February 22, 2007

Inquiring Ears. And Minds, Too

When I was putting Monday's post together about music, I got decided to take a look at some of the really tragic additions I've made to my music collection over the years. You know, the kinds of things about which Mia, one day when she's made her way to my music room and browsed the CDs, will say what the hell were you thinking when you bought this, dad? For many of those things, I won't have a very good answer.

I mean, how, exactly, do you explain Nelson, blond twins with no appreciable talent? Or the presence of a band named It Bites (and, quite honestly, it does despite the talent of lead singer and guitarist Francis Dunnery who went on to record many brilliant and under-appreciated albums). I can explain Iron Butterfly - it's not a great album but everyone should own the epic track In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida but I'm afraid I'll never quite be able to fully convince anyone that I really did buy the 1960's William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy albums so I could laugh at them.

I'm a sucker for 80's tunage so I will defend owning music by Huey Lewis, The Thompson Twins, Tears for Fears, Men both Without Hats and At Work, to the death. But I'm afraid I'm going to have to own up to the fact that I have some pretty bad b-list hair metal you've probably never heard of - Banglore Choir, Tuff, Arcade and, my favorite, Rhino Bucket, anyone?

Then there are some I should have known were bad based on the name alone (like It Bites). Take Spade Ghetto Destruction, Melting Euphoria, Elephant Ride, Bad 4 Good or Moist, for instance. Do any of those scream buy me, I really don't suck? Nope.

Anyway, if you're at all curious what I own, I've taken a little time to list all the artists in my collection. Check them out for yourself. All 1,372 of them.

Now, on with answers to your questions...

(Brad) I'd like to know how long you've played guitar, what songs you have mastered (I dont care if it's mary had a little lamb, I'm just curious), and how often you get to play these days.
I started playing the guitar when I was around twelve. I've been playing almost two-thirds of my life. You'd think I'd be better ;-) I tend not to be a good rhythm player and I remember about five chords. Therefore, I can probably count the number of songs I can play all the way through on one hand. Most of them are Pink Floyd. I'm more of a soloist, I guess.

(Lori) I still want to know what was in the "brown paper wrapped package" that Beth brought home for Valentine's Day. ;-)
Peeps. Strawberry heart Peeps. Porn or marshmallowey goodness? It's a tossup.

(Judy) Keeping with yesterday's music theme, is there one song that you associate with Mia? What about Beth, do you two have an "our song"?
Most likely Man of Golden Words by Mother Love Bone. Seriously, I used a couple lines to pick her up one night. They seem to have worked.

(Judy) Keeping with yesterday's music theme, is there one song that you associate with Mia? What about Beth, do you two have an "our song"?
We danced to Louis Armstrong at our wedding and grooved to many songs before and since. But I'm not sure I'd be able to nail down one single "our song". As for Mia, well, I'm not sure about that either. We listen to lots of music. If I had to choose one song, I'd say >o>Wind At My Back" by Spock's Beard. I used it when I posted pictures of her soon after she was born. It has some beautiful words that very much fit with what I felt then and still feel now, as her father.

(smoness) If Mia's very life depended on you permanently giving up one of two things: your books or your CDs/MP3s, which would you toss? Por Que?
You are evil. Pure evil. I can make arguments for or against either. I think I just better stop thinking about it before my head explodes. I'll have to get back to you on that.

(ProudMary) What is your favorite book series of all time?
As a kid, either the Narnia or Oz series. As an older kid, young adult, Asimov's Foundation series...except the entire cycle from I Robot through Foundation and Earth.

(Linda) Do you still have the bottlecap that Beth told you to keep forever?
No. Shhh, I lost it. One sad day, everything fell out of my pocket and became lost forever. If you see an old, shiny Foster's bottle cap with a hole through the middle, let me knwo.

(Kate the Shrew) If money were no object, what job would you most want? Would you be a rock star, or is there something else you'd like to do?
I wouldn't want to be a rock star. All that touring and high expectations and playing the same thing night after night. As I mentioned yesterday, I think I'd just own a bookstore, hang out with my family and be a professional dad.

(Trix) Do you have a favorite word? If so, what is it?
Fuck. It's a fucking great word and you can fucking use it in so many great fucking ways.

(Issa) Who's your favorite Muppet and why? Did you know that Disney bought the Muppets when Jim Henson died?
I did know that. Disney is perpetually after anything it can absorb. I'm pretty sure they'll make an offer on my spleen when I die. I hate to sound cliche but I'm a Kermit fan, myself.

(wordgirl) If you could bring back a toy/book/item/game from your distant childhood/adolescence that is no longer around, what would it be?
What's old is new, as they say. There's not a whole lot from my childhood that doesn't exist now. Can I have my sense of childlike wonder back? Or maybe the innocence of childhood or the view of the world that was limited to neighborhood fences? No? Then I have no idea. I was a big fan of Legos, Lincoln Logs, Lite Brite, and ViewMasters. I loved, as I mentioned, the things that came out of the minds of Frank Baum and C.S. Lewis. Luckily for all of us, those things are still around.

(Jodi) Can you find me a place to live? Must take cats. And be in canada.
I'm afraid I'm not going to be of much help. I don't even speak Canadian.

