I bought a new computer. It’s a wonderful thing. I feel like my whole life, which was bogged down by the sludge of malware, is now moving just a half second faster.
But there is a downside, and it always is tied to the music.
It’s probably been nearly a decade since I last illegally downloaded an anything, but that shit doesn’t really transfer from iTunes enabled computer to iTunes enabled computer. So every time I get a new machine, I have to drag out one spindle of CD-R’s I burned in the winter of 2007 if I want to keep them.
As I combed through my musical autobiography, something started to happen. I wanted to de-clutter. I wanted to make my electronic life more streamlined. I was more than a little ashamed of my past musical choices.
“Bring Me to Life” was the first time I showed any sign of resistance. It became clear fairly quickly that anything I got off of Daredevil - The Album was not something I was going to need unless I suddenly found myself in 2003 again. If time travel is ever discovered, it’d be a Serling-esque twist if that was the only year to which I could travel. One imagines that Ben Affleck feels the same way. The rest of the album didn’t fare much better. I lingered, if for only a moment, on the love ballad “My Immortal,” but then I realized I can still do that song in Karaoke without looking at the screen. It’s in my head now. There’s no deleting it. Also, whatever happened to Evanescence? Don’t answer that. If we say their name three times, they may come back.
“Clocks” by Coldplay. I may have gotten a little ornery on this one. I mean, its an okay song. I may be squarely on the side of Gwyneth in that whole debacle. It may have something to do with my affection for Shakespeare in Love, which is a completely different confessional blog.
“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. The last time I didn’t immediately skip over this song when listening to my larger music library, George W. Bush, hell, maybe even Bill Clinton was in the White House. Most of the few remaining tracks I had from Armageddon: The Album met similar fates. Except “Remember Me” by Journey, because a) I’m fickle and b) Journey.
Eventually, after the third or fourth track from the soundtrack to Revenge of the Sith I really started to question why I was memorializing anything from three movies I don’t care for. I since bought the soundtrack to The Empire Strikes Back, so I’ve got the main fanfare. What else would I need from this album?
I kept the Gary Jules and Tears for Fears version of “Mad World” but deleted any other version of the song. Limewire users couldn’t be choosers, back in the day. That’s also the only reason that I was the proud owner of an entire Dane Cook album, I swear.
“I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You” by Marc Anthony from the soundtrack to The Mask of Zorro. The same thought that went through my head with the aforementioned Aerosmith song occurred to me at that moment. In fact, when you think about it, its the same song with a little bit of Latin guitar thrown in there.
There were songs that drew different responses from me, too. I deleted the only song by John Mayer I have ever owned, “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,” only because I had apparently bought the song from iTunes in the years since. I really don’t know why I did such a thing, but life is full of little mysteries. In other news, Ronny Jordan’s soft jazz “The Jackal” will never be deleted. Ever.
I had the title theme from the 2002 stinker Halloween: Resurrection in the library for the longest time. I figured why don’t I just get the John Carpenter original. So I did. Life hack: If you can get past the dread-inducing qualities of Carpenter’s synth-heavy score, its percussive qualities can jump start your productivity like none other.
The cleansing is now complete and I can hit shuffle on my music without wincing now. It’s the little things, you know? Before I go for the week, though, we probably need to have a discussion about my most egregious offense. A track from the soundtrack to Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me that had Dr. Evil singing the Joan Osborne song “One of Us” to Mini-Me. Look, I could try to say that someone tried to sneak that track into my music library as a prank, or I could insist that it was 1999 and no one knew what the hell they were doing. One of those might even be true. Ultimately, I just have to own up to my own shitty music tastes. I’m trying to get better. Please help me.