Bulk Content

This is my 62nd website post of 2020, with five months down and seven yet to go. If I keep up the current pace, that will produce about 150 posts by the time December 31, 2020 rolls around.

While that’s still a drop in the bucket for a lot of high-volume daily or near-daily bloggers, it does represent a bump in production for me. In 2019, I wrote 57 posts in twelve months, and considered it to be a productive year. The last time I went higher than 62 in an entire year was 2010 (101 posts), and my personal best was achieved way back in 2004 (432 posts, largely driven by my “Poem a Day” project, the fruits of which have since been removed from the public site).

I knew I would be writing more in 2020, though this is neither how nor what nor where I had expected that to play out. Having retired from my prior full-time job in November, I had intended to focus more on creative and commercial writing this year, and on re-building networks that had atrophied since I stopped regular freelance writing some years ago due to time and mental demands associated with my full-time work. The blog became less of a personal marketing instrument and more of a place where I wrote “for me” over those years. I could scribble here without worrying about commercialization or fundraising or whether my words would alienate or activate supporters or how well I was communicating important technical concepts. My professional writing was the complete opposite of that in many ways, and 2020 was the year I planned to knit those disparate threads back together, for fun and for profit, ideally.

As did so many other things for so many other people, that all changed a few months back. I had been registered for a pair of writing workshops that I saw as important steps in re-building those lapsed professional networks, and they’re both gone. I was graciously accorded this opportunity to focus on a key project, but that’s gone too. All the travel writing that I normally do? No longer possible due to multiple trip cancellations. The volume and quality of freelance opportunities available have also declined (and anecdotally, I’d say average hourly compensation has followed suit), even as a glut of formerly-employed creative folks are now in the fray to secure the jobs that do remain or emerge. Supply and demand curves in full effect, this is not a great time to be making a pivot in this professional sector, though that may change in the future as the world itself changes.

I’m certainly most very fortunate at this stage in my life to not need that planned writing work to meet my basic financial needs, though there’s still a certain sense of opportunity lost. I could, of course, be productively using all of my unexpected free time to hunker down and crank out the Great American Novel or develop a brilliant business plan or some other ostensibly “useful” writing-related activity. But I’m not, and I think that’s because given the psychologically stressful aspects of life during lockdown, I find it more important and comforting to write what I want to write, and not to focus so much on writing what I should write. It’s a pleasurable diversion and distraction to clatter away here, and its a nice bonus when some of the things that I put up on my public blackboard resonate with others in some way(s).

So as a result of that sense and those feelings, you’re getting content in bulk here these days, and probably will for the foreseeable future. I know from the wide variety of websites I follow, along with the number of recommendations I’m receiving from WordPress announcing newly-established blogs in areas of interest to me, that I’m not alone in seeing my unproductive public productivity increasing. As a result, I have expanded the number of sites that I formally follow over the past couple of months, and I’ve seen increases in the number of readers who formally follow me here as well. (Neither of those numbers are large, just for the record). Then there are the “guest” readers who surf around my site without leaving any marks and signs beyond ticks on the visit counter, which is spinning at a rate that will probably make my final 2020 visit and visitor numbers as high as they’ve been since the early 2000s, when the blog world was a very different place, and I was one of few, not one of many, paddling about in a high-profile fashion within that newly-formed creative pond.

A lot of the increased writing volume I see and read around the web is explicitly dedicated or related to COVID-19 in one way or another. How it impacts us. How we feel about it. What we are doing with ourselves as the world shuts down. How we feel about it again. And then again. And again. Lots of feels being shared, for sure. While I certainly reference COVID-19 in a variety of posts on the site, this one included, I have made a conscious decision to not write more explicitly or frequently about it here, in large part because the number of trenchant “hot takes” out there about it is exhausting, and I don’t have or offer any unique perspective that I feel warrants extensive public exposition.

In the early days of lockdown, I’d saved a draft blog post called “Post-Pandemic Pipe Dreams,” and occasionally I’ve added items to it on ways that I’d personally like to see the world change as a result of our current travails. Looking at that list today, lots of those ideas and reflections have been considered and covered at length in a wide variety of other online outlets, so it’s hard for me to want to elaborate on any of them, and I am guessing it would be hard for you to want to read them if I did, since they’d be so obviously agreeable to everyone.

