Friday, June 1, 2012

Remember the 90s: Compact discs and Wesley Willis

You might say Compact Discs were bad.  An inferior disc.  Ooh vinyl, hewn from superior polymers.  Discus large and nebulous, it radiated warmth.  The Compact Disc was cold and sterile.  Vinyl was warm, it spat and hummed beneath the needle.  It was intimate.  The Compact Disc was distant and foreboding.  Too big to fit in your pocket.  Too small to sit on your lap and engage your afternoon.  Delight.  Poor Compact Disc.

But I loved the CD.  100 Compact Discs were smaller and cheaper than 100 vinyl records.  100 CDs fit in a wallet and went with you on vacation.  Your compact disc could play in your car stereo and would play 10,000 times and sound the same.  Scratches could be repaired.  Their apotheosis was in those glistening heady days of the 90s.  Back when Master P represented the new school of rap.  Back when pop music new how to charm with a little T & A.

Who will teach the children the old ways?  Will all our moments be lost in time, like tears in the rain?

The CD was the early democratization of music.  An intrepid musician could self release a box of CDs and sell them to the local hole in the wall used CD store.

I know.  I am a bum.  I am stupid for liking Wesley Willis.  I hear the voices.  All the time.

Yet I think this documentary should be submitted to the Library of Congress.  It gives you a window to the past like no other.  It gives you a look at a great artist of the streets working.  Will we ever see someone like Wesley Willis again?  No.  The hipsters won't have it.  They will love him and hate him and make us pay.  They always do.  There is no room for rock and roll next to hipster DJs.

Sometimes I wonder if we are suffering for our sins?

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.

Wesley Willis had several excellent documentaries made.  Take the time to watch them all.  Call it nostalgia if you want, but those were truly better times than these.

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