The first vinyl record I bought was aptly titled ‘Album’, by Girls. (I’m omitting my first CD because no one wants a review of Smash Mouth’s ‘Astro Lounge’, and we all know that album is solid gold.)
The story of Girls’ frontman Christopher Owens has become indie rock lore, so in Mini Music Critic fashion I will summarize it in short: Born into the Children of God cult, Owens escaped to San Francisco as a teenager, where he immersed himself in the pleasures of pop music and started Girls with bassist/producer Chet “JR” White. ‘Album’ is his wide-eyed, romantic account of a new world, told through the lens of sugary ’60s pop songwriting and stoned Lou Reed swagger.
I picked up the record at San Francisco’s Amoeba Music, not too far from Owens’ Haight-Ashbury home. Ironically enough, I would later work there for two years, and would witness the bizarre eccentricities of one of my heroes from afar. One time I saw him skipping down Haight Street, gleefully playing the flute. Strange guy.