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Well of course I didn't literally discover music in 1996, as I was 22 at the time. Even though I was raised Mormon, we were allowed music ya know! No, 1996 was when i first worked at a summer camp in upstate New York and my blinkered view of the music scene was changed forever. Up until that point, I truly thought that all people listened to was what was in the charts and headed off to camp confident that everyone would be listening to Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey....

Was I in for a rude awakening! Surrounded by american college kids, I received a first class education in alternative bands, singers who flew under the radar and those who were touring at the time. I spent an absolute fortune on cds by Jewel, No Doubt, Barenaked Ladies, Indigo Girls, Harvey Danger, Dave Matthews, Fastball, Semisonic and so on. Of course some of these have gone on to much greater things, but at that time, they were still pretty small.

Ever since then, while i will probably always love pop, i have had a penchant for searching out new music and bands that will delight my aural world. The one band that sticks out from that summer is a Canadian band called Moxy Fruvous that I saw at a harbour festival in Syracuse... Their music was catchy, somewhat extemporaneous, and driven by their vocals, keeping instrumentation to a minimum. The songs were so catchy that I was humming them all day and the crowds got bigger as the band played on. Afterwards they were nice enough to come down into the audience and chat, so I got to say hello and they got to tell me about why they didn't like the Queen being a figure head in Canada or something...

Below are three of my favourite songs of theirs. You will probably like them if you like Barenaked Ladies. They were always unlikely to set the charts alight, but they did what they loved and you gotta respect them for that. If you like them, I will hunt out a gorgeous ballad they did called Hold On from the album Thornhill which seems to be one of their last releases from 1999 :(

MP3: A Bunch Of Authors
MP3: King Of Spain
MP3: The Kids Song

If I'm feeling brave, I will post some pics from my summers in New York (96-99). I was so fashion challenged ;)


  1. J'ason D'luv said...
    All these near misses. First you were at Disneyland last year, which is about 45 minutes from my apt. in L.A., and now I find out you were in upstate NY in '96. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, which is only 4 hours from there, and I lived there 'til '99.

    As for being raised Mormon... I though they only had Mormons in Utah ;)
    Paul said...
    yeeshk! My friend went to Penn State and I went down to visit a few times!!

    And mormons are taking over the world. Slowly but surely. Ssh don't tell :) I was watching an old Gilmore Girls today and some guy says "fabulous choir, but the funny underwear put me off". How i laughed my ass off.
    Joshua said...
    You know, I actually have an Asian Mormon friend. But then, if you closed your eyes, you'd swear she was white.

    Funny, it was around 1996 that I started listening to alternative music myself (except I was 15 at the time... :PPP) I remember buying No Doubt and Barenaked Ladies on cassette (god...). Prior to that, I think my only brush with alternative music was Alanis Morrissette, and Jagged Little Pill is basically as pop as alternative got (at least in the mid-90s).

    Also, LOL @ Always Be My Baby at Camp. Haha
    J'ason D'luv said...
    Alternative music was the first type of music I was into when I started buying music on my own in '87 (I was 13) -- The Cure, Depeche Mode, OMD, The SMiths, etc.

    In the '90s I was into it still, but also a lot of pop, too.

    I actually bought the "Always Be My Baby" CD single in '96, right around this time of year. It was the only Mariah song I ever liked until "We Belong Together" came out last year.
    J'ason D'luv said...
    Oh, and one last thing... I went to Indiana University Of Pennsylvania, aka IUP, during that time period, which was two hours drive from Penn State.
    Paul said...
    Joshua ~ I was naive and young. Ish. I thought all the cool kids would be into Mariah. Perhaps I was a little socially backwards too :( Am so glad I left my Bad Boys Inc cd at home... Oh! And I bought Jagged Little Pill when I was in Utah in September 1995 (J'ason, where you there too?!) and thought i was so cool.

    Plus i was so amazed that Utah sold a cd with the f bomb on it!

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