Lately I've been thinking about the bands I like (or used to like) and the first songs I'd ever heard--or at least really listened to--by them. Only some of them have just one definite hook. The following is a list of some bands and the first song I heard by each of them, and maybe, just maybe, a little story.
Pulp, "I Spy"
I was reminded of this tonight as I listened to Different Class and sang along loudly. One summer, Becky and I visited our then-Internet-buddies Tristan and Sarah in Corvallis, Ore. Tristan sat us down in an overcast parking lot by the river and placed a pair of giant headphones on each of our ears and played this song.
Luna, "23 Minutes in Brussels"
This was the work of Sammy. I listened to this and iimmediately wanted more.
Yeah, so everyone heard "Song 2," but it was a 1-minute clip of "Beetlebum" that made me get the album. I'm kind of a sucker.
The Mountain Goats, "See America Right"
Gabe sent me this mp3 like a hundred years ago. I didn't pick up Tallahassee for a couple years, but I did get a few other albums. It took me awhile to be convinced based on this song alone, but there's no turning back. (Had he sent "No Children," I don't think wild horses could have stopped me from running up to fucking Cellophane Square and dropping full price on the CD.)
The Decemberists, "The Soldiering Life"
A KRS freebie that, in conjunction with a damn fine Bumbershoot set in ought-three, forced me to buy a CD that, while it isn't their best, got me in line with the Youth and Beauty Brigade.
DJ Shadow, "Midnight in a Perfect World"
Probably everyone's first DJ Shadow, considering how many between-NPR-bits it occupies, among other things, but you know what? For good reason.
Ben Folds Five, "Battle of Who Could Care Less"
I know, it was a radio single, but there is a little story behind why this song, which I absolutely loved, failed to get me to obtain the album for years. I heard it on the radio once and was excited. The second time, I managed to tape it--at the time, I carried around a 90-minute cassette full of songs I liked that I taped off the radio--and listened to it on my Walkman for weeks. I forced certain friends to listen to it, and they hated it, so I didn't buy it. And that is a lesson about the power of peer pressure.
Built to Spill, "I Could Hurt a Fly"
Ah, finally, something Kevin sent me. There isn't much else to say about it, but this song rocks, and I really like BTS now. Yay.
Anyone else got a list of firsts?