Hairstyles of the Damned by Joe Meno – Audiophile Ideal

Hairstyles of the Damned is a fictional memoir of a metal head, Catholic high school loser on the south side of Chicago circa 1990. Though I went to high school at the same time, my experience was way different with children’s theater, skate rock and Shadowrun in the Pacific Northwest instead of diner parking lots full of airbrushed vans, heavy metal and Dungeons and Dragons in the Midwest.

Today, during my evening commute, I read the following bit (it’s in the context of smoking pot for the first time):

Mike got up and put on some Black Sabbath and all of a sudden it started to really hit me. The song, which I knew well, "War Pigs," sounded different, broken into a hundred parts like a symphony, each instrument separate and multiplied, Ozzy’s voice warmer somehow, like he was someone I knew singing in the room with me.

The passage struck me as perfectly describing the audiophile ideal: separation of instruments, warmth, presence and more real than real. I listen to music to escape into an emotional fog, the closer it sounds like the passage above the better the experience.

Maybe Joe Meno could make some money on the side with high end audio amplifier and loudspeaker promotional copywriting.

The book is funny and sad and offers a ground level view of what it’s like to be a "teenage teen," check it out (I still have a third of the book to go).

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