Ghost Wiring

Your ghost is a light show at night...The river is watching you, at the drive in tonight...

Friday, July 29, 2005

Track 1 00:01

I hate listening to new albums. I hate the feeling that I get, worrying that maybe I’ll hate it and it will be a waste of money, fearing that maybe I’ll find something that I will want to put myself into %110, thus alienating the rest of my music. The hardest part is if there is pressure from an external source to enjoy it. I know if I don’t like it, I’ll be letting down the person who recommended the album/artist.

But, for some reason, I still subject myself to this torture.

It seems the times I’ve put myself most out on the line were the ones that paid off most. The most significant of these experiences was with Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. My father had put so much pressure on me to listen to it and I didn’t want to listen to it, let alone like it. But, after only a few seconds into “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”, I devoted my entire being to this album.

I’m trying to remember another experience in which I had such a strong reaction from the very start, but one doesn’t come to mind.

The way it usually works is my dad will buy an album, play it a couple times, and I won’t think much of it. Then, I’ll find myself trying to sing the chorus of a song or two from the album. I will obsess over the fact that I don’t know the words. Then, I will go back to the shelf and steal the album, immersing myself in it until I have memorized every single second.

Or else I will be trying to think of a song from my childhood (usually Neil Young, Nanci Griffith, Emmylou Harris, Robbie Robertson or Mary Black) and steal the album from my mom’s collection for a while, then play it in the car on the way to the grocery store and know the tunes better than her.

Discovering truly new artists is the hardest. I find most of the indie bands that my friends listen to to be pretentious and overhyped. (If my friends are reading this, sorry guys.) So, I rarely take recommendations from them. If I do find myself interested in those bands, it tends to be after they have already lost interest, so I don’t have anyone to chatter to about the utter brilliance of a record.

What is truly ironic about this style I have is perhaps the fact that I used to work for a record label and I would be making promos of CD's and shipping them out so much that I would get really attached to them, even though I had never heard them before. I would be promoting them, giving everyone the details even though I myself was still nervous about what they sounded like. Of course, I'd usually get into the albums months after they came out, but feel like I'd been in it from the start. Yeah, I guess I'm sort of a poser, but my heart's in the right place, right?

So, why do I go through all of this hassle? Because, there’s so much out there that’s worth listening to, and how am I going to find it if I don’t look?