When I was in high school, I was the person everyone came to with their music questions. ”Hey, who does…? [hums badly]…”
BOOM, sj had your answer.
I don’t even know why, I have difficulty remembering the plot of some books I read last week (which may be why I re-read and is a part of the reason I started writing reviews in the first place), but my head is full of mostly useless music trivia. Not just ridiculous tidbits about the bands, their members, their discographies and b-sides; I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard certain songs, and I remember how I came to learn about those bands, too.
Back to high school!sj…
I lived in a super tiny town and the closest radio station didn’t come in clearly. I didn’t have cable, I didn’t have a musical mentor, I didn’t even have a real record shop.
What I did have were infrequent visits to my dad in SoCal. He knew that at least an afternoon or two of my visits would need to be spent doing record shop crawls*, where I’d buy just about anything that was cheap with a shiny cover.
Oh, and I had subscriptions to tens of music magazines.
I did a lot of mail order music shopping back then, in the days before the internet made instant musical gratification possible.
That’s how I found this next band, entirely by accident.
One of the 7″ singles I’d purchased on one of my many record shop junkets had a little Lookout! Records** mail order form. Shit was CHEAP, yo. So I just started filling out the order form and bought a bunch of records by bands I’d never heard of. Mostly cos I thought the tiny black and white thumbnails of the covers looked cool.
The Mr. T Experience
Labels: Disorder, Rough Trade and Lookout!
Genre: Pop Punk
From: Berkley, CA
Albums (so far): 10 studio albums plus EPs and singles and live ish.
Notable Album(s): Our Bodies, Ourselves - cos it was their first album I owned.
Fun Fact(s): I’ve seen MTX live at least 20 times. Every time they played in SoCal from 1996-1999, I was there (1996 was when I left Montana, THANK GOODNESS). I got to meet them a few times, and a TOTAL HIGHLIGHT of my life is talking to Dr Frank before a show (cos, dude – he’s so dreamy), asking him if they’d play a song for me, getting a hug and then almost crying and losing my shit like a 14 year old at a Beatles concert when they PLAYED MY SONG.
Here’s the cool thing about MTX (see, now you’re in the know, you don’t have to say their whole name!) – they sing a lot of songs about girls and relationships. Like, so much so that when you see them live, Dr Frank [sigh, swoon] can say “This is a song about a girl” before every song they play AND IT’S TRUE!
This is the first song that made me fall in love with this band. Our Bodies, Ourselves was released in 1993 and I got it in my grubby little paws sometime around mid-1995. I’d enjoyed the album up to this point, but this was the song that made me say HOLY SHIT TAKE MY MONEY YOU GAIS!
Next up is More Than Toast, also off of Our Bodies, Ourselves. How can you refuse a song where Dr Frank earnestly sings that he loves you more than toast…but less than a staple gun? YOU CAN’T. No, srsly – you can’t. And if you can, I don’t even want to know you.
I sing this song to myself ALL THE DAMN TIME. No, seriously. Every time I (or anyone else around me) say[s] “And I’m like…” I start singing this song. Cos I’m like, yeah…and this is the song that they played after I requested it that made me squeal like a crazy person. ”ZOMG THAT IS MY JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!”
This album came out during my senior year of high school, and it was the first time I’d seen them tour with NEW! MUSIC! NEW! I had this on vinyl and cd and listened to it obsessively. Like, I’m pretty sure everyone I knew was fucking sick of me, but I still made them go with me to see them all over the southern half of the state. San Benardino/Riverside one night, then West Hollywood, then San Diego? HELL. YES.
…and speaking of that tour…one of the best shows I’ve ever been to was MTX at the Troubadour in WeHo. They were playing with the Groovie Ghoulies and Kim Shattuck from The Muffs (who’s a musical crush for another day) sang a duet with Dr Frank for this song. I may have lost my voice from enthusiastically screaming.
So, there you have it. My Top Five MTX songs. Go. Listen. Spread the pop punk love.
** Cos OpIvy, dur. Not Green Day (although I maintain that their first few albums are better than almost everything else they’ve ever recorded).