We’d all like more space in restaurants and on airplanes, right? Duh. And everyone would like to see TicketMaster, FOX News, and a variety of other predatory-to-destructive businesses go under, yeah? Of course we would. Having watched the character of my hometown be completely destroyed by AirBnB operators hoovering up any available rentable properties downtown, and countless unique cultural destinations destroyed by the arrival of cookie-cutter cruise ship culture, I’d be happy to see those business models bite the dust too. Oh, and of course nobody should ever again spend $200+ million on turning a freakin’ comic book into a bloated soulless movie, especially if said comic book has already been expensively rebooted half-a-dozen times over the past few decades. If the studios would knock that nonsense off, then going to the theater could return to being an affordable and enjoyable enterprise, assuming people learn to put their cell phones away and stop talking during the movie. That one may be impossible, I know. Influencers? Gone. I am certain we all agree there. Also, no giant dogs allowed in apartment buildings. It’s cruel to the dogs and their neighbors. Stop it. And stop giving money to endowments without considering your favorite nonprofits’ operating needs too. There’s going to be loads of them that collapse because people put permanent restrictions on gifts in exchange for naming rights and other non-charitable incentives, while the “keep the lights on and do the mission” part of the enterprise is ignored. Everyone would like to see that stop, right?

Well, okay, so maybe some of my post-pandemic pipe-dreams aren’t quite in keeping the zeitgeist or popular public opinion, but still, I don’t see elaborating on them further as a productive or enjoyable process for anybody. Suffice to say I dream of and long for changes in how our country and culture function, some more needed and serious than others. And also note that I’ll work to support those who can bring such positive prospects to pass from out of such a negative time period, even if I don’t write in bulk about such activities here, preferring to produce my usual piffle and tripe instead.

For better or worse, that’s the niche I’ve established after 25+ years of having a public online presence, and dancing with the one what brung ya’ is always a sound play. Fortunately, I do quite enjoy cluttering and redecorating my verdant little wall grotto in the global garden of blogs, and when all is said and done, the little things that give us joy are important, perhaps now more so than ever. Here’s hoping that approach works for you too, both in your experience of visiting here, and in your experience of managing your own little joys in the face of the countless dislocations tearing at the fabric of our society today.

Don’t mind the overgrowth. The flowers are fragrant if you can find them.

(I’m Always Touched By Your) Five Songs You Need to Hear

I will be doing my summary “Best Albums of 2020 (First Half)” report in the next couple of weeks, six months after I posted my comprehensive Best Albums of 2019 feature. (That was the 28th consecutive year I’ve done such a year-end article, in a combination in print and digital outlets; almost all of them are on the website now). I usually try to do my Albums of the Year reports in early December, recognizing that things that come out after that just aren’t likely to have enough time in the hopper  and proven legs for me to want to claim them as being among the year’s greatest musical achievements. Because of that timing practice, I allow myself a wee bit of calendar fudging for mid-year reports; if something hit the streets in the last couple of weeks of a given year, but its greatest impact is most fully felt in the following year, I’ll still include it on the list.

As as teaser for that list, I offer a fresh installment of my “Five Songs You Need to Hear” series, with each of these selections culled from albums likely to appear on my mid-year Best Albums list. As always, the premise here is that I love all of these songs, you have probably not heard all (or any) of them, and I think that you might want to do so. So give ’em a listen, and then maybe explore their five host albums further. If this series piques your curiosity, here’s the link to all of the “Five Songs” installments (scroll down when you get there to move past this article), which is now at 15 posts and counting. Loads of musical wonders and weirdness await the brave and intrepid there. Happy listening!

#1. “Poisoned Kobra (Shrouds Remix) by Hyperlacrimae

#2. “Vinter” by Myrkur

#3. “Conveyor/Boxes” by Moses Sumney

#4. “Five and Dime” by Hazel English

#5. “Ten Grand Goldie” by Einstürzende Neubauten

A Modest Proposal: Halve the Full Grassley

Introduction: Iowa’s Decatur County recorded its first confirmed COVID-19 case yesterday. With this report, the novel coronavirus has now officially completed its “Full Grassley,” having visited (and made itself at home in) all 99 of the Hawkeye State’s counties.

