The Bright Side of the Sun
When I was putting together this week’s installment of the Bopst Show, it organically grew to become defined by two themes: Pink Floyd and Atari video games. I didn’t have this in mind when I started. It just sort of happened on it’s own.
The Pink Floyd influence came when I was reading WFMU’s Beware of the Blog and came across this post containing isolated guitar, piano and vocal MP3 tracks from, “Dark Side of the Moon”. Though I will freely acknowledge the recording as one of the greatest recorded achievements of the 20th century (everybody should listen to the record in it’s entirety at least twice in their lifetimes I believe), being a child of the radio of 1970’s rock & roll radio, I have come to despise the album. It was played, as it is still today on classic rock stations, with mind-numbing regularity and every two-bit dip shit from here to Calcutta played that fucker over and over again as if it contained the meaning of life. Again, it is a seminal release and I loved it like everyone else of my generation, but after you’ve heard it for the tenth billionth time, it became, to me at least, a form of torture. By the time I was 16 (I turned 42 recently), I had already had my fill of Dark Side of the Moon. Part of the reason I fell in love with punk rock was when I saw a picture of Johnny Rotten in Trouser Press magazine wearing a Pink Floyd T-shirt with, “ I HATE” scrawled in big black letters on top of it. At the time, it was a blasphemous statement to say you hated Pink Floyd. It was beyond comprehension. One of the surest ways to piss off and thoroughly befuddle stoners and jocks alike back in my public school days in Northern Virginia was to say you hated Pink Floyd and I said it to everyone. I guess you had to live through the saturation to understand the sentiment as people today are still mystified that when I hear it (especially, “Money”), I still express my undying hatred for it. To me, Dark Side of the Moon represents the sound of oppression, a musical fascism that forsakes variety or diverging melodious expression for dangerous, stupefying repetition of the tried and true. Put it this way: It’s like telling someone you like hamburgers and for the rest of your life they serve you nothing but hamburgers. What was once a tasty treat will soon turn into a dreaded eating experience in a matter of a couple of meals. For me, that analogy sums up the Pink Floyd experience. Serve my ass something different. I’m tired of fuckin’ hamburgers.
The other defining experience from that era was the introduction of video games. As a wee lad, I was a pinball junkie and I spent every available second I could pumping quarters into them. My palms would get sweaty every time I passed an arcade. And when Atari video games hit the marketplace, I sat in front of my family’s TV playing Pong for hours on end when I couldn’t get anyone to take me to the nearest family entertainment center. I hear people today saying that kids play too many video games, but I more than understand the obsession. I was a video game addict myself. Mr. and Ms. Pac Man, Defender, Centipede, Donky Kong and Stargate were just some my favorite fixes. If I could have played those games 24/7, I would have gladly sat in front of the boob tube all day. Who needs the great outdoors when I was already in the heavenly climate controlled indoors, complete with no quarters required video console, easily accessible bathroom facilities and fully stocked refrigerator. That shit is a no brainer and considering the complexity and visual advancements of today’s video and computer games, I more than understand why people spend hours playing them. Just like hard drugs, video games are powerfully addictive and they’re only gotten more potent. I can’t have any of them in my house because I wouldn’t want to do anything else but play games all day. I mean, who wants to be a junkie? Not me. I keep the games far, far way.
One of the records I got during my pubescent video game junkiedom was Curtis Hoard’s instructional LP, “How to Conquer the Video Game Craze”. I listened to that as if it were the word of God and Lord did it ever help me to hone my joystick skills. I hadn’t thought about that album in over two decades when I stumbled across the record in it’s entirety at Dinosaur Gardens (download the whole thing here) last week.
So this is how these two blasts from the past came to define this week’s 60 minutes of programming. And this week’s show is 60 minutes long (to be exact, it’s actually 59 minutes and 59 seconds) which is a feat I’ve never been able to accomplish since I started doing these podcasts. Shows are usually a couple minutes short or a couple of minutes long of the hour mark despite my neurotic need to be exact in my programming so I was happy that after 15 tries, I finally nailed the near perfect running time for my show. Also this week, I spent an inordinate amount of time editing the whole thing together. For every minute of show you hear, there was probably 5 to 8 minutes of planning, 10- 12 minutes of execution and a final 2 and half hours putting all the bits together.
Again, that wasn’t my intention when I was started constructing this week’s show; it just sort of happened that way.
Until Next Time: