Sunday, August 20, 2006

An Aging Music-Lover's Lament

"You're going to be a writer at Rolling Stone some day, I know it."

That was what a high school friend declared to me more than a dozen years ago. Alas, it was not to be, despite spending an ungodly amount of time in my formative high school years at an indie music store.

It was there -- at a now-defunct store called Secret Sounds in Bridgeport, CT -- that I found bands like Stereolab and Radiohead, as well as was introduced to the entire catalogues of David Bowie, The Clash, the Talking Heads, Operation Ivy and The Police. It was there that I found this wonderful magazine called CMJ New Music Monthly that came with a disc of the newest music, something I would parse and treasure. In college, I spent far too much time at the college radio station, poring over the newest discs that arrived, in consideration for airplay.

I used to have an ear for what would be big on the rock scene, I used to know what would one day cross into the mainstream to become cool.

But sometime since I exited the college radio station -- for graduation, the light of day and life as a working stiff, collectively and/or perhaps not in that order -- I've lost my touch and my bearings. Now I 'discover' bands like the Shins and Snow Patrol only because of Zach Braff's tastemaking skills, toasting them long after they have become cool with the hipsters. Even in this age of Stereogum and Pitchfork, I am hopelessly behind the curve.

I guess I'm still a little bit ahead of the curve, somewhat. I still remember telling a friend a short while ago that I had tickets to go see Snow Patrol when they hit New York next month, and he related seeing them play the Peach Pit on "Beverly Hills, 90210" once. I didn't even take a stab at what band he was mis-remembering them for. I'm not an aging hipster yet, I guess.

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