The problem with purging
Put plainly, I have too many CDs, and no pressing excuse to listen to them, save for when programming my still mostly theoretical radio show, or torturing the kids at the coffeeshop.
Every once in a while, then, I try to file some of the ones that need filing, and to flling aside some of the discs that I’m sure I’ll never wish to hear again so as to leave room for the rest. The main plan, the one I never get ’round to, is to winnow this down from what I guess to be 10,000 CDs housed in five three-drawer cabinets and five shelf units into something more manageable. Whatever that might be, but I’d like to lose the shelving units.
Which is where the problem begins, inevitably.
Today, for example. I made it to the Bs, and stumbled. Why had I kept an album by a modern bluegrass quintet whose name rang no bell, called Bearfoot. The album is called Follow Me, it appears to be the fourth they’ve recorded over nine years, and the most recent seems to reflect a lineup change and focus on a single lead singer.
By which you are meant to understand that I took the CD out of the drawer and began to play it, and on it plays, having driven me now entirely away from my theoretical purging project and back to words. Sometimes, see, I left myself these little treats in the stacks: music from acts we weren’t ready to write about yet, reminders, precursors should they turn into something. Crumbs.
Some of the crumbs are now inedible, of course. It’s not clear to me why I kept the Addrisi Brothers reissue (on DelFi), nor, even that I listened to it. I suppose that I presumed that the simple fact of its reissue made it worth keeping, worthy of note, something. Probably I read the liners and resolved to study the matter more intently later.
But the problem remains: what guarantee have I that I’ll not suddenly develop a craving to listen to the Afghan Whigs, whose entire catalog I seem to have moved from house to house over the years? I cannot remember ever having really liked the band, and vaguely remember Greg Dulli cocking his fist in my general direction when I leaned across him at a Sub Pop party to tap Tad Doyle on the shoulder and say hello, before I fled the occasion.
You see the problem.
Well. I shall restore Bearfoot to the shelves, though it’s still a close call. There’s life here, and I suspect their newer record, the one Compass put out a year or two back, is more focused (though I’m not sure I’d like the focus). No. No. No. I shan’t. Away it goes. Not because the seventh track has lost my interest, but because something has to go, and this album doesn’t quite make the case for staying on the shelf. Maybe if they’d taken a swing at me…