Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ramsay Midwood and why I hate CD's

I got asked to create a mix CD of great Southern music and it struck me as yet another chance to champion the laid-back stoner country blues of Ramsay Midwood, whose first record Shootout at the OK Chinese Restaurant is one of my all-time favorite albums. I have bought this CD three times already, having either lost or loaned out previous copies or let them emulsify in the Petri dish of spills under the seat in the car, and did not regret each time I bought it when the wet charcoal chug of "Mohawk River" kicked in, the cellophane lying freshly torn on the passenger seat. Maybe that's why I keep losing this disc - it never makes it into the house, occupying my car CD player for two weeks until some young fresher trifle slyly edges it out of the way.

So, of course, now that I NEED this CD right this very goddamn motherfucking second, it is nowhere to be found, and I peer into the potential money drain of the iTunes store and there it is, smiling, saying c'mon....buy me again. You will have me in an instant, no clumsy disrobing of cellophane, no wait, me 'n you can get down to business right now, and I couldn't do it. I know it's here, I saw it! But then, right next to it on that crappy iTunes store is Popular Delusions & the Madness of Cows - another Ramsay Midwood album I had no idea existed! Snap and zap and here it is. I love you and I hate you, iTunes.

I should rejoice at the discovery, but I'm still in a fevered, unfulfilled thrall over finding Shootout to really let this new one sink in, even on its second listen in a row, but it is a reasonably facsimile. My reaction to it so far is like when you see a girlfriend on the street, about a year after the breakup - you can still picture her naked just fine, but the reality looks askew. I may not ever really be able to get this second album right because of how much I love that first one. Y'all don't even know.

Which leads me to why I kinda hate CD's. I am not of the vinyl worshiping kind, but I rarely misplaced albums. They were so bulky and unwieldy that they required special shelving and locations. Cheap plastic jewel cases, you can stuff that shit anywhere, and I often do. The artifact becomes a manifestation of the music's metaphysical purpose - the music is the mortar that holds the bricks of my consciousness together, and stupid jewel cases are stuffed in every crack and free spot with the liar's promise that I'll find a good place for it later. I might as well set the things on discarded ice chest lids and set them afloat on the river, confident that they will return in the morning tide. Shelves of albums look glorious; shelves of CD's look plastic and horrible, hence why I'd just as soon go fully Kraftwerk on their asses and put it all in the machine and be done with facing my distinct lack of librarianship in the mirror every time I need a goddamn CD right now.


  1. Just saw Ramsay for the first time with the Gourds New Years Eve...bought the CD. Yes, I kind of hate them...but hate cassette tape boxes more. Mostly, I miss looking at album covers.

  2. Received both "Shoot Out" and "Delusions" yesterday...will probably go through a couple of copies as well. Brilliant!