Watching Sunday night’s Grammy awards semi-seriously (okay, not seriously at all), I was taken a little for a bit of nostalgia (after seeing Ringo and Paul on stage after all the CBS hype and them only getting the one song) for of all things, the record store experience. This started earlier in the week when I ordered my copy of the new Springsteen record via Amazon so I could get the dvd that came with the cd, which was also accompanied by an instant download of the cd you were ordering in addition to the actual cd.
Got all that. Good. Just struck me how different it was scraping together the $2.99 plus tax for my copy of Darkness on the Edge of Town, purchased with the help of my older sister who drove and the double stamp books I had filled to ease the purchase at Record Theater. I know it’s still here, but it’s not the same experience. The mall record shops had those jamokes behind the counter who thought they were cool because they worked in a record store in the mall, nevermind that they were minimum wage workers too. But let’s face it, stocking Clapton LPs does beat refilling the pop tart display at the grocery store, but I digress.
It’s great to get the music and take it with you wherever you go, after you remember to back it up and so and find the right format for playing it in once you own it, but the old school pursuit is gone. That finding the “precious” at a reasonable rate is gone, replaced by hearing a new release on Spotify. That too is okay, might actually be easier to find songs that you might have overlooked on an LP.
But…I reacquired a turntable not too long ago. I used to think I didn’t have enough of an audiophile ear to hear the difference in some of the formats outs there. From the low rent mp3s to Flacs to other “lossless” formats, the subtle things weren’t registering. I think that is the nature of some recordings, but some records where some care went into them, you do see (or hear) I should say, what the analog audio guys are talking about. No format is perfect. Lord know I purchased some titles in most of them, save eight tracks.
As I approach AARP availability in a few weeks, (shaddup) you notice the folks you instantly know, probably ought to be hanging up their rock and roll shoes, but it is a good thing to see them in there still swinging….showing the kids how it is done.
I was sorting through some acquisitions of all formats to see if the collection could use a little weeding (it could), and while I don’t miss the orange crates full of music as those things were heavy, the hunt was pretty awesome.