I'm not sure when or why I became such a muscial snob. Now mind you, I've always been rather particular about the music I liked, but, I really have the feeling that I became a musical snob somewhere in the few years. All I know is that my CD buying habits have tailed off a bit since the mid-to-late 1990's, when a trip to my favorite CD purveyor would often involve spending $50-100 and arriving home with half a dozen or more new CDs.
I can think of a number of possible reasons. The self-aggrandizing reason would be that my tastes have simply become more refined. Another would be that my tastes are not reflected in the times (indeed this was one of my first topics in this diary). A third would involve the fact that I have other things (a fiancee, a life) that takes me away from listening to music as I once did. Ultimately though, I think that volume has to do with it somehow: I own upward of 500 CD's, of which around 100-150 are enjoyed with any regularity, and maybe that is enough for some corner of my unconscious mind.
I thought of all of this as I made my first CD purchases in a few months. I got Songs For The Deaf by Queens Of The Stone Age and Testimony by Dana Glover. The former has been on my wish list for over 6 months now, and something of a sure hit because of the involvement of Dave Grohl and Mark Lanegan in its creation. The Dana Glover CD was more of an impulse buy. I heard bits of it on a listening station, saw production credits by Matthew "Break My Stride" Wilder (a one hit wonder from the 80s) and Robbie Robertson, and hoped that it would add another woman singer/songwriter to my CD collection (I miss the Lilith Fair days, if only because I think the quality of female singer songwriters disappoints me less than their modern male counterparts).
Listening to Testimony on the way home got me thinking about the relative quantity and quality of the CDs I bought in the last year. A little research reveals the following list of CD purchases in the last 365 days:
Of these, I have to say that The Way It Is was the only disc that hasn't enjoyed some extended play in my CD player... but it was a nostalgia buy; the last time I listened to it, it was on a cassette tape. Up was perhaps the biggest disappointment. It is difficult for Peter Gabriel to produce material that is unappealing to my ears. Yet, I think he is an artist that labors best out of the limelight and So got him a certain amount of attention that has made him self-conscious ever since. The Rufus Wainright disc was the perhaps the most affecting for me out of the bunch; his reed-y tenor voice, complex melodies, and sometimes obscure lyrics were the most challenging to comprend and ultimately the most satisfying. That disc I think is the one out of the bunch that will probably stick with me the longest.
- Testimony by Dana Glover
- Songs For The Deaf by Queens Of The Stone Age
- The Way It Is by Bruce Hornsby & The Range
- (self-titled) by Rufus Wainwright
- Scarlett's Walk by Tori Amos
- Mama Said I'm Crazy by Mississippi Fred McDowell
- (self-titled) by Audioslave
- Sea Change by Beck
- A New Day At Midnight by David Gray
- Up by Peter Gabriel
- A Rush Of Blood To The Head by Coldplay
As for my new purchases, both seem to bear up well upon repeated play. The Queens of the Stone Age represent a certain hard rock-based sound that is decidedly lacking to my ears today. Dana Glover initially put me off; her dependence on gospel-type inflection can be a little distracting. Her history as a fashion model also suggested that she might be more of a media product than a geniune artist (the "model turned singer".) Closer examination of the liner notes showed that she wrote eight of the eleven tracks (many of them being my favorites on the disc) outright and co-wrote the rest. She also played piano on several tracks. There is some talent there, former modelling career or not.
on 2003-08-11 at 4:35 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond