I’m rereading High Fidelity because it’s great, and because I just rewatched the movie–or, after three consecutive evenings of falling asleep at various key points, put together something like a viewing–and there is, surprisingly, nothing at all offensive about the way Nick Hornby’s books and the movies made from them coexist in my head.
Now, and because my New Car has a six CD changer in the dash, I am analyzing myself as an appreciator of music. Here’s what’s in my six CD changer, in order:
1. Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black
2. She & Him Volume 1 (it’s incredible how MySpace can make even famous people seem kinda’ normal!)
3. The Proclaimers, This is the Story
4. Robyn Hitchcock, I Often Dream of Trains
5. Joanna Newsom, The Milk-Eyed Mender
6. The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow Which is the only Shins Album I can’t seem to get enough of.
Reading High Fidelity makes me wonder the following things:
1. Would Rob, Dick & Barry approve of this selection?
2. Why would I give a shit if they did or didn’t?
3. Why is it that on this reading, I’m more focused on the music than the way in which the book seems to be Cliff’s notes for the (often) dysfunctional workings of the male brain?
4. Why don’t I have time for farting around with songs of my own anymore?
5. What’s with the English snobbery toward the word “horny” when they use words like “snog” and “shag” for adults-only activities?
I’ve also been thinking of the ways in which my music taste has calmed down a bit over the years. I was, in my (much) younger incarnation, one of those obnoxious people who considered themselves “punk” about 10 years after anybody was authentically punk. By the time my posturing occurred, everything about punk had watered down a bit. Though I will say, in my own defense, and maybe even to my credit, that I was aware of all of that, even then, and I did try VERY HARD, which now seems far less admirable than it did then, but isn’t it true what they say about hindsight?
In some ways, what I like now is (appallingly and startlingly) like what I listened to before I could choose, my mom’s music: ’80s radio country, and the AM station 960 which was then “The greatest hits of the forties, fifties and sixties!” She also likes and liked The Carpenters, Barry Manilow (gasp!), and Neil Sedaka.
I do still listen to Led Zeppelin’s IV from time to time as well as Green Day’s Kerplunk and The Violent Femmes, which are still far less hardcore than the music I convinced myself I liked 12-15 years ago.
There are some living affections for me, best among them They Might Be Giants.
Where do I find the time to read?
In the time during which I am not doing things I should be doing, like now, when I should be cleaning, washing bed linens, working on a pasta salad, etc.