Inspiration for me whether it’s for my art or just for getting through the day has always been music. There was a time when I couldn’t even fall sleep without passing out to the sweet sounds of a good punk/rock album. I even had my own radio show for 4 years at a local university (CJSF at SFU) and I occasionally DJ’d events, I love it that much. For some reason though I’ve always struggle to incorporate my love of music and inspiration into this blog. Sure I’ve mentioned it in my 52 Weeks project but I wanted to find something more I could do to share my music love and inspiration with you. So I thought once a month this year I’d share you an album that inspired me, that gives me the butterflies still and hits me to this day even after perhaps listening to it 1000 times before. And I am going to start monthly mix tapes as I really want to get back into sharing musical artists I love and this way I can share a good hour of music with you much like I did in my dj days. This month’s mix tape is a random selection of favourite tracks by At the Drive-In on Spotify (next month I might consider doing a Youtube, or Soundcloud version as well). This month’s music inspiration…
At the Drive-In Vaya
At the Drive-In was always going to be the first band I shared, not only have they provided me with endless inspiration over 15 years but in my teen years they literally got me through nights when I didn’t think I would. That sounds dramatic but as teenager I was highly dramatic and the fact remains they did keep me going at times when all I could do was cry and sing along to their songs on full blast. They also just recently got back together after 14 years and are touring this summer (I have my tickets for the Toronto show – couldn’t be more excited). I first started hearing about them in 2000 after they released Relationship of Command, their first mainstream record, although technically their 5th. It’s the album everyone knows, if they heard of them and the sound was new, political, and post-hardcore with elements of punk. The music hit a nerve and I immediately felt the connection. The moment I really started getting into them, they had already broke up which is weird way to start getting into a band. In fact the first ever interview I saw of some of the band members was about the break up. Regardless of the band breaking up I couldn’t get enough and tracked down every record and song they had ever made and for years they become the soundtrack to daily life including their new projects Sparta and the Mars Volta who I’ve seen live many times and listened to since their inception. They have 5 albums total but I decided to share Vaya, the EP that was release just before Relationship of Command, in 1999. Over the years the songs have never changed in how they make me respond, timeless as ever and one of those records where you want to listen from the first song to the last and experience it all in one sitting. This record just feels special to me, and beyond that I could not quantify why I chose it over their other records. My recommendation is to listen to them all if haven’t already but start with Vaya. My suggestion is to listen in proper order as the record as a whole gives a different feeling than its individual parts. My personal favourite track is 198d.
As you can see my Vaya cover sleeve has gotten a little love, and yes I do own cds, like a grandma. I just can’t get rid of my collection that I slaved away for in high school and college, although who the hell knows that last time I’ve listened to one.