A Milestone in my record collection and my thoughts on MP3s


8. Sep. 2007, 3:09

After a weekend trip to the record store, and a few (long awaited) arrivals in my mailbox, my record collection has reached a "milestone". After adding the additions to my record database I found that I have hit the 800 mark. I tend to be obsessed with data, I like to call it dataporn. Its all about numbers, how many of this ratio to this, percentage of this to that. Using a service like Last.fm is interesting to me. It allows me a way to experience a new flow of dataporn but it really boils down to tangible music and objects over digital non-tangible music. I have a love and hate relationship with MP3s. They are great for moving music, keeping a lot of it in a small space and other handy things like that. It allows me to have many more albums available to me at work where stacks of CDs (not to mention a turntable) would not be unwelcome, just cumbersome and messy. What is not appealing about mp3's, and I am sure most would call this a benefit, is the accessibility and ease of movement that they allow. The 800 albums I have in my collection have taken me about 12 years to collect. It involved countless trips to the record stores, countless hours digging through stacks of cds and records and often most rewarding attending shows and being able to purchase my record directly from the hands of a band member. It took years of work to build something I am extremely proud of. The process of searching for and acquiring records often took months and months but its those records that really mean more to me then just sound waves. The time and effort involved is just as equal to the feelings created by the music itself. It creates the experience. One of my favorite records is the self titled release by Dead Meadow. They had released 3 albums by the time I learned of them. The out of print self titled LP was fetching about 100 bucks on eBay at this time. I was determined to find a copy cheaper. I could have just loaded up my browser, found a copy online, downloaded it and had it within 20 mins for free but that wasn't what I wanted. I searched and searched and eventually got in touch with Joe T., owner of Planaria (and former member of Fugazi, who told me he had one copy left he was willing to sell. I was able to get a copy for $18 and he even threw in a poster. Then there is the blue vinyl pressing of The Secret Machines September 000 album which was acquired only after about 18 months of searching eBay once a week. After the disappointment of losing 2 auctions I finally got a copy for an incredible $12. While writing this I am also reminded of how I got a copy of the CD version of this release. There is a record store in my town called Used Kids which has a large section called the $3 bin. One would think this would be filled with utter crap but you would be wrong. I was able to find a copy of this album, complete with the yellow film insert for, yes $3. Not to mention albums from The Flaming Lips, SSM, The Beatles, The Black Angels, and many many more. This is cheaper then what it would cost you to purchase a digital version of the albums. Getting back to the point. It is far to often that people will get 300 albums at a time from a friend or have the ability to download an entire artists career in one click. While this is easy and fast it comes at the cost of a deeper connection. This is the empty experience that I speak of in my about me (at least when this was written). There is a truly great feeling that is felt after a road hard traveled is completed. I fear that some potential real music fans these days are giving up this feeling for the quick cheap thrill of instant downloading. As I write this I listen to the 1 leak I allowed myself to download this year. Probably because the Wooden Shjips 7" and 10" where beyond my grasp and the 2 min sound clip just could not tide me over until later this month. Maybe I am just a hypocrite but I urge those of you who have read this to look beyond digital formats. Seek the thrill of the hunt and enjoy the wait that comes with waiting for an album to hit the store shelves. The anticipation that builds up inside you may allow your ears to open wider and give you a greater gift for waiting. While you immediate needs may be meet with that instant download or that 3 month early leak it is nothing compared to the satisfaction of finally getting that record in your hands. Holding something that you know will bring you a joy, sadness, entertainment and maybe a little bit of madness.

Thank you for reading.

If your interested here is the ten albums that lead up to the milestone that inspired this writing.

Douglas Armour - Prince of Wands 7" (limited to 750 copies)
Jay Reatard - Night of Broken Glass 12" (700 copies)
Jennifer Gentle - The Midnight Room
Cloud Cult - Advice From The Happy Hippopatomas
Man Or Astro Man - Project Infinity
Belle and Sebastian - Dog on Wheels CD Single
Spacemen 3 - The Perfect Prescription
Acid KingBusse Woods LP (100 copies!)
School of Seven BellsMy Cabal 7" (300 copies)
The Tough And Lovely - Teardrops LP


  • Lisarisa

    you're a dork...you need to quit buying records and leave me a list of what you still need to purchase because....well, it sucks trying to keep up with what you have and what you want. I would personally like to buy you some new records babe....but again I don't know what you have/want. love you silly!

    13. Sep. 2007, 14:14
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