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Within the piles of CDs on the floor is a snapshot of the last 30 years of Modern Rock.
IVANA’S GREATEST HITS
Nothing Like Going Through Your CD Collection to Put Things in Perspective
WHERE THE KIDS ARE: I spent the better part of the holiday weekend sorting through my CD collection, since only about half will be chosen to make the move to my new residence. The other 20,000 will hopefully find their way to those desiring the complete (and still shrink-wrapped) catalogs of A.C., R.E.O. Speedwagon, Tindersticks (my duplicates have duplicates), R.E.M. (ditto) and every mid '90s band that had "Super," "Imperial," or "Deluxe" in their name. My collection is an odd amalgam of early indie rock, prog rock, power pop (all roads lead to Alex Chilton, Eric Carmen and Dwight Twilley), and Todd Rundgren's complete oeuvre, including his production credits and his later, confusing (not so melodic) work. Within the piles of CDs on the floor is a snapshot of the last 30 years of Modern Rock, including every The The single, album, remix, remix of the remix, the Hoodoo Gurus ("I Want You Back" was my first #1 charted record—and I love them to this day), to some of the format's favorite one-hitters, like Soho, Stereo MC's, Urban Dance Squad, Utah Saints, The La's, Velocity Girl, Frente, New Radicals, Julian Cope (my son's namesake), Squirrel Nut Zippers, White Town, Hum, Better Than Ezra, my beloved Mighty Mighty Bosstones and many others, and many artists I worked with closely for years, like Edwyn Collins, Pete Yorn, Semisonic, Matthew Sweet, The Posies, Interpol, Simple Minds, Spoon, Arcade Fire, etc. etc. I couldn't fathom parting with my Poi Dog Pondering CDs, or every band on Touch & Go, Merge, Sub Pop and Matador, whose label founders (and rosters) I've had the privilege of knowing for decades. Surrounded by stacks of CDs, the inevitable question, "I wonder where they are now?" always occurs to me. Are these artists still making a living at music? Did they go to law school, like John Strohm from The Lemonheads/Blake Babies/Antenna, who is now the lawyer for The Civil Wars, Bon Iver and Alabama Shakes? Are they running labels, like Isaac Green? Or maybe still plugging away, with an upcoming gig at the Sunset Sessions, which will remind attendees of the halcyon days of zero compliance and junkets galore? I worry about the artists. Did they have a fallback plan? Did they save their money? Do they still love what they do? Are they as bitter and jaded as the radio guys who used to play their records? We lead a rarified existence. I don't know many other women my age who can wear an Andrew W.K. t-shirt and Vans to work, and still be considered an "executive." Or another middle-aged woman whose upcoming work weekend is comprised of accompanying Garbage to radio shows. As impossible as the job sometimes seems (especially on a Tuesday after a three-day weekend), I'm always humbled and grateful (and not in an aw-shucks/who me? Tayor Swift way) that the career path I chose after meeting R.E.M. in the early '80s (you were 3) has afforded me the opportunity to work with musicians I admire (minus Marc Bolan, who's still dead). Not that it's ever been an active pursuit, I've been lucky to meet all of my favorites, except for Neil Diamond, who remains my "holy grail," and I have the signed setlists and CDs to show for it. Oh, and Tom Verlaine's '58 Jazzmaster—the one he used to record Marquee Moon and Adventure, which my son will never play until he masters at least the intro to "Little Johnny Jewel." Although I sometimes feel like a door-to-door salesman still trying to peddle the 54-volume World Book Encyclopedia, ours is a rarefied existence…Email me: [email protected].
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