It was the late 90’s (1997 or 1998) and I was doing some community service out in Livonia’s Bicentennial Park (but WAS it always called that? I have the remnant of another name…) on a Saturday afternoon. It had to have been summer because the weather was nice and just a bit cool. I recall being awake about 4 a.m. that morning by clock radio alarm that was set to CBC Radio One. The programming usually had some alternative/electronic stuff going and a particular song was intriguing enough to bring me to an annoying clear level of consciousness.
Does anyone other than me recall when Amazon would allow people to post lists of the things that they like? The list would include comments about a variety of products, and the list would have their creator’s thumbprints all over it. From the creative names of the lists to the reviews and opinions, I thought that feature was one of the best things about Amazon. Anywho, I would get most of my music information from the lists, as the reviews from the fans of the artists gave a better feel to whether a band was listenable or not. Even the reviews that panned artists were often entertaining as well, and I even bought a few CD’s (‘memba them?) based on the bad reviews! There were several bands that I was introduced to Amazon’s customer reviews… Explosions In The Sky was one of many that I found thanks to the reviews, as well as the current earworm that I first heard on the aforementioned early morning before I had to go pick up trash in Livonia.
Amazon was not the only source of my music finds. The Record Collector used to be in the Old Redford section of the Motor, just east of Lahser on Grand River. As a teen, I would venture into the shop and buy albums and used cassettes, pick up copies of the @MetroTimes and @RealDetroit, as I made my way to the Crowell Recreation Center, where I would begin my training as a then-amateur boxer. Between the online customer reviews and those in the local tabloid magazines, I was anxiously awaiting the opportunity to listen to the Boards of Canada, a Scottish act that was rumored to have chosen their name from a television program that was connected to the Canadian film boards.
“Skam” was a release that was somehow cloaked in mystery and seeming widespread at the same time. Thanks to the primary sources (shout out to @WDET as well..!) for music, Skam was something that I should hear RIGHT NOW. But it was really hard to find, and that is even with the resale market on Amazon. Yet it was almost --wait for it-- legendary to me because I could not find it ANYWHERE in the tri-county!! Somehow, my unconscious was alert enough to wake me fully and allow me to listen to it for the first time that Saturday morning.
At this point and time I had “Music Has The Right To Children”, so I knew enough about the BoC to say I liked their style. After finally having “Everything You Do Is A Balloon” go through me, I felt that I was transported spiritually, my conscious was being stretched across dimensions… while I have never dropped acid or experienced any hallucinogens other than caffeine and sugar. Hearing “Everything…” for the first time was the closest I think that I have been to stepping through the “doorways of perception” that separates us from consciousness and our actual experience. It is raining HARD in the Big O (as of this writing) and “Everything” is still the best fit for the hour.