Monday, January 24, 2011

Music, records

Jared on ukulele. Note the records on the bottom shelf before we moved them to the cold side
of the house and replaced the the shelf with a crib.

What do "Identity" by X-Ray Specs, "Rollin' and Tumblin'" by Muddy Waters and "Constipation Blues" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins have in common? Nothing, not even the algorithm that they rode in on.

We have repeatedly flipped through our record collection which is shelved on the cold side of the house. The stereo is also there. We sometimes drag the speakers into the crossroads where the doors to the kitchen, cellar, bedroom, and cold side of the house meet. One speaker cable is too short to make the full trip and at least one connection comes loose in the process.

Our CD player is that of our computer or our car stereo. The CDs are also stored on the cold side of the house in drawers which are difficult to open because of the CDs' weight. We have scoured the CD collection countless times. Before trips we often choose a few CDs for the road. Fifteen minutes down the road, I often realize I have the opposite type of music that I would like to hear.

Often, I just put our computer's music player on shuffle...like now. Just finished "Paratlan" by Lajko Felix (Hungarian folk-kind of-violinist) and now onto "Jumper on the Line" by R.L. Burnside (rockin' and rollin' cyclical electric blues. The live album, not the absolutely irritating album where R.L. Burnside is backed by the John Spencer Blue Explosion...why haven't I deleted that album from the computer yet?). What is next after the audience finishes applauding Burnside? "Hesitation Blues" by Hot Tuna...sounds a bit annoying, so I'll skip it and go onto Doc Watson's "The Tennessee Stud."

I could go on about attention spans, the ruination of the record album, etc. etc. I'll leave that to the cultural critics like Greil Marcus, who put me to as sleep soundly as the baby on my belly.

It's much like the radio station I wished existed. Not my personal radio station with all my music, but one I actually enjoyed. In fact, I'd prefer a surprise song and an entertaining and illuminating deejay. Indeed, much our music collection dates back to when we were NY Public Library card holders.

I can't conjure a single music radio station that I like. Seeking new music, we have sought out internet radio, and returned like travelers made into stone and blinded by the Medusa that is the computer screen. We tune into American Routes on NPR - I can't think of much else.

"How Long?" Skip James asks. Dunno, at least until the next song comes on... "Track 05" by Uzgin Uver.

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