Week 33: 21 August 2016
I have a lot of CDs. Well, I had a lot of CDs. The past few months, I’ve been selling them. Lots of them. I’ve had to handle each of them in the process — taking them out of shelves, inserting them into laptops to burn onto drives, moving them into boxes to take to one of the last local shops still willing to give reasonable credit for the collection I’ve amassed. Thousands of them. It’s been pretty exhausting. Not the actual copying, moving, and sorting, but the decision-making process.
See, most of these CDs have some memory attached to them. The show where I bought it. The city I visited when I discovered it in a bargain bin. The gift from a friend who knew my taste well enough to share a new disc they knew I’d love.
When we were on tour, I used to keep track of every one of these acquisitions. When we got home, I would enter them into a spreadsheet with the date and place of purchase. There were also columns for record label, release date, and one for listened-to date. Yes, I would open a spreadsheet and keep track of when I listened to which CD (seriously). Oh, and every CD has a little sticker in the case where I wrote the date every time I listened to it. How else would I figure out my Obligatory Top Eleven Releases of the Year?
Here’s a typical example of what I had to weed through to enter a new purchase into the database:
17 August 1994
Believe it or not, Lollapalooza was canceled! flanders played with Geezer Lake on the 10th. Not bad for a band that hadn’t practiced in weeks. Geezer Lake were O.K., but not as menacing as last time. We have bands in common: Five Eight, Picasso Trigger, Babe the Blue Ox … “small indie rock world.” We’re playing with Picasso Trigger tonight at the Cow Haus. Right now, we’re on I-75 North headed for home after the Lollapabust. We were supposed to pick up Justen in Tampa and take him to Deland with us (Jen, Liz, and Sean) and then bring him back after the show, sleep, & then leave early Wednesday morning. The actual events started with a message on the answering machine saying the show had been canceled because the soft ground did not support the stage & it collapsed. I called TicketMaster to confirm, and then we began planning our new day. Since it was so shitty out, we decided on M.O.S.I. in lieu of Bush Gardens. It was cool — they were having an old arcade games exhibit. We stayed there — with Justen’s friend, Charlie, included — until about 4:30 then went for Subway for the boys. Then, off to Alternative Record Store to spend $ I would have spent on Lolla. What I bought: 2 new Wellwater Conspiracy 7"s, Universal Order of Armageddon 7" with “Visible Distance” on it, and a band my brother introduced me to(!), Earth Crisis. Also got the new Melvins (read Snivlems) Prick, the William S. Burroughs/Kurt Cobain CD The Priest They Called Him, and the Ride “Vapor Trail” EP. Then home by 6:30 for big dinner at Lin Garden with the family and gang in tow. Home. Sega. Tom-foolery. Sleep. Wake early. Pack. Drive. Sleep. Stop. Drive now. Before we left Tally, I went to Vinyl Fever to sell CDs & get $ for the show. I got $48, with which I bought Mötley Crüe’s Too Fast For Love, Drive Like Jehu’s Yank Crime, and another copy of Ultramega OK. After tonight’s show with Picasso Trigger, tomorrow is flanders at the Musician Magazine showcase in Orlando. Friday: Flanders at the Cow Haus with I don’t know who. Saturday, Gruel with Butternut (formerly Medusa Gordas). Conan O’Brien will announce the winner of his college band contest on Friday. I’m grumpy.
That entry includes finding one of my favorite records ever, Yank Crime. I love the fact that my purchase of it is so understated. To this day, “Luau” off that record is the first song I type into any new music streaming service to see if it’s even worth my time. But, like I said, I’m getting rid of most of my CDs.
Now, I am keeping some. I’m keeping stuff friends of mine released. Anything I recorded, too. And CDs I can’t live without, if — heaven forfend — the cloud and backups of all my digital versions suddenly disappear. Yank Crime, for instance, stays. Why the downsizing now? Well, somebody needed a big-girl bed, and it now takes up the space that used to be housing 50% of the CD collection.
So, if you see a CD in a shop with a a few random dates written on a tiny label on the CD tray, know that it was catalogued, cherished, and well-loved. Please, help them find a good home. We need to make room for another little music lover.