Since I bought my new laptop and finally have enough hard-drive space for all of my music, I’ve been going through iTunes and expanding my collection. I’ve filled in some nice gaps in my collection (you can find the list here), and have been very pleased with what I’ve picked up.
Yesterday, though, a CD arrived for me at the library. It’s a band named Neutral Spirits. I’ve never heard of them. Nor can I find a reason why I’d have ordered it. They were around in the early 70s. The CD insert reports that 500 copies of the album were pressed in 1972 but about 350 were destroyed in a house fire in 1985.
So, in 13 years they’d – at most – been able to sell 150 copies of their album.
This has to be one of the worst rock albums of all time. And I can’t wait to hear it.
Except that I’ve seen way too many horror flicks to not be afraid of just playing some random piece of media that shows up. If something comes crawling out of my computer screen, I won’t be brave like sweet, sweet Naomi; I’ll just die in a noticeably unclean pair of undies.(1)
I finished reading Big Sur the other day, which meant it was time to decide what to read next. Oftentimes this is quite a challenge. I usually stare at my bookshelves for a while(2) like a kid trying to decide what to eat by hoping it’ll jump out of the fridge at him. I pick a few up, see if they feel right. After narrowing the pool, I read the first paragraph of a couple until I finally decide upon something I can sit with.
But sometimes that decision doesn’t stick. I started with Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground, read about 20 pages, and realized that there’s just way too much turmoil in my life right now to give it its due attention. Then I pick up Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon for about two days. It’s written beautifully and I was digging every sentence. But it fell into the same problem as above, plus I realized that I want something that’s more straight-forward. So, after an early Valentine’s Day dinner, Ashley and I stopped at the bookstore and I picked up Ellis’s American Psycho. I read about 60 pages last night while watching the 2010 Olympics’ Opening Ceremony and decided it’s definitely what I want.
Speaking of which, I thought the opening ceremony was absolutely beautiful. It was an amazing blend of technological know-how and aesthetic sensibility.
Back to the bookstore: Ashley bought me a copy of Danielewski’s House of Leaves. I read this book last year and think it’s so effing amazing. I would take a week’s vacation just to read this book in one sitting. When I brought it home and took it out of the bag, it was honestly like an old friend had come to stay. He took a seat on the bookshelf(3) and we both sighed with relief. It’s so weird, but I feel like books are my friends. And I feel better when I surround myself with them.
- Other scenarios imagined so far: my brain bleeding out of my ears; my face turning to wasps which eat the rest of my body; something large and unfriendly emerging from my freshly split skull; zombification.
- I’ve decided I’m not getting out any more library books until I’ve read more of my personal collection. Being that guy who has all sorts of books he’s never read is embarrassing.
- Next to Danielewski’s Only Revolution, which I have yet to read. It looks awesome – in both that ‘awesome’ sense and that ‘wow I’m kind of afraid of it’ sense.