Kodama”
3) The Chemical Brothers “Got Glint?”
4) Jefferson Airplane “Someone to Love”
5) Strawberry Alarmclock “Incense Peppermints”