Tuesday, August 02, 2005

AbbaGav Costs the Dandy Warhols a Fan 

In a pizza restaurant the other day one of my daughters had a question for the kid behind the counter. She wanted to know who got to pick the music that was playing. As the pizza girl explained that she had chosen, I realized that I recognized the tune. Force of habit had the words out of my mouth before I could even think through the implications: "Cool. Dandy Warhols. We Used To Be Friends."

Through college and early adulthood, keeping up with what was cool in music was a big deal. Every three minutes, brought a new song on the radio and another chance to compete in our own version of "Name That Tune." The more obscure or cutting-edge the song, and the quicker the identification, the better. So I felt pretty good about recognizing a Dandy Warhols song at my age (all of 41), and the respect I'd probably earned from my kids and the teenaged pizza pusher.

It was only after we'd left the shop that it hit me: I have a few gray hairs -- ok, ok, maybe the teeniest bit more than a few.

I had just done a very bad thing without even realizing it.

I suddenly flashed back to a day, many years before, when my mom had volunteered how much she loved my Journey tape. I still remember her words: "and that Steve Perry certainly has a lovely voice!"

It was years before I was able to listen to Journey again. I just couldn't bring myself to pop that tape back in the old player. In fact, I practically rebranded my entire musical identity after that, even though, I must admit, Steve Perry does indeed have a lovely voice.

I now realize what I was supposed to say: "It's nice that you get to choose the music, if you call this music, but could you please turn it down? It just sounds like so much noise to me."

Dandy Warhols, if your album sales -- or downloads or whatever it is you measure these days -- falls just a whisker short of projections this year and for the next few, please accept my apologies.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: