Everybody has stuff hiding in their closets that’s super-embarrassing. Some people have teal prom dresses, or reams of dark poetry, or damning vacation photographs. I have a dress with a metallic purple astroturf collar. Maybe you have one too. We hide these things in the backs of our closets, cover them with baskets, crates, trombones, tarps, deceased vacuum cleaners, and shoes. Why are we so unwilling to discard them? On some level maybe we still do love them a little, or at least we love how we used to love them. Whatever it is, these shameful mementos can be hard to shed.
That’s the way it is with CDs. Almost everyone has CDs that cause them shame, whether it’s “Great Ladies of the Eighties” or Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love” single. Not that I own either one of those. But someone does. Maybe even someone here. The CDs you used to love are charged with memories, from the cover art to the liner notes, and you hold onto the CDs long after you ditch the guy, or the commute, or the apartment, or the stage in your life that made them awesome.
CDs, though, like books, don’t usually get thrown into the back of closets and covered discreetly in life’s detritus. They often live on shelves like these, proudly displaying to anyone who casually walks past that you used to like Sonic Youth a lot, or that you loved Pat Benatar at all.
What you see here is only part of our CD collection: his, mine, and ours. Dan still stands by all the choices he made in the 80s, whereas I am a little ashamed that the first CD I ever bought was the soundtrack from the movie “Singles.” As I was sorting it all out, every time I found one that made me say, “Is this YOURS?” he was able to blithely respond “Yeah, and?” But when I picked up that Ned’s Atomic Dustbin CD, I remembered buying it at Madhatter Music as a college student in Bowling Green. That’s the place I found Donovan on vinyl. That’s the place I found *gulp* Compton and Batteau. So, yeah. My laughter it’s turned to blue. Because that Compton and Batteau song? I still love it. GAH.
My purpose this week was to take all the CDs out of their cases, collect all the liners, alphebetize the CDs and put them into these organizing sleeve books that Dan bought years ago for this project.
I got mostly through it. More on that next week, if I live. Along the way, I found a lot of crazy shit in these dusty plastic piles. See, not only do I have Dan’s past (Queensryche) and my past (P.J. Harvey), but I also have a crapton of CDs that were sent to me to review when I was doing reviews for AP. Some of these were cool, like Hooverphonic, sent to me by the magazine as an assignment. I also got some good stuff from Magnetic Records, like Victor Krummenacher’s Great Laugh or Dave’s True Story.
I’ve got Alternative Press’ compilation “The First 100 Issues” that has The Cardigans’ “Love Fool,” but it also has Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci’s “If Fingers Were Xylophones.” Here’s a compilation from Plump Records: Howard Jones and Shawn Colvin are there, but joined by a band called Vitapup whose album was called “An Hour with Vitapup.” Wow, a whole hour? Here’s another weird-ass and unrecognizable compilation from RCA records. A compilation from Globe Records featuring a song called “First Bratwurst of Summer” by Those Darn Accordions.
I got a lot of compilations in the mail, but I also got individual releases. Here’s a band called Tricky Woo. The album cover features wide-eyed cartoon bears and is called “The Enemy is Real.” Neat. Because I love bears staring at me asserting how real they are.
Here’s a CD neither of us will claim: VH1 Divas Live. That must have been left behind by some houseguest. Right?
After almost no hesitation and certainly no grief, I have a pile of CDs here that I would like to give away. Here are a few titles:
Malvin & The Have-Nots “Save the Rainforest” Featuring Larry King. Wait. The Larry King? With the suspenders and the glasses? Yes, there he is on the album cover, shouting into a microphone. Don’t you kind of want to know what kind of album this could possibly be? Here’s the track list:
|1. Save the Rainforest|
|2. Happy Birthday|
|3. The Band Can’t Play|
|4. Picture Perfect|
|6. Hard Rock Cafe|
|7. Time Machine|
|8. Feliz Cumpleanos|
And according to amazon.com, Larry King actually sings with his real live voice on the first track. And apparently they do Happy Birthday twice — in English and Spanish! Guanabang? Is that like… hitting up bat turds? I could find out, if I opened the CD. But I won’t, because I want you to have that exquisite pleasure. People, you cannot get into this beauty unless you either drop $18 on amazon.com or do what I say right now. I will send this CD and several others of my choosing from this absolutely glorious stack of compilations and off the wall releases, to a random commenter on this post. Please post the most embarrassing CD you currently own. The randomizer will be my proud, unjudgmental husband, to whom I will read the titles only. If you are trying to win, make sure you link your name to something that can lead me to a way to contact you, if I don’t know you.
How’s your decluttering going? Anyone else willing to tackle their music collection? After I’m done with the CDs, dudes, I have an entire trunk full of cassettes and I’m not kidding. Many are from local bands or are live recordings I can never replace. Dare I just drag the whole thing out on the back porch and burn it? What would you do?