Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Vastness of Song

While listening to my entire Pavement collection with the iPod set on shuffle, I realized that there were possibly just as many songs my favorite band recorded that I didn't know as songs I did. How could this be? Sure, I caught on to the band late (1993), but I was still able to be around for most of their best material and several shows. Besides the albums, I have accumulated all the EP's and deluxe versions of their LP's.

It seems that I let a few bootlegs and b-sides slip by over the years. Also, my neglect of one release (Westing by Musket &Sextet...) allowed several throw-aways and gems to avoid my notice. The band's catalog extends way beyond their albums and "hits".

This is true for a lot of bands. They have songs waiting in the wings or songs they've recorded, never to have produced a finished product. Bands throw extra songs on the b-sides of singles or as bonus material for overseas releases. It's really hard to keep up.

The funny thing is that this endless supply of songs is one of the things that keeps my attention. I want to find those hidden treasures. I like that there are three or four versions of "Here" out there. I also like that the vastness of songs allows for someone like Bob Pollard to write as many songs as he does without repeating lyrics, melodies, etc. (Of course, this doesn't account for why he sometimes would play a song twice in a set.)

The other thing the never-ending possibilities for songs provide me is that two people of somewhat equal intelligence, can have completely different opinions on music. Take my friend Chad and me for instance. We both follow and listen to a lot of very similar music. Gentlemen by the Afghan Whigs is a regular point of reference for us and we often are at the same shows (recently Spoon, The Walkmen, New Pornos, Wilco, etc.). So, we're not too far off. For the most part, I can't remember half of the other stuff he talks about, mostly because I'm not interested. However, when I've proclaimed my love for bands like a Joan of Arc, he shutters at the thought. We actually find bands all the time on which we have completely different takes.

Thankfully, music provides infinite possibilities that so many things in our lives do not. I look forward to the next Wolf Parade record or the next band to receive preferred status on Pitchfork or the next opener that blows me away. That's why I write so much about music. It's an unending source of material just waiting for my praise or criticism.


In other Misery news...

Our great state legislature passed a bill declaring the ice cream cone as the official dessert of Misery. Just the cone? No ice cream? I'm confused.


ATR said...

I kid you not, sir, but the ice cream cone, disputably, was introduced to the world at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. This explains why the cone is honored while the ice cream is not.

However, the real question is not: why spend time and effort on such a bill when more pressing matters are at hand? The question should be: what took so damn long?

And make mine a butter pecan, please!

Good day!

comoprozac said...

I say gooooood day suh!

I knew that about the cone. I did teach fourth grade in this state. It's just that the cone itself is not a dessert. You have to have some sweet, frozen cream on that cone.