I finished listening to all of my CDs in jewel cases yesterday. My goal was to listen to all of them in under a year; I finished in 344 days - 21 days under my self-imposed deadline. 2059 CDs in 344 days, an average of 6 CDs/day, but really, it was more than that as I rarely listened to anything on weekends. It was only a chore was when I was faced with 10 or more CDs in a row from the same artist. The absolute worst was the three straight days of David Sedaris audio books, which I normally enjoy, but not in marathons of that length. For the most part, I enjoyed the process and the freedom from having to decide what to listen to.
Did I learn anything along the way? I've learned that I like most of the CDs I have, but there were CDs I knew I wouldn't like going into them. Some stuff I acquired, didn't enjoy, and haven't culled from my collection yet. Everything I liked at one point in my life, I still like, and I'm thankful I didn't get rid of CDs I thought I'd never listen to again. I was reminded that technical grindcore bores the fuck out of me and that when it comes to grind, the sloppier and noisier, the better. I've learned that my tolerance for pitch-shifted gurgle vocals has severely dropped since the 90s and that it just sounds stupid to me now. I've learned that just listening to music is a hell of a lot more fun than writing about it. I've learned that there's very little music today that interests me and that the music made in the period between 1995 and 2000 or so, the peak of my involvement in the underground, is still my favorite after the old high school classics. I've learned that I hate the sound of sitar and that I hate every single thing Mike Patton had a hand in.
There were a few instances in which my personal feelings towards a band/artist prevented me from enjoying their music this time around, people whose music I once enjoyed but have grown to hate because of either things I've read about them or through personal experiences. I have a hard time throwing my support behind people I don't respect. At the same time, I've found that positive interactions with people/bands have made me take more of an interest in their music than I normally would.
A couple of months ago it occurred to me that I had missed out on an entire year of music as a result of this project. I've been buying CDs throughout, but only from bands I already knew and liked. There's probably some really great stuff I missed out on, but somehow I doubt it. I'm spending the next few days catching up on CDs I bought since starting this project and haven't had the opportunity to listen to yet, so the A-Z posts will continue until those are finished as well .
v/a - "Supersonic Sounds From the "Fuck You" Movement" CD (This CD is pretty cool. I owned it for a few years before finally listening to it. I think, like a lot of people, I was disappointed that Chaotic Noise Productions went in a less noisy direction. Years after I got this CD I ordered one of Suppression's newer CDs and really liked it, so I went back and listened to this again and found I liked it, too. Jason and his pals have a cool thing going. CNP exists to release music he and his friend's have made. Once that whole powerviolence (TM) thing became so watered down and boring, they started doing other stuff. It's all still really noisy, but in a different way, heaps noisier than that whole Amphetamine Reptile scene, but that would be a suitable comparison, I guess. Like some of the older CNP compilations, this is broken up with some of the stupidest prank calls ever recorded. I don't have the cover with me now to list the bands, but there isn't anything on here that I would consider bad. The bass guitar is the main focus on a lot of these tracks, and it's almost always good when recordings are done like that. This is pretty good.)
v/a - "Teutonik Disaster: Obscure German New Wave, Trashdisko & Hobbyrock" CD (The Germans do pretty much everything better than us Americans, especially when it comes to music. The German new wave scene was cutting edge, modern, minimal and really funky. It's not a genre I'm terribly familiar with, but I've loved everything I've heard. A lot of this stuff sounds like the funkier no-wave bands from NY.)
v/a - "Teutonik Disaster 2" CD (This volume is even more dancey than the first. I could listen to this stuff all day and not grow tired of it.)
