Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring Cleaning Makes Jenn a Crazed Girl

One could assume that Sonic Youth are my abiding obsession. I've seen them live 39 times; have a collection of printed ephemera large enough to swim laps in; have been a fan for almost 19 years now. Surely that qualifies for a top, A-1 fetish.


My Peanuts love--and the byproduct known as my Snoopy fascination--beats all. My collection, which is in the inventory process for insurance purposes, is mammoth by any standard. Really, it would be far easier to obsessively hoard SY stuff. I don't care how many side projects the individual members release through sundry "bat labels", there is no way NY's finest fuck with Snoopy in terms of sheer tonnage. Also, Peanuts books taught me how to read. Sonic Youth did not. They did, admittedly, teach me how to rock. (Slaughterhouse, in tandem with Firehouse, taught me how to love.)

Sometimes, these dual fixations clash. Not like the Union vs. the Confederacy; rather like chocolate meeting milk. Youth bassist/guitarist/vocalist Kim Gordon is a longtime fan of Peanuts. Stickers featuring the characters appear on her instruments, she's heard shouting out a fan wearing a Snoopy tee on a bootleg of the band's first show in DC of 2006, and admitted in a questionnaire that I stumbled 'cross in 2002 but can no longer locate on this here Innanet that Snoopy was her fave fictional character (other revelations: favorite color blue, favorite holiday Valentines Day).

It's pretty gratifying, personally. It's like meeting someone super cool and you get to talking and they never say that one thing that turns you off them, like saying they don't like anything the Beatles ever did and you can tell they're just being contrarian little shits, and you're thinking, If you don't like them fine, but goddamn, at least be able to qualify your opinion, you smirking shitface. You probably have "Ob-La-Di" on your Ipod. Instead, they actually end up saying something mega, like McCartney solo was better than Lennon solo, and you're ready to orally satisfy them on the spot. That's what Kim Gordon's support of the great beagle is like for me.

I have an eagle eye for SY to be sure, but my Snoopvision is far more developed. How could it not be? Snoopy's everywhere. Asian people think he's the peak of American culture, and are they mistaken? I've spotted Snoopy shirts in my travels from NYC streets to London resort sites to DC venues to Los Angeles record stores. There are moments, though, when my ocular super skills reach a "Scoutmaster Paul Lynde" level of creepiness.

Going through my SY clippings this weekend, I came across this, from a Japanese mag, late '90s. Being a bibliophile, I peered at the spines of the many books lining Kim and Thurston's shelves to see what titles I could discern. I spotted Venice West, Kerouac & Friends, What Did I Do?...not a lot clear to even my finely tuned orbs.

But I kept on, and my persistence paid off.

This shot is the best my camera can do at giving you an impression of the long, slim white books that appear first in line on the second shelf. I became convinced that these were part of a set. Not just any set. The Charlie Brown Dictionary set.

I noted that there was: brief writing atop the spine; then much lengthier wording; brief empty space, then more imprints; another set of imprints, with distinct red in the middle; and small print at the very bottom. I searched for my collection of The Charlie Brown Dictionary, and grabbed the "F to H" volume.

Sure enough, damnit! Look at that shot. The spine as I saw in the clipping and have described it here, as well as the color and size, matches perfectly with the books shown on Kim and Thurston's shelves. Result! Beat lit, cult novels, music bios, Peanuts. That shit's a win.

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