Someday We’ll Look Back

Hi! Sorry, sorry. What’s going on?

Well, last week was spent shipping the November 2010 issue to press, and this week has been spent shipping the 2011 Buyer’s Guide to pre-press. At the same time, we’re pumping out copy for the December 2010 issue, getting some layouts done, and trying not to mix things up too much. You wouldn’t want the technical specifications for 1500 loudspeakers popping up in the middle of Art Dudley’s “Listening” column, would you? That just wouldn’t be right at all. And the week started with a whirlwind trip to the Princeton Record Exchange, where John Atkinson, Jonathan Scull, and I met up with Michael Lavorgna (he of the hot peppers) for a few quick flips through the racks before having a pint of ale at the Triumph Brewing Company.

I left the office in a tweed blazer, sunglasses, and tie, accompanied by all the lovely ladies of Soap Opera Digest, and I hopped into a metallic blue Crossover/SUV type thing. It was fun. Yes, it was, and it would have been even better had we been able to squeeze Megan and Daria in with us. (You should see these girls.) In the meantime, summer has ended and fall has come, but the girls haven’t seemed to notice and neither has the sun. With the change of season, however, I’ve suffered several piercing, blinding, maddening headaches. I can’t sleep at night, I can’t get out of bed in the morning. What am I? Some kind of animal?

Anyway, Michael bought a bunch of blues and Jonathan bought a bunch of jazz and JA picked up a Special Edition “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” DVD. “As a talisman,” he said, “for the journey.” We only had about thirty minutes to shop and that’s really far too little time for me—thirty minutes is just enough time to get one’s bearings in preparation for shopping. So, I only got three records, but I did get to smile at the pretty girl behind the counter. (There's always a pretty girl behind the counter.)

The records: Burl by Burl Ives because John Fahey mentions Ives in his book, How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life; A Little Touch of Schmilsson In the Night by Harry Nilsson because there’s a new film playing at Cinema Village—“Who Is Harry Nilsson and Why is Everyone Talking About Him?”—and a cute girl mentioned it to me, and I figured I should do some research; and, finally, Someday We’ll Look Back by Merle Haggard and The Strangers, just because. Why wouldn’t I buy it?

I did not buy A Crimson Grail by Rhys Chatham, Familial by Philip Selway, Waiting For You by King Midas Sound, or the new Dominant Legs 10”. Though I wanted to, and these records will burn in my mind—like a woman, like regret, like a house on fire—until I do buy them.

After lunch, JA and Jonathan drove me to Princeton Junction where a New York City-bound train was waiting for me. Michael went back to the Princeton Record Exchange, where many more records were waiting for him. JA and Jonathan continued on into the sun.

Yesterday I picked up the latest issue of The Wire, which includes a piece on the erotically charged LA Vampires (that's Amanda Brown of Not Not Fun; you won't find a Facebook or Myspace page for the band because Amanda Brown likes you to work, likes mystery in music, likes life), and Issue Number 15 of Hear The World: the magazine for the culture of hearing (I thought to myself, I’m a part of that culture!), which contains many interesting pieces on the art of listening and the joy of sound, including one on the voice of Joanna Newsom. You should check those out.

Last night, while reading the magazines from cover to cover, sitting there on the orange couch, surrounded by records and books and headphones and cables and CDs and magazines, thinking to myself, This is my life, this is my life, this is my life and What am I going to do with all of this music? and How am I ever going to know enough? and not really thinking at all, I listened to the rapturous Returnal, the latest long gaze from Oneohtrix Point Never, and I decided it was an immensely rewarding trip.

Today I begin writing the “Products of the Year” feature for the December 2010 issue of Stereophile. With a bit of luck, it should go well.

Sam's picture

That OPN record is brilliant. If you get a chance, check out the 7" with the Antony Hagerty duet on one side and Fennesz remix on the other. Amazing.

Erick Lichte's picture

I love Princeton. I love Princeton Record Exchange. I love Triumph Brewing Company. (sigh)

Stephen Mejias's picture

Move to Jersey, Erick!

Erick Lichte's picture

I could sure live in Princeton. Love it there. In the summer of '98 I spent a week there recording an album and had an amazing time.

GEORGE's picture

Princeton is FULL, it has no space left, besides they claim to be broke, they raised taxes on houses to the extreme, horrible place to live. Grossly overpriced, poorly maintained sidewalks, trees over grown etc. All hype.

GEORGE's picture

Move to Hopewell or Pennington, more space, less hype. Not cheap either. But, not the traffic nightmare like Princeton on RT27. And they hosed the old timers there with absurd tax increases in the not so wealthy area. It doesn't take a genius to realize it's all hype. And the Univ is old, used up, compared to other clean, well maintained univs. ie: U of Del, or Hopkins in Baltimore (not the med school, that's a mess) Or U. Mass Amherst. It's like over hyped audio, BS,

CoonDawg of Austin Tejas's picture

And the moral to the story is...You can never geaux wrong with the Hagg .... I can't say the same about Prince-ton .... well Hell, guess I could say the same... of course it would be BS ...