Thursday, December 18, 2008

My first jambox

There's actually an ebay auction going on right now for the exact model of my first Fisher-Price tape deck. Note the simple, streamlined controls, with large, durable buttons, and a built-in microphone. They don't make 'em like this anymore! (click for link)

A History of Milky Jamz, Part II

More tapes that I wore out between the ages of 5-8:

Billy Joel - An Innocent Man
As a child of MTV at the time, I was also enamored with the videos for "Uptown Girl" and "Tell Her About It", featuring Christine Brinkley and Rodney Dangerfield, respectively. Billy's knack for masterful pop hooks is out in full force here, with other classics including "The Longest Time" and "Keeping the Faith". When you're a kid, you want the hits, and this had a ton.

Van Halen - 1984
I used to listen to this album over and over and over again on the stereo in my Grandma's basement. Her basement was optimal for this because a) I could play this excessively loud while being told to turn it down a minimal amount of times and b) there was a lot of floor space and an old bed, which meant I could run all over the place pretending to be David Lee Roth/Eddie Van Halen, doing sweet jumps off the bed while performing wicked air guitar solos. When I took up the drums many years later, I would also play along to this album repeatedly ("Drop Dead Legs" being my favorite track to drum along to). To this day, I still rock the VH on a regular basis (Roth-era only).

Back to the Future - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Ah, the summer of 1985, a great time for blockbuster cinema. You couldn't be a kid and not own this one, if only for the seminal Huey Lewis cut "Power of Love"... yet, somehow, Lindsay Buckingham's "Time Bomb Town" and Eric Clapton's "Heaven Is Only One Step Away" became my favorites. Note that the performances of "Earth Angel" and "Night Train" are actually credited to Marvin Berry(!).

Huey Lewis & The News - Sports
Brian from The Carpetbaggers once mused that this album peaks halfway into the first track ("The Heart of Rock & Roll") and goes downhill from there. It may be somewhat true, but when you think of hit albums from the 80's, this will always be fondly remembered for it's multitude of radio-friendly hits from what is essentially a bar band from San Francisco. I would also highly reccomend the "Huey Lewis Wake Up Call" on any of your friends.

Pseudo Echo - Love An Adventure
Buoyed by their minor US chart hit, a cover of "Funkytown", Australia's Pseudo Echo somehow made a blip on the musical radar in 1987. I probably haven't listened to this since 1988, and I distinctly remember writing a paper on this album for a class in elementary school, but the reviews now seem to hold it up as being a not-so-terrible slice of new wave pop.

A History of Milky Jamz, Part I

Since I've existed for 30 years now, what better time to do a musical retrospective of my life? You're probably wondering how the 4th best DJ in Somerset County, NJ, got to be the penultimate tastemaker he is today. So let's take a chronological (or, as I remember them) trip through my musical history...

Age 1, 1979

Song: Cotton-Eyed Joe - Al Dean & The All-Stars
Yes, the song you know today as one of the most obnoxious remixes ever recorded is actually a classic country song, this Al Dean version being one of the definitive versions. Somewhere there is Super 8 footage of me dancing to this in my diapers, as it was my number one jam from ages 1-3. I still have the original 7" record somewhere, too.
Age 2, 1980
Song: King Tut - Steve Martin
Coming in a close second for favorite dance jam of my early years was this Steve Martin classic, originally performed on Saturday Night Live. There is also film of me dancing to this in an attic somewhere.
king tut

Age 4, 1982
Cassette tape: Lionel Richie - Lionel Richie
There were a few cassette tapes I would rock so hard, that the tape would wear out and my mom would have to get me a new copy. This was the first.