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Faith - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
For someone who already had just about every official Cure release and a bunch of bootlegs as well, the reissues of the band's albums have been both a blessing and a curse. I'm delighted to get tracks I only had on tape, vinyl or illicit CDs in a higher quality, more accessible form. But it also pains me to have my most treasured rare possessions, for which I scoured record stores for months on end, suddenly available to all. It makes my exertions seem retroactively foolish. Still, the good outweighs the bad. For one thing, I can share my absolute favorite Cure track of all time, this live version of Robert Smith's favorite song "Faith," with you in a clean-sounding version that accentuates its brilliant minimalism. Every time I'm watching the end of a concert, I want the performer to go to the microphone and say, "This is our last song and it's called 'Faith'." I don't imagine that any of you actually care what lies in the clearing at the middle of my densely forested soul. But if, perchance, one of you does care, listening to this track wearing headphones in a completely dark room, not once, but five or six times in succession, would be like taking a helicopter to that barren place. It's worth downloading regardless. The Cure was always a much better live band than anyone outside their ambit realized. And this is one of their most transcendent performances.

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morimur From: morimur Date: December 31st, 2006 06:39 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I felt the same way about Stereolab releasing a cheap box set of all of their rare tracks, b-sides and singles. It was the equivalent of working hard to mine a beautiful stone just to find out later that anyone could get it for a few dollars at the local convenience shop.

Thank you for sharing the Cure track. I don't think I have ever heard them live (bootleg or in concert).
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 31st, 2006 06:44 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I didn't do quite that good a job of being a Stereolab completist, but I was also miffed at that compilation, even as I recognized that I was being a bit silly, since the point is for the music to be enjoyed by as many as possible.

Later incarnations of The Cure were also good in concert, though the addition of extra players made it harder to focus on the taut interplay of Smith's guitar and Simon Gallup's bass that makes this performance of "Faith" so strong.

Smith isn't the sort of guitarist who blows you away with his technical proficiency. But, like Neil Young, he seems to have a knack for playing the right notes at the right time, generating melancholy through the sense that each one is the product of a struggle for expression.
From: hipsandquips Date: December 31st, 2006 08:37 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
the cure remains one of my favorite bands. i remember my sister introducing them to me when i was 12 or 13 and being obsessed with robert for yeaaaars. the first thing i obsessively did on youtube was hunt down all the old music videos, lol.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 31st, 2006 08:47 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I love many of their videos. It's weird how I can suddenly get transported back to the self that would get lost in their music for days on end. I kind of like that, but it's unnerving.
flw From: flw Date: December 31st, 2006 11:55 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

The Cure? for what?

I spent $400 when I was 16 to get a CD player so that I could listen to the Cure in glorious digitalis. My parents wouldn't let me move the stereo into my room (They NEVER listened to it! Ever! We had one Frank Sinatra Christmas album that sat next to the stereo for five years. The record player didn't even have a needle!). So, I went and bought a thirty foot headphone extension cord. I would wait until everyone was asleep, put Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me on the CD player (did I mention that I paid $400 for a CD player?) on auto repeat and listen to it five or six times in a row as I literally cried myself to sleep. This was standard practice for teenagers at the time, if I am not mistaken.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 31st, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: The Cure? for what?

That's a great story. I'm older than you, so Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me didn't come out until the end of my post-high school year in Germany. I'd gone to meet my parents and sister in England towards the end of my stay for a three-week family vacation. We stayed in a village near Southamption and made excursions from there. On our first trip to London we went to HMV so I could buy the just-released album. I then listened to it over and over while jogging each night on my knock-off Walk Man. That's my favorite Cure album, BTW. Do you want the expanded reissue? I can share it.
flw From: flw Date: January 1st, 2007 04:22 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: The Cure? for what?

Yeah, I wannit. :)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 1st, 2007 08:49 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: The Cure? for what?

OK. I'll make you one.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 1st, 2007 12:32 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
First of all, a general wish towards a happy new year to you.

Secondly this: "it also pains me to have my most treasured rare possessions, for which I scoured record stores for months on end, suddenly available to all. It makes my exertions seem retroactively foolish" -- really? Or just kinda funny to say?

If true (even remotely) this maybe touches on "the why" behind something I've often wondered about & seen in so many of my obsessive pals w/ finely honed tastes (or whatever definition might best suit this notion that I hope I'm getting across). While at times in my life I've kinda mused around the precipice of this, these days it feels like it's very much not my story & I'm curious as to what changed.

Weirdly enough, I'd say that about 75% of the time the idea comes up in conversation I end up over-explaining/ "proving"/ convincing people in regards to my belief system about this stuff who all mostly assume it to be a given. And honestly I don't know if I'm just something of a populist, or if I figure that if everyone can easily have the things I love, the world is going to kinda be a better place (well, for me at least). Like if I give it all away, that means I will always (or at least more easily) be able to find the things/ ideas/ objects/ emotions/ what-the-fuck-ever that I have obsessively sought. I mean, if it took me 16 years to track down an album of, I dunno, privately-pressed songs about Halloween as sung by grown men pretending to be 6 year old girls, I'd damn well better share that music with as many people as possible so that it'll never be such a struggle to find again once my house burns down. And if a great cd-reissue (Alternate takes! Interviews w/ high school friends of the pricinciples! DVD bonus disc complete with the schematics of the mixing board and home-video of their only live performance!) comes out two months AFTER I score it, I *still* had the thrill of the hunt, and magically get to bask in a world where at least a few more people might be able to understand what I'm jabbering on about w/o me filling them in on the back story.

Okay, there's more to this line of thought, but really I'd just never heard the "retroactively foolish" notion before when applied to the very common sense of loss people express when That Which Was Hidden becomes That Which Is Ubiquitous (or at least a variation on "all of your efforts are somewhat negated by this now being easily obtainable by those without your pluck") & got all excited about being able to get on my little hobby horse about this stuff.

...and now to round out one of those end-of-year lists I should be working on.

Best of everything!

cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 1st, 2007 12:53 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
It's wonderful to hear from you. I lost your e-mail address -- or at least can't find it among a sea of Jasons -- so please send me a message -- I use Gmail and am "cbertsch" there too -- when you get a chance.

I love your question, because it helps me to realize better what I was trying to get at. While I sometimes have pangs of resentment that my special items are no longer so special, the pain I was describing comes largely, as I sought to convey, from the sense that it was silly to fetishize their specialness, particularly insofar as I'm committed, as you are, to doing whatever I can to make what is exclusive available to as many people as want to be included in the "club" of possession.

Does that make sense? I mean, I'm glad that there's more access to my favorites. I just feel a little dumb for being invested in the difficulty of access that made my past hunting more difficult.
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