If there's any evidence that the Age of Irony is beginning to show serious cracks, it's in the sudden outbreak of Neil Diamond mania among hipsters far and wide. KXLU's resident genius Chris Checkman told us, not too long ago, that there should never be anything in our record collection that we're ashamed of, nor vice-versa; that in fact, there are no "guilty pleasures" allowed anymore. Devin of "Demolisten" took this to its logical conclusion and began preaching the gospel of Neil Diamond to his faithful.
In truth, it took the prodding of these people, whose taste in music we respect immensely, for us to finally have our long-delayed reunion with one of old Neil's tapes. It was satisfying; it was liberating; and within a week of this happening, to our complete astonishment, we found ourselves walking into one place after another where Neil Diamond was playing on the jukebox. And not just dive bars by the racetrack, either. Just last week we heard "Cracklin' Rose" in the back room at Spaceland, half the assembled singing along under their breath.
Now: We grew up with Neil Diamond. Our dad, whose whole hip life froze like a caveman in a glacier sometime around 1972, played "Stones" incessantly, even daily, throughout our childhood. He also played plenty of things we're still a bit ashamed of our nostalgia for, like Anne Murray, or Bread. He had a tape carousel that held twenty albums, and those tapes are still in that thing, slowly turning into dust. And it was sometime around the fourth grade (when we got laughed at for not knowing who Guns 'N' Roses were) that we decided our dad's AM Gold collection was critically uncool, to the point of being dangerous to our social life.