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 What Does TOTY Mean to You?
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Bedbug
* Dog in the Sand *

2011 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2019 :  08:17:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, 1994 is almost 26 years ago, which means that our hopes for any 25th anniversary recognition of TOTY has come and gone.

Since we are the FRANK BLACK forum, I think it fitting that we have one last tip of the cap to 25 years of Teenager of the Year.

What has this album meant to you?

When did you first hear it? How old were you? Where were you?

Do you think it's the greatest thing ever or do you think it's overrated?

What's your favorite song? Least favorite?

How often do you listen to it?

Do you try to proselytize your friends with it?

Have you heard many / any of these songs live? What was that like?

Are you glad it's relatively obscure or do you wish it could blow up?

Have you seen songs from this album used in media anywhere?

Do you think Frank even cares that he made this thing? What do you think his relationship is to this?

Have you ever covered any of these songs yourself?

Do you have any favorite YouTube videos of songs performed live from TOTY?

What do you think it means?

Feel free to answer all, some, or none of these, and feel free to add your own questions. I'll come back around and answer some of these myself, but as for the first one, I bought the cassette tape in 1994 after having been a fan since '90. I popped it in to my car tape deck and thought it was crazy. Then track 5 came on and I was like, "um, I'm not sure I can handle this." I loved a bunch of songs immediately and others grew on me over time.

My initial impression that first summer of listening to it was, "this guy has created an entire world of his own." I thought it was like it's own system.

I ended up throwing that tape out the window later that year, but bought a bunch more copies over the years. Whenever I would see one in the bargain bin I would buy it and give it to people.

Not a lot of my friends were into it. When you found someone who was into it you knew you had a friend.

I thought it was the best thing he ever did for a while. Now I pretty much put Trompe and TOTY as tied for #1.

The run from Pilgrim to TOTY is the greatest run of all time in my opinion.

Fazer Eyes has been my favorite song for a while, but the opening 3 are like wowowowoowowowow

Least favorite song? Hard to say, maybe something in the last 5 or so, not including BWW which is one of my favs.

I heard him do a couple of these live during solo shows. Abstract Plain, Calistan

I still listen to it every month, not straight through so much.

If you search for Jeremy Klein Asian Goddess you will find a cool skateboard video that uses Headache nicely. And later in that video they use Ole Mulholland too.

Oops I guess that was more than just answering one question. I'll answer some more later.

Frank Black, if you're out there somewhere, thank you so much for making this great album. It has been a really great part of my life to be able to listen to your tunes, but especially this one. I love Teenager of the Year.

Bedbug
* Dog in the Sand *

2011 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2019 :  13:00:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And another thing

TOTY is Fun Black Francis. Singing with that much passion about pong, the three stooges and other tv shows, relatively obscure historical figures, and other oddities, it really does feel like freedom in the rock.

Surely somebody else out there has something to contribute to this?
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The Maharal
= Cult of Ray =

850 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2019 :  03:11:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A fine record. Listening to Calistan back in the day was euphoric - such a cool song and even if there's no real emotional punch to the lyrics his vocal delivery really makes it seem otherwise.

I saw the old man he was doing OK
making his last stand on old bottles and cans

I have never been to California but I would love it if someone made a documentary detailing all the places and historical events mentioned in Frank Black songs. You'd have so much.
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Sam
= Cult of Ray =

Ireland
508 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2019 :  01:19:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
TOTY means the world to me.

I love it as much now as I did in 94. It has such amazing musicality, and variety. It is always a fun listen and reminds me of some great times with people who I don't see anymore.

Long magical summer days sound tracked by the this wonderful record.

There is not one song on it I would remove. I think my favourite is probably Ole Mulholland. Its wild and I love the speech part about the mayor of Los Angeles.

It feels like this record is Frank waxing lyrical about his love of LA and the energy is palpable.

The players on this one really knocked it out of the park. Props to Lyle Workman and EDF.

I have been to a mountain of FB and FB shows, but the most amazing acoustic performance I remember was in Amsterdam at the Paradiso hall.

It was the run of shows where half was acoustic and half was punk with Charles Normal, Ding and Jason Carter.

BF came out for the first portion and blasted through the most beautiful acoustic rendition of Abstract Plain. It was absolutely magical. One of my favourite FB memories. The whole auditorium was spellbound.

10/10

Edited by - Sam on 12/09/2019 01:29:25
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Ziggy
* Dog in the Sand *

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2019 :  23:19:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So much to like about TOTY. One of my all time favourite albums by anyone.

Always enjoying FB's guitar sound on the record. Particularly on tracks like 'Ole Mullholland'.

A post on the FB showed a photo from a Hard Rock Cafe with a Fender Bass VI apparently played on the record. Leads me to think that's the reason for that deep rhythm sound on certain tracks.
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Bedbug
* Dog in the Sand *

2011 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2019 :  19:58:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All of these songs were written after FB album. Right?

