Monday, August 10, 2009

So, I've been taking this quiz (cataloging, which a lot harder than I ever would've expected to be) on and off all day, and while I'm doing this I'm going through these big stacks of blank or unidentifiable CDs that I have. They go back at least 10 years, which means that they go back almost as long as I've had access to a CD burner. 1998? It was something like that. Anyway, It was such a revelation at the time, and years of crafting and shaping these mix tapes, I was blessed with the ability to make a mix in 5 minutes to last me exactly one walk to work. Thinking about it now, it's the first time I really could just dump a bunch of songs somewhere for later listening. I mean, I could do it with tapes, but it never really made sense, because two weeks later, I'm driving around listening to the damned thing and hating every other song, but still forced to listen to it because I didn't have a CD player in the accord.

But suddenly, I could go to the computer lab at Pitt, download 20 songs right there, browse Addicted to Noise* while I slap 'em on a CD, and then I'm walking out the door listening to them ten minutes later. The problem is that the files would never be labeled well, and I'd have no idea what I was listening to most of the time. This was also at a time, mind you, when the internet was a lot less slick than it is now. Even looking at the ATN sheets linked above I sorta cringed without even realizing. Like watching old basketball or football footage and when they flash the score at the bottom of the screen, you think "how did those neanderthals ever get by without graphics of little animated players or robots to deliver the score?". And then you realize that you were 15 when that game took place and you realized that yes, things do move by that fast sometimes. But I digress. Where was I?

Oh, the CDs. Yeah, they're mostly these last-minute collections of unlabeled songs, sometimes half a CD by one artist, and the rest of the disc crammed with whatever else I could find at the time. There was so much flotsam on the internet then for me. I wasn't thinking about discovering new bands through the internet just yet (and to be fair I'm not sure I was alone there), but I would exhaust every band I'd ever loved up until then looking for rarities and b-sides and the like. One year I think I made 50 CDs that had A) Beck covering a Rolling Stones song, B) something from the Matador website, or C) Ween's "Booze Me Up of Get Me High". What a weird time.

Anyway, I'd make them at work. I'd make them in the library. I'd make them for a drive just up to Wawa. and I rarely throw them out, because I forget if there's anything I want on them. I can also pretty much narrow them down to what year I made them, because for some reason there's been a pattern to what brand/type of CD I've used changing every year since 2000.

and it's nice. it's filling in these little blanks and forcing me to look up songs by googling the lyrics (yes, while I'm taking this quiz. Smart, right?), songs I would've never thought to revisit on my own. As I write this, I'm listening to what I'm pretty sure is a New Order cover (and an awful one at that) from somewhere around 2001. Then it'll go into Bob James and then something that I think is the Karl Hendricks Trio (who are still together!?) , but I can't be certain. It's like these little, clumsily-arranged time capsules left for myself.

What I should do, is arrange a CD of my favorite songs of the year, not label any of them, and then listen to it 10 years later and see how many I know right away. Hell, I guess I already am.

so that's what I'm up to. I've been writing so much about the internet lately for two of my classes that I'm sorta shocked my mind went here on it's own. Two themes for my online class discussions this week: The first was more or less the internet will destroy us all, once it's plugged into OUR BRAINS (trust me, I've seen a lot of movies). The second, and I'm quoting, was "The Library of Congress: Kinda racist, right?" Both were a little ridiculous, but both of them have spawned some interesting conversation, and that was the point, right?

anyway, I'm going to turn this devil box off and go watch some old-fashioned television. Now playing that Grand Funk Railroad song that Chief Xcel sampled for that song on Soleside's Greatest Bumps.

Have a wonderful week, everyone.

*holy shit, look at that list of artists! Ani DiFranco + Turntablism!!

Little known fact: Option Magazine had Thurston Moore on the cover of every single issue they printed in that 5 or 6 years.


Nelson_M said...

you should check out 60 minutes from last night - they hooked a computer directly into the brain of a stoke victim who was totally paralyzed and couldn't speak but had a totally good brain. she was able to use a computer and move her wheel chair just by thinking about it... the future is now... crazy.

clickie said...

Have you seen Tunatic? I find it's pretty amazing for identifying mystery music.