As I staggered around my living room watching Carmelo Anthony with a Miller Lite in my hand, trying not to step on my daughter's head, I wondered aloud, "What the hell am I doing?" Of course, I knew the Knicks had no chance of beating Boston in a 7-game series, and I actually love Lite beer, so I was searching much deeper. "Why do I have thousands of CDs stored in giant black wallets taking up valuable storage space in our apartment? What the hell am I doing?"
My CD collection's display value has varied inversely with my age, in years, over the last two decades according to the following equation:
da = 20 (let d = display value, in percent)
In other words, my CDs are currently hidden from view and somewhat accessible on demand. In other words, there's gotta be a better way.
I always laugh when people talk about "digitizing their CD collection"-- isn't that like liquifying your urine? Anyway, I bought myself a big old portable hard drive at Costco on 116th and started lettin'er rip!!! We've officially finished the A section, featuring well over 100 pieces of plastic. My new intern, Josephina, is doing a kick-ass job so far, even if she misspelled every one of the twelve Autechre releases she notated in her accompanying Excel file. "Lee, why do I have to type these in? iTunes does it automatically..."
Here's what we've learned so far:
Most of my indie rock CDs seem to be missing: Atari Teenage Riot, Archers of Loaf, Amnesia, etc. These are all on my original Excel file (typed by my old intern, Michelle), but nowhere to be found. Hmmm...
Totally forgot that AZ started out on RCA as "AZ the Visualiza." Wonder why that never caught on?
AC/DC might be the greatest band of all time. Their stretch from 1975 to 1981 is unbeatable. OK, they're the greatest band from 1975 to 1981.
Drawing inspiration from (1) Charles Simone's touching memoir "An Ode to the Record Store," and (2) the Yankees' recent success with scrapheap sensations Bartolo Colón, Freddy Garcia, Andruw Jones, Eric Chavez, Russell Martin (sort of), Kevin Millwood (possibly), etc., I present an homage of my own to diamonds in the musical rough. Each trashcan treasure below spent many months (or years!) in the 99¢ cut-out bins on St. Marks and elsewhere, crying out for savvy shoppers like myself to snatch'em up and share. Props to S.T. for pointing a couple of these out...
Cool Down Time - Dan Zanes (1995, Private Music) Between the Del Fuegos and his Nick Jr. superstardom, Dan Zanes made a weird pop record with cool production and sticky tunes. I think I bought three copies in Princeton for less than $5.
Thank You - Royal Trux (1995, Virgin) My wife backed off a bit when I asked her for a formal rec on this one, but we certainly agreed that it was a bonanza in the bins. A cheap, cheap high.
Keep a Secret - The Mysteries of Life (1996, RCA) An industry buzz-band that sold nada outside of Indiana, whose debut features wonderful pop tunes and superb drums courtesy of Freda Love Boner.
A Series of Sneaks - Spoon (1998, Elektra) Sure, these guys are huuuuuge now, but nobody outside the record biz had this little old masterpiece back in the day. Happens to be their best album, too. Dirt Floor - Chris Whitley (1998, Messenger) Not a major label promo-spawn but still a cellar dweller cut-out tragedy. I used to buy this one every time I saw it for less than five bucks, which was often. Great fucking record, great fucking guitarist... crying shame.
7:46 - One hour later, and tied 28-28. Jr.'s asleep but Lil Mz is roaming the living room virtually unsupervised. Good enough.
7:57 - Figured I'd try typing with my 14-month-old daughter on my lap. My laptop immediately went to a terrifying black screen, with a garish font warning something about system reboot. Children under the age of two have an uncanny ability to make computers (and other electronic devices, particularly cell phones) do things they've never been seen to do. Lee Jr. once caused my screen to rotate 90 degrees with the strike of a single key, which was harder than you might think to fix. I had my head and spine orthogonal as I tried to make corresponding moves with my mouse, which I was terrible at.
I can barely pick my nose properly while looking in the mirror-- something is seriously wrong with my brain's ability to reflect images.
8:08 - Pretty good so far. Bounces and calls seem to be going our way for the most part, and no one's broken their leg(s) yet. We have a chance.
8:09 - I really thought about postponing the boy's bedtime and having him watch the game with me on the couch. You know, a real "father-son" moment. Or something like a farmer taking his boy out to see the slaughtering of chickens ("geeking") as a rite of passage; maybe even the equivalent of the Maasai Eunoto ceremony, where pubescent warriors eat raw oxen flesh as they are promoted to the ranks of full tribesmen.
---(MID-THIRD QUARTER)... JR. HAS HORRIBLE HONKING COUGH FIT AND NEEDS TV TO RE-OPEN WINDPIPE... "MAX AND RUBY: EASTER" AND "MAX AND RUBY: PARADE" ARE ON-DEMANDED ARE WATCHED TWICE EACH FOR A TOTAL OF 96 MINUTES OF AIR TIME... REMAINDER OF KNICKS-CELTICS MISSED COMPLETELY, WITH MINIMAL ACCESS TO BLACKBERRY SCOREMOBILE... LAST 21 SECONDS OF GAME TAKE AT LEAST 10 MINUTES OF FROZEN SCREEN TIME... MISSED REMAINDER OF YANKEE GAME AS WELL...
Can someone tell me why the fuck i even bother writing about this bullshit?!! Anyone?!!!