I could talk about my dinner and movie with the Maddening Angel this afternoon; or last night at the Hangout where Deuce, the lead singer for one of the Friar's more successful bands, said I look exactly like this guy (I really don't see it); or my recent flirtatious correspondence with a State School classmate; or my bouts of soul-crushing self-loathing and depression; or I could talk about some of the things that happened during The Sapient Sutler's Missing Months, like the time a kid got knocked unconscious by a drunk right in front of me at the Hangout on his 21st birthday and the Friar, MA and I all stepped in to help... But no, the personal stuff is verboten for a time.
So anyhow, my self-imposed project this year is to buy 52 CDs. Don't ask why. Some people collect stamps. Some make model cars or trains. Some have actual lives and accomplish things of importance. I'm doing this. Get off my back!
The first CD purchased this year is a bit of an obscurity but a favorite of mine: A Wilderness of Mirrors by Paul K. It cost me $7.58.
It's a sort of concept album based around a re-imagining of the book of Job. Now a lot of people could get turned off instantly by the sheer pretentiousness of the setup, but I'm kind of a sucker for this kind of ambition in rock. And Paul K. pulls it off, with a wide variety of styles and a voice that sounds like it really understands pain (he was in legal trouble for heroin for a few years before making this album). Here's a review of the album by someone better at this sort of thing than I.
I was first introduced to Wilderness by someone I don't know and have never met. I trade CD-Rs online, in another guise, and sometime in late 2005 a guy offered me this in exchange for something of mine. Being the swell, broad-minded person I am, I agreed to the swap without having heard of the artist, read a word of a review or listened to a note of his work. I gave the CD-R he sent me a few listens, and --- as often happens --- though it didn't really grab me the first few times, after repeated exposure, some of the complexity of this layered, emotionally-rich music sank in. So I bought the real thing this week, and passed along my CD-R to someone else. Although I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, exactly, it remains a favorite of mine, and one of the few albums that I like to listen to as a whole (it really works better that way). Oh, and the album's title comes from a line in one of the best and most famous works of my favorite poet (whose work gives this very blog its name, as well).
So, anyway, that's the first CD of the year. Hope I live long enough for another 51!