maura @ 8:07 am
On the drive down to our annual beach trip we left early to avoid the traffic and ended up hitting the worst snarl we’ve ever experienced on that route. We stopped at a McDonald’s to meet my mom for lunch because it was too early to check in and everyone was starving. Afterward Jonathan and I went to the grocery store to get started on the shopping while my mom took Gus to get the key and open the house. I tried to drive through as many strip mall parking lots as I could to get to the food store, but eventually I had to go back out to the main road and inch along like everyone else.
At some point while we inched we realized that music could make things better, so I started pawing through the more easily-accessible cassettes and picked my very old (20 years?) yet still perfectly functional Aladdin Sane/Scary Monsters tape. Despite all of the hullaballoo about the impermanence of tapes I still have a pile from as far back as high school that work perfectly well, thankyouverymuch.
The tracklisting was written in my long-ago handwriting, so very legible compared to the scrawls of today. Aladdin Sane in red marker, Scary Monsters in blue. Jonathan had just been telling me a few days ago about an article he’d read about Scary Monsters so that was the logical choice. It is a weird record, partly because of the time (which was what the article was about) – 1980 was in-between for so much music, and for Bowie especially given what he’d done before then. I’d written the dates on the tracklisting, too, because I’m a nerd and like to know those things (Aladdin Sane came out in 1973).
I do like the record, despite its weirdness, and especially the A side. Halfway through I realized that I must have listened to the A side much more than the B, because I was far less familiar with the B side songs. The occasional static and pop from the vinyl (which I still own) is well-preserved on the tape. Now that I’m an old lady I’m instantly nostalgic when I hear those imperfections, despite my own clear preference for digital media: when’s the last time I broke out the turntable? And it was such a pain to have to flip the record over. I’m sure that’s why the A side songs are so much easier for me to remember.