Table of Contents

Music

I was never one for magazines. I subscibed to Parabola the longest, well over a decade, but other subscriptions were brief. Time, Harper's, and for a few years in the mid 1970s Stereo Review. Enthusiast magazines were a good way to find out about gear before the Internet. I also subscribed to Consumer Reports to get a non-enthusiast take on audio gear. I read glowing reviews of Marantz, Klipsch, and Bang & Olufsen. After much consideration and handwringing I bought a Pioneer receiver, Fisher speakers and a Technics turntable. I was very happy with my stereo. I'm no audiophile, though I flirted with that here and there. I just want decent clean sound. True audiophiles are anal as hell. Just like I'm not a gourmet, though people with no sense of taste accuse me of that. My stereo disappeared into the Boulder community after I moved. I was always more into tape anyway, and the advent of audio cassettes made that practical. Now I find audio media unbearable. Why have all that unneccessary clutter?

Albums. I got my first audio gear in Kenya: a Philips four track reel to reel. I was entranced with the idea of putting a whole bunch of LPs on one five inch reel of magnetic tape. In those days I was not yet convinced stereo was the way to go, having grown up mostly so far with hi fi, so I recorded the tracks separately at first. It didn't take long for me to discover just how inaccessible music is buried somewhere in a five inch reel. But I had fun playing with recording technology. I went back to LPs until Philips came to my rescue by inventing audio cassettes some years later. I got my first LP in Asheville: The Latin Sound of Henry Mancini. I wore a cravat, just like Henry. I was so cool. Not.

Soon after we moved to Kenya I fell in love with Françoise Hardy. My second LP ever was one of hers, with this song. Tender, yet wry. So very French. Click full screen and watch a sorceress at work.

The camera loves her, as they say. Françoise was my second celebrity crush after Diana Rigg as Emma Peel.

Becoming a dance DJ. Starting up Waltz etcetera changed my relationship with music profoundly. My interest in classical music had waned already. That was not a good sign. It was the first hint of the anhedonia I fell into during my marriage. When I fixated on dance music my decades-long love of classical music got eclipsed. It took a pandemic to bring that love back out of the shadow. I bought a boom box and we pooled our CDs and cassette tapes that had danceable waltzes. It was a motley little collection. The limitations of that minute library of tunes and the awkwardness of playing songs from CDs and cassettes on a boom box sent me on a journey that continues to this day. Waltz etcetera debuted in 1999, the same year as Napster, and sometime late that year I made my way there.