As I mentioned earlier this month, I've been somewhat inspired by my friends Tyson and Jeremy: they both have been counting down their 50 favorite albums. I love this idea but if I were to try it, two problems would arise: my tastes change too often to be happy with a list; and such a structured blogging regimen would bore me after two weeks (these are reasons why I admire Tyson and Jeremy for undertaking their respective projects).
So, in an effort to document my record collection, I'll be doing something that's a little more me. Over the coming weeks, months -- perhaps years? -- I'll post sporadic photos of a friend or family member posing with a record that means something to them. And I'll talk about what that record, the individual, and myself have in common.
Unfortunately, many of my friends I'd like to include in this project live far away. So if you're living in or visiting the Phoenix area, I hope you'll stop by and peruse my record collection and let me take a picture of you (and for the next six months (maybe longer?) I'll have this awesome brick wall that makes a perfect background).
In addition to being an all around great friend, Ben has been a huge inspiration to me as a runner -- earlier this year he ran a couple half marathons (one of which we dominated together) and in April, he ran his first full marathon. Running with Ben always pushes me to go a little farther than I thought possible.
Another thing Ben and I share is a love for the venerable Neil Diamond. One night, it must've been last January, Ben and I were finishing a long run in my old neighborhood. I was tired and nearly out of breath when Ben began singing "Cracklin' Rosie" by Neil Diamond, which is the first track on Tap Root Manuscript, the album Ben is holding here. Despite my heavy breathing I joined in, and in seconds we were shouting it at the top of our depleted lungs, the lines of song punctuated by desperate gasps for air.
Notes and Miscellanea:
The second half of this record is very experimental: it's Neil's attempt to dig up the roots of music, which he believed to be buried in Africa.
I picked this up for 50 cents in January 2008 at Rasputin Music in Newark, CA (though it might have been Fremont, CA, since the store was on the border of the two cities. I tried to verify it online but apparently the store no longer exists. But what if the store never existed in the first place and my owning this record was the result of some inter-dimensional, Twilight Zone-esque adventure that has been since repressed from my brain by some clandestine government entity, and the Rasputin Music location in Newark/Fremont is a memory implanted by said government entity? That'd be awesome).