BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Monday, September 26, 2005

LOOK AFTER YOUR CDS, AND YOUR CDS WILL LOOK AFTER YOU: if you don't keep an eye on them they will go walkies

I am sat here making a compilation CD for a friend and have had a flash back from Nick Hornby's High Fidelity. I remember a ‘scene’ in the book where he refers to some general rules for compiling a mixtape. I remember laughing aloud when I first read it, and smiling to myself with the realisation that I am not the only one that spends hours working on mixes in an effort to get them right. I decided to dig out the book and re-read that section but it aint where it should be. B*stard! Obviously loaned out to someone, so long ago I have forgotten who.

Putting a compilation together is often the time when you discover that one of your prize CDs or records is missing, loaned out to some friend so trustworthy you are more than happy to lend them anything but not reliable enough to bring it back before you have forgotten you had even lent it out.

Putting together a compilation is always a good excuse to dig out something old but gold. It is VERY annoying when you go to dig out some classic or other and it aint there. It is like a little bit of your life and your personality has been taken from you; it can bug you for months on end. It could also mean you have lost an opportunity to impress someone.

I recently spotted ‘Colossal Youth’ by Young Marble Giants in a shop in Cardiff. I knew that I already owned a copy and I knew that I had loaned it out a LONG time ago, probably four or five years ago, but for the life of me could not think who to. Now it is not often you see Young Marble Giants CDs, so I decided to bite the bullet and re-buy it. Sods law, the very next week I was around my mate Nipper’s house and he said, “by the way, I have finished with that young Marble Giants CD”. I let him keep it.

About two years ago I redecorated the Iguana HQ and bought some nifty CD cabinets from a certain Scandinavian retail outlet. I was chuffed to bits and eagerly set about filling them with my CDs. Now, filing CDs is not as easy as filing vinyl. All my vinyl is filed alphabetically, if I buy a new rare peice of vinyl by, for instance, the Pale Fountains, I can simply slip it in with the other albums, between Ozric Tentacles and Lee Scratch Perry. Simple! (Actually, where is my CD copy of Pacific Street by the Pale Fountains? Mmmm). But filing CDs is not quite as easy, once the shelf is full, it is full, there is no flexibility in them damn jewel cases. So I have had to arrange my CDs using a less than perfect system, by genre. The problem with this system is that a lot of bands could fall into more than one category. The Propaganda And Information Network (P.A.I.N.) for instance… punk, or ska? You can see my problem.

Anyway, cabinet one is roughly ‘dance’ music. It starts off with festi type stuff, then moves on to Afro-celtic crossover, then on to dub, digi-dub and ska, then drum ‘n bass, chillout, trance, big beat, funk, soul and finishes off with jazz.

Cabinet two is ‘rock’, starting with psychedelic/space rock type stuff, moving on to anarcho-punk, ska-punk, punk-metal, techno-punk and old school punk, then indie and finishing off with old school 60s/70s rock.

As you can see, on occasions new CDs can be difficult to find a home for.

On top of all this, the cabinets were full as soon as I put them up and i dont have room for anyore, so I now have miscellaneous piles growing all over the place while I try to re-shuffle things every now and again, keeping the best stuff in the cabinets and the ‘What was going thru my head when I bought that’ stuff, and the demos that are not worth a second listen, finding their own homes.

Which brings us back to missing CDs. When I put the cabinets up, there were a significant number of vital CDs missing, some were only a phone call away but some just plain ‘missing presumed lost forever’. Very annoying. I have to say though, there were one or two that fell into the category of ‘who the hell did I borrow that off?”

Being of anarchist tendancies, i suppose i should not be so materialistic and take the attitude that 'all property is theft', but there are limits to the sacrifices we should make for the cause...

Funny how you can get distracted, I was gonna write my own rules for compiling CDs, but have managed to get totally side tracked. That will have to wait for another time.

Photograph takaen by me in a dance tent @the Shambala Festival, Devon, August 2005


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