I’d made a New Year’s resolution to only get mp3s this year. I wanted to save room, mostly. I hate having a lot of stuff around. Yes, even CDs. It reminds me that I’m a member - in very good standing - of our consumer culture.
Well I made it to April 19 anyway. Not bad for me. And certainly better than those other two resolutions pertaining to alcohol and desserts. In a way, you could say I gave up CDs for Lent.
It was International (Intergalactic?) Record Store Day and I would have felt disloyal not supporting at least one. I’d certainly done enough to support that struggling mom and pop site, amazon.com.
And it’s just as well, because I’d been dying to get new music, and for all my research resulting in a list of over 5,000 potential albums to buy, I couldn’t find a single one I could get enthusiastic about.
But it’s funny how your thinking changes when all you can do is browse. No allmusic or metacritic at your fingertips. Just CDs and your instincts.
Oh, and vinyl. I’d tell you about it but just makes me feel old and sad. Okay, if you insist:
It was hard enough back in 1989, making the transition from vinyl to CD. Now I have to consider making the transition back again to vinyl. This is how one comes to hate young people. Can’t we all just get old? Okay, not a great idea.
So there I was on a line outside Other Music. (Yes, there was a line! And I was on that line! I was one of the in-crowd! By far the oldest, but there nonetheless.) There was a nice young man (I find myself saying shit like this more and more now) at the front of the line, letting people in a few at a time, to make sure it didn’t get too crowded! I told him about my soon to be broken resolution, and he said something I knew to be true but that I needed to hear:
“Aw, come on! Mp3s are no fun!”
Anyhow, there I was looking and looking - picking up all sorts of things but not feeling love for any of them and putting them down again. It was the usual winnowing process which now includes the possibility that I could do better price-wise on line.
At one point I was holding the following:
- Essential Blue Oyster Cult, which I put down because, despite what I’d heard about them, I really only like “Reaper”. And smart guys like me are only supposed to like them ironically, something I can only do so much of.
- Mama’s Gun by Erykah Badu, who was really good in “Block Party”, but I wasn’t in the mood for a trip outside my ever contracting comfort zone. It was springtime afterall. Time for some happy, peppy bright chimey guitar pop stuff to melt those icicles
- A Roy Harper retrospective. Although it never stopped me before, jumping in head first into a 2-CD-set- by-a-folkie-I’d-not-heard-anything-by-before is never a good idea.
- The Knife - Silent Shout. New, cool, and I wanted it, but at 2 CDs, I knew I could do better pricewise, etc.
So I put them all back. (A shocked silence follows.)
So what did I end up with? What? You don’t care? Okay, now I’m going to make you wait until next time.