The first records I remember listening to and loving are Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles and Nothing’s Shocking by Jane’s Addiction, at around ages 7 and 9, respectively.
But more importantly, the first record I ever bought was Disintegration by The Cure, at age 12, at the dearly departed Accidental Records on Avenue A for, like, $2 on cassette. God, that place was amazing. Back in the day you could buy a decent slice, a soda, and a tape on one block for $5. And if you had $10, you could spend the other $5 on certain substances for sale in Tompkins Square Park across the street. Perfect afterschool afternoon.
I vividly recall rifling through the huge bins of cassettes looking for it and being filled with anticipation once I got it. And I have a shitty memory, so the fact that I remember this like it was fucking yesterday speaks to the seminality of the event for me.
The album sounded like what the inside of my head felt like, only way more beautiful. I already knew I could sing, and that I loved doing it, but that album was my “Oh shit. THIS is what I want to do!” moment.
So, basically, that album ruined my life. And it remains one of my favorites to this day.
Katherine Kennedy is the singer for Autodrone, a New York City-based foursome that employs swirling guitar distortion, jagged, crunchy synths, violent yet operatic vocals, and unexpected drumming to arrive at lovely, assaultive music and a totally unreasonable decibel level. You can follow her and Autodrone on twitter at @katyakennedy and @autodrone.