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Music Savaged By The Average Beast

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for October 24, 2005

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A Commuter's Story
by Stiffy Biceptz

I, Stiffy Biceptz, have become a commuter. Not only a commuter, but a serious long distance commuter. After 20 years of five-minute and ten-minute commutes, I now have a one-hour ride each way. What's most shocking is how easily I adapted to it. I figured I'd have freaked out by the third day, but strangely by the time the first week was over, I didn't even pay attention to the time or my odometer anymore. What's the rush?
This happy story is due in large part to my rediscovery of my music collection. Now I know what you're thinking;dozens of tanning and fitness books on tape, hours of instruction on how to do the perfect push up, etc., etc. Well, okay, yes, but not just that. We're talking hundreds of CD's from the last 30 years' best alternative, new wave and punk bands.
What I have discovered is that this commuting thing is the best thing that has happened to me music-wise in a long time. It has reconnected Stiffy Biceptz with all his old favorites like PWEI, New Order, B.A.D., The WonderStuff, The Stone Roses, The Clash, The Pixies, REM, 25th Of May, and the list goes on and on. All of a sudden its 1986-1992 again, for two hours, everyday.
But within this wonderful journey to my past I have found one other love long lost. The album. Not just singles, but whole albums. What was so great about all the alternative favorites was that they produced so many great albums. 12 songs ... you know each one ... and together they painted a special picture. They captured a mood connected to a month or a year that comes flooding back with each complete spin.
I know I've been a big advocate of singles and I still am for most bands. But there's really nothing like a whole album whose songs somehow connect with each other, whose sum is far greater than the parts.
Back in the day before CD players, it was a real pain to fast forward or rewind a tape just to hear a few singles. So we spent a lot more time listening to whole albums, and found deeper connections to the artists we loved. My 45 minute ride from NB to my parents house once a week was perfect for a whole album, unless of course I was listening to WHTG. It's sad in a way how our instant gratification technology has had a negative effect on the consumer's view of music. There's probably a million good albums that never get listened to all the way through anymore. Aah, it's probably always been like that. Never mind.
So to all those who I mocked and teased and chided for having longs commutes, I, Stiffy Biceptz, would like to say: I hope you realize how good you had it.
For tomorrows ride, its Ned's Atomic Dustbin and...hmmm...oh yes, Inspiral Carpets "LIfe" from 1990.


©2005 Stiffy Biceptz

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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ALTROK recommends music once a week; here's our most recent choices. Most links will take you to a place where you can buy the music; if there's no link, and you own a record company, consider releasing it yourself...

A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
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Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
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Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
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