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Columns > Dean Budnick - From the Editor

Published: 2006/01/20
by Dean Budnick

Everybody Must Get Duffed

First of all let me just say that I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. Invariably someone will make an exultant proclamation in the fire and daze of midnight only to forget about it come January 2 (or in many instances by 3am on January 1). Plus, the focus that many folks place on December 31 seems a bit misguided (glorious musical traditions aside, many of my friends refer to NYE as amateur night).

However, a few years ago I spent the early hours of the new year at a friend’s house marveling at his wireless router. Scoring New Year’s Eve setlists from his kitchen while thinking of the router I had purchased a few weeks earlier which still was languishing in its box, led me to make an exultant proclamation in the fire and daze past midnight. And as it turned out, I returned home and hooked it up that very same day (indeed, I’m typing this in my kitchen, hot coffee and frosted animal crackers at the ready).

Ever since that year, I’ve opted for similar resolutions with the potential for some measure of immediate realization. Unfortunately it’s proven difficult to top the glory of facilitating the ability to enjoy Yacht Rock while preparing my daughter’s peanut butter mini-waffles and Flavored Blasted Goldfish before school in the morning. So this year it’s been a twin bill. My initial pledge is long since complete (closet reorganized, three pairs of crumbling running sneakers discarded- profound, no?) Which leads me to my second resolution and this one I offer up to all of you as well. In 2006 I pledge that I will get Duffed.

Okay, now hold on, before the standards and practices division of Jambands.com comes down on me for violating the moral sanctity of the site, please let me clarify. All I mean is that this is the year that I head out to my local arena, ticket in hand, for a Hilary Duff show (and if you wish to label that an indecent act from a purely musical perspective, I’m sure you can find yourself a minion).

Actually, this will be seconds for me. This past summer my six year old daughter and I traipsed down to the local arena for the first-ever music event of her choice. Nothing touches watching your child experience something new and pleasurable (admittedly, the opening acts were a bit grating and Hilary’s face has contorted a bit since her Lizzie McGuire days…but I digress). Beyond all this it was a reasonably fascinating experience. For one thing it was the first live performance I’d been to in quite a while where I entered with zero expectations and simply checked it all out. Did Hilary and her band realign my vertebrae and alter my conception of the pop music idiom? No but she had a nifty light show and I had some tunes in my head in the next morning (which sometimes is all one can ask).

This is why I vow to get Duffed again in 2006 and I think you should do the same. It can be all too easy to get locked into one particular mode, appreciating certain styles of music and denigrating others based a pattern of repetition and recognition. Don’t let your personal improvisation wane. Shake it up a bit. If you enjoy it when your favorite group delivers a quirky cover then live that yourself through an unexpected live music dalliance.

Check out the band that one of your housemates is really into that you’ve always scoffed at. Go see something that’s popular or a group you’ve heard about but never heard a note of their music. Join the Budnicks at our inevitable wrangle with Aly and AJ later this year.

I promise it’ll lend perspective and maybe you’ll find inspiration. Or not. At least it’ll get you out of the house (and worse case scenario, it’ll allow you to mock the musical tastes of others out of knowledge rather than out of ignorance).

At any rate, I hereby resolve to get Duffed in 2006 and I encourage you to do the same.

Later days and peace,
Dean

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