All My Friends by LCD Soundsystem (10.0)
You spend the first five years trying to get with the plan,
and the next five years trying to be with your friends again
A guy I work with who fulfills every every facet of the definition of moron (but in a sweet way) and who looks uncannily like Alfred E. Neuman (also in a sweet way) introduced me to a phrase I really like, but seldom deploy.
He says he hates it when anything “insists upon itself.” I’m not certain he grasps the extent of the phrase (N.B. I once heard him say “I think those boots insist upon themselves”), but it is a great turn of English, and one of those great turns of English (N.B. like “Better angels” or using “allow” instead of “say” or truly witty portmanteau or the well executed and apropos double negative not unbeleivable) that stick in my craw. But the ascension of “insists upon itself” into my verbal purview seemed to have come at a particular, dare I say prescient, time.
During the heat of summer, late July, the bad heat. I made the decision I would quit WD at the end of this month. This week (the last in September) is WD’s third birthday, and this third birthday post would be where I tried to let you know how much you reading, your responses, and your recs have meant to me the last three years. Then I’d meander through WD’s (impossible) top 16 songs of his whole life ever, and culminate in a big weepy goodbye.
I starting to think WD had served its purpose, and this purpose, I thought, was to get me writing as frequently and as dedicatedly (N.B. real word) as I knew I wanted to. And it has done that. My stubborn insistence on this format and this schedule has ensured that, real world permitting, my fingers are on a keyboard every day trying to birth some original thought.
And worse, I felt like WD had begun to insist upon itself. That it had become me constantly stretching for unique takes on minutia and probing for rare and interesting (and not necessarily good) music, but not truly getting behind anything I was writing doing it only to elicit a response. And this seemed to me to be the definition of insisting upon itself.
I hated that, and was prepared to end before it became (more) of a mockery of itself. Maybe no different from what it was.
But let’s be clear, from the very beginning, from the two unwitting email recipients who made the mistake of encouraging me, WD has insisted upon itself. Its very nature was to insist upon itself. It never failed. Perhaps it should have been shelved long before. It was just incumbent upon me to clean up the mess.
Then I thought….what the hell? This is what I do. WD’s purpose is for me to reach my friends. And some of you I used to see every day, talk to every day. Every. Single. Day. I’ve seen you at your lowest, your highest, your funniest, your saddest. Some of you I haven’t seen in a decade or more. And some of you I see every morning. And frankly, I miss you all.
And yes, WD insists upon itself, but what it also has done, and hopefully will continue to do is be the mechanism that keeps alive friendships that would have otherwise withered and died. (N.B. Go ahead and tell me FB would do the same, and I’ll disagree with you…Because Facebook is stupid.) But no, because when you drop me a line telling me you disagree with any of the bold and less than thoroughly researched topics I formulate or when I hear mix CDs you have wrought with a track that just may have made it in there because of me, that is how friendships survive.
For some reason I never run out of ideas I think are interesting to write about. And I’ll never get tired of music. And I’ll never get tired of starting conversations with you. And I’ll keep bothering you with both of them until you tell me not to.
OK, three years in, here are some figures and factoids of little importance, and serve little purpose other than to WD’s need to ferret them out.
(N.B. Calculations are estimates, but good ones)
1. 142 Weekly Downloads. 9,2 hours of music.
2. First alphabetically: Afraid of Everyone by The National (WD28). Last: You’re Pretty Good Looking (for a girl) by the White Stripes (WDVIIN2).
3. Longest: Pharaoh’s Dance by Miles Davis (20:04) (WDVIIIN2); Jungleland by The Boss (9:33)(PWD:6/20/11); Runaway by Yeezy (9:08) (WDVIIIN15)
4. Shortest: You’re Pretty Good Looking (for a girl) by the White Stripes (1:41)
5. Oldest: If I Can Dream by Elvis Presley (June, 1968)(WD45)
6.Artists with the most WDs Drive By Truckers (5) The Boss (4)
7, Artists with the least WDs: Tie between The Who, The Clash, Public Enemy, and Outkast (N.B. How?)
8. Number of artists having no business being named WD ahead of the artists in 7 = pretty much all of them, but (with a nod to Coldplay) John Mayer was the worst.
9. Number of times degenerative neurological disorders were discussed = 1
10. Number of times baseball was discussed = 5 (N.B. Also considered an incurable neurological disorder).
11. Number of minutes WD ever actually considered quitting his blog < 30
OK, now best reader comments for the year. You guys did great this year. Keep it up.
1. Thanks babe, I like it. However, you really should have let me proofread it.
2. We also ate some muthafuckin beefies in that ride (can I borrow your flip flops?).
3. Mayer was one of the names I suggested we name our daughter (Sorry, Bob).
4. You never had your wisdom teeth out? What a pussy.
5. Man, you lost me when you used Kanye and masterpiece in the same sentence.
6. And from henceforth, whenever I mention Evan Dando (which is not often) I shall refer to him as Mr. Handsome (You have admit he’s handsome. He’s no Jeter, but wow.)
7. Oh and if I was a Cold War spy operating out of Berlin I would like to have the name Yogi Reinheitsgebot (Thank you for acting like you aren’t a Cold War spy).
8. I couldn’t believe that Guestroom still had Van Halen’s Diver Down for Record Store Day!
9. “Well lookie there… Matty had sex…”.
10. Listened to about 35 seconds of it and then turned Fox News back on. Prefer Kanye.
11. There should be a word for what happens what a song gives you chills and/or an erection.
12. My wife breaks my rocks…for free
13. Is this the longest WD ever or just the first one I’m reading on an iPhone?
14. It’s snowboard music, and I don’t even know what that means, I like it, but Ill never listen to it again.
15. Very disappointed that you forgot #watchele (watchele).
Much love guys. Enjoy.