Tuesday 29 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Music Made Me: Chris Harris

Music Made Me: Chris Harris

The Depth & Current front man and Hook Echo Sound engineer taps the five albums that shaped his textured musical perspective.

Zach Hale July 17th, 2013

Michael Jackson, Thriller (1982)
When I was 9 years old, I received a yellow plastic turntable and a gift certificate from Sound Warehouse for Christmas. I had grown up listening to my parents’ albums, and music was always playing in our house. I was so excited to go to buy my very own albums. I ended up getting Thriller, The Go-Go’s Vacation, and a K-tel sampler. Thriller is such a perfect album. It’s packed with hooks and hit songs. The performances are incredible, but even at 9, it was the sound that drew me in. [Producer] Quincy Jones is a genius musician and arranger. It ended up being one of the biggest pop albums of all time.

The Cure, Disintegration (1989)
This record was released when I was 15, but I don’t really remember listening to it a lot when it came out. I started playing guitar when I was 17, and it was probably sometime around 19 that I revisited it and realized that my guitar playing was subconsciously influenced by this album probably more than any other. I was way into Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins at the time, but I found that I had more in common, musically, with this. Aside from the guitar playing, I really love the emotion in the vocals. Also, the outrageously long intros really strike me as a kind of “recorded middle finger” to the pop-music establishment.

Various artists, The Beat: Sound Wave of the 80’s (1982)
My father’s taste tilted pretty heavily toward ’70s prog rock, and my mother’s taste was pretty much anything Fleetwood Mac or Stevie Nicks did. New Wave was my thing, and I guess that The Go-Go’s and this compilation album — purchased on that same trip to Sound Warehouse — were catalysts for that. At age 9, I already was formulating strategies for music discovery. I bought this because it had a Go-Go’s song on it and I figured I might like some of the other bands. Holy moly! This album was my first introduction to Depeche Mode, OMD, Duran Duran, Haircut One Hundred, A Flock of Seagulls, and Kim Wilde’s song “Kids in America,” which became my unofficial anthem for 1983, the year I would turn 10.

My Bloody Valentine, Loveless (1991)
I remember hearing Loveless in ’91 or ’92 and being confused. I knew that it was being touted as something very special, but my exposure to avant-garde music was incredibly limited at that time. I was intrigued by the sounds, but confused by the buried melodies and decidedly strange production. I chalked it up to a record that I “didn’t understand.”

It would take 10 more years of music education — and exposure to other challenging music — before it really clicked for me. It actually happened one evening when I was driving to work at The Conservatory. I don’t even remember why I put Loveless on again, but I did — and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I really heard what was so magical: the textures, the cleverly disguised pop songs, the thickness of the sound. I ended up sitting in my car in the parking lot and finishing the album before finally going into the club and spending the entire evening trying to process what I had heard.

Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998)
I slept on this one for almost 10 years. I was already a fan of some of the other Elephant 6 [collective’s] stuff like Olivia Tremor Control and Elf Power, but I just never gave this band a listen. It was probably because I thought their name was stupid or I was turned off by the hype, but I eventually picked this CD up at Size Records one night after working some terrible emo show at The Conservatory. I listened to it at full volume for the drive back to Norman, and I couldn’t believe how the lyrics and singing were affecting me: I went from laughing out loud to weeping and back again. By the second spin, I was already singing along, and feeling it.

Being an audio engineer, I rarely pay attention to lyrics; I’m constantly focused on how the music sounds. But this album — with these lyrics, and the painful earnestness with which they’re delivered — knocked my fucking head off. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever again obsess about an album the way that I have obsessed over this one. I was a decade late to the party, but I’m so glad I finally got on board.

Hey! Read This:
Depth & Current's Transient album review
Music Made Me: Cameron Neal     
Music Made Me: Cami Stinson     
Music Made Me: Laura Leighe
Music Made Me: Nicholas Ley         

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