(Jaycie) Do you have any Lucinda Williams in your vast CD collection?
I do not. Her latest just got great reviews. I might have to check it out.

(Beth in STL) If you were trapped on a desert island, what 5 things would you bring with you, and why?
Is it a cop-out if I say something like a boat, an endless supply of water and a transport device like they had in Star Trek? Throw in a guitar and the contents of any local library and I'm set. Hell, at that point, I might not even use the transporter ;-)

(Sunshine) Hilary Clinton or Barrack Obama?
Honestly? Neither. I'm not a Hillary fan and I don't think Obama has the experience. I don't believe either are electable. Personally, I want Gore to run again. I think he could win and I think he's a good guy who'd make a good president.

(Jeff A) What the heck is on your hat in your about photo?
It's a big "W" but it stands for the Washington Nationals. Not the president.

(Dee) So, why did you start blogging?
I stumbled on a few blogs over three years ago and was intrigued. I decided to give it a shot. With my self-discipline, I figured it would last about two weeks. Surprise! I was wrong!

(Sarah) What is the worst movie you have ever seen in it's entirety?
Oh dear lord, there are so many. I love crappy old sci-fi movies - Plan 9 From Outer Space, Teenagers from Space, The Headless Mutant from Planet Gorgonzola (okay, so, that last one isn't real) - so I've sat through some real crap. I'm also one of the few people on the planet who actually sat through and enjoyed both Ishtar and Eyes Wide Shut. Both horrible yet amusing. Then there's Dangerous Liaisons which was a total piece of crap that everyone else seems to love, including my wife, who will punch me for saying this.

(Heather) What's a deep dark secret that you have yet to share with us, your devoted readers?
The thing with which I've had to wrestle the most is the fact that I consider myself a slacker yet I'm insanely tough on myself and have standards almost impossible to meet. I realize that's not quite what you were going for but it's probably the single-most insightful thing I've come to realize in a long, long time.

(MadMom) why are there never enough red Skittles in a bag of Skittles?
It's those damn social conservatives on the other side of the aisle who don't want to let anyone have any fun.

(mamatulip) What's the best live concert you've ever been to?

(Kimblahg) What is a haberdasher? Is it something to do with hats? Were you really one?
A haberdasher is someone who makes and fits hats. And yes, I really was one.

(Diane) What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
Probably that I'm pretty much a shy, introverted kinda guy in spite of the way I act tough here. Maybe that's not a huge revelation but I think it's often in stark contrast to the way I'm probably perceived.

(Stephanie) Ever been to Seattle? If not, do you ever want to go?
I've never been...and I've always felt like I'm a Seattle kinda guy. I would definitely like to go sometime.

(Haley-O) when are you and Beth and Mia going to get a cat again? You're cat people! you need a cat!
Yes! We have a couple trips to make in the near future and, after that, I think we'll seriously consider it.

(Averil) I like ham. Do you like ham too?
Being a vegetarian, I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan.

Posted by Chris at February 22, 2007 7:24 AM

You may own a Nelson CD, but I actually saw them in concert :-) Kentucky State Fair, 1991 (or was it 1990?).

Posted by: Alissa at February 22, 2007 7:48 AM

Well, now, I thought all straight men liked Dangerous Liaisons because of the nude and nubile young Uma Thurman. I like it because of the meanness and the fiendish Malkovich. And the Frenchness.

Posted by: Nicole at February 22, 2007 8:00 AM

I have only been playing guitar about 2 years and I think I may be better than you. Hey, don't steal my glory by disagreeing. It's making me feel better right now.

Posted by: August Goddess at February 22, 2007 8:07 AM

So...what is it? What's the best live concert? I don't see an answer. LOL!

Posted by: mamatulip at February 22, 2007 8:07 AM

And wow, that's quite an impressive music catalouge.

Posted by: mamatulip at February 22, 2007 8:08 AM

I'm emailing you a couple songs...artists who 1) I'm surprised you don't have and 2) think you will like based on others you do have.

Posted by: fauve at February 22, 2007 8:36 AM

Actally a haberdasher is one who deals in men's goods- suits, gloves, hats etc, the whole shebang.... a milliner is one who makes and fits hats. All this time I invisioned you dangling a tape measure down the inseams of strange men when you were actually measuring the circumference of their heads! quite a visual difference, don't ya think!!

Posted by: Lana at February 22, 2007 8:48 AM

What, no Wesley Willis? Man, no collection is all that bad unless it's got a copy of "I Wupped Batman's Ass"... even with Nelson in it. :)

Posted by: martin at February 22, 2007 9:23 AM

You didn't answer Mama Tulip's concert question. I'm interested to know.

And in the interest of full disclosure, in my own musical closet there may be an Air Supply CD and a Barry Manilow.

Posted by: TB at February 22, 2007 9:45 AM

Yikes, I have Nelson as well.

Posted by: Hygiene Dad at February 22, 2007 10:09 AM

So, how's that Augustana CD? I'm considering the purchase, but I want a personal review first.

And no Mat Kearney?

