Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Garden of Earthly Delights

Yesterday's post included a mention of an XTC song. The deal is, while writing the post, I wanted to hear the song. I had never heard "Down in the Cockpit," but I had it on a burned CD-R copy of English Settlement. Now, why in the world would I not be familiar with a song I already had on CD? Well, despite not always listening to every track on every album I obtain, there's another reason.

When I got Comcast high-speed Internet in 2002, I downloaded SoulSeek right away. I wasted no time in getting all sorts of records I heard high praises about mostly in The Big Takeover. Within a few days, I had full albums by the Pernice Brothers, the New Pornographers, Government Issue, and XTC. The downloading just never stopped. I spent so much of my free time downloading music that I didn't have a lot of time to listen to everything. But when spyware eventually took over my hard drive, I had to pull the plug. The deal with XTC in particular was that I had almost all of their catalog. I wondered where I should start.

Over the following years, I got plenty of mileage out of a number of choice cuts on the Fossil Fuel singles collection as well as their debut, White Music. Yet I still had trepidation towards seeking out more with album cuts and non-LP tracks. XTC was not a band I instantly grabbed onto. As a matter of fact, I was rather annoyed by my first listen to "Science Friction." Regardless, I gave their material another chance and warmed up to it fast. For some reason though, I still never got around to digging through the albums for choice cuts. That was, until yesterday.

Culling tracks from Fossil Fuel and the albums I downloaded, I sought out to make a new, updated 2-disc set. So after starting a thread on the SOMB asking for suggestions, I had plenty to choose from. My fellow SOMBies did not let me down and ended up making a 3-disc set. While I can't handle going through ten discs back-to-back, I can handle three discs.

For the time being, while not listening to the new Wilco record, I'll be listening to this set. I have to stop myself though; what if I just kept downloading and had hundreds of records that were barely listened to in CD-R form? This is something I've found very troubling with downloading over the years. There seems to be little room for growing with an album. That attitude has seemingly been replaced by a never-ending, fast-paced hunt for more albums. As fast as my thoughts move in my brain, my music habits are still in arrested development. And I'm not really that inclined to change this anytime soon.

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