I have probably constructed a narrative with this blog that tells the story of a person who has always been into "cool" music. There is probably a kernel of truth in that narrative: My high school yearbook lists The Velvet Underground and Love among my "likes," and a Residents concert among my "most memorable experiences." While I regard my one time infatuation with The Residents as a bit embarrassing today, it still suggests that I was the kind of music fan on the lookout for something "different" and outside the mainstream.
If The Residents were the most embarrassing thing I used to like, I could probably collect my trophy as the lord of all things hip and go home. But any such narrative of perpetual coolness could only be constructed by selectively filtering out key facts. There is much more embarrassing music than The Residents lurking in my past: In Junior High School, I owned, listened to, and enjoyed music by the likes of Journey, Foreigner, Asia (I think I even owned their second album, Alpha), Toto, Duran Duran, Hall & Oates, Culture Club, Billy Joel, and even Air Supply.
Now I could argue that this is entirely forgivable considering I was 12-14 years old at that period in time, and by 15 I had completely purged such lame music from my collection. But owning an album by Asia or Journey (even if only on cassettes obtained through the Columbia House Music Club) is not a sin any right-minded hipster could easily forgive. Any person who once owned such music, no matter how long ago, should relinquish any right to be an arbiter of coolness. I hereby relinquish any such right.
What cassettes lurk in your closet?