Saturday, November 3, 2007

Detachment (STL 57)

To follow up on my previous archival post on selling the bulk of my records (for those who stumble on this site, I'm losing my former blog host so have decided to repost blog entires from 2003 in an "Archives Series"), I did in fact not only dispense with several hundred records at once, but then got rid of the cherry-picked seventy-five, the record player, and, finally, several hundred CD's. The first big lot of records we sold to a friend for a nominal sum ($10 per grocery bag, I believe). A few years later, faced with the fact that we hadn't even hooked up our turntable since moving, we took our 'good' records to a used music store which did still sell LP's. That lot we got some money for, but I don't remember how much. Obviously we got far, far less than the store got. Most of these records were sure sellers even in the limited trade of used records--several Al Green records, Sticky Fingers with the zipper cover, Physical Graffiti with an undamaged insert, etc. Just this past summer, facing a long period of unemployment and a big move, we decided to part with more of our possessions. Wifey cleared out her closet, and I cleared out books, CDs, and comics. I made several trips to used bookstores, and I jumped into ebay with the comics and CDs, and actually made decent money. Ebay became an overbearing presence though--while far from equivalent to a full-time job, photos, auctions, correspondence, and trips to the post office seemed like a near daily obligation. Despite the fees, time, and occasional postage miscalculation, the money helped us pay the bills over the summer. I also sold our turntable on craigslist. It was posted for all of an hour before I got an offer from a hipster audiophile.

There were practical as well as financial considerations for getting rid of this stuff. While I'm a lover of collections and have a professional need for a well-stocked library, it all takes up so much room. What doesn't take up so much room is the hard-drive right under my hands and which houses 1158 albums (and growing). I did comparative listening, and yes, Purple Rain does sound best on vinyl, next best on CD, and a little flat from an mp3 file (worse on an iPod plugged into the system than the laptop). But most of my listening actually happens on the iPod while walking the dog or going to work. I still love music and actively seek out new music, but my interest is more conceptual and/or analytical than what you could describe as affective or immersive. I listen to music to have thoughts about the music.

Another topic I'd like to get into is how the iTunes/pod interface actually influences what I listen to. But that's a post for another day of this month o' blogging.

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