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A Month Later

October 6 2005 04:54 PM ET (Permalink) (Comment)

I've got to at least keep this thing updated monthly. Well, okay, I don't, but I'd like to.

Had an interesting music store moment today. While driving around this afternoon, I decided to stop at a couple of places to see if I could find an old (cheap) Fixx compilation. (I failed.) But one of the places I stopped was the Circuit City where I'd recently seen an import copy of Origin of Symmetry (their second album, which wasn't released in the States) for $16.99. I passed on it then, as it seemed pricey. When I later investigated how much it would cost to import from the UK, I discovered it would be about the same, which led me to reconsider.

When I hit the Muse section, I found Origin of Symmetry and was stunned to find it with a $12.99 sticker price. A sale? I flipped it over, and was shocked to see "Made in U.S.A." on the back cover. It turns out that Warner finally decided to release the thing (with an unintentionally amusing sticker that reads "Features 'New Born', 'Bliss', and 'Plug-In Baby' as heard on tour", which I read as: "since we were to chicken-sh*t to release the thing in 2001").

My only question: why didn't they release the thing when the band was actually on tour here? It seems like they'd have sold many more copies. This is probably just a catalog release - none of the songs are getting airplay, I assume to avoid confusing the masses should their next album come out next year.

On initial spins, I like it, but the Glastonbury performance of "Bliss" stomps all over the album version.

I went on a trip to Orlando for an Ultimate tournament last weekend. Before I left, I thought about taking some kind of music compilation(s) for the drive down, but didn't have time to make more than one. So I decided to revisit the tapes of my old radio show from college.

During the fall semester of 1994, I had the 5:00am-8:00am Friday radio shift at my college station. Yeah, you read that right. I was offered the slot the week before classes started, and, somewhat bizarrely, agreed to take it.

I basically used the show to make my own personal compilations. This was my Napster for 1994 - play the songs I wanted to have copies of, then record the shows, and voila. I recorded each show (with one exception, when I mis-set the timer) to my hi-fi stereo vcr in my dorm room. In the pre-computer "I'm too cheap to buy a DAT deck" days, a hi-fi stereo vcr could give you virtually CD-quality recordings; at the very least, it would yield far better quality than conventional cassettes. That each tape could hold two entire three-hour shows unedited was a bonus. After a shift, I then copied the tape to regular cassettes and spun them in the car.

For last week's trip, I ended up duping a show and a half to CDs, and was pleasantly surprised that I still enjoyed most of the material. My show tended to lean on "classic alternative" with the occasional grunge/industrial edge, so it's not far from what I still enjoy. Some people tend to grow out of the music they listened to in high school and college, but, for whatever reason, that hasn't yet happened to me.

The funny thing was that we ended up renting a car for the trip, which came with XM radio. I figured my discs would stay in my pack and only get listened to in the hotel. That was, until we got an hour or two down the road and realized just how out-there XM's music selections can be. I was hoping to have a channel that we could leave it on for most of the trip, but the music kept floating all over the map. Changing stations on a regular basis is a pain in the ass if you're driving, and even worse if one person basically has to gauge the station change for the four people in the car. (XM radio seems most handy for the solo traveller.) When it was my turn to drive, I finally stuck in the radio show discs, and it seemed like the folks in the car enjoyed them more than the XM radio.

At least, definitely more than the $2 sandwich I bought at a Racetrak outside Daytona Beach. If I'd only known our trip only had another forty miles, I'd have waited. Ugh. I'm never doing that again.

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