In honor of Sub Pop’s release of the new Obits records, “Moody, Standard, and Poor” (best album title in a very long time, in my opinion), Sohrab Habibion and Greg Simpson from the band are graciously sharing their high school music memories. This is Obits’ second record and everything I’ve heard from it is great–an effortless and stripped-down blend of garage rock and surf influences. They are also an amazing live band, not surprising given their rock pedigree: a lineage that includes Edsel, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, and Pitchfork. Edsel was one of my favorite bands for a long time and one of the very few that managed to combine mind-blowing music with people you actually wanted to hang around…not a lot of bands can stake that claim. Be sure to click on the links to Sohrab’s votes for the best shows he saw in high school–he dug up some very cool, old flyers. And speaking of cool, who else has a mom who helped them promote a 7 Seconds show at their local community center? Wait, hold on, there’s more…who else had a band that opened the very same 7 Seconds show with Dave Grohl behind the kit? That one will out-cool all of us every time.
Lake Braddock Secondary School, Burke, VA, Class of ’87, Currently: Play guitar and sing in Obits, compose music for soundtracks and commercials, design book covers and music packages.
Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: Rites of Spring. I played that record over and over again and used to recite the lyrics to my mom. Also Sonic Youth’s EVOL was on heavy rotation though, for some reason, I would only ever listen to it on headphones. My mom actually bought me that record after reading a review of it in the Washington Post. I was appropriately dubious when I put it on, but by the time “Tom Violence” was halfway through I was completely hooked.
Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: A flyer for a Dag Nasty, Rites of Spring, Embrace and Beefeater show at Georgetown University on December 4, 1985. It’s in my parents’ basement, in a box, getting moldy, along with hundreds of other photocopied relics. I’m still bummed my mom wouldn’t let me go to that show. She was usually really generous with letting me see bands play during the school week but, for whatever reason, I couldn’t go to that and no amount of begging, pleading or explaining how important it was to me would change her mind.
Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Journey, Boston, Styx, Kansas, etc. That music still makes me irrationally upset. When I hear “More Than A Feeling” I just want to spit on somebody. The over-processed distorted guitar playing that awful power chord riff, the rock’n’roll show tunes style of singing and the music school chord changes. I can’t take it. But, oddly, and I have no explanation for this, I don’t mind Foreigner. Go figure.
Best show or concert you saw in high school: Circle Jerks, COC, Marginal Man & Madhouse at the Wilson Center, Washington DC, January 5, 1985
— tied with —
— tied with —
Embrace, Gray Matter & Rites of Spring at Food For Thought, Washington DC, July 1985
— tied with —
My band, Kids For Cash, playing with our friends, P.M.S., opening for our heroes, 7 Seconds at a show I put on with my mom’s help at the local community center, Burke, VA, Sept. 20, 1985. Quirky side note: Dave Grohl played drums in Kids For Cash for this show. And, for the record, he was great then. Totally spazzy, but incredible.
Optional bonus question: Best high school make-out song: Side 1 of UK/DK: The Original Soundtrack. You get The Exploited, The Adicts and Chaos U.K. right off the bat. Sexy stuff.
Louisa County High School, Mineral, VA, Class of ’78, Currently: Musician / Graphic Designer
Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: When the Levee Breaks – Led Zeppelin
Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: “Disco Sucks” t-shirt
Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Bread
Best show or concert you saw in high school: Neil Young
Optional bonus question: Best high school make-out song: Radar Love – Golding Earring
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