Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More People Dying

"Couldn't You Wait" was a song by Silkworm that was on some old Matador Records sampler ("What's Up Matador"*, I just pulled my copy off of my shelf- it's missing the first disc, the one with the song on it, dammit) I picked up for a few dollars at a used record store in Bloomington, Indiana, when my brother and sister were at IU (not the good used record store, the really, really shitty one). The spring break before I went to RISD and then to New York, I spent a few days in Bloomington sleeping on their couch and wandering around the crappy college shops, buying a pair of old Wranglers at a thrift store (I later ended up working, in Louisville and for a short period of time, for the woman who at that point was managing said thrift store, which I think was over a place that produced truly awful burritos). Anyway, I brought "Couldn't You Wait" with me to Rhode Island and listened to it over and over again, eventually ordering their out-of-print album "Firewater" off of eBay and putting the song on every mix CD I made that summer. But Firewater never caught my ear the way that "Couldn't You Wait" did, and when my computer crashed and I lost all of my music, I basically forgot about them.
But tonight! I got linked to MINMAE, a pretty cool Portland band whose sound reminded me a lot of that one song, on that one compilation, and so I decided to check in to see how they were doing.
Of course, they've been doing tragically. Michael Dahlquist, one of the members of the band, was killed with two other friends and musicians when a 23-year old attempted to kill herself by crashing her car into theirs, succeeding only in killing everyone in the other car. Obviously, I have no connection with anyone involved in this, and it happened in 2005 (I came as soon as I heard what happened all those years ago!), but this sort of thing always makes me want to lie down and weep. I'm reripping my copy of "Firewater" right now.
I'm alright, in Kentucky. Dealing with family stuff, buying a banjo, sleeping a lot. Driving around, because I don't really know if I'll be seeing anyone this break. Bought the new Joe Manning EP (my friends Busse, Molly and I are 3 of the top 5 "Joe Manning" listeners on, which has but two songs that aren't on his Myspace page, but whatever. Always a joy to support Joe Manning. Watched the '74 Great Gatsby film with my mom, was startled by how by the book it is. In any case, go to the Minmae mp3 page and get you some musics.
Oh! One more thing- drove out Dixie Highway today to look at some banjos, was once again terrified and confused by the place I live in. Man, how can a concrete statuary place sell pickaninny statues in neighborhoods with black people living in them? Drove by a Mr. Gatti's pizza place with Bible trivia questions on the outside board. Also, I realized why February in Kentucky is sort of depressing, although not like Montreal- because we're in a valley, clouds just congregate overhead, so it's just grey all winter. Cold as it is in New York and Montreal, clear, sunny (and even colder!) days are pretty common. Here, the sky is a bruise for months.
Kristin grabbed me an advance reader's copy of Chip Kidd's "The Learners", the sequel to "The Cheese Monkeys", the book which made me want to be a graphic designer and thus started me down the road to ruin. When Kidd was signing my copy of his monograph of work, I told him this, and he asked how it was going; after I told him that I dropped out of Parsons and was inbetween schools, he sighed and suggested that "drinking helps." But, yes, the Learners is really good. I've been sort of embarrassed by my adolescent "Cheese Monkeys" obsession, but it's just written so damn well.
Reminder to self- buy Half Japanese album, write post talking about being in New York. Start writing posts again.

*Here's a fun exercise- what are the compilations that have really altered your listening tastes? Looking through the liner booklet here, I see that this is where I found out about Helium ("Pat's Trick" is on here, which I later got on "The Dirt of Luck"), Bettie Serveert ("Tomboy"), Cat Power ("Nude as the News")and several bands where I'm not sure if I was listening to them yet (I think I bought the Yo La Tengo "Night Falls in Hoboken" album a few years before?), as well as bands that I should have been listening to (how was I not immediately struck by Guided by Voices? I had them IN MY HANDS!). I'm also not sure whether I enjoyed the song by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, but I liked their name so much it became lodged in my brainfruits for years hence.
Maybe next week I'll do the Chickfactor "All's Fair in Love and Chickfactor" compilation, bought in Chicago along with a used copy of that Belle & Sebastian box of EPs (before they were all rereleased in that Barman thing) a few hours before a Badly Drawn Boy show.

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