v/a - "The Thing That Ate Floyd" CD1 (This compilation was my first real exposure to underground punk rock and of a punk rock scene that was still underway. I had heard Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Minor Threat, etc before this, of course, but these bands were mostly still active when I bought this and it sounds stupid to say this, but I felt like a participant instead of just some kid buying records from bands who had broken up and who's members had all moved on to other things. I ordered this in 2LP my freshman year of high school from Metal Disc, probably because of the ridiculousness of some of the band names. I didn't know who any of these bands were at the time, but I soon ordered a good chunk of Lookout's catalog and even wrote to a couple of the bands who listed their addresses inside of the booklet of this compilation asking if they had other stuff for sale. This was already a few years old at that point, though, so only one ore two bands replied. Lookout was probably the first direct mail-order I did from any label, but it might have been Weasel Records, too. I sold that 2LP to a friend and always regretted it. It was an earlier pressing with the orange cover and green vinyl. I eventually bought it again with a purple cover and black vinyl, then again on CD when I saw it used in Iowa City for cheap. So many great bands on this thing: Corrupted Morals, Eyeball, Isocracy, Plaid Retina, Neurosis and a bunch of others who delivered silly and entertaining songs. I still really like all of the old Lookout stuff I have; it's held up nicely over the years.)
v/a - "The Thing That Ate Floyd" CD2 (This second disc is even better than the first: Mr. T Experience, Sewer Trout, Stikky, No Use For a Name, Surrogate Brains, Capitol Punishment, Crimpshrine and Operation I've are all excellent on here. Trying to order Stikky's LP and finding it was out of print was a real bummer. Their track spoke to me more than any of the other bands did, I looked for that fucking thing for 6 years before I finally found it.)
v/a - "This is Boston, Not L.A." CD (I didn't hear this one until my late 20s and it was still a really powerful collection of hardcore songs even at that age. Gang Green are fucking incredible on here, faster than any band ever in 1982. Jerry's Kids, Gang Green, The F.U.s, The Freeze, The Groinoids (pre-Upsidedown Cross) and another band that sucks. My CD copy of this has the "Unsafe at Any Speed" 7" as bonus tracks. This is great stuff.)
v/a - "Total Scum Noise Shit Attack" CD (Yutaka from Bloodbath Records gave this to me while I was visiting a friend in Japan. It was the best of the CDs he gave to me. Four bands on this one: Warstate, Spacegrinder, DxIxEx and Congenital Haemorrhoids. Spacegrinder did an interesting, lengthy noise piece with some screaming vocals towards the end. The other three bands all play brutal grindcore. Warstate were unknown to me when I got this, but they're the best band on here. The whole thing is great, though.)
v/a - "A Tribute to Gus Chamber + Rupture" CD (This is a weird CD. One of the guys in Pitbull & Scum compiled this and released it. Most of the bands on here have nothing to do with Rupture at all, and there are only two Rupture covers on here, so it's mostly just Australian bands doing their thing. Arbitrage and Faces of Death both feature Rupture's old drummer, Darek, and there are some tracks from the pre-Rupture band Controlled By Fear, too. As a compilation, this is pretty good, but it's a weird fucking tribute. A second tribute with bands from all over the place is in the works.)
v/a - "Turkish Delights: 26 Beat, Psych & Garage Ultrararities From
beyond the Sea of Mamara" CD (Man, how could you NOT be interested in hearing what Turkish psychedelic rock sounded like in the 60s? I saw this at Treehouse Records in Minneapolis and bought it on a whim and it ended up sounding exactly as I thought it would. The music met my expectations for weirdness and the release was really nice with extensive liner notes, lots of pictures, etc. Turns out most of these bands had the chance to record because the government would hold these huge talent show competitions and the winner would get some studio time. I love these regional compilations; this is one of my favorites.)
v/a - "Tutti Pazzi Vol.#3" CD (Davor from Patareni released this on his label. I think this was originally released as two insanely limited LPs, then collected on this CD. Davor has been promoting the roots of Yugoslavian punk and HC for ages, the guy is really proud of his country's musical past. This volume collects recordings from: Stress DA, Distress, Odpadki Civilizacije, Patareni, U.B.R., III kategorija and Giuseppe Carabino, all with recordings made between 1983 and 1986. A lot of these recordings are pretty rough, but I expected as much. It's interesting to see how many of these songs Patareni covered years later.)
