Friday, August 03, 2001

So here I am at work, whiling away a slow 8 hours or so and listening to the new Sparklehorse album...12 fairly groovy mellow little tracks, and then perhaps I'll reach for a little musical change of pace to wake me from the torpor resulting from moving little boxes around in Quark XPress for a little too long....but no! Track 12 comes to an end and the silence sets in...a couple of minutes go by. In the first minute I am thinking "OK, sometimes there's a little blank time at the end of a disc. I don't know if that's actually true or not; maybe it's a subconscious leftover from the days of cassettes, like experiencing a minor letdown when your CDs don't begin and end with that little bleep noise like some cassettes used to. I think that bleep was a little unnecessary. I mean, what was its real purpose? Was it saying "Hey! Goober! The tape you put on less than five seconds ago is now actually going to begin!" or was it some sort of celebration at the end of the clear "leader" section, signalling that the boogie-ing could begin? Maybe it was a signal that all the sweaty home tapers could release the pause button on their double tape decks and let the illegal duplication begin with impunity. I remember that bleep most distinctly on the old Talking Heads album "Speaking In Tongues", because for a while I was relatively certain that the bleep was in fact part of the song! You are probably not so foolhardy and less inclined to fits of reminiscence about tape bleeps than I am, so don't lose any sleep over it.

Where was I?

Oh yes, the Sparklehorse album. So after a good minute or two I start to think..."Hmm! I wonder if there's one of those super-duper secret extra tracks at the end of this here CD.", because frankly after a couple of minutes of silence I better get an extra track or someone's going to owe me for a couple of minutes of my life. It's kind of like a delay in traffic on the freeway: the longer the delay, the more grievously injured the accident victims better be by the time I get there. After ten minutes or so, there better be some sort of graphic horror scene the likes of which man has previously only dreamed of. Anyway, so a good five minutes went by and then I got the extra track. A fairly good little tune, haunting and melodic.

But here's my point: Why not just make it another track? Why do I have to sit there and wait for the damn thing, hitting the search button in a frantic attempt not to miss out? And these long stretches of blank space are particularly frustrating when you have a few CDs in the old changer. They're mood breakers. I'm sure Trent Reznor thought he was being really cute and divergent from middle America when he put half the frigging songs on "Broken" after a lengthy empty section, and Tool must have just been hugging themselves when they put that stupid carrot thing at the end of "Undertow". I know it's probably an offshoot from when they used to do similar things at the end of LPs....but at least on the LPs you didn't have to wait five minutes for it! They couldn't spare the vinyl for that kind of excess. You got up to change the record....heard the little devil message or whatever and waited until the devil message was done.

And we were happy!

Oh well.

I apologize profoundly and sincerely for the total lack of any identifiable clam content in this entry. The score remains tied.


Blog Archive