At my old job I listened to 50-80 songs a day on my iPod, ranking each one as I went and setting up playlists for 1, 2 and 3 star songs (since the 4 and 5 star tracks are automatically added to the Top Rated playlist). To say that my little iPod is one of most prized possessions is an understatement. However, contrary to the opinion of many individuals, the compact disc is a tool of the music industry that I dearly love and hope will always stay!
I have always been behind the ball when it came to technology. I own well over 350 CD’s, yet did not buy my first disc until I was a freshman in college back in 1987 (maybe even 1988). As much as I love music, it was not until a friend offered to give me his iPod last year since he had just purchased an iTouch that I finally got one. A trade of two U2 reissues and that little gem was mine. Thanks Haro!
It did not take me long to load over 6000 songs and several podcasts on the iPod, and to help me accomplish my goal (really?) of ranking every song I have on iTunes, I primarily sync songs I have not ranked yet when I plug the iPod into my computer. I know, anal.
Now here is where I differ from most people. Some of the music I have on the iPod I acquired from friends of mine. However, probably 90% is music I have personally bought over the years and own free and clear. More important, maybe 1% of that music is music I downloaded – LEGALLY mind you.
When I saw Elbow in concert at the Bluebird Theatre in May of 2008, Guy Garvey commented during the show that he appreciated the crowd coming to see the band play. He also stated that he felt within a few years buying a compact disc of a band would be extinct, and all music would be downloaded.
I hope he is wrong, but I have a bad feeling he is right. It took me some time to buy into the idea of the CD over vinyl. When I finally broke down and purchased my first Sony Discman, I headed over to the ZIA Records that used to be on 7th Avenue and Turney (I think that was the street) just north of Indian School. What did I buy that day?
Yep, R.E.M.’s first full-length Murmur, and Husker Du’s last studio album Warehouse: Songs and Stories.
I love the convenience of the iPod. I love the idea of carrying around 6000 pieces of music to enjoy in an item small enough to carry in my pocket.
However, I realized once I purchased those first two discs that I had “discovered” the best thing to happen to music in all my years of buying albums. The booklet included with each disc provided me with information about the artist and more important, often times had the lyrics to each song so I could continue my horrible practice of learning them and singing along painfully out-of-tune while driving. Better yet, the disc and its case were small enough so I could carry many of them with me at one time. Plus, I did not have to flip an album or cassette over to side 2 anymore!
A lot of my friends have asked me why I continue buying CD’s when I can just download songs to my computer now and sync them to the iPod. Simple. I want the whole package, not just the music. But that is just for starters my friends.
I ensure that I support the actual artist when I buy a compact disc. I also ensure I am supporting the record store I am purchasing the music from, which brings me to my next point. PLEASE, do not spend your money at the big, corporate chains that aim to put the little guys out of business. I will not even honor those stores by calling them by name. Support independent record stores! If you live in Phoenix, your first stop should be Stinkweeds Records, and if they do not have what you are looking for and cannot order it (which I highly doubt), then hit up Eastside Records in Tempe, ZIA or Revolver Records in the downtown Phoenix Roosevelt Arts District. Case in point – today I stopped by Stinkweeds to pick up the new Editors disc In This Light and On This Evening and The Midnight Organ Fight from Frightened Rabbit.