Wednesday, February 22, 2012
"The About Face" : A Mid-Week Reflection (Or Something)
I had a friend who teased me occasionally. It mostly had to do with my complete u-turns regarding records and artists. I could be an ardent non-supporter of Clammy & The Half-Shells for most of 1983, then one afternoon, after reading an article or having a discussion with a Clammy fan, I would suddenly hear the music in a different way and become a devotee. My friend would attempt a lame impersonation of me, saying things like, "You know, I was mowing my lawn, and putting a new door on the tool shed while listening to Vikki Carr's Tribute To Connie Stevens, and you know...it really is good!" It was funny...to a point.
Recently, thanks to reader Robin, I went from dismissing the new Paul McCartney record as nothing more than a rest stop, to placing it in heavy rotation, completely absorbed by his phrasing and the beauty of his falsetto. "Kisses On The Bottom" has become quite the record for me. It may not have, if Robin wasn't so passionate about it.
Yesterday I tossed off "Shackled & Drawn," the third track off of Bruce's upcoming release, calling it samey, or something like that. I didn't say I disliked it. I just found it less compelling than the rest of the record, and I blamed it on sequencing. Some friends who I respect, called "Shackled & Drawn" their favorite track on "Wrecking Ball." I decided to go back in and just listen to it, away from the rest of the album. It's a killer, alright!
My enthusiasm, whether for or against something, seems to either amuse people, which doesn't really amuse me, or piss people off. One afternoon, while minding the counter at my now defunct CD retail shop, a regular customer came in and asked me what I thought of the Costello/Bacharach CD. The memory is vivid, unfortunately. As I gushed about the song "God Give Me Strength," he gave me "the hand" and said, "Ok. Ok. Relax."
Boy, did I feel stupid. (I also secretly wished he'd grow a boil on his neck.)
Music isn't just music. It can't be.
If I can write something that enlightens, or simply helps someone hear something differently, I've been successful. I welcome any and all opinions, especially if they'd help foster further listening and appreciation of something I may be missing. I hope you feel the same.