And yet the gradual haul-out of the never-weres or never-quites is really making a difference psychically. Just looking at a couple of small shelves is amazing compared to how it used to be. It's all just stuff I like! I can't remember the last time I looked at a shelf full of CDs and felt that way. I don't even feel this way about the Q1 Top 40 I posted on my other blog a while ago--those are good songs but almost none of them have earned any sentimental value, which is crucial. I am excited to see how it is when it's done--or as done as it can be with an ongoing inflow of stuff, however small.
The thing I think I feared most about pruning my collection like this is that it wouldn't seem representative enough. For a long time that would have meant "not enough genres" and to some degree it still does, because I have at least a surface attraction to a lot of genres. Now it also means representative of my tastes, at least as I can gauge them. But a weird thing has happened: this year my favorite genre, by far, has been indie rock. I don't doubt for a second that I'm playing safe; I've felt less inclined to venture afar musically this year than I think I ever have. I'm 34, which is certainly part of it. I've got a lot of other things to worry about, some of them I'm facing up to for the first time in years (mostly financial, great timing), and I'm a wonderful trifle like brakesbrakesbrakes' cover of "Ancient Mysteries" would have been lucky to make a first-quarter Top 30 and be fondly picked up every so often. But all of a sudden I really want to hear a lot of fast four beats and quarter-note bass. I want whiny intonation. I crave dissonant guitars and lyrics that alternate between wide-eyed and jaded. I find myself caring about bands my peers are actually interested in.
I don't think I've burned out on techno. I play a lot of it, like a bunch of records. I've already written too much about DJ Koze this year. (BUT HE'S SO FUCKING GOOD!) I'm getting ready to write about Kiki--like that one a bunch. Etc. But toward the end of '06 and then in '07 and '08 I'd fallen back in love with techno so much that I felt vaguely guilty when I kept reading what a lull it was in. Maybe it was--I never go out anymore, so whatever discourse surrounding it as it exists in clubs is pretty much beyond me. I just go by records, and I heard lots both years I liked. It's not always a comfortable position; I'm kind of amazed I get to write for RA, where I'm outmatched on every side in terms of on-scene knowledge. It's humbling to do sometimes--I work hard on it because I know it has to stand up to real scrutiny. I try to do that with everything, but RA is a special case.
But yes, indie rock. I like it. I made Angela a ziptape last night; while I knew I'd fill it up with indie because she loves the stuff, I was also primarily being honest about my own proclivities over the past few months of listening. Or really, the last month, because the first quarter felt pretty dire to me. (Obviously my listening was less rangy than usual, so take that with lots of salt, please.) But now it feels like that fallow beginning is being made up for.