High school is the most awkward period in our lives. It’s where we discover who we are and fail miserably. I’ve yet to see someone who was completely comfortable with themselves at the ripe age of 18. I’m barely becoming comfortable with my own existence even now. It goes with the territory, I suppose.

The Lonesome Crowded West

I’m a sucker for nostalgia, though I wrote about on how terrible it is to get lost within the past. I can’t help it. I’m not perfect. Throughout my high school years, I sought new-to-me music. Whether it was through friends, teachers or the Internet, I always looked for more. Music was the only thing other than books that helped me through the toughest moments in life.

During my senior year in high school, I stumbled upon an album that changed my perspective on music, life and everything in between. I was hoping to find my niche because I was a social pariah. I had a small group of individuals with whom I would hangout on a daily basis. We were rambunctious and destructive and filled with intense emotion. I was dating a pseudo-indie girl who was into Blind Melon and Sylvia Plath, someone you’d see featured on an ad for Urban Outfitters.

After a night of causing trouble, she gave me an album. She went on about how important this album was and that it would open my eyes to a different style of music. I blew it off. I was too busy listening to Black Flag and Cannibal Corpse to care. I was happy where I was, content with stagnation.

One early morning I felt like something wasn’t right. I was missing something and I didn’t know where I was going. My entire high school career was about to end and real life was going to begin. I put on that album my ex introduced me to, willing to give it a shot. That album was The Lonesome Crowded West by Modest Mouse.

I couldn’t stop listening to it. Every song represents moments during that year. It is my coming of age story. From nights of intoxication and hating everyone around me to growing up and realizing where I wanted to go in my life.

This album changed my perspective on music. I see how being close minded gets you nowhere. With one album, everything can change–your thoughts, feelings and perception on the arts. When a deal comes over the counter that involves CDs or LPs, I always look through it to find my next obsession. It may be the next album to help me move forward.

* Flavio is the events liaison at Bookmans Ina.

** Bookmans is your store to explore. We can’t guarantee stock, so if you are looking for a particular item, like The Lonesome Crowded West, give us a call and we’ll check our orange shelves.