Arguably Fort Worth, Texas's coolest export ever, Toadies formed in 1989, just in time to light up the '90s with some gloriously dark, poetic, but really catchy alt-rock. That's the brilliance of Vaden Todd Lewis, one of the most underrated songwriters that decade spit up. The guy can pen a song about self-immolation ("Possum Kingdom") and make it sound like a fairly chipper '90s pop-rock gem. Toadies plays Tucson this week, so drummer Mark Reznicek told us about the five albums that changed his life...
With Local H at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., $25, 21+.
The Cars:The Cars
This is the album that introduced me to new wave/punk music. Before that I was listening to typical '70s rock like Led Zep, Sabbath, Rush, etc. After hearing The Cars, I relegated all those albums to the back of the stack and embarked on a journey of discovery that led a winding path to The Clash, Pistols, Elvis Costello, and on and on. It made me realize I didn't have to play like Neil Peart to be in a band.
The first album I ever bought with my own money. One of my older brothers had a job hanging fliers on people's doors and enlisted me as his assistant. While we drove around Omaha doing this job that summer, the song "ABC" was a big hit on the radio. The kid singing lead was about my age and had a band with his siblings. So when I got my first paycheck (five bucks), I told my brother I wanted to buy that record. My mom instructed him to only let me buy the little record (the 45 rpm single), not the big one. But once I saw that album sleeve, I had to have it. Still a fantastic album, the Motown house band, the vocals, the songs... pure ecstasy.
One summer while I was in college, I was unemployed, not taking classes, and living in a cheap boarding house. I was so broke, my girlfriend would smuggle hot dogs out of the school cafeteria and bring them to me. My only sustenance. That and this Bowie album (which she loaned me). The lyrics of "Sound + Vision" were reflected in my tiny little room with blue painted walls.
This isn't even my favorite album of theirs, but it was the first one I heard. Before hearing it, I had mainly been into electronic music for several years, as well as oddball acts like The Residents and Tuxedomoon. Guitar-based rock seemed boring and passé. Then I heard Bossanova and my ears and eyes were blown apart. It pretty much directly led me to stalking the Toadies until they hired me.
Led Zeppelin:Houses of the Holy
I had listened to this album numerous times, and loved it. But the first time I ever got stoned, I listened to it and it was like hearing a totally different album. I was hearing sounds and voices I'd never heard before. I remember laughing hysterically and joyfully at how awesome the whole experience was. I could close my eyes and see visions while the music played. It was a totally immersive and mind bending episode which comes back every time I listen to the album.