Brett Nelson's 7 milestones towards musicianship

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Brett Nelson

I decided to go with songs I feel were milestones to my wanting to be a musician.

A Flock Of Seagulls, “Remember David”

A Flock Of Seagulls really started it all for me. I heard them when I was 12 on the radio and immediately bought the record and a Casio keyboard to start a new wave band. Although the dream of playing keyboard in a new wave band turned into playing bass in a punk band. Frank Maudsley's bass rhythm on this song was amazing and something I tried to mimic on Built To Spill's “Goin' Against Your Mind”. They're still one of my favorite Pop bands to this day.

Orchestral Maneuvres In The Dark, “Joan Of Arc”

This song is so melancholy and beautiful and made me realize that the synthesizer could be the whole band; bass,drums,guitar,anything you could imagine. I love at the end when Andy McCluskey's voice cracks while singing it brings so much power and emotion to the song – happy they left that in instead of wanting pitch perfect vocals it really makes the song for me.

The Jesus And Mary Chain, “Never Understand”

I grew up listening to lots of 60's pop music that my Dad had around and this song captured the sound of the Phil Spector “wall of sound” idea that I loved in my youth, while adding noisy punk elements like feedback and distortion that I loved as a teenager, along with beautiful vocals and catchy melodies. Great how they merged different styles together into something new, yet nostalgic.

The Replacements, “Kids Don't Follow”

This song embodied everything I wanted to be in a band in my teenage years. It was loud, fast, melodic, and anthemic. Plus for a bassist, Tommy Stinson is one of the top 5 greatest ever for me.

fIREHOSE, “Relatin' Dudes To Jazz”

I was a big Minutemen fan but fIREHOSE made more sense from a pop point of view, and this song was amazing. It flowed so perfectly and was played very intensely without the use of a shit load of distortion. Plus, Mike Watt – need I say more?

Dinosaur Jr., “Little Fury Things”

This is the very first song I ever heard by Dinosaur Jr., off of a mix tape Doug Martsch made me. This song blew me away in so many ways. The surface was loud distorted guitars with the rhythmic bass chords underneath, and below it all was just a perfect pop song.

Ride, “Vapour Trail”

I bought this record based on a review I read somewhere that said that they were reminiscent of The Jesus And Mary Chain. Once I heard the song “Vapour Trail” I just played it over and over, nonstop, for weeks.