I have had the pleasure in my life of at least partially pursuing a childhood dream of being a Rock Star. In my mind, there was no other career choice. In fact, I passed on a few legitimate career options because at the time they just did not fit in the picture I had of where my life was going. But as time passed (not very much actually) I realized there was much more to the music industry than just performing on stage. I took college courses on multi-track recording, did part-time marketing for a local record distributor, worked with a great mentor for managing live shows - setting up PA systems, lighting and effects. These were all fun jobs to have, it seldom felt like "work" but the pay was poor and occasionally non-existent. So this leads us to one of my first full-time jobs, working for a local chain record store. Yes, I still call them "records" and listen to "albums".
One of the perks for working in the record store was receiving promotional materials for upcoming releases. Full-length CD's, tapes, albums - concert tickets, t-shirts, caps, mugs, posters... you name it. Rule #1: Store Manager got first choice of anything that came in, then Assistant Managers, then everyone else. Once I figured all this out, I decided I wanted to be a Store Manager. I never made it to that, but I did become an Assistant Manager in about 6 months. Now, company policy dictated that all promotional materials were to be used for actual in-store promotions, but as you can imagine this policy was seldom enforced.
So that leaves us with "the box". Every store had a nondescript cardboard box in the back room with all the "left-overs". Promotional CD's for artists and bands that no one had yet (or ever since) heard of. Many would become drink coasters, replacement jewel boxes and occasionally background music for the back room while we would process inventory in and out of the store. It was during these times that I would make some amazing musical discoveries out of that box. So now, my purpose is to share with you some of these great findings; bands whose music filled my spirit, touched my soul or just filled that "groove" that I didn't know I had or needed filling.
Okay, that's the background for this series. The artist / recordings I list won't be in any special order. You are welcome to add some of your favorites in the comments. First band up: Nuclear Valdez - see 'ya next posting.