I have also personally completed a Full Grassley. I did so in 2011-2012, along with various GOP Presidential aspirants doing so at the same time as a way of currying electoral favor across the State in advance of the quadrennial Iowa Dumpster Fire Caucus. One day soon after we moved here, I was sitting in a traffic jam caused by one of those GOP candidates’ tour buses blocking traffic in downtown Des Moines. As I stewed in place, it occurred to me that the Full Grassley wasn’t really as much of a chore for the candidates riding about in relative comfort in the back of the R.V. (or flying into various regional hubs from Des Moines) as it was for the unfortunate drivers who had to zig-zag back and forth across often featureless sectors of the state just to hit a series of tiny county seats. 

So I decided I wanted to see what a Full Grassley felt like for those folks, behind the wheel, at road level. I got it done (Benton County completed my collection), but it was a chore, at bottom line. I suspect I’ve actually seen more of Iowa than 95%+ of the folks who have actually lived here all their lives. But did I mention that I got it done? I did. So there.

On the occasion of COVID-19 checking off all of its Full Grassley boxes, I re-run a piece I wrote in 2015 discussing why Iowa’s 99 counties represent an absurd anachronism that feeds into an even more absurd political practice. I’ve updated the data cited to the most current information. I’m cautiously optimistic that this year’s particularly embarrassing Caucus performance ends Iowa’s reign as the distracting and non-representative first-in-Nation player in our Presidential electoral process. But beyond that, I still think the State could still benefit from implementing some form of the modest proposal described below.

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Iowa has an absurd number of counties for its size and population — and I say this as a person who has visited all 99 of them by car, completing what political candidates here know as a “Full Grassley”.

Iowa is the 26th largest State in the country by land area, and the 32nd largest State in the country by population. Our 99 counties, however, rank us ninth in the United States in number of county and county equivalents — and we would actually be eighth if Virginia didn’t uniquely count its 38 independent cities as county-equivalent governmental entities.IowaCounty

Iowa also has fewer counties defined by natural boundaries (rivers, coastlines, mountain ranges, etc.) than any other State, giving us the greatest percentage of “box counties” — formed only by surveyors’ lines — in the Nation. And we don’t even follow our own law when it comes to tiny counties: the Iowa State Constitution says no county should be smaller than 432 square miles, but ten counties are below that threshold today.

The super-abundance of neat little map boxes puts Iowa in the Nation’s bottom 20% in both average county land area and average county population. This needless plethora of counties then feeds into the “Full Grassley” phenomena, where it is viewed as a brag-worthy achievement of note to visit all 99 Iowa counties in a single year or campaign, per our senior citizen senior Senator’s loudly-proclaimed proclivity.

But really now: is that how we want our elected officials (and our visiting Presidential candidates) spending their time and money? And do we really need to financially support 100 county seats (Lee County has two) with all of the attendant layers of bureaucracy and all of the physical infrastructure associated with our profligate love of mid-level governmental institutions?

I respectfully and emphatically vote “No!”

I would rather see our citizens supported by meaningful regional governance, rather than antiquated political structures. I also find it mildly insulting that a “check off the county box” approach passes as proof that our State’s residents are being equitably seen and heard.

So consolidation makes obvious sense, but how to go about reducing Iowa’s over-abundance of counties? With apologies to Mister Swift, I offer the following modest proposal.

