So much of the music that I like has been introduced to me by brother. We shared a room for a long while, so it was pretty much inevitable. He’d be listening to his music, I couldn’t help but hear it, at which point the following would invariably take place: 1) I’d tell him to turn it off since I was busy with homework or my random thoughts or whatever; 2) He’d ignore me; 3) I’d resort to an obscenity or two; 4) World War III.
The fact is, I seriously looked up to my brother, whom even my friends would acknowledge as being way cool and far better-looking than I was (let’s just say I heard “Wow, you don’t look like your brother AT ALL” a whole lot more than I cared to). And even though it might have struck me as a bit strange or indecipherable or whatever, I was always intrigued. The artists that my brother directly introduced me to that I fell in love with include the following:
–Depeche Mode: I still remember hearing him play “The Things You Said” and thinking, ‘What is this crap?’ Later, my brother played ‘Route 66’ from the ‘Behind the Wheel’ single, and that’s when I got it.
–Tori Amos: My favorite artist of all-time. It all started when my brother was watching “Silent All These Years” on MTV and mumbled, “Cool video.” I took a look and thought so, too, but it was only after hearing “Crucify” on K-ROQ that I went out and got her Little Earthquakes CD, and a musical obsession was born.
The other notable introduction came in the form of the two and only Pet Shop Boys. My brother had the Discography collection, and we played it all the time. Seriously, there was NO bad song. I know it’s a greatest hits collection, but STILL! I especially loved “Being Boring” (not #1, but it’s ranked VERY high on my Top 101 Countdown) and “Rent.”
The Very album cemented my love for PSB, and although subsequent albums weren’t quite as good, they still had at least one killer song on every album (Hay Una Discoteca Por Aqui, I Don’t Know What You Want But I Can’t Give It Anymore, Home And Dry, the Sodom And Gomorrah Show, etc.).
So when I “found” their new album, Yes, I quickly put it on my Sony Walkman (HATE the iPod, the sound quality is &*#@) and went about my day listening to it. It was firmly in the “not bad” category (liked “Love, Etc.” and “Vulnerable,” others were mostly just OK), when a song came on as I was crossing the street in Apkujeong. About 30 seconds in, I stopped walking. I was in touch with genius.
The song, like so many PSB classics, starts off beautiful and sad, but still with all of their kinetic energy. The song would’ve been just fine staying at that level. But then in a sudden flash, Neil starts spewing pure anger, and that’s when the song just blows up to a whole new level. It’s just exhiliration, sad exhiliration at that. Devastating. Long live the Pet Shop Boys.