See, that pile doesn’t look so bad. Unfortunately, combined with many other piles of CDs, as well as two full racks with seven shelves, I’m a bit swamped with music to listen to. Now wait, don’t think I don’t want to be this way. I enjoy this state of easy access to some pretty good music. However, with discs pouring over onto various surfaces and out of hidden tuckaways, I am finding that this collection of mine is getting a little out of hand. Not to mention the evil eyes I’m getting from a certain beautiful loved one is beginning to cause some doubts. I guess I need to face the fact that I’m a music-collecting monger.
What should I do about this? Currently my feeble ideas are to listen to each album, give it a quick judgment and either send it on its way or lovingly place it back into its permanent slot in a rack. Problem is, most of them are ending up back on the rack. Hold on, problem?! I am merely guilty of adding to a music collection that will entertain me for years to come! That said, how often do I listen to all of those Nirvana albums I accumulated during college? Practically never. I know I was big into the Squirrel Nut Zippers once, but have I recently gotten into a big band swinging mood? Not really. At some point one must consider purging artists that, though quite good and deserving of ownership, may have to go and merely live on in one’s memory.
I have given some thought as to how I continue to accumulate music. A few confessions come to mind …
Exhibit A: I buy new CDs on a whim, even when I know there’s some old stuff I’ve got to hear at some point. The other day I went to a music store and bought 2 CDs that, for all I know, suck. Granted, one is considered a psychedelic classic and the other was deemed the best record of the year according to the alternagirl working at the place, so my odds of enjoyment are good. However, I haven’t mentioned the purchase to the wife yet. I haven’t taken them out of the bag. They’re still wrapped. If I forget I even bought them I may not be surprised.
Exhibit B: A promotional company sends me CDs once in awhile because I wrote a review for one of their bands once .. I think. I had thought that after ten or so tosser bands I would be kind enough to write back and say hey, stop sending me musical junk mail. However, one of them sounded okay recently. I guess … I guess they should keep sending me stuff.
Exhibit C: I buy them to trade them. Yeah, maybe this is the biggest issue. I am a member of a few CD trading sites that allow one to exchange a CD for another disc that one is interested in. This not only allows me to send off CDs I’m tired of or do not listen to anymore in order to get something I’ve had my eye on, but it also gives me a chance to improve the collection. I once sent a real snoozer by Castanets in order to get Brian Eno’s classic “Here Come the Warm Jets”. I also got Built to Spill’s “Live” CD (love these guys) for the quite common Norah Jones “Come Away With Me” album. Folks, the list goes on. If even one of my dollar bin disasters hits a good return, I am sucked into the idea that it could happen again and again.
Exhibit D: I really enjoy writing, but you know that in order to write one must have some sort of inspiration. How am I going to keep up with this blog if I don’t continue to pick up and enjoy dollar bin albums? You have to admit (yo, lend me your sympathies) that it would indeed be difficult to sustain if I didn’t shovel handfuls of quarters across the music store counter once in awhile. Thus, even if I put the nix on all the previous exhibits mentioned, I find that this one is the biggest perpetrator.
Perhaps it’s an addiction … perhaps it’s simply a love of music … or maybe it’s a continuation of imbibing sheer quantity like I used to do with baseball cards and comic books. Unlike those interests, music can be with me forever without dwindling in relevance to my life. Therefore, I think I’m kinda stuck. (shrug)
If I wasn’t of the hard copy-lovin’ crowd, this situation could be rendered irrelevant as I could go all digital. The problem, of course, is that I may never lean that way. There’s definitely something about pulling out a tangible album, giving its tracks and art a look over, and weighing my options for the next hour of listening. Since digital music completely lacks personality, it seems that I will always be one of those guys who thumbs through music bins trying to find my next audio fix. At least this hobby gets me out of the house, right?
Solution: Buy another music rack! Why didn’t I think of this before … ;D