My Manta Ray’s All Right

You know that exquisite pain you get when a fantastic song is in your head, but circumstances prevent you from getting to actually hear it? I don’t know why there’s such a huge difference between hearing it in your head and hearing it from your speakers, but there undoubtedly is. You’re walking around for hours with it in there, and if it’s a song you love, chances are you know it intimately and your memory’s playing every note, but when you manage to get to your room and actually hear it in stereo, it’s like that moment’s a screaming orgasm and everything before was just indifferent foreplay.

At some point during lunch with Tamara at Belgo’s yesterday, Pixies’ Manta Ray started playing in my head.

I tried lots of ways to get it out. I went to Borders and listened to Sigur Ros, Black Box Recorder, Kid Loco, DJ Krush, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Sibelius. (Increasingly strange looks from the guy manning the listening station.) My find of the day: Pinchas Zukerman playing Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1, Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, and Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concerto No.5, conducted by Zubin Mehta, for 5.99! That’s the great thing about buying classical music that isn’t usually possible with indie rock – you can get so much good stuff for cheap. Supporting an indie rock habit, where every CD you want has an IMPORT sticker on it and costs twice as much as an ordinary CD, generally requires a willingness for turning tricks, drug dealing, organ farming or investment banking.

So anyway, nothing worked. I still kept having to remind myself not to burst out into “Hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo, YEAH!” in front of other people, and it was torture not being able to. Then I got home, scrambled to my computer, put it on and turned up the volume, and…