365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Monday, May 6, 2013

T-shirt #46: Devo: Are We Not Men?

T-shirt #46: Devo: Are We Not Men?


We are violently ill.

Sounded better as the answer to the question. Without using the "hospital we," I should say that "I am violently ill." Really, you do not want details.

I knew something would impede my daily progress and routine eventually. I did not want to take a skip day. Instead this is a placeholder entry that I will fill out and update tomorrow, assuming I feel well enough. I thought being busy or on the road or something else would be what derails my daily regimen. I do not get ill that often, though this is like the second or third time since January, so maybe my assessment is wrong.

As you know, I feel that spring means yellow shirts.

When I feel up to it, I will answer the questions that I know interests you all most: why is DEVO not one of my top ten favorite all time bands? But why is DEVO one of the top ten bands/artists I have always wanted to see live and have not.

UPDATED TEXT AS OF 1305.07
I cannot remember exactly when or how I was introduced to DEVO, but it was before 1980's Freedom of Choice and the monster hit "Whip It."



Probably, I must once again trace my DEVO fandom to an introduction to the band by my good friend, Steve Curl (mentioned in T-shirt #45 and T-shirt #32) with whom I shared so many things. DEVO's nerdy aesthetic captivated me immediately. And it should be no surprise that the band's first album was produced by one of my all-time favorite artists: Brian Eno. It is also no surprise that the band's first recording contract came with the aid of David Bowie and Iggy Pop, two of my other all-time favorites. The Wikipedia page described the band's music and stage show as "mingling kitsch science fiction themes, deadpan surrealist humor, and mordantly satirical social commentary" ("Devo," Wikipedia, 2013). The band's own Club DEVO site reports that "Others found DEVO's sound, imagery, and material threatening; Rolling Stone, for example, called the group fascists. But such criticism missed the point: DEVO dramatized conformity, emotional repression, and dehumanization in order to attack them, not to pay tribute to them" ("Devo Bio," Club Devo, 2013). All in all, Devo best embodies a group of bands people called "The New Wave."






Back to the questions. I admit it: I love DEVO. If I love DEVO, then why is the band not in my top ten? What is this top ten I speak of? What are my criteria for the top ten? I considered longevity, adoration, repeat listening, and affect on my outlook of life and general sense of self (a source of credos and mottos) as the main criteria for my favorite all time bands.

This list excludes childhood loves (the Partridge Family, the Osmonds, the Jackson Five), musical artists who are not bands even though they may be backed by a band, and newer bands that I have not loved long enough to consider placing in the top ten. I also do a little doubling up.
Though numbered, the bands are not ranked.

  1. 10,000 Maniacs
  2. Cocteau Twins
  3. The Jam/ Style Council
  4. Spyro Gyra
  5. Steely Dan
  6. Pink Floyd
  7. Everything But The Girl
  8. King Crimson
  9. The Indigo Girls
  10. Talking Heads

As much as I love Devo, they do not make this list. And other bands who I love with a great burning passion, like Joy Division (see T-shirt #35), Kraftwerk (T-shirt #36), and Sigur Rós (T-shirt #12); other great bands do not break the top ten but would be in my top twenty, such as Radiohead, Roxy Music, the Clash, Dead Can Dance, and the Police.

Even though DEVO is not in the top ten favorites, they are in the list of bands or musical artists that I want to see live. A list that also includes bands I cannot see live, such as Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, and the Jam.

At least, I have an opportunity to see DEVO as the band has returned to the stage for limited engagements.

- chris tower - 1305.06 - 17:48 - blech