helen-louise (baratron) wrote,
helen-louise
baratron

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Here, sitting in my room, with The Replacements and Hüsker Dü...

It was my mum's birthday last weekend (well, I suppose the weekend before last now - 15th), so we went out with her in central London. First we went to Grant & Cutler, the foreign language bookshop, to buy her some German books. We discovered several weird new language-learning techniques, including a course you can do on your iPod, and a course that encourages you to learn German phrases by setting them all to music and singing along. Personally, it seems that my language-learning ability died after school, as I didn't get anywhere with German or Italian at university... but I have a ridiculously good memory for the lyrics of songs. So we bought her the CD and I'm curious to know how she gets on with it.

Then we went CD shopping. We went into Sister Ray, which has historically been the kind of shop that concentrates on electronic, industrial and gothic music - they sell other stuff, but only to pay the rent. If it's weird, on an indie label, and ideally in a language that your average British person would not understand, they'd have it. Even now, they are indie hip enough to still sell paper fanzines, which have more-or-less died out since the internet became a thing that everyone has. I, however, did not get obscure music. I bought albums of classic rock, most of which are hopelessly unfashionable:

Def Leppard - Hysteria Deluxe Edition. Somewhere, I have a tape (paid-for) of Hysteria that I've had since the late 80s. I found it again recently going through boxes and was all excited because I've been wanting to listen to it. But could I find it the other day when I was desperate to hear it? No.

Hüsker Dü - Candy Apple Grey. Many years ago, bethdeth, who I knew from the Wildhearts Mailing List, gave me a tape of this. It wasn't the greatest quality, like many taped copies of other tapes. My indie-kid credentials have been seriously dented all these years because I never got round to buying any Hüsker Dü albums. Shocking!

Journey - Greatest Hits. I blame Rock Band. Really, I do. Songs of extreme earworm that are right in my vocal range (how did those AOR guys sing so high?).

Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine. Because neither Richard nor I already owned it and it is the best NIN album.

Poison - The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock. Again, blame Guitar Hero/Rock Band. I've always had a secret fondness for hair metal and Poison in particular, but I hadn't realised how many good songs they had until being forced to listen to them as part of a game.

Soul Asylum - Black Gold: The Best Of. The Soul Asylum album Grave Dancers Union is in my non-existent Top 20 Albums Of All Time list, and I love all the Soul Asylum/Dave Pirner tracks on Kevin Smith movie soundtracks... yet I've never got round to buying any more of their stuff. I suck.

Velvet Revolver - Libertad. The Last.fm recommendations on our Sonos system keep suggesting we should listen to Velvet Revolver, and so far we've liked all the tracks.

I was almost cringing taking my little collection up to the counter to pay. Surely these CDs would mark me as hopelessly non-indie with no street cred whatsoever? and I was mentally preparing for an argument where I pointed out all the weird and interesting stuff in our collection at home. (Hey, my favourite band Freezepop spent something like 8 years not only on an indie label, but on an indie label owned by two of the people in the band!). And indeed, the young tattooed & pierced guy with strange spiky hair behind the counter said "Oh cool, you have a really good collection here - we were actually going to put that Journey CD on next". I just accepted that comment, and paid my £50.

Halfway down the road, it hit me. He wasn't being sarcastic. Apparently I'm old enough now for the stuff I liked as a kid to be considered retro. I don't honestly know how this makes me feel.
Tags: metal!!, mum, music
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