v/a - "Tutti Pazzi Vol.#4" CD (More of the same, demo recordings from 1984-1986: Kategorija, Quod Massacre, Solunski Front, Patareni, Blitzkrieg, 2 Minuta Mrznje, Z.R.M., Tozibabe and Epidemija. The above disc is better, but only slightly so. Both of these are great.)
v/a - "Unearthed CD Compilation" CD (Jon from F2RC and Nervecentre Recordings released this in the 90s. It's a cool collection of underground bands that really have no connection to each other. There are lots of different styles on here, too. I haven't listened to this in years, there are some bands I forgot all about being on here. Metric Cheese Head, Unholy Grave, Praying for Oblivion, F2RC, Napalmed, Nee!, Black River Improvisation, Drainobomb, Moz, Reality Check Review, TCM451, Carnal H Coitus and Ode to a Skunk.)
v/a - "Unknown Deutschland: Krautrock Archive Vol.1" CD (I bought this at the Record Collector in the early 2000s without doing any research and ended up hating it. This is my first time listening to it since then and it sounds a lot better now. In fact, over half of this was pretty great this time around. Golem, Temple, Cozmic Corridors, The Astral Army, Galactic Explorers, Fuerrote. My favorite tracks was the spacey hard rock number from The Astral Army that reminded me of late 70s Mythos and the 18 minutes of hypnotic keyboard drone Galactic Explorers delivered. There were a couple of duds, but this was mostly pretty good.)
v/a - "Vinyl Rips" CDR* (Having given up on thinking of dumb titles for the CDRs I make of 7"s I've ripped, I just started titling them as "Vinyl Rips". This is the most recent one I've done. I've started ripping my records as soon as I get them so that first, cleanest play is captured. I've ripped loads of stuff since this, but haven't burned any of it because I've been too busy. This one has the following on it: DESALVO / TAKE A WORM FOR A WALK WEEK - split 7", FASCIST INSECT / NECROCANNIBSLISTIC VOMITORIUM - split 7", IRON BUTTER / 2 MINUTA DREKA - split 7", IRON BUTTER / ROT - split 7", MESRINE / IRON BUTTER - split 7", PATARENI / BUREK DEATH SQUAD - split 7" and PSYCHOTIC SUFFERANCE / MELANOCETUS MURRAYI - split 7".)
v/a - "Welcome to 1984" CD (Man, what a scorcher of an album. I can't imagine hearing this thing back in the 80s, it would have been life-changing, for sure. Google the track listing and see for yourself that it's crammed top to bottom with great HC bands from all over the globe. This CD reissue is really nice, has a super thick booklet with all of the bands' graphics from the LP and new essays. It's nice when these things are done right and not just thrown together.)
v/a - "World's Finest Hardcore Volume 1" CD (This is a cool CD, too, but I'm 99% sure it's a bootleg. Flimsy 4 panel booklet with some liner notes and blotchy cover scans, the audio sounds like it was all taken from the vinyl. Oh well, it's still wholly enjoyable. This CD compiles full EP from what this guy considers to be the "World's Finest": NEOS - "Hassiban Gets the Martian Brain Squeeze", ANGRY SAMOANS - "Queer Pills", CLITBOYS - "We Don't Play the Game", SICK PLEASURE - s/t, NECROS - "IQ 32", FARTZ - "Because This Fucking World Stinks", UNITED MUTATION - "Fugitive Family" + REALLY RED - "New Strings for Old Puppets".)
WUZOR / BODIES LAY BROKEN / MIKE PATTON - CDR* (I made this CD to condense three discs I had. The Wuzor trax ae from an advance CDR Dave sent me. I can't remember which release they were eventually used for, it's been too long ago. I had forgotten about how great Wuzor were. They disbanded, Dave started playing with Funeral Shock and I lost contact with him. These BLB tracks came from an advance CDR, too. It's their songs from the Machetazo split 7", the song from the Carcass tribute CD and their demo. I briefly owned this Mike Patton CD, "Adult Themes for Voice", but sold it because I thought it was pretentious and stupid. I guess I burned it in case I ever wanted to hear it again, but that never happened. It's still pretentious and stupid.)