It's not about the house.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Walk the Line

Is there anybody out there (besides me) who's a little bit pissed that everyone loves Johnny Cash now?

I mean, I'm glad folks are getting their due -- and of course I'm happy when folks like Johnny C. get theirs before they croak it -- but sometimes, man, sometimes that song was mine, and I'm browned off to have to share.

I drive down the street, and "Boy Named Sue" comes randomly on my car radio, and I crank it, and I realize that I'm listening to MikeFM (which I don't hate, by the way), and I know I'm no longer the only one on the road who knows this freaking song.

And I do, you understand, realize that I wasn't the only person who knew the song before this happened. Just I -- we -- were usually the only ones who might have been playing it in the car at 10:00 in the morning. It used to be we could exchange a secret nod between cars at a stop light. And now every girl cranking Rihanna from her PT Cruiser in the next lane gives a little "Hey now" to the rebel yell from the man in black.


So, obviously, I'm shy to share things I think are good. But I don't pretend to think this little blog has any influence on anything. And I've been listening to an album this weekend that I don't understand why nobody knows about. They ought to.


I spent the '90s learning and reading and interviewing musicians about what it was like to hear things like the White Album and Astral Weeks and Highway 61 and Big Pink and White Light/White Heat and Red-Headed Stranger for the first time. When they were new. Before they were classics. When it shocked your ears to experience such sounds.

This album rocked me then. And it still does.

That's all I'm saying.


beardonaut said...

Aside from being a geek in general, I'm also a music geek. I grew up around Cash, The Beatles, Kingston Trio, Beach Boys, etc, but for a long time I didn't listen to them, while trying to find my own musical identity. I've since returned to some of them, but tend to find the 70s (Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, Sabbath) more appealing than the stuff from my father's youth.

Anyway, I can relate. I tend to be very possessive of music, but at the same time I want to force my taste in music on everyone else. It's a crusade, really. "My" band is The Tea Party. It feels like I was the first one in my circle of friends to discover them, though I'm not sure that is the case. Their "Transmission" album rates as the second best of all time, and is somewhere in the undefined borderland between Zeppelin and Nine Inch Nails. With a sitar. Sort of.

I realize I'm rambling. Some more rambling: when we saw Nine Inch Nails back in 2005, we met a friend of mine after the gig who commented "That was cool how they played that Johnny Cash song". Uhm, no. The other way around, actually. Funny.

jen said...

Im a music whore and will listen to just about anything. Really. Right now? The Jonas Brothers are in my car cd player. I would probably listen to them if I didnt have a nine year old kid.
HOWEVER, I really appreciate OTHER peoples musical tastes. And, I like to hear what other people think about music. This is why I love my boyfriend Chuck Klosterman so much (and I do love you Chuck. Just not Like That..)
Also? I tend to be a music leech (I once dated this guy who was SO INTO Phish, thusly, so was I...) Naturally, I am going to go home tonite and try to find The Tea Party and this Alejandro Dude online. Although, to be honest? They will probably be too cerebral for me as I spend most of my time listening to Kidz Bop 14 and the likes of the Moldy Peaches.
Funnily enough? I am not ashamed.

EGE said...

Beardo -- (You do realize that rhymes with "weirdo," by the way? I kid because I love...) I actually went back and forth with myself on this one -- originally I planned to mention three artists nobody heard of, but in the end couldn't bring myself to do it. The other two are dead, and Alejandro is alive but has been very sick, he could use the money if anybody wants to buy his records. I guess you could say altruism won out over selfishness, and not any actual desire to spread the musical wealth. I'm still mad that David Gray got famous and they reissued his first album. That one was mine, dammit.

(PS I'm listening to the Tea Party right now on your recommendation. It's too early for me to make a decision, but I will say it's not quite as head-bangy as I expected from your other references.)

Jen! -- Oh, please, honey. Ashamed? Have I not admitted to tattooing the Partridge Family logo on a particularly unmentionable bit? And if Chuck Klosterman can write a whole essay about why Billy Joel doesn't suck, then I can admit that I have not one but -- hang on -- eight Madonna albums shelved in between Baaba Maal and Taj Mahal.

I've been toying with the idea of doing Music Mondays around here, and I think I might have just convinced myself.

Even if it is just for the two of you.

beardonaut said...

ege: Yay! Music Mondays for the music geek and the music whore! Yay!

P.S. While I do, at times (and especially when I play CDs at club) project a head-bangy image, there's plenty of non head-bangy stuff in my CD collection. The Cure. Depeche Mode. Massive Attack. PJ Harvey. Tori Amos. Tracy Chapman. Jose Gonzalez. Etc.

jen said...

I am all for it! And, also? There's nothing to be ashamed of, having Madonna in your cd collection. I mean, even though she has convinced herself she really is a Brit, and continues to try to convince us by using her unrecognizable "British" accent, and even though she's 64 years old yet still wears LYCRA, Madonna is a musical icon.
DUDE. For your next contest, you should totally make a mixed tape! Kick ass!