In the midst of a divorce (ironically, final Jan.1, 2010), I’ve been settling into my new place and still figuring out where everything goes. Least of all, my music collection.
In a previous life, I had been anal about how my collection had been organized; genre (and, if appropriate, sub-genre): alphabetically, by artist: release date. However, due to space limitations (and lack of shelf space), I’d pretty much piled everything up as it was stacked and hoped serendipity was on my side.
Over the past month or so, however, I came into a couple of racks and decided, well, it was time to get back with the OCD thang. Knowing that I at least had room for the “rock” collection and, maybe, “rock compilations” (jazz, classical, indie and world music/reggae would have to wait), I started to put the rock in its place.
As I sorted through it, creating abecedarian stacks, I was appalled at what I’d found. What was I thinking?
Why would I buy this crap? I’d never listen to them again.
In fact, I stripped those disks from their jewel cases — keeping cases to replace damaged ones for CDs I actually wanted to retain — and handed them off to the kids.
Like scraps to a dog, I suppose. They’ll listen to anything.
Not exactly true, I found out. Not dogs and not prone to listen to just “anything.”
As my middle one said, as she shuffled through her stack, like a Vegas gambler, “Um, a lot of Dave Matthews here.”
“True,” I replied, hoping she’d see that as a good thing, like being dealt three fives or something.
“Dave Matthews sucks,” she said, holding the disks up between two outstretched fingers, like the disks were hairs she’s found in her soup.
“Well, put them in Mister’s pile,” I replied. I thought I’d done her a favor. She felt I’d done her a disservice, insulted her tender sensibilities.
She plopped the disks into the boy’s pile and scrambled to her room to listen to the rest of the palaver I’d decided had to go from my own collection.
In time, I assume those disks will end up decorated with tiny beads, marker streaks, hung by fish line from curtain rods and whacked with Barbies.
Now I know a fair amount of Pagosa area residents, mostly 50 and above, simply adore the Dave Matthews Band, and point to the DMB as an example of how hip they are.
Not being 50 (yet) and not too concerned with being hip (either you are or you aren’t), I find the DMB boring, banal and frankly, an anti-rock band. A band that has all the charm and rock cred of Pat Boone’s polyester old man suit, the thing he wears when he chases kids off his lawn and swears he’ll keep the ball.
And, apparently, the middle one is no less enamored.
The Dave Matthews Band collection came from the questionable taste of several ex’s (and my own questionable taste in them) but I have to own up to some of the rest of the garbage I ended up excising from my collection.
REO Speedwagon: The “Greatest Hits” collection. I know, a relic from my days when I used to DJ weddings and AA dances but, yikes. Even when they were in their “hard rock” period, in the ’70s, they were gawdawfull. When they went all power ballad, and lamer in the ’80s (very hard to imagine), they stretched wretched into a line of vomit that went from where you first heard it to the bowl, where you expelled the rest. Even if you’re from the mid-west (where REO made their bones), there’s no doubt it some of the most consistently execrable dreck ever recorded.
311: Dude. Pass, puff, pass, cough, cough, cough. Wow, kind of heavy metal reggae that passed for music as long as a stoner’s attention span. What? Mac and cheese? Dude. Hand me some. Is there another MGD in the fridge? Thing is, if they’d really had talent (and had really respected reggae more than metal), they might have been onto something. Unfortunately, they ended up being nothing more than a novelty band at OzFest and slipped into well-deserved obscurity. A mac-and-cheese (sniff) obscurity. Cough, cough. Whew.
The DiVinyls: One-hit wonders with the repulsive, “I Touch Myself,” song that we all hear and, if old enough, remind ourselves of the incredibly stupid decade that was the ’80s.’Trying to be the ’50s, with none of the charm and twice the technology (all of which seems clunky, now).
We all got the reference (duh) and, if it wasn’t clever then, it’s at least half so, now.
Pantera: “Cowboys From Hell” seemed like a good idea at the time”– metal at the edge – but the edge wore off like a bubble-gum tattoo, forgotten in the shadow of bands that came before them (Black Sabbath) and the mess that became metal in the aftermath (Slipknot, Mudvayne); not that I’m recommending any aftermath… it’s just noise, and not in a good way.
Spin Doctors: “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” was the worst of the pseudo-hippie groove during the pseudo-hippie jam-band craze in the early ’90s; a mix of sexual and drug innuendoes that should have made anyone, with a head full of acid, reconsider the whole damn thing. As much as I’m no fan of jam bands, Phish and Widespread Panic at least have honest-to-god musicians; The Spin Doctors were all spin, no talent. A perfect band for Bill O’Reilly and his no-talent show.
Smash Mouth: I bought this for “Walking On the Sun” (which seemed like a precursor for the whole garage scene) as a kind of ska-goof, a goof that just got worse. And worse.
And worster. Their cover of The Monkees “I’m a Believer” (on the “Shrek” soundtrack) has to be one of the worst covers, ever, just in front of their cover of War’s “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”
Tossing disks like bar coasters, I don’t care; get rid of the crap.
Not all bad here, however. As I chucked the trash out of my collection, figuring that, if I ever wanted some song from the garbage, I could download it for a dollar or so, I got an opportunity to listen some excellent stuff, CDs that had been lost in the piles of ages.
For instance (and this is where you should take note),: Solomon Burke,“Greatest Hits” will lift your spirits in just the way Pastor Burke means you to — with joy and getting your groove on. “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” is simply indispensible (not even the Stones’ version is worthy) and “Cry to Me,” for all of you who remember the great seduction scene in “Dirty Dancing” (need I say more?) is just a taste of his greatness.
During my organizational madness, I also got to hear Small Faces, “Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake,” one of the first concept albums, and one of the best. Pre-Rod Small Faces, you get a sense of what a great band Rod Stewart left behind in his climb to fame, and, in that reach, eschewed his own talent.
As I finished up the task, I put on Lou Reed’s “Berlin,” one of the most depressing (and beautiful) albums ever produced, probably one of my desert island disks (you should check out my blog for that). A paean to the dark side of life yet, strangely, positive in the end.
If those awful disks become shoe-wear by my kids, I’m not too concerned. After all, they can slap their heels up and ask, “What was daddy thinking?”
All I can say is, daddy loves him some music.