Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Rough Trade 25 Years
This morning's music, to go with a cup of coffee that I didn't brew correctly. Do you know how sometimes the first cup of coffee is so ridiculously tasty and perfect? I'd go off on a description of it- warm, well-rounded, but with just the right kind of bitterness- only then I'd start sounding like a wine taster or some similiar silliness. When I do get a good cup out of my coffeemaker I try to remember exactly what I did- two spoonfuls, not overflowing, water up to a certain mark. The next day, always, the obsessively same method makes something stale, flat, not-quite-there.
I'm still dipping into the 4 CDs in this box set, finding songs that pop out at me. So far- so predictable- I prefer the last two, from the 90s. It's hard not to privilege songs and artists from your teen years, to listen to older music that holds the roots of your music without layering expectations over it. When I listen to the older tracks here, it's hard to keep out snappy three word descriptions of the artists that I've seen in reviews, impossible to come up with my own feelings about them. Skimming the tracklisting on the back of the CD sleeves (such a nifty design! you should buy this just for the library stamping motif), some tracks stand out as Important. The CD skip button is tempting- just jump to the ones I've heard of, listen to three minutes, and move on. I want to take all the sleeves and hide them away, then listen again with fresh ears, not knowing who is who, but I fear the damage has been done. The two earlier CDs are getting such a short shift from me- I'm warming up to them, but the feeling of being on an archaeological dig is throwing a dust of distance over the songs, keeping them from sounding as natural as the second half of the set.

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