Saturday, July 10, 2021

226. Resident } Carolyn R.


Unofficially, I was a teacher’s assistant at Emerson College during fall 1997 & spring 1998. My role was minimal. Read stories, contribute to workshop discussion, meet with students assigned to me outside of class. One student taught me to drive stick in her BMW. Another signed over her New Yorker subscription to me when she left Boston (that would be Kate Milliken, author of Kept Animals). Another was Carolyn R.

When I was 17, I went used-tape shopping with my pal Jeremy. He bought The Residents Commercial Album. He told me each song on the album is one-minute long. Maybe he played it for me? It made an impression. Roughly five years later, I must’ve mentioned it to Carolyn & she must’ve replied, Do you want me to dub it for you? I found the tape last week. A TDK SA90 with Commercial Album on side A. On an index card inside the tape case I noted, “Residents dub made by Carolyn R. recorded from vinyl.” Until now, I never really listened to it or spent much time contemplating Carolyn’s cool. In ’98, vinyl wasn’t fashionable as it is now. What was her setup like? Tape/turntable/CD player? Did she buy the record herself? Did she inherit it from her dad? Further establishing her cool, she left side B blank. 

Sometime later, I taped 45 minutes of WZBC. The host says, “All right it’s Martin here, ZBC 90.3. Another day, another evening, another show. This could be it for me for the summer, who knows. But, ah—not going to say farewell. It’s a touching moment. It’s whatever. I’ll leave you with a group called Frontier. It’s a long piece, but you might get into it. ZBC will be signing off in a few.” I think it’s a track from Recorded Live at the Empty Bottle (1996).

Carolyn posts from Rome.