2009-02-26 - 2:33 p.m.
I have decided, after some deliberation, that The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are pretty good, if you lift them completely out of their historical context and go strictly on their musical merits.
It's not their fault that they flawlessly capture the sounds of young England of 25 years ago, and were most likely not even alive then.
But speaking of history, I have been listening closely to the back catalog of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, and the process is making me think about time and fandom and opportunity and methods of music consumption.
The only Gorky's album I own is 1999's Spanish Dance Troupe, which I enjoyed at the time, bolstered by a pleasant if shambolic show at the Mercury Lounge (and maybe Maxwell's, too, the detail are hazy).
Whatever pleasure I took in that CD was not enough to make me stick around, but now I am sweeping through their whole catalog and really not finding one clunker.
All their songs are solid, well-written, delivered unpretentiously and deftly and with just enough eccentric charm (and the occasional Welsh lyric) to keep things from devolving into the 3,000th reiteration of Pet Sounds.
The collection Blue Trees, their folkiest one, features some really good guitar-playing, and songs that you could mistake for Robbie Basho or a young John Fahey.
So I guess the question is--if I'd followed the band from album to album in real time, would I have liked them as much? More? Would I have gotten bored by the sameness, or grown more devoted through slow time-lapse exposure? And if a band, in retrospect, has released more good albums than bands that you've previously declared yourself a fan of, where does that leave you? Good lord, what do you do with all this love?
Maybe this question is really about marriage, but for now I am just grateful for the Long Tail and MP3s and the ability to experience an artist's entire (almost) back catalog so easily.
thoughts? (0 comments so far)
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