12/11/07

Abandoning the Batcave gothic punk scene in 12 steps or less (for beginners)

I listened to way more fucked up music in high school than I do now. I had this English teacher, who in retrospect may have shaped my life more than any other person save one or two, and he would feed me this absurd stream of absurd music. Horrible, horrible music by nearly any measure. Just terrible. Bands called things like Throbbing Gristle. Killing Joke. He would tell me things like, "Bauhaus was better than The Cure." "Fear was better than the Sex Pistols."

Fear had songs called things like "New York's Alright if You Like Saxophones," with lyrics like, "New York's alright if you're a homosexual." Pretty great song, actually.

He convinced me -- to the point that I will never let go of this conviction -- that Alien Sex Fiend was one of the greatest things ever to happen, ever, to anything, of all time. The problem is, I fucking hate their music.

This irrational loyalty causes me to do things like buy used copies of their nearly unlistenable, stone cold classic album Acid Bath whenever I find them. They're always expensive. (You can still find sites online, made by similarly obsessive people, that say things like, "Alien Sex Fiend was one of the most important bands from the England's early-'80s Batcave gothic punk scene." That's a quote.)

So I found this kind of incredible blog that's glutted with the music that the 17 year-old me was rocking. And it's kind of freaking me out. I'm in a timewarp. Hundreds of albums by dozens of bands, shit I haven't listened to or even really thought about for over a half-decade, just sitting there in cyberspace, and the only problem is I can't listen to it all at the same time.

Well, two problems. I'll lose interest in all of it as soon as the thrill of rediscovery wears off. Which it will. In about twenty minutes.

But right now, I'm staring at this shit like a kid from Siberia at the '39 World's Fair, before he gets a stomach ache from the cotton candy coated funnel cones. Ooooh!

Every Legendary Pink Dots record. Ever.
Every Coil record. Ever.
Every Nomeansno record. Ever.
Every Revolting Cocks record. Ever.
Every Einst├╝rzende Neubauten record. Ever. And he even put the umlaut in there. This is a loving music fan.

It's almost making me feel bad. It's making me feel like a Lost Boy who came back, got old, and became a high-powered lawyer with a cellphone holster. You know what I'm talking about.

Not that I believe in authenticity or anything like it. That shit is so 80s. But that's what we're talking about! The 80s! All the music I listened to was from the 80s, because a guy who went to high school in the 80s was shoveling it into me. He would tell me stories on AIM -- we talked on AIM for like four hours a night, and you could probably argue that there was some kind of impropriety going on if you wanted to, you sick, sick bastard -- but he would tell me about dropping acid and driving around with his fraternity brothers, listening to Ministry on cassette and looking for people to beat up. About dropping too much acid at a Sonic Youth show and having to be escorted out because he vividly perceived himself to be part of the band, and couldn't figure out why he wasn't onstage. This was his life in graduate school

Last I talked to him, he had a new little baby. He named the kid Cole. Cole was in his cradle, because Cole, he was a new little baby.

Cole was fond of New York Hardcore. He would lay there and coo, listening to Agnostic Front. The Stormtroopers of Death. D.O.A. Millions of Dead Cops.

A baby!

And here I am, listening to Elvis Costello. Paul Simon. Steely Dan. STEELY MOTHERFUCKING DAN.

I'm such a sellout.

I'm so old.

This Current 93 record fucking sucks.

I'm going to go listen to "Rikki Don't Lose That Number." That song is awesome.

Getting old is awesome.

You'll learn, little Cole. You'll learn.

2 comments:

Dina said...

this is how i intend to influence my students. except instead of goth 80s music, i'd give them the eurythmics. oh wait, already did. a few of my kids went out and bought the 1984 album already. intertextuality rules! i'm guessing that by spring the acid stories will have come out, but we'll see.

D said...

You should probably only tell the ones you really trust about, you know, the Eurythmics. You never know how Annie Lennox might come back to haunt you.

All I ask is that you use at least a few of your powers for evil. There's enough good in this world.