For years and years, music I’ve bought has been piling up on iTunes. Some of it is on my hard drive or iPod. A lot of it is lingering in the cloud, not quite forgotten but fallen out of rotation — an artifact of another time. In lieu of buying new music, I sometimes dig up these old purchases and use them to travel through time. Here’s one.
Miranda Sex Garden’s Fairytales of Slavery takes me back to the radio station. I’m in high school, I’m the Traffic Director of the local radio station, which has nothing to do with cars and everything to do with carts — eight-track style loops of PSAs and station IDs. I’m also producing a weekly variety-alternative music show at the time.
CDs come into the station via the mail. We fill milk crates with albums like Weezer’s first (aka “the blue album”) and Miranda Sex Garden’s Fairytales of Slavery, which I listen to a few times. It fascinates me. I don’t know what the lyrics are, if they are really anything, but it’s dramatic and moody.
I’m running World of Darkness games a lot back then, including Vampire and Wraith, and I think this album might make for good atmosphere. I play parts of it on my radio show (called The Difference Engine). I find myself thinking about the album later on.
For example, years later, when I’m working on World of Darkness products for publication, I seek this album out on iTunes and buy it again. I listen to it for a year or so, then lose track of it. More years later, I find it in my iTunes cloud and listen to it again. It’s autumn inside this album, to me, and a part of me is alone in the basement radio station at night, looking at my reflection in the window between the engineer’s desk and the DJ booth, thinking about ghosts.