I haven't been this excited for a long time! The triple combo of N.E.R.D, Mercury Rev and Coldplay leaves me running around like a headless chicken. Just a super brief history of how I got into each band:
Seven years ago, I walked into the Dance/RNB room at HMV on the third floor and heard this really weird-sounding band (at the time) blasting on the speakers. I remember asking this Japanese guy at the counter who the band was, and he handed me a CD called 'In Search Of...' by this band I had never even heard of. You must understand that this was during the height of my musical snobbery where I refused to listen to any band that didn't have four pasty British guys in it.
For some reason, I felt compelled to buy the last copy and went home and listened to the whole thing over and over. And they really fascinated me. Were they called N.E.R.D. or The Neptunes? Were they hip-hop? Or alt-funk? I was too anxious to classify them into a genre, not understanding at the time that they were so musically forward that they were reinventing genres as they went.
2. Mercury Rev
In 1998, I was still buying copies of NME and Melody Maker every week, and Select every month. Ah, the memories of blowing my money away on music snobbery. Anyway, I remember that every single critic was gushing about this album called 'Deserter's Songs' by an American band called Mercury Rev.
I didn't pick up the album that year, but a few years later, there was a CD mixer on one of the NMEs and the song 'Tonite It Shows' was on it. Listening to the wistful clarinet opening, I felt like I was in some 40s gangster movie. I only picked up the album even later, and I could have kicked myself for not getting into them earlier. Still, better late than never.
Ah, Coldplay. I shall spare all the gory, slobbery details, but I'll always have Jayine to thank for my fleeting moments with Chris Martin. I've gone from worshipping them blindly to disliking them for selling out to genuinely admiring their latest album. I may not be a super diehard fan, but now that I think about it, they've influenced quite a big part of my life and I'm a sentimental old fool so I'll always have a soft spot for them. (Here's hoping they don't sell out again!)