06 February 2010

I Bought This on Amazon for Less Than a Pack of Cigarettes

"I was never aware of how much I liked Broken Social Scene, until I realized how many times I listened to them in a given week."
(Something I overheard at a party once.)
When I was in high school, I used to listen to the radio and that's how I heard about new bands. It wasn't a perfect system, but it's how I 'discovered' the Strokes and White Stripes. The summer before I left for university I started listening to Radiohead and in effect forgot about the radio. After that, I turned to the world wide web for music. I read articles. Lots and lots of articles and reviews, and with that knowledge in hand I took bands out for spins. The first one I consciously remember was Modest Mouse, and I can recall stints with the Decemberists, Spoon, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, old Kings of Leon, obviously the Shins, Death Cab, and the Postal Service, as well as the Hold Steady, of Montreal, TV on the Radio, the Black Keys, and scores of others. Even this operating procedure was kind of hit or miss. There were times when the research led me to the likes of Pavement and Sebadoh which was awesome, but there were also times when I ended up with shit. (no shots). Eventually, I was able to stop studying and go back to listening. I had found the internets, the websites that contained the information that I sought and covered the bands that I cared about. This big, long intro really has nothing to do with the album for today except for the fact that I found them on the internets, but I felt like writing something garrulous and disjointed for the introduction, so I did.
In what has become somewhat of a prerequisite for this column, this record enters with it's fair share of accolades. It was 27th on P4K's best albums of 2000-2004 list, and it was 23rd on their list of best albums for the decade. In a 2005 poll, it was voted the fourth greatest Canadian album of all time which makes a lot of sense since the band hails from Canada and also because this album is pretty damn good, not as good as Harvest but damn good.
What I really dig about this album is how loud it is, but not in a shoegaze, lo-fi, wanna-crank-it kind of way but rather it just sounds better the louder it is played. The album opener, "Capture the Flag", is quiet and kind of slow, but it's only a minute and a half long or so and then "KC Accidental" hits and it's off to the races. One of things that is always written about Broken Social Scene is how there are like fifteen people in the band and how most of those people release their own music and that always leads to talking about Feist's success and how Metric is pretty rad and then it becomes important to mention those Broken Social Scene Presents... albums and then all of the sudden, there is a whole lot of proverbial shit on the plate. It's rather hard to place this band in one particular genre, so talking about all that other stuff is understandable, at least from a journalistic standpoint.
In short, You Forgot It In People is the most indispensable album in not just the BSS catalog but in independent and alternative music in general. It probably sounds like a stretch, but this is the record that has everyone's favorite songs on it. I put that quote up at the top of this post because those words always ring out in my head right before I listen to Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, and company. Also, I vaguely recall reading somewhere that some portion of P4K's internet presence is attributed to the fact that the founder totally loved BSS, and the site used to reflect that passion and that's how people figured out that P4K was a different kind of music web site thus allowing it to get 'mad hits'. I would even hazard to say that this is the album that made it all happen, so if you wanted to you could say that without this record there would be no P4K. (Writer's Note: With that being said, I really hope that BSS gets added to the lineup for P4K this summer.)

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