12 Personally Pivotal Albums

When I was 14, I was in Pensacola, Florida to help my brother move back to Oklahoma after his stint in the Navy. I did the only thing I truly ever want to do as a tourist, go to a record store. I asked about local punk and ended up with a Stevie Stiletto and The Switchblades (meh, not really my thing) and Minutemen’s “Ballot Results.” I had to ask the guys at the store who it was playing on the stereo. They looked at me, a scrawny little skate punk with a slight okie accent, and said I wouldn’t like it, but I did like it. I loved it. It wasn’t like anything I’d ever heard before (and maybe since). Hard not to notice the jazzy element to their punk rock, but I got something different from the music. It sounded like the folk rock my dad listened to but with a real edge that poked into my brain and got lodged there. I listen to them a lot even to this day. This is an anthology made by voting, something I’d understand later, familiarizing myself with their lyrics and their less-than-usual take on democracy and socialist populism. The guys at the record store explained D. Boon’s tragic death and how the album was a tribute to his work. They were the first three-piece rock band I ever truly loved.

FFO Big Boys, Roky Erickson, Creedence Clearwater Revival

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