Earlier in the month I saw a link in my timeline of IGN’s Top 25 Rock Albums of the Decade. This got me thinking to the fact that your average album has a typical shelf life of roughly 2-5yrs in our new fast paced digital society.
So then, what makes an album able to survive this new level of pop-indulgent decay? Either A) it must present extraordinary musical feats that are so amazingly constructed they are truly timeless, or B) it must impact your life in some impressionable way that every time you then think back to that era of your life, you think of that album.
As we prepare our own Comic Booked “Best Of 2011″ I decided to round up five albums that have impacted me this decade as a precursor to my upcoming 2012 blog here for Comic Booked titled “Comics in the City” in which I will of course be discussing my L.A. life with comics, in the city. (I do a lot of awesome things with awesome creators out here but rarely have the time to write a full article and keep up my busy “Comics Girl” schedule. This blog will give me a chance to keep you guys up to date with all the fun things out here that the Los Angeles comics scene has to offer!)
Please enjoy my choices, and note of course that they are personal choices of albums that have impacted me and feel free to post your own influential albums in the comments section. Also, feel free to check out our choices for last year’s Comic Booked “Best of 2010″ and see who we picked! –N
Album: Blood Pressures
Artist: The Kills
A Track That Has Inspired Me As A Creator: “Baby Says“
Alison Mosshart is probably my favorite female musician of all time. In an industry where far too many women attempt to take the easy route out and use their bodies, cheap gimmicks, and over-production to get ahead it is so empowering to see a woman out there who does her own thing and does it with sheer raw skill. Most importantly the way she does this shows one of the many things I’ve always wanted to prove, if you’re solid class, skill, and goodness on the inside then you’re gonna come off damn sexy on the outside. Alison Mosshart is damn sexy, and everything I strive for as a woman in my own field.
Blood Pressures came out this year three years apart from their 2008 Midnight Boom. Alison has been a busy girl in those years, you might recognize her from The Dead Weather. Combine all her new experiences with her and Jamie Hince’s continued ability to create amazing musical melodies with just the two of them and Blood Pressures breaks the mold. Whenever I need to remember who I am as a woman, I can go listen to this album.
Artist: My Chemical Romance
A Track That Has Inspired Me As A Creator: “The Jetset Life Is Gonna Kill You“
Oddly enough before Gerard Way, Mikey Way, Frank Iero, Ray Toro, and Bob Bryar showed up on my television screen all the way from Jersey I hadn’t really figured out a way to classify myself. I wasn’t depressed enough to be a goth, angry enough to be a punk, or all out geek enough to be that collegiate who hung out at the local comic book shop all day. In fact as I sat there making tournament themed revenge comics (just for fun!) with my cousin Matt after class and writing soon-to-be rejected horror novel after horror novel I often wasn’t even sure there was anyone out there who saw the things I saw in my head. Then one day, BAM! There staring up at me were lyrics describing the same shit I’d write about and lines taken from and influenced by some of my favorite authors and influences. To top it all off they even looked like the sort of darkly coy but fun anti-heroes Matt and I would conceive. It would be much later before I would take my playful little comics seriously as a profession (I always felt I was a lousy artist and had been informed as much and would still prefer to just write them even now that I like my art) but I think the moment I started realizing there was an actual audience for brains like mine was the moment I saw them make it as a band.
Album: The Black Parade
Artist: My Chemical Romance
A Track That Has Inspired Me As A Creator: “I Don’t Love You“
The most interesting thing about The Black Parade when it broke was it was completely different from either of My Chemical Romance’s albums before it. The Black Parade was an album written by a group of angry comic book geeks who had reached that special point of fame, the part where you’ve gotten your revenge and now that you’ve had a taste of the fame that comes with said revenge you can see some serious holes in things and have a desire to address said holes and plug them, for the greater good of course. The downside to this was the album was so poetically constructed in a world where hardly anyone listens to the lyrics that all people really cared about was how each song had death in it and how that crazy lead singer had died his hair white. However, as still a determined horror writer and massive Queen fan I saw none of this as weird. Revenge was a great and enjoyable album for me as a person, but like Blood Pressures, or Ziggy Stardust, The Black Parade was a great album for me to write to. I spent many a late night with it on my stereo well past 3am writing my world of survivalism and macabre.
Artist: The Killers
Unlike Black Parade and Revenge which each impacted me in their own separate ways. Hot Fuss and Sam’s Town hit me the exact same way, they’re the one set of albums I love that everyone else loves too. In fact, I didn’t even buy them for Matt and I’s car collection, he did. Like Black Parade they are perfect to write to, as many a fellow creator already knows. Most importantly, they flow seamlessly into one another. Perfect for driving or walking around town with the city lights and moon shining down on you. I have a feeling they’ll always be with us as creators. So glad to share that love with everyone I know who shares it. A strange way to be impacted, I know, but when you’re strange you’re happy not to be a stranger no matter the occasion. Even more so when it’s something you love.
**Yep. Everyone loves them. Now go watch Southland Tales.**