Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"A Long Autumn": Why Yesterday Was a Great, And Also Sad, Day

Yesterday, The Replacements were on the Tonight Show, three decades after being banned for their performance on Saturday Night Live. Before they came on, Keith Richards promoted his new children's book, and a dentured-up Britney Spears put herself out there as single and available.

Also yesterday, Apple unveiled some new techno gadgets and with it the news of a new U2 record, instantly available, and the lead track of that record is a tribute to Joey Ramone. Apple also quietly revealed they were discontinuing the Ipod Classic.

It was a great day for a celebration of a dying art form: rock n roll. The Replacements pounded through "Alex Chilton" (a sideways applause of an obscure rock n roll legend, something the 'Mats have become themselves). Their upcoming NYC gig with the Hold Steady and Deer Tick was given full promotion (get your tickets now). Meanwhile, Keef sung his praises of his granddad and rock n roll legends before the Stones exploded and regaled with tales of Andrew Oldham and Sir Mick. The ultimate rock n roll granddad himself now, Keith is both inflicted with Cute Little Old Man Disease and is still a beautifully dirty bastard.

U2 keep finding ways to not only be relevant, but immediate. For all the excess and pomposity that make them a bit too much for rock n roll purists, U2 still bring out a rise (a good one for some, a bad one for others) in people who care about rock music. And the band will always think of themselves as nothing less than true legacies of authenticity - witness the wrapping of their identity with Joey Ramone (it's nice that Bono and I have the same rock n roll hero as much as any rock n roll musician should be a hero and not merely an idol).

On the other hand, Apple killed my Ipod. The conspiracy of the Cloud - a dangerous new technology for young whippersnappers is the death knell of my antiquated dinosaur early 21st Century device. What the hell am I going to do now? Apple is rushing headlong into the streaming limitless future and taking us with it but as we still live in a world of less than true high speed Internet and wireless universality (AKA not much faster than when we first plugged Ipods into our computers), I am less than thrilled.

Of course this is on me for being a freakier-than-freakish music freak. "Who needs all of their songs wherever they are all the time? Get Over It" says the strawman in my head. "It'all be there in the cloud, anyway, not that you need it". This non-existent sucker is both mocking me for being a nut about music and celebrating how I can still be a nut in a new way. Bah! Listen buddy, tell it to my day job. I'm a lover of old fashioned things but I can roll with new punches but not too new because it was better when it was just right for me. So change a little but not too much. One man's luddite is another man's technological revolutionary.

The Ipod Classic was the perfect instrument. It's the physical manifestation of what makes this podcast/blog what it is. It is the true Modern Mixtape. More so than streaming from the cloud. Of course this is subject to change and I could look back on this lament and laugh. But until then, a little shiva if you will for the Ipod.

On the Britney Spears matter - she was always a stain on the world of music but now in her years of perpetual irrelevance, there is a sadness about the sketch she did with Fallon last night. It didn't feel like a sketch. And she looked her age (which is to say my age) in some right ways and some wrong ways. That's code, by the way. Code for the Creeping Sense of Mortality. Almost as much as the discontinuation of the Ipod Classic is code for the Creeping Sense of Mortality.

I just heard Bob Mould say on WNYC's Soundcheck that at age 28 he felt he was about to enter the twilight of his years and that the winter period of his life was upon him. Now at age 53 he feels the same and there's been no change since age 28. He referred to this period of his life as a "a Long Autumn". That sounds about right. When the Replacements unknowingly play my 33 1/3 birthday party next week, it will be a small observance of my own Long Autumn. I'm taking solace in the idea of an Omega Point Universe while it happens (credit The Museum of Curiosity, Series 3, episode 1).

Oh yeah and the new Ryan Adams record came out yesterday and I even paid for it. What a world we live in.


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