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love this post -

Judith Duncan

Hey Billy,
I only truly came across Joni Mitchell a few years ago on youtube.I was aware of Yellow Taxi,but had never fallen under her spell. Then, when I was writing a love story and was scouring youtube for something to get me into the right place,I came across ,'A Case of You', and it brought me to me knees.What a wonderful discovery.That along with ,'Into my Arms,'by Nick Cave and ,Áin't No Sunshine 'by Bill Withers,that I rediscovered are those special songs that transcend an era.One of the reasons I love youtube,being exposed to music that i would never have known about.


What can I say? I'm a Boomer, Joni is wondrous and Blue sends me into a state of euphoria.

But I love some of her less appreciated works like Mingus.

In the UK in the old days there was only one pop radio station, only one pop TV show anybody watched. That meant you heard everything from Led Zeppelin to Hall and Oates. It was a forced eclecticism.

Doesn't happen now, if you like a style you listen to the channel that gives you that, and nothing else.

Luckily I brought my kids up proper - they have their own tastes but they'll listen to all sorts of music.

Rob in L.A.

My random record-buying experience was in 1979, when as a teenager, I made a trip to the Big Mall in the D.C. suburbs. There, I happened across the album "Old Hag, You Have Killed Me" by the Irish traditional-music group the Bothy Band. I knew nothing about them, and didn't know much about Irish traditional music, but I bought the album, anyway. I was blown away by I sound I wasn't prepared for. Imagine the Chieftains struck by an energizing bolt of lightning.

Needless to say, "Old Hag, You Have Killed Me" is one of my favorite albums, along with "Revolver" by the Beatles and "Imperial Bedroom" by Elvis Costello, and has been a part of my ever-changing music collection ever since. And you're right: Where am I going to find that kind of a random happenstance situation today?


I don't know... is it really that rare? Just a couple weeks ago I was looking at the top 40 on itunes Canada, and saw this song called "Thrift Shop" and wondered what it was, and wandered over to itunes, and that took me to other Macklemore songs, and an hour later I had downloaded the album. Totally random, wonderful experience.

And that wasn't my only random find of the year. :-)


Hi Barbara! Thanks for the love.

Judith: Yes, YouTube has become the King of Random. Happy Holidays!

Aladdinsane: Yes, that's another major shift in our culture - the splintering into niches - so I'm glad to hear of your good musical parenting. Meanwhile, I'm also a fan of the later Joni (Hejira & Don Juan esp.), and "God Must Be a Boogie Man" still cracks me up.

Rob: Thanks for sharing your Irish epiphany. I'll look into the Brothys.

Londonmabel: Right, in that sense, we're living in the Golden Age of Randomness (and now I'm going hunting for Macklemore, thanks). What my post was addressing was the more random event of bumping into universally acknowledged greatness, i.e. Most teenagers today couldn't randomly come upon say, "Beat It" or "Billy Jean" for the first time ever, having never heard (or heard of) "Thriller" - or the 2000-teens equivalent of whatever we're deeming "genius for the ages," these days.

Deb Montoya

Ah yes - discovering greatness before the hype. It happened to me once.

I was working for the Youth Conservation Corp in Yosemite with no access to TV, radio or newspapers. We had some time off and a group of us drove into Modesto to catch a movie. Only one choice for the matinee and none of us had ever heard of it.

It was late June... 1977.

And that movie was Star Wars.


Deb: Wow. That must've been quite the quintessential mindblower. I hear it's a pretty good little movie.

Martha michaels

I agree, Billy. There was a time when I felt a kind of mystic potential with every walk through the world; a book, I'd never heard of, would fall off a shelf and hit me in the head, or an album would catch my eye at a grocery store.
I came to count on it, for inspiration, for growth, just go into the world, physically, and see what's going on. You can't get that from Amazon, or I-tunes. We digitized everything and instead of more access to information, it feels like we boxed it up, put it in a warehouse, then some guy gave us a key and said, "there, isn't that better, all tidy, help yourself, I'll guide you."

Ourdia Hodge

Happy Holidays, Billy.
Sorry for being totally off topic but I would love to get your take on the following article:

Can the romantic comedy be saved?

Damn depressing.



Martha: I like your metaphor - it IS like that. Happy holidays!

Ourdia: GMTA (Great Minds...) I'm planning to address the Vulture piece in my annual "Astas" post tonight (and you can see a comment from me, and Brodesser's response, in his post's Comments).

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