Tales from the Backroom

“Every record store has that one backroom… that one corner or nook where one stumbles upon stacks of the forgotten and unknown. Where lost liner notes dance amongst obscure gems with torn jackets. Obscure gems…the ones you now realize weren’t a figment of your imagination, they were just…left of the dial.”

Hello there…. The angel from my nightmare. The shadow in the background of the morgue…

Oh, my bad. I’m supposed to be telling you cool stories and dropping musical knowledge, not singing Blink 182 lyrics, huh? Lol

It’s storytime once again here at the backroom in “left of the dial” land. And while the guys did a great skim over introduction earlier as to who I am, I thought I’d jump a little deeper. I’d like to take you the readers on a musical journey of myself as I grew up. What to expect from me and how I’d like to see this column play out with you. So strap in folks, and enjoy the fantastic voyage… ( yeah.. you see what I did there? Lol)

So musically speaking, I am quite literally all over the place. I feel as if to say I’m eclectic would be an understatement. I’d say the only musical genre I’m not pretty well versed in is country. And that’s about it.

From a very young age, music captivated me. My mother tells a story about how anytime I heard “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty, my eyes would get big as saucers, and I would become so excited. Side note, I also for some reason called it “The McDonald’s song”. Don’t ask people; I was like 3, ok? Don’t act like you didn’t have stupid made-up names for shit too, man. Lol

By the time I was 5, I was already sneaking my parents’ records into my room to listen to. From “George Carlin’s 7 Dirty words”, J.Geils Band, Yes, Rush, Steve Miller Band, Bowie and beyond. Little did I know, at that time, a completely different sound was about to captivate my childhood years, and influence many other bands and musical choices for me in later years to come.

It was 1983, and I was 6. It was the first time I heard The Psychedelic Furs “Love My Way” because I was one of those cool kids that had cable and was lightweight spoiled. Lol, I was in awe! Then came Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Smiths, New Order, and the electronic synth sounds and dark lyrical undertones of heartbreak and despair just engulfed my entire being like waves crashing into the shore. I was lost in their sounds and could not get enough. Did they know me? Could they see my soul?

While the 80s chugged along and hairbands hit the scene along with more New Wave, I was still a kid with Duran Duran, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Echo and The Bunnymen, Erasure and Pet Shop Boys posters on her wall instead of Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Tiffany, and New Kids on the Block. I also discovered college radio at this time, The Replacements, Husker Du, Big Star, Joy Division, The Pixies, Violent Femmes, and REM. They were the pure rock sounds I was digging at the time. I was never really a hairband chick. All of that aqua net, sweaty ass eyeliner, humping damn microphone stands, and shit was just not for me. Lol

By the late 80s, I had opened my eyes and ears to punk, industrial, and rap. The Beastie Boys (they started off as a punk band… remember?) Ministry, Sisters of Mercy, KMFDM, Generation X (because I found out Billy Idol was in the group at one point.) The New York Dolls, Sex Pistols, and Ramones. I listened to EPMD, Run DMC, Eric B, and Rakim. NWA, The Pharcyde, 2 Live Crew, and Public Enemy.

The 90s brought not only the teenage angst found in your local high schools and malls, but it was spilling out of tv sets, being blared in passing cars, and in every teenagers room. It was grudge and fucking glorious. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, and Smashing Pumpkins. But just when I thought it couldn’t get better… angry scorned women hit the scene, and I was in love. Tori Amos, Alanis Morissette, Liz Phair, Fiona Apple, P.J.Harvey, L7, and 7 Year Bitch. It was empowering. Until those lame-ass Lilith Fair years. Just sayin. While ushering out those high school years and welcoming the new experiences college brought, I also welcomed with it, RAVES. Orgy, Orb, Lords of Acid, and Utah Saints. I was hooked. Every weekend in an abandoned warehouse as spinning lights and the sounds of deep house, acid jazz, and euro trance filled my ears. Drugs pumping thru my veins to the beat of every bass drop. All for the low, low price of 20 bucks at the door. Damn, the 90s were nothing short of fucking amazing.

By the time I was welcoming in the early 2000s, I was also welcoming in a new baby and marriage. I lost a lot of who I was during these years. I was a wife and a mother. Expected to live up to both those expectations, so my passions for music were traded somewhere along the line for laundry, diapers, educational programming, and sleepless nights. The 2000s were some of my toughest years personally. 2 kids deep and depressed driving a fucking minivan wondering where the fuck I went wrong in life because this shit wasn’t me, well at least the minivan. The kids are kinda cool sometimes. Lol, but while these years kinda sucked a bag of dicks they also breathed new life into my stagnant musical lungs…. Pop Punk and Emo. The sounds of Blink 182, Sum 41, Fall Out Boy, Simple Plan, All American Rejects, and Good Charlotte became the soundtrack of my bored housewife life. I went back into my love of harder rocking sounds with bands like The Killers, Incubus, and The Deftones. And once the marriage took a turn for the worse, Emo was there to pick up the pieces. Dashboard Confessional, All Time Low, Mayday Parade, A Day To Remember, and Panic! At The Disco.

Every piece of the puzzle to my life thus far, I can equate to music in some way, shape, or form. It’s as if it is embedded in my DNA. It’s also what has brought me here today, with you. You’re welcome, by the way. I accept cash, pit tickets, and gift cards as a way of thanks.

But seriously, now that you have the reader digest version of who I am musically (Because honestly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg here. We don’t have that kind of time to dig that damn deep into my musical soul here.) I just wanted to share with you how important it is to me to interact with my readers. I absolutely love hearing from you. No matter if it’s to tell me how much you enjoyed reading a piece, or to tell me you think I’m a piece of shit. Seriously, It really doesn’t matter. Though I’d rather hear the first, I know the second will always come because let’s face it, no one likes and agrees with everything, and sometimes, it just be like that. Lol, I want to hear your suggestions, I want to answer a few of your questions at the end of every column I write. I’ll suggest new albums and music, and I would love to hear yours as well. Feel free to hit me up with all your questions, comments, concerns and disdain for my writings at jlynn.leftofthedial@gmail.com

You can also follow me on Instagram @jlynn_leftofthedial

This week’s new music recommendation is The Lemon Twigs. A few years back, a pretty amazing person turned me onto these guys, so I’m passing on their awesomeness to you. They are brothers from Long Island, New York, that not only draw their musical inspiration from classic power-pop; they’ve also learned to record using authentic ’70s gear and techniques. Their new album, Songs For The General Public, is what is currently spinning, and it’s in no way a letdown. My highlights off the album… Hell On Wheels, Somebody Loving You, The One and Ashamed.

What to look for next time you tune in on the dial? He’s a Manchester-born artist who is a co-founder of one of the most prolific 80s New Wave groups. Outside of having a solo career, he’s also worked with and or has been a member of bands such as Electronic, The The, Pet Shop Boys, Modest Mouse, and The Killers. He also, in part, played a role in both the rise and fall of Oasis.

Jenna Lynn
Jenna LynnColumnist. Writer. Siren
I am a lover of all things cool. Music is one of those said cool things. My mother always said I came out of her with a damn radio in my hand which is both telling and frightening at the same time. HA! I’m an undercover nerd. I like comic books. Comic book movies, vinyl, horror, and catching as many local shows as well as big artist shows as possible. I love to read and learn new things. I love culture. I know a little about a lot. I’m a jack of all trades, master of nothing. 

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