Best (or at least pretty damn awesome) Years in Music
November 4th, 2011 • Commentary
I was recently asked the “age-old” question, “if you were to go back in time when would you go to?” After remembering how slow rocks change, I ignored my geologist instincts to go back to the Late Paleozoic to see the Appalachian Mountains created and grow large. I decided to base my answer, rather, on what was happening musically during different times. This still proved challenging. Presented here are some of my finalists (focused rather on specific years rather than decades or eras…)
5. 1839: Pablo Casals finished recording the Bach cello suites. Before this, they were used as practice/warm-up pieces for cello. Casals made them stand-alone pieces to play. Where would Master and Commander be without Suite 1: Prelude? More importantly, where would we all be without the entire collection? Well, we’d probably all be right where we are but without some of the best cello pieces accessible.
4. ~1985: Stephen Malkmus, David Berman and Bob Nastanovich met. They all worked at the Whitney together in the late 80s. With others, Malkmus, Berman and Nastanovich, in different combinations, make up Pavement and Silver Jews. If Pavement was never a band, then Built to Spill may not have ever been a band. If Built to Spill was never a band, then maybe the Microphones wouldn’t have been a band (who knows?). And if Silver Jews had never been a band then Silver Jews would never have been a band and that’s bad enough by itself.
3. 1993: I was three and had no idea what was happening. In Seattle, In Utero was released by Nirvana. Seattle’s the best. In Omaha, Saddle Creek Records was started.While Conor Oberst has a pretty bad rep, his record label produced bands such as Cursive, The Good Life, Rilo Kiley and now is home to Rural Alberta Advantage, Big Harp, Maria Taylor and some other stars. Omaha is not the best but has created some pretty awesome music.
2. 1981: The Clash play their historic show at Bond’s. Welcome to America, boys.
1. 1983: The Smiths.
In summary, if I were to go back in time I would go back to about 1980 and stay there until about 1995. Sounds fun!