Wednesday's Emotional Setup: Bands I Am Allowed To Obsess Over
I am slowly (very, very slowly) paring down the CD collection. I've done the hard part, already mentioned, of paring out all the stuff I might conceivably get rid of and now I just need the time to go through it all. Without buying new things (unfortunately, Hot Rocks
and The Original Sound Of Sheffield 78/82
et al continue showing up at my house).
So I've been thinking a lot recently about my buying habits, and about what, really, I need to own. Well, need is a bit much (and a terribly misused word, to boot); what I want to own. Take, to big an already mentioned example, the Rolling Stones. Does the collection I have include every single Stones song I like? No. But do I really need to get any more of their stuff? I don't think so.
And that got me thinking about the bands that I do need to get more stuff from. I don't mean the bands I have one album by and want more (Mclusky) or where I want the album period (British Sea Power), or the ones where one or two more things and I'm pretty sure I'll never need anything else by them (Slowdive). I mean the ones where I have basically said to myself, "Self, we all need to have some indulgences in life. This band is one of them. If you see anything of quality by them and you have money, you must buy it. You will thank me later".
And so I've come up with a list. I don't know what it says about my taste in music, or even about the ones that didn't quite make the list (case in point: super Furry Animals. Phantom Power
has underwhelmed me to the extent that Rings Around The World
, which I loved, did everyone else. And I never got into Mwng
, no matter how much I would have liked to - my relation to them is thus undergoing reassessment, although Fuzzy Logic
continue to thrill. End of tangent).
Actually the band that started this. On the one hand, Code: Selfish
and 'The Birmingham School Of Business School' aside, I'm not sure I like
the Fall the way I like most of the other bands I have. But I can't get enough of them. I've bought two albums, a singles compilation, two live albums and a two-disc anthology I haven't even heard yet (it's in the pile). The Fall is one of the bands where the 'quality' caveat comes into play, as wel, as if I were to go to Sam The Record Man in Toronto and buy one of everything they have I'd be out several hundred for a small number of discs with poor quality and much repetition. But other than that I have never seen a Fall album and not bought it, ever since I saw 'Hit The North' on The Wedge years ago.
Tally is now four albums and the Substance
comp. I'm not necessarily on going crazy here (no Movement
, in other words), but I've not been disappointed so far, and although I came to them fairly late in life and with no precedents to enjoying this sort of music (and frankly, who else makes this sort of music?), the pure joy that 'Regret', or 'Crystal', or 'Broken Promise', or 'Your Silent Face', or espcecially, always, 'Temptation' endgender in me means that I am fully content to fund Sumner, Hook et al's dotage, especially when it produces albums as good as Get Ready
Yes, I know they're different. But they might as well not be. I don't believe that there's any on way that rock and roll, or music in general should be, but Jason Pierce has exemplified one vision of how it can be ever since Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space
was bought, solely on the basis of an old NME review, when I was 17. They led me to the Stooges, Loop, Suicide, Can, My Bloody Valentine, Mercury Rev, and a lot more. I don't care if half of the Spacemen 3 songs sound exactly the same. That's the point. I desperately await the Complete Works, Vol. 2
and the new, 'garage' Spiritualized album.
Again, the quality thing - I'm not planning on picking up everything they ever put out in the 80s. But Pink Flag
will one day be mine, and I plan on buying everything they put out now until the quality falls off, as the Read & Burn
EPs were spectacular, as was Send
, although it was basically the EPs repackaged. Like I said: Obsessed.
Belle & Sebastian:
the last album. I don't care if everyone ese is still pining for The Boy With The Arab Strap
or If You're Feeling Sinister
. I'll continue to pick up the occasional EP and all of the albums until they stop making the best pop songs (at least in one sense of the word 'pop') of the current era.
What is is about first loves? What would radiohead (and you can tell I love them becase I don't capitlize them - only they and the next band own that privelege) have to do to get me to stop buying albums? We may never know, if they keep up Hail To The Thief
levels of quality.
I think what distinguishes the bands here from the others I love are two things: The first is that they don't necessarily have the most broad palette, but whatever it is they do I don't mind hearing endless variations on it - in fact, I crave them like I crave air or water. And it's not that I'm planning on buying everything they've ever put out, but these are the bands that, when i'm considering buying something, say The Curtain Hits The Cast
, for $28, these are the only bands where I am permitting myself to not hesitate or second guess myself. I just buy them. And I never, ever, regret it. low possesses a different species of joy than New Order, more rigourous and litrugical, but it is joy nonetheless.