First, it would not make sense to eradicate county administrations that are already effectively serving sizable population centers, since that would be needlessly reinventing the wheel and/or throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

As it turns out, when you rank Iowa counties by population, there is a significant natural gap (about 35,000 people!) between number 10 (Dallas County) and number 11 (Warren County), with all of the top ten counties having over 80,000 citizens — a good functional benchmark for a State with about 3,000,000 people, based on national county averages. I would, therefore, keep the following ten counties intact, based on their current populations:

  1. Polk County
  2. Linn County
  3. Scott County
  4. Johnson County
  5. Black Hawk County
  6. Woodbury County
  7. Story County
  8. Dubuque County
  9. Pottawattamie County
  10. Dallas County

Next, there are also some existing counties that should remain intact because they are “double wides” (e.g. they break the usual grid pattern), or because they have already done their part historically to eliminate county glut, or because they are uniquely formed by geography or culture. I would keep the following counties intact under these special provisions:

  1. Kossuth County (largest in State geographically today, and incorporated former Bancroft and Crocker Counties historically)
  2. Pottawattamie County (second largest in State geographically today, already preserved due to population)
  3. Plymouth County (third largest in State geographically today)
  4. Clayton County (fourth largest in State geographically today)
  5. Sioux County (fifth largest in State geographically today)
  6. Webster County (incorporated former Risley and Yell Counties historically)
  7. Muscatine County (incorporated Cook County historically, and geographically unique)
  8. Lee County (geographically and culturally unique former “Half Breed Tract“)

So there are 17 counties that would remain as they exist today under this model: ten for population plus eight for geography, with one (Pottawattamie) on both lists. Subtract those from the current 99 and that leaves 82 counties that should be consolidated, most sensibly by doubling up the “box counties” in grids across the State.

Mills County, meet your new partner: Fremont County. Montgomery County, say hello to Page County. Please decide which of your current county seats will represent you both, and develop a plan to eliminate overlaps in your respective administrations. And so on and so on, back and forth across the State.

Take these resulting 41 new “double wide” counties, add the 17 that remain from the current map, and you’ve got a manageable 58 Iowa Counties — very commensurate with Iowa’s standing as a below-middle-of-the-pack State, size-wise and people-wise.

Senator Grassley would still have enough counties to visit to keep him out of trouble every year, and we could nearly halve county infrastructure and bureaucracy expenses. In a world of high speed road travel, cell phones, and the internet, it seems inconceivable that citizens would experience any loss of service, and municipal spaces formerly dedicated to housing county governments could be reallocated to meet real community needs: education, healthcare, libraries, whatever the region’s residents needed.

What do you think? I would love to see someone with mad map skills take a crack at demonstrating how to best double up those 82 box counties, so if you think like I do, how about getting out your colored pencils and sharing what a new and improved Iowa County Map can and should look like in the 21st Century and beyond?

My battered 2011-2015 Iowa travel map, documenting all of my Full Grassley drives, and then some.

Walkies

While the weather has been utterly grotesque lately, Marcia and I have still diligently prioritized our daily perambulations, using online weather resources to find windows of opportunity for fresh air and foot work whenever they open. My pedometer tells me that we’ve managed to hoof it at least five miles on 26 of the past 30 days, which has been a key component of our mental and physical health program since the dawn of the dread. Whenever we are able, we head way out into the countryside for our walks to avoid the more cavalier citizens in our community who think social distancing is for sissies, and masks (or the lack thereof) are for political purposes. But occasionally the rain-free time available for walking is brief enough that we just have to head out from home, walking our own neighborhood. We always go out with face coverings, are always respectful of others’ personal spaces, and quickly move defensively when we encounter those who just blither up on us, obliviously. It has certainly been nice to see spring properly sprung over the past month, at least in terms of leafage and greenery, if not in terms of balmy air and sunshine. As always, I snap scenes that capture my attention, and as usual, I share some of them with you below. While the trails themselves aren’t happy, it makes us more so when we walk them. (Note: pics can be clicked for full-size viewing).

Midwestern Measures

The weather in Iowa can be putrid pretty much any time of the year. We’ve been enduring a particular gnarly stint here in recent weeks, with a gross combo platter of grey skies, rain, wind and humidity. Last night, just as we sat down for dinner, the tornado sirens went off, just to add some spice to the stew of suck. None of this should be surprising should you consult the Köppen Climate Classification System before visiting (or moving to) Iowa, which is classified as having a “Hot Summer Continental Climate.” Here’s the dispassionate description of that:

A hot summer continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. Precipitation is relatively well distributed year-round in many areas with this climate, while others may see a marked reduction in wintry precipitation and even a wintertime drought. Snowfall, regardless of average seasonal totals, occurs in all areas with a humid continental climate and in many such places is more common than rain during the height of winter. In places with sufficient wintertime precipitation, the snow cover is often deep. Most summer rainfall occurs during thunderstorms and a very occasional tropical system. Though humidity levels are often high in locations with humid continental climates, it is important to note that the “humid” designation does not mean that the humidity levels are necessarily high, but that the climate is not dry enough to be classified as semi-arid or arid.

