There’s a massive purge afoot at the Swegler household, part of which involves sorting through hundreds of CDs precariously stacked in the living room and sending most of them to the thrift store.
In this era of MP3s, there’s no reason to clutter up the place with jewel cases. Some albums, however, evoke very specific times or sentiments, so they live on in the CD rack. A few of them…
1. Squirrel Nut Zippers: Hot
Despite being raised to love music, I didn’t go to my first show until 1997. It was the Squirrel Nut Zippers at Philadelphia’s Troc (Cigar Store Indians opened).
2. Moxy Fruvous
Jian, Dave, Murray, and Mike were so good live: spontaneous and fun with dead-on harmonies. The Troc, the TLA, Ocean City’s Music Pier, a church in Delaware, the North Star, Appel Farm, the Keswick, Borders Books…if Moxy Fruvous was in the tri-state area, I was there.
The Gulf War Song on 1994’s Bargainville is still eerily relevant in 2010.
3. Fountains of Wayne: Welcome Interstate Managers
4. Paul Simon: The Rhythm of the Saints
Professor Doug Kehlenbrink played Further to Fly during the first class of MUS 200 (music appreciation), and I never forgot his enthusiasm for both the song and the record. A year or two after taking that class, I ran into Doug again when he was the JMU faculty in residence during my semester in London.
5. JMU Marching Royal Dukes
Because I’m on it, playing the saxophone.
6. Weezer: Weezer (The Blue Album)
Originally purchased because I loved the image of someone destroying a sweater by pulling a thread as the wearer walks away, Weezer became the soundtrack of my brief life in Grand Rapids, MI. Exiled there for a six month work assignment, I cruised around in an Oldsmobile rental car and listened to this record over and over. My Name is Jonas still conjures up the image of a frozen Lake Michigan.
7. The Futureheads: The Futureheads
The energy, the British accents—what’s not to love? The Futureheads’ 2005 Philly show was the first concert Eric and I saw together. On the balcony of the TLA, I asked Eric if we were “dating” or “just hanging out,” causing him to stammer and stutter.
8. Susan Werner: Live at the Tin Angel
Before meeting Eric, I spent many evenings with Susan Werner at the Tin Angel. Her self-deprecating banter and songs about relationships gone awry were such a comfort.
9. Israel Kamakawiwo’ole: Facing Future
Ah, Iz. We knew him from the famous Somewhere Over the Rainbow cover but fell in love with him during our Hawaii honeymoon. Every time I hear White Sandy Beach of Hawaii, those two lazy weeks of swimming, grilling, and laying in the sun come rushing back.