21 September 2009

Comparative Listening

This past weekend (at last) I did load Trout Mask Replica onto the Sansa Fuze player, and listened to some of it on the morning train ride (train was less noisy than I thought it might be).

Later this morning, on an elevator, another passenger was listening to an mp3 player.  Loud.  Loudly, anyway.  The most readily discernible element of the music in such passive circumstances tends to be the drumbeat, and by the drumbeat at first I mistook it for a They Might Be Giants song (which surprises me more than anyone, since I hardly know their work at all). 

In fact, though, as the singing floated into a state of near-comprehensibility, a much firmer guess came to be Glass Onion from The Beatles.  I may not own any Beatles, but I am just Beatles-snobby enough not to call it The Wh. A.

The Beatles are in the air.  One new product available at the MFA gift shop is bowls of various shapes (for chips, for a tossed salad, &c.) made from vinyl records.  Come to think of it, I guess tossed salads wont work, since the attraction of the items seems to be the circular label around the spindle-hole (that quaint artifact from the LP-era).  Oh yes, Beatles in the air.  So a young lady bought one such bowl the other day, and she was very excited because it was record two of the 1967-1970 compilation.  Which I should not necessarily have known, as I had only glanced and noticed that track 1. was Back in the USSR, and I had mistaken it for The Beatles.

The young ladys newly-acquired bowl in turn drew a neighborly comment from a distinguished-looking gentleman on the monaural reissue box.

And while this conversation was in progress, I thought, and Ive just loaded Captain Beefheart onto my mp3 player I had a powerful sense of the profound harmony of the universe.

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