Thursday, June 12, 2008

For Those Who Have To Wait

Funny things happen to a fellow deprived of a turntable for an extended period of time. It must have been about 6 months since my budget clunker bought the farm after the hundredth spin of the Cult Ritual 7" (great Black Flag/Rorschach inspired HC from Florida - emailed the singer a few interview questions, managed to rub him the wrong way, and then kind of aborted what could have been a good interview). That thing was probably killing my records anyway, and since I have the outrageous idea that the minute I fall into some money, I will make Ebay my second home: "Buy It Now? Don't mind if I do...". To protect these imaginary investments, and the records I already own (probably the only thing in my life I have ever been responsible with), I'm going to need a sweet turntable. While I await the perfect turntable to sweep me off my feet, I'm firmly nailed to the floor with decidedly unromantic MP3s.

While no stranger to flirting with music in digital form, total immersion in the MP3 dating world is a strange concept for me. For years, I have concerned myself with the need for "purity" in the production and distribution of recorded music: trying to support the little distros that still trade, avoiding extravagance and all that jazz. You've really got to hand it to the punx for getting all hot and bothered about that of which we ultimately have no say in deciding the future, because this seems almost irrelevant now. If you take paying for recorded music out of the equation, the playing field becomes fairly level and only the internet companies win. This lose-lose scenario somehow unburdens those like myself in which earnestness lingers like the smell of rotten milk trapped in air conditioning to explore our own whimsical tangents of taste in music.

Of taste, I have learned, that mine is varied. I now love many more things. I know that Thin Lizzy is one of the greatest bands to ever utilize twin guitar harmonies, and have numerous nigh-on-to-perfect albums to their name (start with Live and Dangerous, progress to Fighting, which features this insightful lyric: "You've got to give a little love to those who love to live. You've got to take a little hate from those who have to wait."). I know that I am interested in the early '70s Japanese psychedelia: that the Flower Travellin' Band's album Satori take Zeppelin and bury them, and have had spectacular experiences listening to Les Rallizes Desnudes album Heavier Than A Death In The Family alone in the dark, particularly one song which is ultimately the bass line to I Will Follow Him, drenched in guitar feedback for about fifteen minutes. These, among many others, are exposures I am grateful for.

So, maybe I'm in love. But it doesn't feel good. I find myself gravitating towards production and MP3 bit rate quality over a good punk song sometimes, a genre which, I am happy to say, doesn't translate well to digital. So once my charming turntable arrives, I feel that my MP3 chariot will turn back into a pumpkin, and I will reprise my role of taking chances on buying punk vinyl. Yes, quite often the records are disappointing, but this beats the constant level of cheap joy that comes with having spectres of everything you could ever want at your fingertips.

"If you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with", says the song. I say "You've got to take a little hate from those who have to wait".

2 comments:

kylie said...

haha yeah all that ongoing effort i expend in attempting to relate to you is killing me!high maintenance hard work!!

i have no idea what happened to le tigre...i haven't heard anything about them for aaages...not since that Goldmark ad!though JD Samson is playing in Brisbane in July,,

surprisingly the Billy Braggs and Le Tigres are really easy to interview...no trace of "running on punk-time" and being flakey as fuck, though I'm guessing maybe their PR people make them do it!

do you have more interviews planned????

Dogma said...

Dear Neil the Darkness;
Without evil there can be no good; so it must be good to be evil sometimes. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches... I'm guessing you're thinking enough of the cliches already and get some new material. I hear and feel your pain - but until the sweet turntable fairy in the sky blesses you with an ebay account that has surplus SUCK IT UP.