Time now, to take another brief tour of my CD bookcase. Let me just randomly pick out six CD's here and dust them off (blows some dust bunnies away). Cough, cough, cough. Okay, now that we got those bad boys cleaned off, it's time to give everyone a peek as to 1) why I bought these in the first place and 2) what makes this soon-to-be 44 year old tick. I apologize in advance for the apparently creepy theme of this post, as I didn't realize that three of the six CD's I'd picked out had such creepy backgrounds.
1} Seasons by Sevendust. I picked this particular CD up for the same reason I acquire 99% of my music: one particular song that I got hooked listening to on the radio. Or in this case, watching VH1Hits music channel. I caught the video for the song "Enemy" and I was really intrigued by it, which was due to the plot line of a wrestling match between one of the band members and female wrestler Joanie Laurer (aka Chyna during the WWE's Attitude era of wrestling in the late 1990's). I wound up listening to the rest of the CD, which is something I normally do when I pick one up for a song, and found a couple of other songs to my liking: "Disease", the title track "Seasons" and a nasty one called "Face to Face". This particular CD has the normal Parental Advisory warning on it and it comes with a rather lame bonus CD. It contains a couple of studio recordings, a couple of live performances and a rather long and lame prank on the tour bus driver. A pretty decent metal band in its day, so I would recommend this CD if you want a taste of what your children might be listening to if you're not around.
2} The Long Road by Nickelback. I got this in the summer of 2007, when their CD All The Right Reasons was being overkilled on the radio. I bought it, again for one particular song (Figured You Out, which I based a recent piece of flash fiction on). Interesting tidbit about that song. If you catch the video on MTV, the song is heavily edited, which I feel is a bit hypocritical, seeing how borderline NC-17 some rap videos are. A decent CD, it has an untitled bonus track of them covering Elton John's "Saturday Night".
3} Short Bus by Filter. I bought this CD to replace the cassette version. Again, I bought it for one song, "Hey Man, Nice Shot". The opening bass line and solitary drum shots are quite spooky, and the chorus line underlies the real theme of the song: I wish I would of met you, but now it's a little late. What you could of taught me, I could of saved some face. The chorus also hints at the theme of the song: A man has gun, hey man nice shot. Contrary to the prevailing opinion at the time that the song was about Kurt Cobain (who supposedly committed suicide), it was actually about someone else. According to Richard Patrick, lead singer, the song was about Pennsylvanian politician, R. Budd Dwyer, *who after being convicted of mail fraud, conspiracy and racketeering, in connection with accepting a $300K bribe as the state treasurer, held a news conference about it. With cameras rolling, playing the role of the unjustly accused, Dwyer distributed a twenty page press statement, fielded a few questions, then placed the barrel of .357 revolver in his mouth and shot himself*. The rest of the CD is much in the same vein.
4} American Standard by Seven Mary Three. From the CD jacket (picture of a farmer about to behead a chicken) to the overall content, this debut 1995 release is creepy/disturbing from the get go. Again, I bought the CD on the basis of one song "Cumbersome" (of which a bad acoustic version was released). I listened to the entire thing a couple of times last year, but never really thought about the content until very recently. If you listen closely to that song, you'll see it's about suicide/death (in my opinion that is). But the one that really creeps me out, is the opening track (which got some airplay) called "Water's Edge". The narrator is talking about a murder in which he may or may not actively participated in. The reason why it creeps me out, is that the content of the song eerily mirrors a well know murder case here in CT that was unsolved for about 10 years. It was a case that involved a thirteen year old girl, who was kidnapped by some acquaintances, brought to the river in a van, sexually assaulted, bound and gagged, before being thrown into the river. The song contains much of what I just stated (except for the sexual assault). If you want to do a comparison, I suggest picking up this CD and either googling "Maryann Measles" or check out the Hartford Courant archives using the same search term.
5} Freak Show by Silverchair. I purchased this one last year, along with the self-titled debut release at a place called "Newbury Comics". Great place for new and used music. Anyways, the CD isn't anything special other than the band was finally in their twenties when they recorded it (their debut was done when they were 15 or 16). What really stands out in my mind, is the cover shot of the "Lobster Boy". Short version: Grady Stiles was a mentally unbalanced individual who was a popular side show attraction due to a genetic defect that made his hands and feets look like claws. After brutally terrorizing his family, his wife hired a hitman to take him out.
6} American IV: The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash. To end this post on an upbeat note, I purchased this CD about a year after I purchased the double LP. This CD rocks from beginning to end. In my opinion, this last recording that he made was his best. I do believe he won a Grammy for his cover of "Hurt". Other excellent tracks include "The Man Comes Around", "Desperado" and "I'm So Lonesome, I Could Cry." It also contains, what I feel, are the best two tracks that will ever listen to. I don't care who you are, these tracks will move you in ways that I only can describe as spiritual. He does a beautifully haunting cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" with Fiona Apple, and a spiritual version of "We'll Meet Again".
Again, I apologize for the apparently creepy turn that this post took (sometimes a memory is a very bad thing), and I promise that I will try to make the next installment more upbeat.
*That small excerpt was taken from the book, "Final Exits", which was written by Michael Largo.