Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Times

There are times, especially when I am driving in the morning, when I am struck by this thought, "Am I the only person in the world currently listening to this particular album or song?" 

As a musical luddite, I still hold strong to my CD collection, though in recent months, I've moved to Spotify for listening to music in my home.  I would say about 75% of my CDs are available on Spotify, which beats the whole getting up, walking across the room, flipping through the CD book, finding what I want, walking back across the room, waiting to burn the CD to my computer, then returning the CD before listening to what I want.  However, there are times when this must be done. 

It seems the biggest disconnect between my CD collection and Spotify is Moon Ska.  Except for bands like The Slackers, Hepcat, The Pietasters and Toasters, who all re-released their music on another label, most of the Moon Ska catalog is not available on Spotify.  Given all of their problems over the years and the paucity of bands still active not listed above, it is not a surprise that this monolith of the 1990s ska scene is underrepresented on Spotify.  I look at some of the bands whose work I really enjoyed and see like 300 people favorited their work. 

For some reason today, I had a real hankering to listen to the Skoidats, who are one of the few third wave bands who toured the East Coast who I never saw back in the 1990s, and one of the very few bands crossing over ska and oi, which is a pretty limited offering, but really hits my sweet spot.  I've seen their songs played live by Inspecter 7, but until today never saw them live.  Thanks to the magic of YouTube, I was able to watch them perform a thirty minute set in Seattle in 1998. 

But I still wanted more.  I managed to find my copy of Cure for What Ales You in my archives and took it in the car for a ride before.  While I enjoy a Cure for What Ales You, I really wanted to listen to The Times, which is their first album.  So, I came home and went back through the books, worried it was one of the CDs which was misplaced in a CD case, which would take significantly longer to find.  Fortunately for me, it was not. 

Since I needed to go to the store, I copied the CD into my computer and then headed to the car.  As I was listening to the CD, I was thinking, is it possible that I am the only person in the world listening to The Times right now.  Does no one else have the same appreciation for Still Standing or Whirlwind that I do?  Am I the only one crazy enough to push the speakers of my car to the limit to listen to this very niche CD?  And I think the answer is yes.  It's strange to think about, but how many copies of the CD are there out there and then, how many people are having a real desire to listen to ska and oi mixed together. 

So, here I am, perhaps the only person on Planet Earth with Still Standing blaring in their face and that feels good, a sort of perverse uniqueness which fills my sad, sad soul.  But I do know that I won't give up and I won't give in. 

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