Listen to the Music

Before I moved out of the Pacific Northwest, I was lucky enough to get one of the few possessions I actually wanted from the marital home: my music collection. It was among the stuff that was left on the porch for me to retrieve at the marital home back in April:

My music collection consisted of CDs and tapes that I collected over the years, most of which were purchased before the year 2000. I had long since gotten rid of most of the jewel cases for the CDs, though I had the liner notes and jewel case inserts in a different box that wasn’t included among this stuff. I also had boxes for some of the bootlegs I bought over the years not among the stuff. The booklets of CDs and the boxes of cassettes were intact, thankfully.

Perhaps it’s a bit odd to want to own music in an era where you can stream practically anything you want for $11/mo. Given that you can buy new CDs and vinyl in a store like Walmart in 2023, I’d say there’s a market for people who still want to own their music. Further, I occasionally run into albums that are simply not available on streaming services. My favorite example of this is the album Talk by Yes. None of the bootlegs I’ve purchased are available, either. It’s the main reason even without subscribing to a streaming music service that I still pay the $25/year for iTunes Match, which lets me stream music I’ve purchased.

Now that I am living in a new environment away from the influences of the past, I am starting to rediscover both the musical collection I have and other music I haven’t explored. This also meant exploring music in a different format than I have before: vinyl.

I have many memories involving specific albums my parents had on vinyl. There’s something to be said about looking at the artwork in it’s original, full-size form and reading the liner notes. Unfortunately, by the time I was old enough to purchase music and had the money to do so, vinyl was a thing of the past. Clearly it came back into vogue at some point since my kids have acquired their own vinyl over the last couple years. Never seen them play their records, though.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a way to play any of my CDs or Cassettes in my home, much less a way to play the vinyl I knew I was going to acquire. Thankfully, as a birthday present, I got one of these vintage-looking “Victrola” radios that also has a CD player, tape deck, Bluetooth, and…a record player:

I’d like to get something properly old school at some point. For the time being, it does the job well enough.

The first piece of vinyl I bought had to be the first adult album I remember putting on the record player as a kid: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

Then I discovered McKay’s in Knoxville. Yeah, that place is quite dangerous if you’re into vinyl. One of my first acquisitions from them is an album I never owned, but has a track everyone’s quite familiar with:

Do you feel like I do when you see this on vinyl?

And then, there’s eBay. A couple of recent acquisitions from there include:

This last one is interesting for a few reasons, one of which is it’s not one I’ve owned before:

I remember first hearing Mr. Roboto back in the 80s and seeing the video on MTV. It’s one of my favorite tracks by Styx. I didn’t realize it was part of a concept album that explores a world in which Rock ‘n Roll was banned, something Frank Zappa also did in Joe’s Garage (albeit in a more demented way). I also had no idea they made this short film, either, which has a bit of a Blade Runner feel to it:

While the various albums I’ve acquired contain songs I’ve heard countless times, I am also hearing a lot of “new to me” songs as well. The music is just…speaking to me. It’s helping me to find my own voice, something I’ve spent the last quarter century of my life suppressing…






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