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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Too much of a good thing

Posted Friday, September 25, 2009, at 2:29 AM

Near the end the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Gene Wilder, as Willy Wonka, says to Charlie Bucket, "But Charlie, don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he he always wanted ... He lived happily ever after."

Now, I've always disagreed with this line for a number of reasons, but I'm not here today to get on my soapbox.

It's a kids' movie, after all. Just let it go.

But I'm thinking of that movie right now because since about the beginning of the year, I've been that boy. You see, since about my freshman year in high school, I've been a HARDCORE music addict. I'm not sure why it is.

It's not one particular genre -- I tend to like most types of guitar-based music as well as jazz.

It's not because I'm a musician. As of this Christmas, I will have owned an acoustic guitar for 10 years. I couldn't play you a single song.

I just can't get enough.

Something changed late last year, though, as I was able to add an awesome appendix to my title. I was now Jared Jernagan, Assistant Editor and Music Critic.

JACKPOT! Free CDs in the mail. Free downloads. Free concert entrance.

This is actually part of my job? I must have fooled somebody somewhere.

So it works out something like this: I have to write one music piece a week. That means, each week, I need to either sample a brand new album or attend a concert and then write several hundred words about it.

In this process, I have accumulated about 35 FREE albums and attended three FREE concerts. (Other obligations don't allow me to go too crazy on the concert-going front.)

Had I chosen to actually pay for all of these things, it would have cost me approximately $600. (My wife is happy with that money not coming out of the budget.)

Am I happy, though? Yes, but not satisfied. The following rationalizations happen almost daily.

I've never listened to this band before. Better get some of their older stuff for the sake of comparison.

I never heard back from Pearl Jam's publicist but I NEED that new album.

What about dance music?

OK, stop. Re-read that last line. I said dance music. I'm not joking here. In the last week, I've downloaded music from a group called Love Grenades and another called The xx. Look them up. They shouldn't be my cup of tea.

And yet I'm oddly intrigued.

Remember when Robert Downey Jr. used to get arrested like every other week? How about when Eddy Murphy tried to pick up that transvestite? They had overconsumed. They were turning to some weird stuff.

I feel like I've reached that point as a music fan. Thank God the potential liking the Pet Shop Boys' music shouldn't damage my reputation as much as those incidents.

I may have to turn in my man card for a while, though.

The point is, what really happens to the boy who got everything he ever wanted is he wants more and he wants different stuff. After a while, it gets a bit comical.

I think I'll listen to some ZZ Top and then go to bed. (Of course, their 80s and 90s stuff used some over-produced drums. Eliminator wasn't a dance record, was it?)

Perhaps I'm doomed...

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...and the beat goes on...
Jared Jernagan
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Jared Jernagan is a 2003 graduate of Wabash College and has been in journalism since 2005.
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