Sleep In Perfect Blue Buildings, Beside The Green Apple Sea

August And Averything After by Counting Crows.  This album is the album that changed my life in musical terms.  Up until this point I had immersed myself with albums by the likes of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Mudhoney…you name it, grungewise, I had it!  I was also experimenting with punk though probably not real punk, more like the Offspring, Rancid and bands like that.  Not sure true punks would class that as punk music but it’s the stuff I was listening to and it was defined as punk by the magazines!  Then a friend gave me August And Everything After and everything changed.  It was then, and still is now one of my favourite records.  From the first track Round Here until the last Murder Of One, the album is a piece of absolute genius. Lyrically and vocally it’s a stunning record and whilst I still love Counting Crows, nothing they do will ever compare to this wonderful piece of music.  The record shaped me, it’s darkness like on Round Here, Omaha, Anna Begins and the stark beauty of tunes like Sullivan Street and Murder Of One tuned my ears into a totally different place. I have to hold my hands up and say that the music I listen to now has been massively influenced by this album.  It pushed me away from the grunge and heavy music and into a world where less is more.  Don’t get me wrong,  I do still love the guitars to be cranked up to 1o and the volume revved.  But there’s a time and a place for that….it’s called a Mogwai gig!  Anyways, it made me think of albums that have shaped my life and the music I make.  In no particular order, I think the most important to me would be:

Counting Crows:  August and Everything After

Radiohead: OK Computer

Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Sparklehorse: It’s A Wonderful Life

The National: Boxer

Mogwai; CODY

Tom Waits: Mule Variations

Elliott Smith: XO

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