The Sound of the Crowd

A good man in a bad time

Got this music meme from Bill Sherman’s blog, heads up James Mann, I’m tossing it to you next:

Of all the bands/artists in your CD/record collection, which one do you own the most albums by?

Prepare yourselves for a shock–it’s Pet Shop Boys. Counting discs and tapes, I have 21, though there is some duplication–I had their singles collection on casette for years before Moya gave me her spare CD.

What was the last song you listened to?

“Fruit Tree,” Nick Drake

What’s in your CD player right now?

Drake’s Way To Blue, the demo version of The Human League’s “Secrets,” (which I am sworn to secrecy about how I got), the Mary Had A Little Amp compilation.

What song would you say sums you up?

Oh, lord…“You Might,” Nik Kershaw. This morning anyway.

What’s your favorite local band?

Well, they don’t exist anymore but for a time it was the Cinematics. Since they’ve disbanded some of ‘em have formed Pleasurecraft-but it’s just not the same…

What was the last show you attended?

Good lord–is it sad that I almost don’t remember? I think it was either Violet Indiana or Michael Wolff

What artist do you consider to be very underrated?

Lots of old new wave bands, of course, including Thompson Twins (who are underrated not just by the general public but by themselves). Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo never seem to have gotten the respect I think they deserved. His work with them was so much better than most of his film composing, IMO. I would have said Bobby Darin until all the recent film-hype. Big Audio Dynamite, Erasure at their peak, the Go-Go’s.

BTW, as a side note, I’m guessing Jane Weidlin really must not have invested her money all that wisely. Not only did she make the dubious decision to go on The Surreal Life, but “Our Lips Are Sealed” is now an Old Navy commercial.

But if we’re talking about bands that are currently active (though the Go-Go’s kind of are), My Favorite.

What’s the shittiest band you’ve ever seen in concert?

I forget the names, but it’s one of two I saw open for Kirsty MacColl on different occasions. One was a cliched skinhead Billy Bragg wannabe folksinging tough, lots of manfully strummed acoustic guitar and songs that all seemed to resolve into cries of “Woah-wooooah…England!” The other was a band that tried to sing Beatles-like harmony without any apparent gift for same.

What band do you love musically but hate the members of?

It’s not a band, but I’ve read enough about Frank Sinatra over the years to think that we might have rubbed each other the wrong way in a social situation. Fortunately, this isn’t likely to become a problem any time in the near future, and you still can’t go wrong listening to just about anything he sang.

What is the most musically involved you have ever been?

It’s these recent years when I’ve been writing for Ink 19, PopMatters and etc (a cycle which, by the way, I think is coming to an end). Either that or the late ’80s/early ’90s when I was tapping out songs on my little Yamaha keyboard and home four-track, depending on how you look at it.

What show are you looking forward to?

None at the moment.

What is your favorite band shirt?

Pop Will Eat Itself T-shirt bearing the legend, “Sample it, loop it, fuck it, eat it and spit it out.” My Catholic-schoolgirl ex-girlfriend liked it too. Either that or the Michael Wolff shirt simply with the words “Impure Thoughts” on center of the chest.

What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?

It’s a good question…dunno really. Joe Jackson, I suppose, though it might be awkward if he’d read my review of Night & Day 2. Of course, Kirsty MacColl, if only that were possible.

Metal question – Jeans and Leather vs. Cracker Jack clothes?

I’m not what you call a metalhead (with the noble exception of liking some Anthrax), so I don’t know what “Cracker Jack clothes” means in this context.

Sabbath or solo Ozzy?

Sabbath, but, again…

Commodores or solo Lionel Ritchie?

I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that it may tend to incriminate me.

Blackjack or solo Michael Bolton?

Couldn’t I just choose between Virgina Madsen and Anne Hathaway instead?

The Eagles or solo Don Henley?

Don Henley, especially the first two albums.

The Police or solo Sting?

It’s a photo-finish, with solo Sting breaking the tape by a nose.

Doesn’t emo suck?

Probably. What is it?

Name 4 flawless albums.

See here.

Did you know that filling out this survey makes you a music geek?

That boat sailed a long, long time ago.

What was the greatest decade for music?

Well, duh.

How many music-related videos/DVDs do you own?

18 (not counting musicals), give-or take. Lots of Joe Jackson in concert and such.

Do you like Journey?

Never really cared that much one way or the other. But I do have a bone to pick with Steve Perry. As someone once pointed out, if he had been a little more productive in the 90’s we could have completely averted Michael Bolton.

What is your favorite movie soundtrack?

Either one of the great John Hughes movie soundtracks from my teenage years (don’t make me pick one), or Wendy Carlos’ Tron.

What was your last musical “phase” before you wised up?

I don’t think I have an answer to this, really, though as Bill Sherman wrote, “Who said that I’ve wised up?”

What’s the crappiest CD/record/etc you’ve ever bought?

Fortunately, I no longer have to buy most crappy CDs…people send them to me. That said, Pet Shop Boys’ Release was pretty disappointing.

Do you prefer vinyl or CDs?

Given that choice, CDs, but I’m still fond of tapes because I don’t have a CD player in my car.

What is your guilty pleasure CD, that being the CD you love but would be ashamed to admit you have in your collection?

Well, we’ve already covered that, right? If I have to pick one, the Culture Club anthology.


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