Sounds lovely, huh? If you consult a global Köppen Classification map, you’ll note that Iowa shares its climate with such exciting weather tourist destinations as Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Ontario and the cluster of American states in which corn, soybeans and hogs define the economy. Spring Break in Almaty, yo!! Woo Hoo!!

While looking out my window at the deep, deep drear this morning, I was reminded of a series of poems I wrote in 2004 and 2014 called “Midwestern Measures,” describing some of the unique facets and features of life in the Upper Corn Belt. The poems were written in Poulter’s Measure, a popular English Renaissance poetry form that also features heavily in various Christian hymns. I like it as a fun style, akin to double dactyls (I wrote a series called Women of Spam in that form), and limericks (which feature in my obviously titled ode to my homeland, Low Country Limericks). All part of my over-arching love for absurdist observational piffle and tripe.

I wrote the first set of Midwestern Measures during my “Poem A Day For A Year” project, and they were inspired by a visit to Marcia’s home state of Minnesota. The second set came after we moved to Iowa, and were originally published anonymously on my now-defunct Des Mean website. (That link will take you to the set of articles from there that I saw fit to move here when we left Iowa for Chicago in 2015, never imagining that we’d come back; this article will appear at top, but you can scroll down for many older ones). Some of the earlier Minnesota-based Midwestern Measures were later repurposed for Iowa, because despite many radical cultural, political, social and artistic differences between those two states, their geographic proximity does create some similarities, most of them having to do with vile weather.

So in “honor” of the revulsion that my local climate is producing right now, I re-post all of the Midwestern Measures below, opening with some of the weather gems. The Minnesota specific ones are appended at the end of the list. Hope they’re all good for a giggle. God knows we could all use some of those these days.

“Climate Control”

Our winters are quite cold.
The summers? Very hot.
It’s windy almost all the time,
and rainy when it’s not.

“Breezy, With A Chance of Showers”

The wind blows from the west,
and leaves us to the east.
And for as long as we recall
it’s never, ever ceased.

“Where Their Weather Goes”

The wind blows from the west
and crosses the Great Lakes,
which makes the snow in Buffalo
come down in sheets, not flakes.

“The Road Trip”

We drove off to the North.
I-35 was closed.
And somewhere just outside of Ames,
we sadly sat and froze.

“Iowa’s Greatest Lake”

Those Minnesota lakes?
The best I’ve ever seen!
But this Clear Lake, I’m sad to say,
is either ice . . . or green.

“On Landing at DSM”

We flew above the clouds.
We could not see the ground.
We saw some hills as we went up,
then none when we came down.

“Iowa Longevity”

We’re healthy folks ’round here,
a fact the world affirms.
We work hard, sleep lots, and live in
a place too cold for germs.

“Eating in Iowa”

The diet here is great,
our plates are quite the sight:
with corn and pork and milk and bread,
our food is always white.

“Practical Politics”

So we sent Joni Ernst
to D.C.’s hallowed halls,
because she knows her way around
a pair of porky balls.

“The Other Maytag”

I ate the Tenderloin,
I ate the Snickers Pie,
but if you make me eat that cheese,
I think I might just die.

“Know Your Audience”

Bruce Braley thought he’d run
for Old Tom Harkin’s seat.
He made a “stupid farmer” joke,
then harvested defeat.

“Warning Signs”

I will not take my wife
to State Fairs anymore:
I went to go see Butter Cow,
and lost her to Big Boar.

“Side Effects”

I gave up eating meat
per PETA Girl’s requests.
I’m now a soy-fueled PETA Boy,
with unexpected breasts.

