Once I discovered college radio (thank you WMUA & WAMH) in Jr.
High School, nothing was ever the same. (Similarly, once I
discovered hallucinogens, nothing was ever quite the same) I still
remember listening to Kraftwerk late one night with the headphones
on and just being blown away! Since synth-pop was in vogue at the
time, that was my first fave. Don't worry, it didn't last all that
long (just long enough to alienate me from my friends and convince
me to get the hell out of my small town). Garage rock, punk, NY
noise, krautrock all quickly followed.
I've taken long, but necessary, detours to the Lands of Jazz,
Blues, Electronica, wimpy-ass folk music and, unabashedly, American
Popular Standards. (Frank Sinatra - the Mick Jaggar of the 40s
& 50s. How many boys were led astray by Jeri Southern, I
couldn't tell ya!)
At a certain point, however, I started noticing that for many of
the new bands, all I could say about them is "they sound like early
Dead Boys," or, "this reminds me of John Spencer." I started
listening to older and older music and ended up way way back. To
the place where Blues, Jazz and Country were one (RnR didn't even
exist yet, by that name anyway). We're talking Jimmie Rogers,
Carter Family, young Louis Armstrong and on and on. This was new
(to me)! This was something I'd never heard before and it was
damned exciting. (Kind of like listening to Kraftwerk lo those many
Where am at now? All over the map. It's hard to pin down. And,
needless to say, since I was in the NYC metro area, WFMU had a lot
to do with so very much.
But what about Glam rock, Skinny Puppy, the Runaways, Phil (to his
friends) Glass, Betty Boo, ELO and Frampton? Oh, god, don't get me
started on them, please.
There, I've done it. I've gone on and on about music and never once
mentioned Townes van Zandt or Gram Parsons. (Oops!)
I am Poncho and Lefty.
I'll read either fiction or non-fiction. (Yup, one or the other.)
I'll read current fiction for a month or two. Then inexplicably
switch to non-fiction for awhile.
Currently, I'm reading _The Great Degeneration: How Institutions
Decay and Economies Die_ by Niall Ferguson and _Guns of August_ by
I recently got a laptop with a DVD player and I'm re-acquainting
myself with film. (I really haven't seem much film for years and
years and even then, it was very sporadic.) So I'm methodically
starting, arbitrarily, with the January 1, 2001 issue of the New
Yorker and watching every worthwhile film released. (Hey, I exhibit
my OCD behaviour some way.)