Tuesday, March 27, 2007


While digging around one of our closets this evening, I happened upon a treasure trove of something that defies explanation, but certainly deserves one, though I have none. I felt like a paleontologist who found a dinosaur bone where one oughtn’t be. I found cassettes. Cassettes of music from another era. The Quartet gazed on in wonder at these little plastic rectangles with their thin ribbons of sound winding throughout. I found an actual Walkman, too, which was like a piece of iLuggage to these kids of the 21st Century. And they laughed, my did they laugh at their Daddy washing the dishes, dancing around the kitchen to "The One Thing" like it was 1982 again and I'd just finished watching KITT whip some ass on a brand new show called Knight Rider.

This post isn’t for grandparents, or my parents, or anyone born before that sweet spot of 1968-1972, which would have put you of age to listen to music, to really hear what it was all about, just as it was all going into the toilet. That’s right, I’m talking about 1981 and the birth of MTV. Now some of you will argue that the 70s and Disco was when it began going downhill, and to those people I say, “Get your own blog.” And in deference to my peers, I’m going to build this post in a way that makes it easier for us to digest, in the style of our cinema of quick takes, MTV jumps and our literature of sound bites, I’m going to make a list. This is a list of the cassette tapes I found in my closet. It’s partly for you to gaze on and, possibly, laugh at, but mostly for my attorneys to have a record of in years to come as they settle my estate. The Quartet will one day fight over these and I’m going to let them because I won’t be around at that point to hear any of it. But you can all have fun with that, too. So put on your acid washed jeans and Vans, gel up your hair on one side only, and take a walk down memory lane with me. I’m not saying I’m proud of any of it, but here it is, a slice of the 1980s – early 90s for you:

(List does not include mix tapes. Oh, the mix tapes I found.)

  • Matthew Sweet “Girlfriend”
  • Melissa Etheridge “Brave and Crazy”
  • U2 “The Unforgettable Fire”; “Wide Awake In America”
  • Sinead O’Connor “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got”
  • 10,000 Maniacs “The Wishing Chair”; “In My Tribe”; “Our Time In Eden”
  • INXS “Shabooh Shoobah”; “Listen Like Thieves”
  • Freedy Johnston “This Perfect World”
  • Paul Simon “Rhythm Of The Saints”
  • Arrested Development “3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days In The Life Of … “
  • Live “Throwing Copper”
  • The Black Crowes “Shake Your Money Maker”; “Southern Harmony And Musical Companion”
  • Various Artists “Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack ‘The Big Chill’”
  • Tracy Chapman “Tracy Chapman”
  • Judge Crater “Hope”; “ghost dance”
  • Camper Van Beethoven “Key Lime Pie”
  • Edie Brickell & New Bohemians “Shooting Rubber Bands At The Stars” ; “Picture Perfect Morning”
  • Lou Reed “New York”
  • Indigo Girls “Indigo Girls”; “Swamp Ophelia”
  • REM “Monster”
  • Gin Blossoms “New Miserable Experience”
  • Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet “The Juliet Letters”
  • Elvis Costello "The Best Of Elvis Costello"
  • Annie Lenox “Diva”
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “Into The Great Wide Open”
  • Tin Machine “Tin Machine”
  • Two Faces “Herve’s Fantasy Box”
  • Michael Penn “March”