So, I grabbed a big stack of the sheets and piled them into my car. Dave found me at the show parked in front of the dime boxes -- per usual -- and we chatted for awhile. Once we both finished up at the show, we went out to our cars and got the sheets into his car. Then Dave handed me a brown paper bag and said, "I hope you can use some of these."
Dave, there were a couple dozen I could use. To thank you, kind sir, I thought, "how about some Aphex Twin music, since I'm pretty sure you like them." Off we go.
This video for the song "Avril 14th" is listed as the top track on Spotify for Aphex Twin. This song is just a piano solo -- a hauntingly beautiful one at that.
As an aside and in case you don't know (because I didn't), Aphex Twin is really just one Irishman called Richard David James, who has also recorded under the names AFX, Blue Clax, Bradley Strider, The Universal Indicator, Brian Tregaskin, The, Smojphace, GAK, Karen Tregaskin, Patrick Tregaskin, Martin Tressider, PBoD (Phonic Boy on Dope), Polygon Window, Power-Pill, Q-Chastic, Dice Man, The Tuss, and Soit-P.P. Wikipedia says that James is "known for his influential and idiosyncratic work in electronic music styles such as IDM and acid techno in the 1990s.
Let's start with Bowman Heritage from the early 2000s. As the nostalgia ball got rolling and Topps was looking for new and different ways to (a) issue more cards and (b) protect its copyrights in its past card designs from interlopers like "Fleer Vintage" outright copying the 1971 Topps design, Bowman Heritage was a natural way of doing so. My only surprise these days is that Bowman Archives hasn't come out as a set as well.
Frankly, that would be a decent set for a few years. Of course, that won't happen because it wouldn't be a high-end set for which Topps could charge $750 a box.
When I'm trying to find out about an artist about which I don't know much, I often turn to Wikipedia and Google. Wikipedia here for this song provides a real insight both into the song and into how obsessive Aphex Twin's fans are.
If you watch the video above, be careful if you aren't real keen on profanity. As Wikipedia's obsessives point out, "[t]here are 127 uses of profanity in the dialogue segment of the video (which is under 4 minutes), including 44 uses of the word 'f**k'. This averages to more than one use of profanity every two seconds."
Hilarious. Seriously -- it's quite funny.
For some reason, these cards seem appropriate here. The shininess of the mid-1990s goes well with the beats and rhythms of this song. The Jaha is a 1997 New Pinnacle Base Artist's Proof which fell one per 39 packs, according to the always useful Baseball Card Pedia. New Pinnacle was, apparently, the first product ever to include the printing plates in the packages for the cards.
Wax the Nip
The odd visage of Richard James's appears regularly on many of Aphex Twin's album covers and videos. According to James, he did this because it ran counter to the way most techno artists operated -- they did not want to be recognized, so he did the exact opposite.
This song is on ...I Care Because You Do, which is an album that Dave suggested I listen to when I was looking for something different last weekend. I picked this song because of its name. Of course.
I put the Corey Hart in with some real live 1990s cards because it really is a throwback to Upper Deck's more basic designs of its earlier era. Remember how groundbreaking it was to have top-quality photography on cards -- like Upper Deck and, when it first came out, Stadium Club? To be fair, Stadium Club isn't bad these days, so I'm not complaining there.
It's humorous that Kelly Wunsch got a card for striking out five guys in one inning. It takes a new level of incompetence either on his part or his catcher's part or both to hit five Ks in an inning. To be fair, though, Wunsch made it to the major leagues as a lefty specialist in the early 2000s. He's now a home builder in Austin, Texas, and he married a girl from Wisconsin.
It's over 9 minutes of Aphex Twin from his first album, Selected Ambient Works 85-92. James got his start in the world of music by being a DJ isolated in Ireland and unable to find the kind of music he wanted to play. As a result, he started making his own.
Over his career, he notoriously held a great deal of antipathy toward the press. As he got older and had a family, though, he mellowed and ended up giving an extended interview to Philip Sherburne on Pitchfork.com which is intriguing to read.
These stars of the 1980s Brewers -- well, okay, 4 Paul Molitor cards and a Cecil Cooper Archives reprint from 2002 -- belong with early Aphex Twin. They are classic cards in many respects -- even the very recent Stadium Club.
On that glossy All-Star card, though, I'm betting Molitor is checking out a girl. Just saying.
Analogue Bubblebath Vol I
One of James's very early songs is Analogue Bubblebath Vol. I. It came out in 1991 -- twenty-six years ago! -- and it's very much in a product of that era's electronic music. I don't know if it is the right nomenclature to call this trance, but it sure does put me into something of a trance.
That last sentence took about 4 minutes to type. I just kind stared off into space for a while. No, I'm not kidding. Just listening to the music and taking it in. I've never really listened to this kind of music all that much before -- I'm a lyrics person when it comes to music, so these instrumental songs are a new world for me.
Not a new world, but all appreciated, are the mix of Upper Deck and Bowman above. Ah, I remember the days three years ago when I first got back into collecting and decided to collect Jean Segura as a player collection. That was funny. I knew that it would end poorly in Milwaukee, and it did.
In fact, the first card show I attended back in 2014, I was at this one guy's table and found about 5 or 6 Segura relics and autographs cheaply and bought them all up. The guy looked at me funny and said, "What's up with Segura? Why are you buying all those?" All I could respond was, "I'm a Brewers fan, and I have high hopes for him."
He then tried to get me to buy a bunch of 1989 Topps Brewers.
Quoth by Polygon Window
Yeah, here's the whole Quoth album. Often, reading the comments on YouTube causes a loss of IQ points, but sometimes they are quite funny. A "David Jackman" said that this album is "so hypnotic, my brain can taste it. it tastes of metal and wood chip." Something called indigopleasuredome said that this album is "the 4 o'clock last-act-rave- Before the musicfestival ends - kind of pulse."
Having never been to a rave, perhaps that is true.
Finishing off the cards from Dave, we have a Chrome Gallardo, an A&G Braun, a Power Players Gomez, and an Orange Wily.
That last card sounds much more menacing to me right now than it should. It must be the trance/dance/techno bender my brain is on right now. In a number of articles, I've seen Richard James's music called "acid house." Is that because it makes you feel like you're on a trip?
Or is always like this?
Thanks for the great cards, Dave!