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Silver Jews – Bright Flight (2001), Einstürzende Neubauten – Kollaps (1981), Basement Jaxx – Remedy (1999)

November 12, 2019

[Album 688, 689, 690 /1001]

Band Ts

One of the highlights of looking through family photo albums?

In addition to watching the kids get older, of course?

Watching my band t-shirts age, sometimes less than gracefully!

A mid-2000s Libertines T had a good run & has since been relegated to the painting/yardwork collection.

Another Cure T is still hanging on, though is worn only when a black shirt is required for recreational ball hockey.

And it was with great sadness that I had to say goodbye to, not 1 but 2, beloved red Pavement Ts.

The first? Met an untimely end in a washing machine.

The second? Looked sharp in the 2010 photo below, was starting to crack by the 2015 photo, and alas, is no longer with us.

But the photos endure, more so than the shirts!

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Untitled presentation (18)

Holly, Geoff, and Pavement in 2010 & 2015

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Bright Flight

After listening many times to Bright Flight, I don’t think there’s ever been an artist that’s been more IN my musical comfort zone & more OUT of my T-shirt comfort zone.

Musically, at one point or another during the band’s timeline, I gather a couple of Pavement members were in this group. Which may explain why it felt so familiar!Brightflight

Many tunes brought me back to Wilco’s Being There as well; in my books, that’s about as favourable & comfortable of a reference point as there is.

Like Pavement & Wilco, this album is full of great tunes & great lyrics, just the kind of artist I’d like to visibly support.

And then…there’s the band name. In my line of work, I’m not sure if there’s a T-shirt I’d be less comfortable wearing.

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Remedy

Well, maybe I’d be similarly uncomfortable sporting the cover art from the Basement Jaxx album, Remedy, on a T-shirt.

Students may see the shirt & say, “where’s your head at?”Basement_Jaxx_-_Remedy_album_cover.jpeg

It’s possible they’d be cleverly alluding to the ear-worm Basement Jaxx single, Where’s Your Head At.

It’s also more likely that they’d be curious about the questionable decisions that led to purchasing & wearing the Remedy T-shirt to my place of employment.

Fortunately for my chosen career, seeing how far outside my musical comfort zone that Remedy is to begin with, it’s unlikely I’ll be investing in a Basement Jaxx T-shirt any time soon!

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Kollaps

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that musical discomfort will inevitably lead to T-shirt discomfort.

For a group like Einstürzende Neubauten, it’s safe to say that the genres of ‘avant rock’ and ‘noise’ aren’t exactly found at the geographic centre of my wheelhouse.Kollaps_cover_art

However, that doesn’t mean I’m not fascinated by the album.

In fact, I’m tempted to put this album in a similar echelon to Suicide’s eponymous LP.

Which is to say, I can’t tell if it’s brilliant or bonkers.

Some will hear Kollaps and react à la Grinch, “if there’s one thing I hate, all the noise noise noise noise!

For others, music will never be the same!

Either way, I can’t see too many taking a lukewarm stance & I tend to appreciate the audacity of this kind of recording.

And as I don’t immediately see anything inherently offensive in the artist/album name or cover art, though I can’t see myself actually spending money to acquire one, I could see myself wearing a Einstürzende Neubauten T.

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The Music/T-Shirt Comfort Zone Matrix

Perhaps many of you have done so already, but I hadn’t previously considered the 2 x 2 musical/t-shirt comfort zone matrix before.

For me, only one quadrant has led to a T-shirt investment so far – the IN/IN!

effectiveness

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Verbalize the Positive

Cheers to the Camden Market vendor that sold me my first Pavement shirt in 2004 & then sold me the same shirt the next summer after the first one had bitten the dust!

From → 2000s

19 Comments
  1. David Berman (from Silver Jews) put out an acclaimed album as Purple Mountains this year then died.

    • This is one of those artists I’m surprised to just be learning about now – I imagine I’d like that Purple Mountains release. That’s also a shirt I’d be more comfortable wearing!

      • I only really picked up on them with the Purple Mountains album this year – I’d heard the name, but think I was getting them mixed up with the Silver Apples.

      • Colour + Plural Noun, understandable!

    • A very excellent album.

  2. Yeah, a couple of those shirts definitely wouldn’t go over well at your school. I like it when I see kids wearing retro T-Shirts and then asking them if they can name one song by the band. It is funny how sometimes they actually struggle with that answer!!

    • I saw a Def Leppard shirt at school recently – I thought you’d approve!

      • Yes, approved!!! My kids have Def Lep shirts, Van Halen, Kiss, Queen, Bowie…however, aside from Kiss, Lep and Queen, they can’t name any songs for the others. I am trying though.

      • It’s the effort that counts!

  3. I never got into buying music TV-shirts, not sure why, maybe I’m too self-conscious. Could be a way to locate like-minded people when you’re out and about!

    • And to buy them at shows now, the prices are just silly – at the Radiohead concert, the T-shirts started(!) at $50.
      I’ve had some fun conversations with strangers wearing good artist T-shirts – had a nice chat with someone recently wearing a Frank Turner T, we even exchanged a crisp High-Five!

  4. I have a few music Ts that have seen their day come and go, but I can’t let them go. Cracked. Faded. Some even sport holes around the collar and seams. I will wear them until they are nothing but thread.

    Anyhoo, the one here I’m familiar with is (surprise surprise) Bright Flight. One of my very favourite albums that one.

    Berman was an incredible songwriter. One of the best, I reckon. If you’re looking for further listening, I’d recommend American Water and Tanglewood Numbers (both are exceptional). Pavement are all over Starlite Walker too. And, of course, this year’s Purple Mountains is wonderful (though the songs have taken on some extra weight).

    • I guess shirts do hit a point where they become more holes than fabric!
      And I’m pleased to read there is much more to be enjoyed – so my thanks for the further listening suggestions!

  5. First of all great pics of you and Holly! Timeless!
    T-shirts are not cheap especially concert T’s. Maiden shirts were going for $55 Canadian so of course, I had to buy 2 ! haha. Funny thing was you cold preorder the Maiden shirts from there website but it would have been 55 American! With the exchange rate??!! Yikes!
    I know there is a website called Ali-Express that sells knock off shirts which are dirt cheap and Lex bought me a Leppard ‘High N Dry’ T-shirt that was $12 U.S!
    That I can handle!

  6. I have some shirts that I wish would last forever.

    • As do I – some that are already past their prime that I keep thinking will somehow start to get less ratty with age!

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