I lost my groove.
I mentioned in a previous post that I am no longer a completist, that is, I no longer need to own every cd by every singer or band that I like. Five U2 cds? Enough. Six REM? Plenty. It’s not that I won’t buy any more cds of those for whom I already own multiple discs, but, y’know, the urgency has faded.
Given my former completist sensibilities, however, I do own many cds by one band/singer which, frankly, has been a problem on my quest to listen to every cd I own: I burn out on a group.
My current (cheapo) stereo allows me to load 3 discs at a time, which is just right: Enough for a solid listening section, without me wanting to cut it short. But when you’re working through your collection alphabetically, that means the Beatles are followed by the Beatles followed by the Beatles.
I like the Beatles. But, unlike in the past where I would overdose on a single group, I no longer have the patience to listen to three or six hours of the Beatles or Beck or, really, anyone. Hell, the 72-minute long Mary J. Blige cd was too long for me.
Like I said, the groove was gone.
Once it became apparent that I was avoiding listening to my cds because I didn’t want multiple all-Beck nights, I decided to switch things up. I considered just plucking cds out randomly, but I figured that the pick wouldn’t really be random and that I’d just pick cds I often listen to. No, better to continue with the alpha-step, but tweak it.
Now, when I have more than one cd by the same performer(s), I choose the first one, then pick a cd from the following groups. So I chose Beck’s Mellow Gold, then Daniel Belanger, then Belle and Sebastien’s “Tigermilk”. The next night, Beck’s Sea Change, Belle & Sebastien’s Storytelling, and Belly’s star.
Works like a charm.
A few other things. One, I really do like Belly. I like Tanya Donelly’s wordplay (On every track/I fractured every back/Thinking the point was step on every crack), and how her voice cracks on “Super-Connected”—one of the things that distinguishes pop singing from, say, operatic singing is that the flaws are an integral part of the force of the song. (Think of Merry Clayton’s break in the Stones’s “Gimme Shelter”: she’s been hauling Jagger through that wail, and when she finally breaks near the end, you know what she’s been through and what she’s put you through.)
Two, I am a puddle in the face of a good leftist rallying song. Goddamn if I didn’t tear up listening to Black 47′s “James Connelly” (Oh Lily, I don’t want to die, we’ve got so much to live for/And I know we’re all goin’ out to get slaughtered, but I just can’t take any more). I am a pinko all the way through my bitter little heart.
Three, I think this whole quest is starting to take shape. Early on I was treating this as a kind of duty; even as I claimed I wanted to see if I could recapture my connection to the music, it felt more like a test—and who likes taking tests? But I’ve gotten off my ass enough times to shimmy around the wood floor, or paused just to take in the words and the sounds that now, now it feels more like a chance.
And that’s all right.
28. Be Good Tanyas, Chinatown
29. Be Good Tanyas, hello love
30. Beach Boys, Endless Summer
31. Beatles, Revolver
32. Beatles, Abbey Road
33. Beatles, Please Please Me
34. Beatles, White Album
35. Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
36. Beck, Odelay
37. Beck, Midnight Vultures
38. Beck, Mutations
39. Beck, Mellow Gold
40. Daniel Belange, Rever Mieux
41. Belle and Sebastien, “Tigermilk”
42. Beck, Sea Change
43. Belle and Sebastien, Storytelling
44. Beck, Guero
45. Belly, star
46. Belly, King
47. Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos, Chant
48. Beta Band, Hot Shots II
49. Bettie Serveet, lamprey
50. Jordy Birch, Funmachine
51. Bjork, Post
52. Black 47 [eponymous ep-cd]
53. Mary J. Blige, No More Dramas