?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Nostalgia & the Rewards of Decluttering

A while back I began digitizing old cassette tapes. Among them are five favorites tapes I recorded in the early 80s when I was working at my college's radio station (WESU 88.1 FM in Middletown, CT). I recorded one tape each semester I worked there. My radio show included a fair amount of alternative music from independent record companies so there was a lot of obscure stuff on the tapes.

I kept all my notes about my work at the radio station, including lists of what was on the tapes, in a spiral-bound notebook. So when I began digitizing these tapes, I went looking for the notebook. A couple of years earlier, I had looked through and reorganized all my old papers. I thought the notebook was with everything else.

It wasn't. I tore through all my papers several times and didn't find it.

So my iTunes playlists of these cassette tapes are woefully inadequate - in a number of cases neither I nor Google could figure out the name of the song and/or artist.

Tonight I was in the living room acting as a cat pillow and looking at the bookshelves, pondering whether any decluttering could be done. Decluttering is strangely difficult for me. I don't actually feel a lot of attachment to possessions, as in, I usually don't feel terribly upset if I lose or accidentally destroy something. But when I look at a specific item wondering whether I should get rid of it or not, I often come up with a lot of excuses why I should keep it. I guess I kind of feel sorry for it. (This doesn't extend to old pizza boxes and so forth, fortunately.)

But in my mode of contemplation I felt freed of some of that, and I decided that I might start decluttering my outmoded collection of psychology books on the second-to-top shelf. When the cat decided to hang out elsewhere, I went over there and picked out about five books to get rid of. There were several other books I figured I wasn't too likely to consult again, but some of them were Yale Press books, and I tend to save all my Yale Press books because I used to work there. And the rest were Martin Seligman books, and since I have something of a collection of his stuff, I didn't want to get rid of any of those either. Then next to the psychology was the Eastern philosophy and Buddhism, but even though I thought I was unlikely to consult many of them again, I knew I had enjoyed reading them and wanted to keep all of them.

So much for that shelf. I moved up to the next shelf, which began with music. I was tempted to skip over all the music books on principle, but I went ahead and started looking through them.

And I found my WESU folder!

The playlists
(Some of the songs degraded too much to be digitized.)

Tape I, Spring 1981 (sophomore year)
Side 1
Going Underground, The Jam
London Calling, Clash
Monday, The Jam
Lost Number, The Fools
G-O-O-D-B-Y-E, Jags
Follow Your Heart, Kingbees
Bad Reputation, Joan Jett
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Ian Dury
Ant Music, Adam & the Ants
Digital Stimulation, The Units
Nurds, The Roches
What Does Sex Mean to Me?, Human Sexual Response
Teenage Kicks, The Undertones
Police on My Back, Clash
Sodium Pentathol Negative, [unknown artist]

Side 2
Time Drags So Slow, Tourists
Walking on Thin Ice, Yoko Ono
Complicated Game, XTC
Roxanne, Police
Fear of Failure, October Days
Lips, Wazmo Nariz
Don't Give Yourself Away, October Days
Holiday in Cambodia, Dead Kennedys
Call Me, Ring
Ants Invation, Adam & The Ants
You Say You Don't Love Me, Buzzcocks
I Only Wanna Be With You, Tourists


Tape II, Winter 82 (junior year)
Side 1
Radio Clash, Clash
Into You Like a Train, Psychedelic Furs
Your Academy, Mission of Burma
12345678910, Human Sexual Response
Slow Down the World, Earthling
Planet Earth, Duran Duran
I Have No Shoes, Shox Lumania
Into the Light, Siouxsie & the Banshees
Charlotte Sometimes, The Cure
Land of the Glass Pinecones, Human Sexual Response
Two Soldiers, David Byrne

Side 2
Poppa's Got a Brand New Pigbag, Pigbag
Chihuahua, Bow Wow Wow
Fashion, David Bowie
Eggs in a Briar Patch, David Byrne
Tainted Love, Soft Cell
Public Alley 909, Human Sexual Response
Ring of Fire, Wall of Voodoo
O Superman, Laurie Anderson
Cloud Chamber, David Byrne
Rebel Waltz, Clash
All About You, Scars