“Red Zone”

The Cyclones have the ball,
two seconds on the clock.
A pass, a score, they win the game!
(Twelve people die from shock).

“Trip Time Portal”

No matter where we go,
our GPS display
says driving there and back will take
three hours, either way.

“Gasp!”

The farmer’s wife was shocked
to find her husband’s porn,
from which she learned a brand new way
to eat an ear of corn.

“The Count”

Atop the Show Me State,
beneath 10,000 Lakes,
sits Iowa: The Capitol
of Caucus Count Mistakes.

“Her Scenic View”

We climbed the Loess Hills.
We hiked the Driftless Zone.
But anything between those points,
she makes me walk alone.

BONUS MINNESOTA MEASURES

“Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken”

The sky is bright and blue,
the air is cool and brisk,
but I am flushed and turning green:
I ate the lutefisk.

“All This and IKEA Too”

Progressive to the end,
this state will meet your needs,
and do it with efficiency.
(God Bless the noble Swedes!)

“Land of a Lot of Lakes”

Ten thousand lakes we saw,
and all of them were nice.
Although I think I’d like them more
if they weren’t solid ice.

“Friendly Neighbors”

In Minneapolis,
we’ve really got it all.
And if we don’t, then right next door,
they’ll have it in St. Paul.

“After the Bear”

We saw the Northern Lights,
we saw our clouded breath,
we saw our ripped up tent and then
we slowly froze to death.

“Football Is An Outside Sport”

The Vikings used to play
outside in Bloomington,
but now they play inside a dome.
It’s warm, but not as fun.

The view from my office desk. It’s really that dreadful.

 

My Top 200 Albums Of All Time (2020 Update)

Life During Quarantine Time has produced something like 12+ hours of music listening time around our apartment, each day, every day. Which is a lot, even by my own extreme standards. To fill the daily jukebox, I’ve been buying plenty of new music, as I do, but also taking a lot of spins through old favorites, some that pop up reasonably often, some that lie in wait for years before I remember to slap them on the (virtual) turntable.

Digging through the back catalog reminded me that it’s been awhile since I’ve updated my running list of most-loved albums, so let’s remedy that situation today. As I’ve noted for background before, I’ve been keeping lists of my favorite albums since the very early ’70s, when I was a grade school Steppenwolf fan. My tastes have evolved dramatically over the years (though I still like Steppenwolf), so I review and update this list periodically, dropping things that haven’t aged well, and adding new things that excite me and seem to have staying power.

For many years, this was a “Top 100 List,” but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve felt entitled to expand the roster beyond the century mark, since I’ve listened to a whole lot more music now than I had when I was younger. I also used to exclude “Greatest Hits” and other compilation or live albums, but I’ve gotten less uptight about that, too, since for some artists, their best work may have appeared on singles that only saw long-form release in the form of “Best Of” collections.

So here’s the update, in alphabetical order by artist name. Maybe you’ll be reminded of some old favorites and give ’em some nostalgia spins. Or maybe you’ll find something new to rock your home world. Or maybe you’ll just sigh and wonder what the hell goes on in my head to produce an all-over-the-place listing like this. It’s all good. As is the music.

