It's one more random than 10!
Yesterday, I was humming along, listening to tunes while I was working (yes, actually working). I have all my music on an external hard drive because my old desktop hard drive isn’t quite big enough for it all. All of a sudden, the music stops, iTunes locks up, and the hard drive starts making a clicking noise.
Ruh-row. Houston, we have a problem.
I restarted and re-connected and ran diagnostics and swore oaths, all to no avail. My drive of less than a year appears to have bitten the digital bullet.
This is precisely why I will never fully embrace the digital age. I am definitely an electronics geek, and I love being able to have all my music on a device smaller than the calculators I used in high school science class. But still, it’s frightening how gigabytes of data can just go poof because Gigabyt, the Norse god of data storage, wakes up on the wrong side of Asgard one morning and takes it out on you. I want the soothing reassurance of having rows of CDs and books and game boxes on my shelves, knowing they are there for me if I have a digital meltdown.
I luckily have said music collection on my iPod, and most of the other stuff on the hard drive is on other hard drives or flash drives or CDs or those IBM data cards with the holes in them. I just hate the backup pyramid scheme we have to go through. I need to back up my hard drive and then back up that back up and before I know it, I’m in a hall of mirrors where I see myself stretching out in 20 directions toward infinity, not knowing which image is the original one.
So today’s list goes back to my pre-home office days of using my actual iPod instead iTunes to do the Random 11. Hopefully the iPod won’t go belly up before I can get a replacement hard drive and download the hack I need to move files from the iPod to said hard drive, because Apple omitted that convenient feature at the behest of the RIAA to combat piracy, which would be fine if we lived in the Unicornverse where everything was perfect and your hard drive never died a sudden, horrible death.
1) “More Than This,” Roxy Music. So 80s in its sound, yet it still sounds timeless because of Bryan Ferry’s voice.
2) “Oxford Comma,” Vampire Weekend. Features not only a grammatically themed title, it uses the word “diction” in the lyrics. This debut album was one of the best summer CDs I’ve bought in a while. I really like the video, very Wes Anderson.
3) “The Wizard,” Black Sabbath. VH1 Classic, my new go-to channel for all things music, ran a pretty entertaining series of documentaries on heavy metal called, of course, Heavy. The series showed Sabbath in their prime, including Ozzy being Ozzy. Watching that footage, it’s hard to believe that he went from singing about sorcerers and black magic and iron men to pitching cell phones for Samsung. That has to be weirder than some of the acid flashbacks he’s had.
4) “Lazy Susan,” Oakley Hall. I saw them open for Calexico a couple years ago, and they were just very unremarkable. They were enthusiastic, they put a lot of energy into their show, and they weren’t bad. It’s just that you could hear better versions of this heavy Americana music from a lot of other bands. It’s like the ingredients are there but something goes wrong in the baking.
5) “Go! Go! Go!” The Blasters. See, then you have a group like The Blasters. Their 80s take on rockabilly wasn’t that much different than the original rockabilly, but they managed to turn up the energy and tweak it just enough to be really good, even if it wasn’t very original. Such a fine line between stupid and clever.
6) “Mary Anne With the Shaky Hand,” The Who. Too much flower power for my taste here. It reminds me of “Listen to the Flower People.” And, of course, here I am ripping off two jokes from another movie to use as my own. Ah, hypocrisy. It’s a shame they can’t make a combustion engine that runs on that, because we could make a car that could drive to moon and back on one tank.
7) “2007, The Year Punk Broke (My Heart),” Los Campesinos! A recent Song of the Day entry at Three Bulls. A record that just oozes charisma, like that person in high school who was so nice and fun, she could navigate multiple cliques and be friends with various groups of people who would normally despise each other.
8) “Tenderness,” General Public. Speaking of high school...This was one of those songs I wouldn’t let myself like when I was a little metal head (see also: Duran, Duran) because, you know, I was 15 and a fucking idiot about not wanting to seem soft. But it’s truly a great single. It doesn’t have the timelessness of something like Roxy Music. Instead, it’s like a little gem locked in a time capsule, making you happy you found it because it’s truly of its time.
9) “Optimistic,” Radiohead. I like Kid A, the polarizing Radiohead album, a lot. It was the first album of theirs that I ever heard all the way through, and I loved it for being so cold and robotic—unusual for a man who hates Pink Floyd for the same reasons. Like I said, I’m a hypocrite. In fact, “Optimistic” is the least enjoyable song for me because it’s like Radiohead chickened out and threw in something that sounded like an Ok Computer b-side, so the fans wouldn’t completely flip out.
10) “Catch Me Now I’m Falling,” The Kinks. Old Kinks songs that talk about how fucked up things were in the late 70s really are perfect for our current economic climate. Which is unfortunate for us.
11) “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” Jay-Z. I can’t help but think of Chappelle’s Show because of a sketch where he keeps yelling for someone to “turn my headphones up” while recording his new rap song. This one still gets the booty muscles grooving, though.
Have a good weekend, and hug your digital media tonight, while you still can.