Weekend Listening: High Fidelity Soundtrack
Album: the High Fidelity soundtrack, various artists
Released: March 28, 2000 by Hollywood Records
Recommended if you like: Vintage grooves, proto-punk, songs that make you feel awesome
Notable Tracks: “Dry the Rain” by The Beta Band, “Let’s Get It On” by Jack Black, basically all of them
It is 2000 or 2001. I am sitting in a classroom with a friend. We had just scored some illicit chicken fingers (we weren’t allowed to go off-campus for lunch but we were teacher’s aides and our teacher didn’t care as long as we scored her some sweet tea). My friend had brought a movie in, having looked at me absolutely agog when I told him that I hadn’t seen it.
That movie was High Fidelity and that shit changed my life.
My friend and I were music nerds anyway; we had homeroom together (both R last names) and we would talk about our mutual love of The Beatles and other classic rock bands. He got me more into the blues and then he got me into High Fidelity, which had some music that I had never heard and I loved. The Velvet Underground. The Beta Band. Smog. The Kinks. My musical tastes grew two sizes that day.
“It’s good.” “I know.”
I still listen to this soundtrack all the fucking time. Like Rob Gordon’s taste in music, the songs on this album are cool as hell. My favorites have changed over the years; I used to linger over Sheila Nicholls’s “Fallen For You” because it reminded me of a relationship I was going through at a time. “Shipbuilding” and “I’m Wrong About Everything” were early favorites. As I explored more musically, I got into the proto-punk sounds of The Velvet Underground. There’s never been a time when popping in this soundtrack hasn’t given me a rush of total musical joy–so much so that when it found out it had been released for Record Store Day this year in a limited edition vinyl, I eBayed that shit immediately.
(The records are clear orange vinyl, which is rad.)
High Fidelity took my tastes from generic classic rock to something a little more. (“What about fucking.. fucking Beethoven? Track one, side one of the fifth symphony? Rob, how can someone with no interest in music run a record store?”) I still get down with The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and the other classic rock biggies, but I have worked a lot of other bands into my rotation. My taste in music still isn’t cool (thank god we have sj and Laura for that), but it’s a little cooler than it was. Thanks, Nick Hornby and John Cusack. Thanks a freakin’ bunch.