Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fave music moment of 2005

I returned a few CDs to the library and was waiting for one of the librarians to retrieve a few more for me. So was this gorgeous Indian (I think) guy - flippy hair, slightly exaggerated features, a decently developed body that didn't seem to fit in its frame or the clothes draping it, a dash of queeniness (or is that just a non-Western masculinity?). Definitely not a classic beauty but stunning nonetheless. Anyhoo, he sees the pile of CDs I've placed on the counter to return. At the top is Z.Z. Hill's GREATEST HITS.

Guy (in a thick accent): Z.Z. Hill? Sheesh - I didn't think anyone knew who he was anymore?

Me (straining to see what he just returned): Guess so. I'm mildly shocked YOU know who he is. You like that kind of music?

G: Oh yeah. I'm getting a Bobby Bland CD right now.

M: Oh I love him too.

G: What else do you have there?

M: Oh this is just Brian Eno. (Guy gives confused look.) You don't know Brian Eno?

G: No.

Surprised, I babble on a bit about ambient and tangential listening. He doesn't seem interested so I try to pepper up my speech by saying that this disc (ANOTHER GREEN WORLD) is an earlier, ear-friendlier take on ambient. Still doesn't bite. But he DOES seem interested in...me - maybe wanting to talk about something else besides music. And, of course, I do nothing about it, assuming I'm just misreading signals. I get my CDs and manage a lame "Enjoy Bobby Bland" before floating out.

Ok that's not exactly earth-shattering. But in a way it is. Music has always been a too too private phenomenon for me. I've met only one or two of my editors in person and have received feedback on maybe 5% of what I've ever written (from readers AND editors). The music goes in, the review comes out, and never much static in the cycle. Few live shows feel like a concert in all senses of the word. And we just don't invite friends over anymore to sit around iTunes like we did in the good ole days. This little moment, however, felt more chaotically public than most live shows I've attended. And it underlined my reality as a geeked-out white collegian who assumes the world's more familiar with Brian Eno than Z.Z. Hill.

Best of all, it engorged music with the kind of vibrant modernity scholars like Wolfgang Schivelbusch, Anne Friedberg and Miriam Hansen associate with trains, shopping, movies and/or walking down a city street - chance meetings, missed opportunities.


Blogger shay brackney said...

K - out on a limb here, are you THE Kevin B. from Conant? 'Cause if so, this is Shay and I have now spent about 10 years trying to track you down...seriously -- so if I've stumbled upon you, on my birthday of all days, its quite the present...anyway -- if it is - search me on the net (shay brackney) and my blog getkinetic.typepad.com should come up (but blogger won't let me leave the link directly) -- get in touch, would ya...?

Love your top 100 list btw...Shay

8:40 AM  

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