February 23, 2010
Welcome to another edition of Brook Pridemore’s The Nineties-ist. This edition discusses 2002, the melancholy mood of the year, exemplified in the album releases by Beck, Wilco, and the Flaming Lips (with a healthy dose of Brook’s own nostalgia thrown in, as he set off for the Big Apple to pursue his personal musical ambitions). For earlier installments, go here.
On September 1, 2002, I made good on my as-long-as-I-can-remember dream of leaving Michigan for New York City. Like senior year of high school, (and the subsequent summer) those final Midwest summer days crawled by, like sweet tea tectonic plates. I worked something like ninety hours a week, “saving” money—but really spending most of it on crazy record store finds, things only I could care about—like the Meat Purveyors’ “Madonna Trilogy.” A big part of my problem has always been that no one around me can match my enthusiasm for miniscule little records by cheeky, insurgent bluegrass bands (and, in fairness, I’ve come to realize that a bigger part of my problem is that I care less about the music than I do about the acquisition). I have long had a reputation for only caring about music, which until recently felt like a character flaw, something to be pilloried for. Unhealthy obsession with those twelve notes and the multitude of possibilities within has permeated every aspect of my life for as long as I can remember, and acquisition of music (and arcane knowledge of its minutiae) has taken precedence over friendships, food, shelter, education, you name it. The list goes on.