Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Perils of Mid-Life

“Wait a minute,” said my wife. “Did you buy the whole album?”

It was Sunday night. The girls were organizing their knapsacks for the school-week ahead, their mother and I were nursing the dregs of the evening's martini. We were all in the kitchen and music was playing through the speakers. The family has an assortment of “music file players” and we take turns plugging them into the kitchen tunes contraption. Tonight was my turn. The music seemed to catch my wife off-guard, and what she thought might be a singular lapse on my part was quickly proving to be corporate.

“Erm, CD, actually,” I said. “I bought the CD.” A double-CD, in fact — which I did not have the courage to admit. “Ease up, will you? I daresay you know the words to a few of these songs.”

“I know the words to all these songs,” she said. “I'm just not happy about it. Unlike you, apparently. What . . . possessed you?”

Nostalgia. In high school I had a buddy who took over his mother's Plymouth Duster. The car came with an eight-track cassette deck, and three eight-track cassettes. One of those was a gospel quartet, which even we could not stomach. The other two we didn't mind, and played to death. Or so I thought at the time.

I explained this to my perplexed wife.

“Well, sure,” she said. “But still: the Carpenters?

Hm. In hindsight the other performer might have been a touch easier to explain. John Denver, anyone?


yahmdallah said...

Everyone loves the Carpenters whether they'll admit it or not. However, the nausea point is usually "Touch Me While We're Dancing." Avoid that one and you're usually golden.

However, both John Denver and the Carpenters work better in a mix with other artists.

Whisky Prajer said...

This is the double-album in question, and it is much too much for anyone to endure at once. But in a house where (the other) 3/4s of us are lovin' Glee I don't mind indulging on this front.

yahmdallah said...

My God that Glee stuff is an endurance test, isn't it? I mean, I was amused by the take on Van Halen's "Jump" - but that's as far as it goes, amusement. If I end up going beyond 3 or more hearings, I don't know what I'll do.

As for the Carpenter's set, I actually knew that was the one you spoke of, because guess who else owns it. :) I even have the edition with the additional DVD for complete torture and 3 AM party clearing needs. If only "Goodbye to Love" were on disc 1 in place of "Jambalaya" it'd be OK. But, alas.

DarkoV said...

John Denver?
(God, forgive me..) if Mr. denver hadn't flown that contraption to his death, I may well have.
When I hear the opening notes of "Rocky Moun.." or "Country B..", I head for the nearest latrine to stick my head into.
At my funeral, someone with tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek who knows me well will play a John Denver ditty in hopes that that drck will wake me from the dead.

...o.k..... I feel better now.

DarkoV said...

I believe that you've come to the Father-Daughter(s) time and space continuum, where they will understand if you foist the blame onto them.
Luckily for you, you have no sons, so they will no be casting aspersions your way. That's what's great about daughters; they caste sad shakes of their heads.

Whisky Prajer said...

DV - I'm pretty much with you on the John Denver, actually. He nudged past the gospel quartet, but only just barely.

DarkoV said...

Speaking of music, I notice you have "Lonely Avenue" On da Platter.

Interested minds are, well, interested to hear what you hear.

I am smitten so my opinion is without subjectivity as regards the lyrics, the music, the execution and the stories therein.

yahmdallah said...

DarkoV: Not even the eagle and the hawk or calypso?

Whisky Prajer said...

DV - it's just fresh out of the box, so I've only spun it twice. I have to admit to feeling underwhelmed on first blush -- it struck me as the mirror image of Ry Cooder's big deal: in this case the written content was fab, while the music had me scratching my noggin a bit. Second time 'round, though, the tunes had grown on me considerably. It is, of course, a stunning package. Wish more bands/labels were committing themselves to that kind of attention.

DarkoV said...

Mr. Y,
I went to a wedding a few years back. Knew the bride quite well; had not clue about the groom.
The d.j.? Groom's choice.
The music? Groom's choice.
The selection? You guessed it. John Denver. I did not make it through the 5th song before I laid out poor excuses and lavish praise onto the bride and left.
Last year, she dropped me a line. She's now divorced.
Must have been too much J. Denver.
That's it for me on this topic; he was Satan's spawn as far as I could tell.

WP: Total agreeemnt with your opinion re. Nonesuch. What an intelligently run music company that is...... I've bought some of the company's albums strictly because the artist was on Nonesuch, regardless of whether I've ever heard of the musician.
I have to admit that when I have played 1 or 2 of Nonesuch's recording artists and not liked the album, I've played the recording a few more times, doubting my own opinion. I mean, come on! It's on Nonesuch! These folks can do no wrong, right?

Whisky Prajer said...

"Divorced"! Yikes. Any playlist for my wife would have to include the Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel, plus some of the usual ska suspects. I hope that bodes well for our marriage (16 years and counting).