As a kid, my older brother would pack me into his rickety ’94 Volvo with no mission other than leaving the house. More often than not we’d drive around our hometown with sodas between us, as he’d point out the suburban landmarks he so easily attached stories to. My brother has always been a storyteller, and I like to think it’s a skill we share. But I think more than anything, we’re linked by music.
A decade older, it seemed like he was always listening to something different and exciting. I was seven or eight when he dropped the needle on “Revolution 9” and the “fa-fa-fa-FA-fa” of “Psycho Killer.” I was a graceless preteen when he ushered in Isaac Brock’s Cowboy Dan, Frank Black’s Bossanova and Jeff Magnum’s friendship with the ghost of a young girl. From Motown to new wave and '90s slacker rock, he educated me on a world of punks and misfits, and the sense that feeling like either was an okay line to toe—and cross if you’re up for it. But more than anything, my brother taught me that if you like a song, it’s yours to keep. And if you love it, it becomes you.