Tape III, Spring 82
Side 1
Right To Know, D-Day
Transglobal Express, Jam
Senses Working Overtime, XTC
Useless Information, Chris & Cosey
Adventures in Plastic TV Land, Pope Paul Pot
Walk the Dog, Laurie Anderson
We Are All Animals, Diagram Brothers
Mechanical Beat, Puppies
Thru the Fence, A Blind Dog Stares
Ceremony, New Order

Side 2
Tell Me Why, Metro
Don't You Want Me (ext. mix), Human League
Cat People (theme), David Bowie
Indian Ocean Voyage 2, Port Said
St. Elmo's Fire, Brian Eno
The Crickets in the Flats, David Thomse & The Pedestrians
Goosebumps, Debra DeJean
Lust to Love, GoGos
Charlie Don't Surf, Clash
This Is Style, Get Smart!
Catwalk, Fingerprintz


Tape IV, Winter 83
Should I Stay or Should I Go, Clash
Stray Cat Strut, Stray Cats
Pop Cliché, Neats
Pipeline, Agent Orange
Alternative Ulster, Stiff Little Fingers
Shallow Water, Flesheaters
All the Young Punks, Clash
We're Desperate, X
Town Called Malice, Jam
White Wedding, Billy Idol
No Thugs in Our House, XTC
He's So Strange, GoGos
Dancing With Tears in My Eyes, X

Side 2
Sex Bomb, Flipper
California Uber Alles, Dead Kennedys
We've Got a Bigger Problem Now, Dead Kennedys
Video Is Not Art, Cold Dogs in the Courtyard
Emotional Blank, Amoebas in Chaos
There's Nothing on This Side, Wall of Voodoo
Sexthink One, Shriekback
City Up!, Egoslavia
Try Jah Love, Third World
Love My Way, Psychedelic Furs


Tape V, Spring 83
Side 1
I Ran, A Flock of Seagulls
The Look of Love, ABC
The Message, Grandmaster Flash
Da Da Da, Trio
The Roof, Vortex
The Gun, Lou Reed
Stop the Music for a Minute, Quentin Crisp
Eat or Be Eaten, Iggy Pop
Garageland, Boffo
Fuck the System, XS
I Don't Care About You, Fear
Ha Ha Ha, Flipper
Repetition, The Fall
Totally Wired, The Fall

Side 2
Time to Get Up, Les Microwaves
That's When I Reach for My Revolver, Mission of Burma
Weather Box, Mission of Burma
The Voice of America
The Damage Is Done, Cabaret Voltaire
Baby O Baby, Martin Rev
Black Box Disco, Vortex
Stationary Dance, Savant
Broken English, Marianne Faithfull
Rise Sam and Rimsky Karsakov, John Cage
All About You, Thomas Leer

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
ex_serenejo
Mar. 27th, 2005 04:16 am (UTC)
So very cool.
daltong
Mar. 27th, 2005 04:25 am (UTC)
Awesome selection.

Unfortunately, I know only about half the songs. I think I would have enjoyed listening to you in high school more than WHFS, which was good but not quite as good as college radio.
daltong
Mar. 27th, 2005 04:26 am (UTC)
P.S. Do you have a copy of "Taxi to Disneyland" by The Silencers? It was damn hard to get then and pretty impossible now. Also: "Carnage Visors" (Cure) on CD?
firecat
Mar. 27th, 2005 05:57 am (UTC)
Nope, I don't have those.
cjsmith
Mar. 27th, 2005 05:40 am (UTC)
I guess I kind of feel sorry for it.

Seeble.
epi_lj
Mar. 27th, 2005 06:39 am (UTC)
Ooh! You played some very neat stuff.

Is the X song a cover of the Ultravox song?
firecat
Mar. 27th, 2005 06:54 am (UTC)
Nope, different song.

