J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Notes From Underground - #39
I Prefer 'Skilled Artisan' Rat


There was a long, long time where I refused, flat. out. refused to sell any music I had purchased. Doesn't matter if I hated it, doesn't matter if it was listened to just a few times before being located in a book of CDs and left there for eternity. What if I wanted to listen to it again? Huh? What would I do then? And in some cases, my righteous trade/pack-rattedness was dead-on. I wouldn't have finally understood the Jayhawks' Sound of Lies if I hadn't held onto it. I wouldn't have had those eureka experiences with the Stooges' Fun House, Wilco's Being There, Public Image Ltd.'s Second Edition and so on and so on. Sometimes music comes into your life at just the right moment. Sometimes, it's years early. How will you know unless you hold on?

Then the music started piling up. With nearly nine years of DJing put away (and five or six years of fandom before that), you collect a lot of stuff. My reasons shifted from wondering if I would ever figure a record out to "I know I'll play this on my show some time." I feel like half the spontaneity of my show is taking huge books of CDs up there, pawing through them and having light bulbs go off when I see that Toad the Wet Sprocket live acoustic EP I haven't played in years or that Pulp "Trees" / "Sunrise" single - the one with the Fat Truckers remix of Sunrise on it, not the other one. You get the picture.

So yesterday my parents brought me the huge unearthed mass of CD cases I had stored at their house. It was a noble and back-breaking gesture on their part to respond to my whim of wanting them. And now, with the ability to re-sell actually in my hands, I'm doing just that. And I'm finding it a lot easier. Sure, it could be because I can always make a digital copy (and I do) so that the music can clutter my hard drive (and it does) instead of my shelf space (it does that, too), so I'm not really losing the music.
Anything even remotely super important to me is kept. Yes, I'm parting with my CD copy of Toad the Wet Sprocket's first album, but that's mainly because I have a vinyl copy with the sleeve signed by Glen Phillips. Yes, I'm selling my copy of Lucinda Williams' Car Wheels on a Gravel Road and Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures, but that's because both were reissued with generous bonus material in the last two years and I had already re-purchased them. For those same reasons, I'm parting with the entire Replacements' CD Twin/Tone catalogue. Those are being reissued later this month and I plan to buy them as well. So even in learning to let go, I'm really only learning to clutch even harder.

I'll get to the used store to sell them and, perhaps, they'll refuse to take certain things. I can see it now, as if it were a short scene for the stage:

[Bells ring as Intelligent Music Listener (IML) enters establishment to sell CDs. He wears a monocle. Surly Clerk (SC) waits behind the counter.]

IML : "Yes, my good man. I am here to sell some fine musical items to your establishment in exchange for American Dollars, which I hear are quite the rage."

[The Surly Clerk stares.]

IML : "Yes, well, I shall peruse your fine wares while you look these items over and prepare the offer. Shall we say, ten minutes?"

[The Surly Clerk stares. The Intelligent Music Listener walks away. Ten minutes pass and he returns. Several CDs have not been accepted and he peruses them while the clerk prepares his money.]

IML : "I say, old boy, why did you not take this Noise Addict album? They were a ripping little band."

SC : "No one wants to buy that. Who are they?"

IML : [looking slightly shocked] "Well, I mean, they were the band that Ben Lee was in before striking out on his own."

SC : "Didn't he date Claire Danes?"

IML : "What does that have to do with music? Look, it was produced by Brad Wood, even - a mainstay of 90s indie-rock. He produced Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville also."

SC : "Liz Phair? That chick who did 'Extraordinary?' Why would I care about someone who produced that?"

[Intelligent Music Listener's monocle falls out of his eye and shatters on the countertop. He leaps across the counter and soundly chokes the clerk.]

- FIN -

They let you blog from jail, right?

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4 Comments:

  • At 10:01 AM, April 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    :-D ! Lol at the IML vs. SC scene!!!

     
  • At 2:24 AM, April 19, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Has anyone ever called you a snob?

     
  • At 2:42 AM, April 19, 2008, Blogger J. Neas said…

    Once. But I soundly rebuked him by comparing his comment to a local newspaper writer insulting Roger Ebert over his thoughts about Fritz Lang's Metropolis. I mean, really.

     
  • At 1:03 AM, April 30, 2008, Blogger Doug said…

    Stupid downloading has ruined everything...

    Not that it stops me from having an emusic subscription, but I'm planning on trying to sell off a majority of my CDs (probably jettisoning at least 500) and fear I'll run into a similar "who wants that?" reaction.

    If only I had some Panic At the Disco to sweeten the deal...

     

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