My High School Music Collection

Backstory: Today in the lab, I found myself listening to some of the old local Detroit bands in my music collection.   It got me feeling a bit nostalgic, especially when some tracks came on from an old friend’s punk band, the Bourgeois Filth.  Shortly before the band split, he’d given me a demo tape of some very rad, very different stuff the band was working on, but I must have lost it years ago… I can’t even remember the last time I had a cassette player, let alone anything to play in one.  I still have their sole CD release, but this afternoon I really wanted to listen through that old tape again.

So anyway, tonight I Googled around a bit.  The band’s old webpage is still up on AngelFire (Seriously?  I had no idea AngelFire was still around…), but hasn’t been updated since their reunion show 9 years ago.  Seems like they never got much attention outside of Detroit; I really can’t seem to find anything useful on the Internets about them.  What I did find, however, was an old-school German FTP listing of MP3 sites that probably went dark a decade ago.  Including, I think, my old dual Pentium Pro basement server.  Near the top of the list is an entry for, sharing albums from such fine musicians as Nine Inch Nails, Green Day, Orbital, and the Bourgeois Filth.  I’m reading through this thinking, “Wow, that’s exactly what I used to listen to…” when I notice one of the band names: Semblance of Self.  That was the name I released my own material under!  Seriously!  As much as I’d like to think that someone found those tunes cool enough to bother mirroring them on their own FTP server, I really can’t believe anyone did.  So… someone’s still linking to an FTP site I ran during the 90’s, and specifically mentions my old band name.  Bizarre!

Tragically, I still can’t seem to find anyone who had a copy of that Bourgeois Filth tape and bothered to encode it into MP3s 🙁

Update: Since a few of you have expressed interest, I’ve uploaded the original Bourgeois Filth album.  If anyone has MP3s of their last demo tape, I’d love to get a copy!

Another update (March 27, 2012): A digital copy of Bourgeois Filth’s last demo tape has surfaced at Michigan Graveyard!

Names, Locations, and Dates

Last week Eric posted about memorization, and our culture’s general lack of it.  He was specifically referring to storytelling and poetry.  I only had to memorize a couple of [very short] poems in high school, but I recall even that was nearly beyond me, I had a terrible time of it.  I do really well with plot lines; the general series of events in a film or novel or history book  stick with me for ages, but the specifics never do.  Unlike some people, I have no idea when the Treaty of Ghent was signed.  I’ve often wished for a mind able to trap these details and hold onto them until they become useful, but I’m afraid that’s not my lot.

Music, however, is a different story.  It seems to be the combination of words and melody that does it for me… I’m no good at recalling either until I’ve memorized both, but that usually only takes listening to a tune a couple of times.  Seeing lyrics written by themselves doesn’t help me at all, they slide right through my mind.  Melodies, by themselves, are the same way.  When I was playing classical guitar, I had lots of trouble memorizing pieces for performances.  Once I even got halfway through performing a piece before realizing I had no idea what came next, and just stopped (this actually happened twice: the same song, at the same spot, at the same competition.  Tres embarrassing.).  Once you combine the music and lyrics, however, I’m fine.  I’ve recently been playing a lot of tunes that I learned 5 or 10 years ago and haven’t even thought of in years… remarkably, they’re all still up there.

I’m not sure why I have an easy time memorizing these two concurrent vectors when simply one vector alone is very difficult, though I suspect it has something to do with the music reminding of associated lyrics, and vice-versa.  No complaints, though.  It’s allowed me to build a formidable repertoire of cover tunes which, some day, will be as useful (to me) as knowing the signing date for the Treaty of Ghent.

[Just to be clear, that last bit isn’t sarcastic.  Chris got a great laugh out of an audience by mentioning that little tidbit, which I’d say is pretty awesome.]