Think about how fast this album dropped, like out of nowhere. The run! This man just shot this thing out like it was noting! No one got it then! Few get it now
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danjersey
> Teenager of the Year <

USA
2580 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2019 :  21:00:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bedbug



I popped it in to my car tape deck and thought it was crazy. Then track 5 came on and I was like, "um, I'm not sure I can handle this”

My initial impression that first summer of listening to it was, "this guy has created an entire world of his own." I thought it was like it's own system



Sums it up for me.
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McDutchie
= Cult of Ray =

Netherlands
254 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2019 :  05:22:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Well, 1994 is almost 26 years ago, which means that our hopes for any 25th anniversary recognition of TOTY has come and gone.
Wasn't the vinyl reissue earlier this year in recognition of TOTY's 25th anniversary?

There was also this great full-hour Australian radio segment, with interviews with Frank Black and Eric Drew Feldman. You can still listen to it: https://www.rrr.org.au/on-demand/segments/pixies-frontman-frank-blacks-teenager-of-the-year-turns-25
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Sam
= Cult of Ray =

Ireland
508 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2019 :  01:18:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by McDutchie

[quote]
There was also this great full-hour Australian radio segment, with interviews with Frank Black and Eric Drew Feldman. You can still listen to it: https://www.rrr.org.au/on-demand/segments/pixies-frontman-frank-blacks-teenager-of-the-year-turns-25




awesome, thank you
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trobrianders
> Teenager of the Year <

Papua New Guinea
3219 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2019 :  15:19:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For me the sound is a celebration of all the shiny new surfaces of the second industrial revolution; chrome, bakelite, formica, tupperware, nylon. Mass production baby! Yeah!

_______________
Ed is the hoo hoo
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Bedbug
* Dog in the Sand *

2011 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2019 :  10:39:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by McDutchie

quote:
Well, 1994 is almost 26 years ago, which means that our hopes for any 25th anniversary recognition of TOTY has come and gone.
Wasn't the vinyl reissue earlier this year in recognition of TOTY's 25th anniversary?

There was also this great full-hour Australian radio segment, with interviews with Frank Black and Eric Drew Feldman. You can still listen to it: https://www.rrr.org.au/on-demand/segments/pixies-frontman-frank-blacks-teenager-of-the-year-turns-25




This is indeed wonderful, thank you for sharing.
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Jason
* Dog in the Sand *

1357 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2020 :  19:38:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I might be wrong, but it doesn't seem like 4AD does very many, or any, big deluxe edition anniversary reissues with lots of bonus tracks. I know they've put out a few fancy Pixies sets, but if an album isn't as hugely popular as those, they rarely bother with reissues beyond vinyl repressings. So, I'm not surprised that they didn't put out something REALLY special for the TOTY anniversary, though I'd be all over it if they do in the future.

As for TOTY memories, I love it now, but I didn't get it the first time I heard it. It was early 1996 and I was 19 years old. It was such a long album with so many songs and most of them were strange and didn't resonate with my simple little, still-adolescent brain immediately. Listening to it, I felt lost.

But I never gave up on it. Something about it kept me coming back.

Seeing Frank live in, I think, March of 1996 helped. The "Cult of Ray" tour. It was a great show and he only played his solo stuff back then and he only had three solo albums out, so there was a lot of TOTY in the set and many of those songs clicked for me in a big way that night. Songs like "Superabound" and "Big Red", songs from the second half of TOTY.

Over the course of that year, it became one of my very favorite albums. It permanently soaked into my brain cells and warped things in there way more than any Pixies album.

I played it SO MUCH twenty years ago that I don't play it a whole lot nowadays, but when I do, it still sounds good. I last played it last summer when I sold my OG 1994 vinyl pressing to someone who wanted it (I used to be a die hard vinyl collector, but I don't care about that anymore; I still have TOTY on CD and that works for me). Before I let it go, I gave it one last spin and still thought it was a brilliant record.

It's what I now call an "Overstuffed Suitcase" album--and I mean that as a compliment. I love these weird albums that cram in a bunch of songs. These unwieldy albums that are epics for no reason other than that's what the artist felt like doing and they just drop it on you and make you have to deal with it. Bonus points if it's not a double album (yes, I know TOTY is a double on vinyl.)

Todd Rundgren's "A Wizard, A True Star". Elvis Costello's "Get Happy!!". The Loud Family's "Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things". Guided by Voices' "Alien Lanes".

"Teenager of the Year" is just as good and strange and exciting and inspiring as any of those.
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Bedbug
* Dog in the Sand *

2011 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2020 :  09:33:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If the last comment by another member was deleted for some particular reason, I want to respect that, but I quite enjoyed the story.
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