October 22, 2007

It's All In How You Get There

Yes, Double Nickels rocks, you dumbass. You'd have to be afflicted with glue ear to not recognize that. It wasn't easy for me to figure it out myself, though, since I came to Double Nickels by way of fifteen years and a friend's gift card.

I ran with a pretty strange crowd during my freshman year in college. I met a number of folks at the new student orientation, none of whom seemed to have anything in common, and many of us ended up on the same floor in the dorms. There was the hippie transfer student, the football player who hoped to transfer to Emporia State to play after he failed at walk-on tryouts, the big-toothed virgin and his hiphop-obsessed midget roommate, and the deadhead. It was a motley group that somehow figured out how to get along by drinking and destroying property. But I digress.

Through the hippie, Chris, I met another hippie, Shana. Cute girl who self-identified as being a Jew despite being raised Baha'i. I'm not sure that it is even remotely relevant to this tale, but I always found it interesting. I don't remember the introduction much or what we did that night, but the evening came to a close with Shana looking for a place to stay. I thought she was cool and I was kinda interested in her, but another guy seemed a bit more into her and so she left with him. More specifically, she told me she needed a place to stay and I wasn't too aggressive in making my pitch.

Later on, she told me that she knew that she was going to sleep with one of us, which might have been her way of flirting with me, except it just made me think that she might have been the village bicycle. In any case, fast forward a week or two and they were an item. I quickly became the third wheel who had to listen to the guy talk about how her butt was so nice that he wanted to eat a sandwich off it. Just think of what I missed out on.

Shana's beau, whose name totally escapes me, introduced me to some really amazing music: Muddy Waters, Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves, and a few other funky things. Then he dropped Mike Watt on me and fIREHOSE and The Minutemen. And here I was listening to the Singles soundtrack and putting "Would?" on repeat. We got along well, despite my earnest comment to him that the celebrity he most resembled was John Goodman. He didn't appreciate that much. I made tape copies of all the stuff he shared with me and I perfected my ability to redraw album covers and band logos on cassette inserts.

Over time, I stopped listening to tapes and lost touch with Shana and her man. I heard that they got married, so I bet they've enjoyed dozens of sandwiches together. And, I never forgot about some of the music that I heard back then. The Minutemen were always on the list of bands I wanted in my collection, but they never hit the top of my list and I never found any of their stuff when I checked out used CD stores. Then, recently, a friend of mine who happens to know a great deal more about music than I, came into a gift card. And, as luck would have it, he too was interested in the Minutemen, so he got himself a copy of Double Nickels. Yes, that means I soon had my copy too. And from there, well, I was finally able to say that I learned something during freshman year - The Minutemen rock. I did also learn how to rip off coin-operated laundromats, but I don't think my parents would consider that to be knowledge.

A chance encounter, fifteen years of waiting, and a bit of electronic piracy all came to aid me in my journey to one of the greatest rock albums of all time. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm not going to bother commenting on the other album outside of saying that I think it is bloated masterpiece of boredom. It can't keep me awake on my evening commute, which is the measuring stick I use for these albums. Can it make me feel something other than feeling like a beaten down working stiff? In the case of Maggot Brain, the answer is no.


Eurowags said...

I like the "eureka, I got it" many years later sentiment. There are many things that I wished I had paid more attention to when I was younger. Great, hilarious line: "I heard that they got married, so I bet they've enjoyed dozens of sandwiches together."

polchic said...

"I don't know what you just said, my man, but it touched me"