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July 3, 2011

I was just starting my two-year career as assistant music director at WSBU when the Strokes released the now-classic Is This It.

Along with the Stripes’ White Blood Cells, It was a milestone for making garage and indie rock a mainstream phenomenon.

For someone who has always kept one foot in the underground and a finger on the pulse pop music, it was an exciting marriage between my two tastes. College radio was playing songs that a vast majority of people on campus and modern rock radio actually wanted to hear.

I loved the changes that were happening at the station and on the streets. It was an exciting time to be selecting jams for rotation and rocking them on my stereo back at the dorm.

What I loved about the Strokes was their pop energy, dirty production and gentle sneer.

On no track were the guitars more jangly or the beat more Motowny than “Someday.” This song and this group were a perfect soundtrack for my 20th year on the planet and the album is just as fun 10 years later.

I knew it would be and this is a track I knew I want to share with my son. It encapsulates an era I will always cherish.

And it’s such a great, likeable introduction to the myriad of garage bands that still make up a healthy contingent in indie rock today. It also provides a gateway to favorites I grew up loving as a kid — Detroit garage like the MC5 and Stooges, while edgier and arguably more acquired taste, aren’t a far leap from Is This It.

This album along with White Blood Cells and The Hives’ Veni Vedi Vicious were definitely a gateway for rediscovery of my Detroit rock heritage and groups I was not familiar with at the time like The Velvet Underground, Television and even Mission of Burma.

So here It is, Kass. Hope it becomes a genre you someday enjoy as much as I have.

A note about the His First Mix project: I am creating a mix for my unborn son in an attempt to indoctrinate him with excellent musical taste prior to his arrival this July. The plan is simple enough: Plunder my memory vaults in search of the sounds that shaped my life, prune selections to suit my wife’s taste, and pray this pre-birth jukebox gives my better third a head start on a lifetime of musical exploration.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lori permalink
    July 17, 2011 1:35 pm

    Is your baby boy experiencing these tunes from the outside yet?!

  2. July 18, 2011 8:57 am

    Not yet! Scheduled C section today!!!

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