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Monday, March 24, 2008

Stumblin' Man

Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places on the Internet, but I tend to hear more about proposed/in-development DVDs, movies, books and CD reissues more than the actual products. Where's that four-disc Ryan Adams box set? Hell, where's that Replacements box set? What about Bottle Rocket on Criterion? I've just learned to not get all excited until it comes out. But I've also experienced getting excited about stuff that I didn't know existed or heard was worth checking out.

Case in point, a relatively recent post on Buddyhead mentioned a documentary on TAD. Reading the words, "is actually more about the whole Sub Pop scene than it is about TAD," piqued my interest. Watching Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears over the weekend, I found it to be a great look at the critically-acclaimed/lauded by popular bands Seattle four-piece. It's pretty straightforward, well-shot and is full of great interviews with band members, Nirvana's Krist Novoselic and Chad Channing, Mark Arm from Mudhoney, Sub Pop's Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Ponemon, engineer Jack Endino and writer Charles R. Cross. A number of these people were featured in Doug Pray's excellent documentary Hype!, but this documentary centers more on a single band.

Also over the weekend, I came across Dean Wareham's memoir, Black Postcards. Even though I've never really heard much from Galaxie 500 or Luna and wasn't that compelled to check out Luna's material after watching Tell Me Do You Miss Me, I was curious about this book. Something really interests me about critically-acclaimed bands that never quite "made it" in the traditional sense of success in the music business. Once I finish Rock On, Dan Kennedy's memoir of working at Atlantic Records, I plan on reading Black Postcards for the band member perspective on the Nineties alternative gold rush.

Adding to all of this was a recent screening of the DVD that comes with the reissue of Alkaline Trio's Goddamnit. A friend of mine reviewed it for the magazine he writes for and gave it a very enthusiastic review. Figuring I'd enjoy this, I picked it up and liked what I saw. I have to say it's weird to hear Dan Andriano briefly touch on Slapstick, a ska-punk band who many hold as high as Operation Ivy, as his "old band." But, it's nice to hear about a great record be talked about (a record I've always liked start-to-finish more than any of their other records) in this way.

Where I'm going with all of this is how it never ceases to amaze me how we can stumble onto something that's right up our alley. And there wasn't much fanfare trumpeting its arrival. No ads flashing on a site you frequently read. It's like you stumble upon things without really searching too hard and they come to you. Whether that's to my detriment, that's how I see a lot of what happens in life. It's not necessarily stumbling in a clumsy way. Rather, something just hits you at a time when you least expect it or even knew it existed.

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