  1. AC/DC: Back in Black
  2. AC/DC: Highway to Hell
  3. Allison, Mose: Swingin’ Machine
  4. Bad Livers, Delusions of Banjer
  5. Bauhaus: The Sky’s Gone Out
  6. Bee Gees: Main Course
  7. Beef: Stink, Stank, Stunk
  8. Beefheart, Captain and the Magic Band: The Dust Blows Forward
  9. Bogmen: Life Begins at 40 Million
  10. Bongwater: The Power of Pussy
  11. Bonzo Dog Band: Keynsham
  12. Bonzo Dog Band: The Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse
  13. Bowie, David: Station to Station
  14. Bowie, David: Low
  15. Bowie, David: “Heroes”
  16. Bowie, David: Lodger
  17. Bowie, David: Blackstar
  18. Buggy Jive: The Buggy Jive Mix Tape
  19. Buggy Jive: The B-Side
  20. Burning Spear: Marcus Garvey
  21. Bush, Kate: Hounds of Love
  22. Bush, Kate: The Dreaming
  23. Butthole Surfers: Hairway to Steven
  24. Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician
  25. Camberwell Now: All’s Well
  26. Cave, Nick and the Bad Seeds: Henry’s Dream
  27. Cave, Nick and the Bad Seeds: Tender Prey
  28. Chance The Rapper: Coloring Book
  29. Chap: Mega Breakfast
  30. Christian Death: Catastrophe Ballet
  31. Clash: Combat Rock
  32. Clash: London Calling
  33. Clutch: Book of Bad Decisions
  34. Clutch: Elephant Riders
  35. Clutch: Robot Hive/Exodus
  36. Coil: Horse Rotorvator
  37. Coil: The Ape of Naples
  38. Coup: Sorry to Bother You
  39. Coup: Sorry to Bother You: The Soundtrack
  40. Cramps: Bad Music for Bad People
  41. Crisis Actor: Slave New World
  42. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: Déjà Vu
  43. Culture: Two Sevens Clash
  44. Dälek: Absence
  45. Dälek: Gutter Tactics
  46. Death Grips: Ex-Military
  47. Death Grips: Government Plates
  48. Devo: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo
  49. Diamond, Neil: Hot August Night
  50. Dogbowl: Flan
  51. Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment: Surf
  52. Dunnery, Francis: Tall Blonde Helicopter
  53. Eagles: Desperado
  54. Ebanks, Jonathan: Tales From the G-String
  55. Einstürzende Neubauten: Halber Mensch
  56. Einstürzende Neubauten: Haus der Luge
  57. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Tarkus
  58. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Trilogy
  59. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Brain Salad Surgery
  60. Eno, Brian: Here Come the Warm Jets
  61. Eno, Brian: Another Green World
  62. Eno, Brian: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
  63. Eno, Brian: Before And After Science
  64. Fairport Convention: Unhalfbricking
  65. Fairport Convention: What We Did On Our Holidays
  66. Fall: Hex Enduction Hour
  67. Fall: The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country on the Click)
  68. Fall: Imperial Wax Solvent
  69. Family: Bandstand
  70. Family: Fearless
  71. First Aid Kit: Stay Gold
  72. First Aid Kit: Ruins
  73. Fleetwood Mac: Future Games
  74. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
  75. Focus: Live At The Rainbow
  76. Funkadelic: Maggotbrain
  77. Gabriel, Peter: Peter Gabriel (III/Melt)
  78. Gambino, Childish: 3.15.20
  79. Gang of Four: Entertainment!
  80. Gang of Four: Songs of the Free
  81. Gay Tastee: Songs for the Sodomites
  82. Genesis: Duke
  83. Genesis: Abacab
  84. Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  85. Genesis: Wind and Wuthering
  86. Good Rats: Tasty
  87. Grateful Dead: American Beauty
  88. Grateful Dead: Workingman’s Dead
  89. Hall, Daryl: Sacred Songs
  90. Hanslick Rebellion: The Rebellion is Here
  91. Hawkwind: Doremi Fasol Latido
  92. Hawkwind: Hall of the Mountain Grill
  93. Heilung: Futha
  94. Hitchcock, Robyn and the Egyptians: Element of Light
  95. Human Sexual Response: Fig. 14
  96. Human Sexual Response: In a Roman Mood
  97. Hüsker Dü: Zen Arcade
  98. Jarre, Jean-Michel: Equinoxe
  99. Jesu/Sun Kil Moon: Jesu/Sun Kil Moon
  100. Jethro Tull: Songs From the Wood
  101. Jethro Tull: Heavy Horses