Which stuff do you recognize/like?
epi_lj
Mar. 27th, 2005 07:01 am (UTC)
These are the ones I recognized (and like -- I didn't recognize any that I don't like -- oh, except for Roxanne, which I have a strong dislike of) :

London Calling, Clash
Complicated Game, XTC
Roxanne, Police
Holiday in Cambodia, Dead Kennedys
Radio Clash, Clash
Into You Like a Train, Psychedelic Furs
Your Academy, Mission of Burma
Planet Earth, Duran Duran
Into the Light, Siouxsie & the Banshees
Charlotte Sometimes, The Cure
Poppa's Got a Brand New Pigbag, Pigbag
Tainted Love, Soft Cell
Ring of Fire, Wall of Voodoo
Transglobal Express, Jam
Senses Working Overtime, XTC
Useless Information, Chris & Cosey
Ceremony, New Order
Don't You Want Me (ext. mix), Human League
Charlie Don't Surf, Clash
Should I Stay or Should I Go, Clash
Pipeline, Agent Orange
Alternative Ulster, Stiff Little Fingers
All the Young Punks, Clash
White Wedding, Billy Idol
Sex Bomb, Flipper
California Uber Alles, Dead Kennedys
We've Got a Bigger Problem Now, Dead Kennedys
There's Nothing on This Side, Wall of Voodoo
Sexthink One, Shriekback
Love My Way, Psychedelic Furs
I Ran, A Flock of Seagulls
The Look of Love, ABC
The Message, Grandmaster Flash
Da Da Da, Trio
Ha Ha Ha, Flipper
Repetition, The Fall
Totally Wired, The Fall
That's When I Reach for My Revolver, Mission of Burma
Weather Box, Mission of Burma
The Damage Is Done, Cabaret Voltaire
Rise Sam and Rimsky Karsakov, John Cage

...although most of those I only have the vaguest recollection of (other than the reasonably popular ones), since I haven't heard them in some time.
porcinea
Mar. 27th, 2005 12:41 pm (UTC)
D'oh! On the music shelf. Of course!

And how wonderful that you found it. Them. (The notebook. The playlists.)
nellorat
Mar. 27th, 2005 03:06 pm (UTC)
Karmic rewards for even trying to declutter!
pyrzqxgl
Mar. 27th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC)
I had a notebook crisis myself recently when I managed to leave a general-purpose notebook-full-of-stuff at the post office, but luckily it wound up in their lost & found.

Otherwise, the song and artist names definitely bring back memories! I was playing London Calling (the whole thing, not just the title song) just a few days ago -- 10-year-old Arthur really likes "Rudie Can't Fail".
necturus
Mar. 27th, 2005 05:56 pm (UTC)
WESU has pretty good coverage for a station whose antenna is just 39 feet above average terrain (on the roof of a building?). If they could get another 100 feet of height, they'd be city-grade ("local") all through Hartford.

I don't know how easy it'd be to do, though.
firecat
Mar. 27th, 2005 07:00 pm (UTC)
I think they used to have better coverage but I'm not sure. I just remember that back in the early 80s they were fighting some station that wanted to increase its coverage.
gregbo
Mar. 27th, 2005 09:10 pm (UTC)
If it's anything like the SF bay area, they're probably hemmed in by lots of other FMs on the same or nearby frequencies.
auntysocial
Mar. 27th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
"......when I look at a specific item wondering whether I should get rid of it or not, I often come up with a lot of excuses why I should keep it. I guess I kind of feel sorry for it."

Me too. I run a home for unwanted books in the dog room. It's already filled to capacity, so any incoming unwanted books have to sleep on the floor.
starcat_jewel
Mar. 27th, 2005 07:09 pm (UTC)
"Police On my Back" keeps wanting to play in my head TTTO "Feliz Navidad". Fortunately, "Tainted Love" beats that in the earworm competition. :)

And WESU reminds me irresistably of Tank McNamara.
figmo
Mar. 27th, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC)
I can totally relate. Somewhere I've got a box of 24 10" reels of comedy and novelty song shows I need to digitize.
penngwyn
Jul. 17th, 2005 04:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this!

My own first big bloom of interest in music was in that same era, and so many of these songs figure in my memories of college, too. Although I can't swear how many of them I actually played on the college radio station at the time.

firecat
Jul. 17th, 2005 05:23 pm (UTC)
I would offer to put them on CDs for you, but the cassette tapes did degrade pretty badly and even with some digital enhancing most of the songs sound like they're being played on a transistor radio. Good enough for nostalgia purposes though!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

March 2018
S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by chasethestars