Thursday, May 05, 2005

I Don't Care About History

"I don't care about history
'Cause that's not where I want to be"
-The Ramones (duh)

I've never been much for nostalgia or dwelling on the past. I never went to a single high school reunion or made any attempt to locate old friends or acquaintances I'd fallen out of touch with. I can barely force myself to live in the present as it is. I always seem to be setting some faraway goal-marathon, triathlon or whatever-then spending every waking moment working toward it and thinking about it. Who has the time or energy for the past?

But since I've been grounded I've rediscovered my record collection and with it a part of my past I haven't thought about for a very long time. It's been a long time goal of mine to get at least some of my favorite music copied off of vinyl and onto CD's. Ever since we bought our last car that didn't come with a cassette deck many years ago, my old music has pretty much gone out of my life. I'm almost never home to listen to records. The regular radio is unlistenable. The new car we just got has XM satellite radio which is incredible but I still miss lots of my old music. I have over 1000 LP's and hundreds of singles/7" ers, most of them 10-20 years old. Putting them all on CD is never going to happen and even copying my favorite stuff is a mind boggling endeavor. I spent several hours over the weekend and managed only 1 1/4 disks. Part of the problem is that I kept ending up in long winded discussion/arguments with Jonny over my choice of music to copy (eg he loves Dag Nasty's second album and I think it's just an overproduced, castrated version of their first album. We have to listen to both, argue some more and finally he agrees. Remember, he's injured too and almost as bored. It's a contest who can drive who crazy first). Going through all those albums, most of them some type of punk rock, brought me back to a part of my life I left behind a long time ago when I moved away from Chicago. Well, next thing I know much to my horror I'm on the internet looking up some of the old bands & people I knew way back when, curious to see what they're up to now. Can I possibly sink any lower? We'll see, I have at least 2 more weeks on these stupid crutches and you know what they say about idle hands.

I start out with the obvious and that would be Ben Weasel, outspoken singer for a band called Screeching Weasel. I know he's still calling himself that because I saw a book he wrote in a store sometime within the last 3 years or so and if anybody's going to have a stream of digital diarrhea following him around the internet it's Ben. Sure enough it doesn't take much to find his website and blog. Screeching Weasel were an o.k., somewhat generic pop punk (in their later days) band from Chicago that experienced way more fame than they probably deserved for reasons I've never quite fathomed but figured must have to do with Ben's sometimes larger than life personality that came through in a column he wrote for a punk rock magazine. However Dan, one of his band members, had a great band of his own called Sludgeworth that were one of the best bands to ever come out of Chicago. They were so much more original than Screeching Weasel, I was sad when I found out they'd broken up and always felt Dan's talents were wasted on Screeching Weasel . However a little more snooping leads me to find that Dan had started a 'new' band called the Methadones in 1993. The fact that it's taken me 12 years to discover this is both a testament to the complete lack of attention bands from Chicago typically get and my own preoccupation with other things. A quick trip to emusic and I soon have all 3 albums downloaded for my listening pleasure. I can't remember the last time I really got excited about a band (which is kind of sad in itself considering how much I love music) and I'm sorry it took a car crash to help me rediscover what's out there but this band is awesome. I've been listening to their albums non-stop and I 'm so happy to have some great new music back in my life. I guess every once in a while it pays off to remember where you came from and try to bring back bits of your former life that got lost along the way. I've already added the Methadones to my mp3 player so I'll have some great music to take out on the trails with me when I can finally get off these stupid crutches and start running again. Maybe this will even inspire me to run a little faster. O.k. o.k., I know that's wishful thinking but at the very least it should make those long climbs in the mountains seem just a little less steep..

If you like the Ramones you should definitely pick up some Methadones for yourself. And you lucky Chicagoans can see them play locally, check out for dates & locations and/or to pick a CD or two up for yourself. You won't be sorry.


  1. Nigel8:05 AM

    Sorry to hear of your accident - that sounds a lucky escape.

    Talk of your punk collection reminded me of a long-time favourite, Polystyrene and X-Ray Specs.

    I seem to remember a track called something like 'The day the world turned day-glow'. It'll never be selected for elevator music.

  2. Neither will their classic 'Oh Bondage Up Yours' though I might enjoy riding in elevators more if it did.

  3. Anonymous1:53 PM

    OKay I remember screeching weazel, and Dan and Ben, they were a little older than I was but didn't one of the original members have the last name of Sullivan and work at Cub foods where he was later fired? Too much random info.

  4. Anonymous1:55 PM

    yes that should be an s not a z where is the spelling/grammar police!

  5. Actually, 'Weazel' would have been much more punk. I don't remember anyone with the last name Sullivan from the original line up but they had so many personnel changes that there was probably a Sullivan in there somewhere. Last time I saw them was in 1990 at their first supposedly last show. At that time the only original members were Ben and Jonny Jughead. The other guys were Dan, Brian Vermin and a guy named Doug though none had last name of Sullivan. I lost track of them after that but I'm pretty sure Jonny left at some point. Yikes, like you say, too much useless trivia!