Posted by: coolchick at February 22, 2007 10:11 AM

the naked uma wasn't enough to bring you over to the dangerous liasons love, huh? hmmm... It didn't work on my boy either. Me, I'm all about the Malkovician malevolence.

And also, I think you are one of the few people in the world to have more cds than me. and I worked at HMV for years, I have a lot of cds...

Posted by: suze at February 22, 2007 10:26 AM

haha Tuff and Arcade! I have them too. and Bullet Boys, Jackyl, Bang Tango....and many more. but my vast collection of Maiden, ac/dc, sabbath, metallica, megadeth and other worthy metal negates it! haha! oh and I love 80's music. love men at work. oh and duran duran. so much to love!

Posted by: mad mom at February 22, 2007 10:59 AM

Who could forget Tuff?!

Posted by: laura at February 22, 2007 11:04 AM

I'm with you on Gore - if he runs I can actually vote my conscience. The latest rumor is that he might declare in September. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Also, people shouldn't mock Huey Lewis. His album "Fore!" was one of the first tapes I ever owned, and so I will throw down to defend him. Plus, he's like the Michael J. Fox of music - he just seems so darn likeable.

Posted by: erin at February 22, 2007 11:24 AM

I like Gore too. If it hadn't been for Florida and the Supremes, we'd be living in quite a different world these days.

That being said, I'll vote for whoever finally gets the nomination although I may be holding my nose at the time. Anyone would beat the alternative.

Posted by: ann adams at February 22, 2007 11:32 AM

Oh good, now I know where I can get a copy of "Bang Go the Bells".

Posted by: Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah at February 22, 2007 11:45 AM

That list made me hyperventilate... had to look away.

Posted by: Elaine at February 22, 2007 11:46 AM

I saw Nelson in concert. THREE YEARS AGO. With Styx. And Peter Frampton.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at February 22, 2007 11:56 AM

It's never to late to ask a question is it?

Did you guys every decide where to take your free trip?

Posted by: alfredsmom at February 22, 2007 12:33 PM

Of course I would visit you anyway, but did you purposefully change your settings so that your full posts wouldn't show up in a feed reader? I just noticed that this morning.

Posted by: Zandria at February 22, 2007 12:35 PM

I met Gore once. He's just as nice as he seems, and actually has a really good sense of humor. -- Cool guy, I'd TOTALLY vote for him; and wish he'd run again, too.

And I didn't mean to stress you out, so...
I'd hate for your head to explode -- that would pretty much do away with "put stuff on your head day," huh?

Posted by: smoness at February 22, 2007 12:50 PM

Ok.. I have Car wheels on a gravel road by Lucinda Williams... She's definately different...

And hey, just cause I can plug my brother's band 2 times in one week... where's the MNDWRX on that list?

And if you want to hear someone play some awesome guitar... Rodrigo y Gabriela. They are pretty incredible.

Posted by: Karen at February 22, 2007 1:08 PM

Dude, I have so much more respect for you after reading through that list. ;-)

I did have to play "Black Out in the Red Room" after seeing Love/Hate in there!

Posted by: Jeff A at February 22, 2007 1:48 PM

Your deep, dark secret? Also mine.

Posted by: sandra at February 22, 2007 2:49 PM

Awesome answers in general. But, I'm a Kermie fan too, so you are not alone.

Posted by: Melissa at February 22, 2007 3:17 PM

I too will forcefully defend any 80s music. What I'm more frightened and ashamed of is the early 90s sexy-rap I listened to. Keith Sweat? Hi, I'm Stacy Perspiration! Tevin Campbell, "I Wanna Lick You Up and Down," "Freak Me Baby." The hell? That's just gross. Also, I had every single House Party soundtrack. Oh, yes, there were more than one.

*hanging head in shame*

I do have fond memories of Bell Biv "Never trust a big butt and smile" Devoe, though.

Posted by: Jurgen Nation at February 22, 2007 6:58 PM

Yep, you copped-out on my question. Try to do better next time. ;)

Posted by: Beth in StL at February 22, 2007 7:10 PM

Well, at least getting a cat's still in the running. Think of all the great pictures you could take!

Posted by: Haley-O at February 22, 2007 7:48 PM

Hey.. Nelson was one fo my very first concerts. I'll admit I was like 13 at the time.... hmmm come to think of it, I wasn't the cool kids in school. Nelson = Nerd???

Posted by: ::c:: at February 22, 2007 8:19 PM

I had you pegged as somebody that would like Seattle. I don't know why! Maybe all the talk about coffee?

Posted by: Stephanie at February 22, 2007 9:51 PM

Actually, my husband definitely owns that Shatner record, and possibly the Leonard Nemoy one -- also bougth for humor. When we were first dating he made me listen to William Shatner's Mr. Tambourine Man because he thought it was so hysterical. It is pretty funny.

If money were no object, I think I'd like to own a bookstore and hang around with the people I love too.

Posted by: bad penguin at February 23, 2007 10:12 AM

I've long dreamed that you would post such a list. Glad to see a lot of my relatively obscure faves (Dar Williams, Matt Nathanson) on there!

Posted by: Vaguely Urban at February 26, 2007 1:55 AM