  102. Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick
  103. Jethro Tull: Benefit
  104. Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures
  105. Joy Division: Closer
  106. Juluka: Scatterlings
  107. Kamikaze Hearts: Oneida Road
  108. Kaukonen, Jorma: Quah
  109. Keineg, Katell: Jet
  110. Killdozer: Twelve Point Buck
  111. King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black
  112. King Crimson: In The Court of the Crimson King
  113. King Crimson: Lizard
  114. King Crimson: Meltdown: Live in Mexico
  115. KOKOKO!: Fongola
  116. Kraftwerk: Minimum-Maximum
  117. Kurki-Suonio, Sanna: Musta
  118. Lateef, Yusef: Eastern Sounds
  119. Lateef, Yusef: The Complete Yusef Lateef
  120. Lingua Ignota: Caligula
  121. London, Theophilus: Bebey
  122. Magma: Üdü Ẁüdü
  123. Michael Nyman: A Zed and Two Noughts (Original Soundtrack)
  124. Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime
  125. Mitchel, Joni: For the Roses
  126. Mitchell, John Cameron and Stephen Trask: Hedwig And The Angry Inch
  127. Mos Def: The Ecstatic
  128. Napalm Death: Time Waits For No Slave
  129. Napalm Death: Utilitarian
  130. Napalm Death: Apex Predator — Easy Meat
  131. New Order: Movement
  132. New Order: Power, Corruption and Lies
  133. Parliament: Chocolate City
  134. Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance
  135. Pere Ubu: Terminal Tower
  136. Phair, Liz: Exile in Guyville
  137. Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon
  138. Pink Floyd: Animals
  139. Pink Floyd: The Wall
  140. Presley, Elvis: Peace In The Valley: The Complete Gospel Recordings
  141. Public Enemy: Fear of a Black Planet
  142. R.E.M.: Life’s Rich Pageant
  143. Renaldo and the Loaf: Songs for Swinging Larvae
  144. Replacements: Let It Be
  145. Residents: Animal Lover
  146. Residents: Demons Dance Alone
  147. Residents: Wormwood
  148. Rolling Stones: Exile on Main St.
  149. Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure
  150. Rundgren, Todd: Healing
  151. Sepultura: Roots
  152. Simon and Garfunkel: Sounds of Silence
  153. Smiths: Louder Than Bombs
  154. Snog: Last of the Great Romantics
  155. Snog: Lullabies for the Lithium Age
  156. Soulfly: Ritual
  157. Special A.K.A.: In the Studio
  158. Steely Dan: Aja
  159. Steely Dan: The Royal Scam
  160. Steely Dan: Can’t Buy A Thrill
  161. Steppenwolf: Gold
  162. Stevens, Cat: Buddha And The Chocolate Box
  163. Swans: Filth
  164. Swans: Holy Money
  165. Talking Heads: Fear of Music
  166. Tazartès, Ghédalia: Diasporas
  167. Television Personalities: Closer to God
  168. This Heat: Deceit
  169. Tosh, Peter: Mama Africa
  170. Tosh, Peter: Equal Rights
  171. Tragic Mulatto: Italians Fall Down and Look Up Your Dress
  172. Tsukerman, Slava et. al.: Liquid Sky (Original Soundtrack)
  173. Utopia: Utopia
  174. Utopia: Swing to the Right
  175. Vega, Alan: IT
  176. Wailer, Bunny: Blackheart Man
  177. Wall of Voodoo: Happy Planet
  178. Wall of Voodoo: Seven Days in Sammystown
  179. Wasted: We Are Already in Hell
  180. Weasels: Uranus or Bust
  181. Weasels: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow
  182. Ween: Quebec
  183. Ween: The Mollusk
  184. Who: Who’s Next
  185. Who: Tommy
  186. Who: WHO
  187. Wings: Band on the Run
  188. Wings: Venus and Mars
  189. Wire: The Ideal Copy
  190. Wire: Send
  191. Xiu Xiu: Angel Guts: Red Classroom
  192. Xiu Xiu: Girl With Basket of Fruit
  193. XTC: Black Sea
  194. XTC: English Settlement
  195. Yes: The Yes Album
  196. Yes: Fragile
  197. Yes: Close to the Edge
  198. ZZ Top: Tres Hombres
  199. Zappa, Frank and the Mothers of Invention: One Size Fits All
  200. Zappa, Frank: Joe’s Garage, Parts I, II and III

One of my first musical obsessions. I played this 8-track to its breaking point. I also recall a big family argument after my grandfather asked my mother “Why the hell is that boy singin’ about ‘Goddamn the pusher man’?”