The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Friday, March 07, 2008


3-7-08 Recession

Remember, a ‘recession’ is playing the records / CD’s you already own, instead of going out and buying new ones.

Lately, I have been enjoying collating my ‘Playlists’. This is how I listen to my record collection. I make ‘various artist’ mini-discs (aka Playlists) and play them in my car, and sometimes dub them onto cassettes for my friends etc. The discs are usually 74-80 minutes in length ea., roughly 20 – 25 songs each. Sometimes the songs lead me on to other songs, other times I’m just playing stuff I obtained recently, just to see what it sounds like. Listening is listening!

Perhaps one of the reasons I enjoy having such a large music collection is that I always want to feel like it is possible to ‘get lost’ in my own collection – always something new to discover. I have successfully demonstrated that I can own records for decades without playing them – a recent such example is Bob Dylan & The Band “The Basement Tapes” – I’ve owned the 2LP set since it came out, only played it for the first time last year, lending credence to my statement, “My ‘To-Be-Played’ stack is about 30 years deep!”.

But, y’know – I really probably shouldn’t spend so much money on much more new-to-me stuff. True, I often don’t spend more than $1 or $2 on a used LP – or $3 – $5 on a used CD – and I very infrequently procure ‘new’ product – as in, full retail price stuff.

And where have all the record stores gone, in this recession? I used to live between two Tower Records stores, two Wherehouses, and a handful of indie retailers. Now there’s one Wherehouse (which is now called “F.Y.E.” = For Your Entertainment) and a smaller handful of indie stores. I do not tend to patronize either of these options very much, locally. When possible, I shop at one of the three Amoeba stores – a good friend of mine calls Amoeba “the Home Depot of music”! The only other indie store I really like (that sells new product as well as used product) is Rhino Records in Claremont, CA. – about 50 miles from my house! Neither Target or Best Buy carries any music I ever want.

And if I want a used CD of something? I’ve been after a used CD of the aforementioned Bob Dylan & The Band album for some time now. If I didn’t buy CD’s off of the internet or get a friend to dub it for me – there certainly haven’t been any used copies of it at any of the stores I have checked recently in L.A. or San Francisco. No, I don’t want to download anything. I guess I should check Poo Bah Record Shop in Pasadena, CA – a music store I used to work at! Or keep my eyes open at the local music swap meets.

So, today let’s all play a record / CD that we already own. Whatever it is, be glad that you already own it, and that you (hopefully) have a nice copy of it. You could even dub it for a friend or sell it on the internet, if you so desired. I’m going to sell my ‘extras’ next September at the Claremont LP swap meet – easily my favorite swap meet.


Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Aha! So your standards are in fact, exactly the same as mine, basically! As in: "I often don’t spend more than $1 or $2 on a used LP – or $3 – $5 on a used CD – and I very infrequently procure ‘new’ product – as in, full retail price stuff." That has pretty much been the standard by which I have lead my music buying life for the last 15 years - except you live in a freaking motherlode of good, inexpensive stuff! I've had to wait many years before I can find titles I want at those prices!

Fortunately, since I've been in a "recession" since moving from Orlando in 2001 - I am well aware of the joy of experiencing what I already have and dribbling into the stash as am able. In fact, since my goal is to make CDs of all of the rare vinyl I have bought I may never "catch up" with my vinyl purchases, since I am able to generate about a dozen CDs a year to my standards. That's 2 boxes and 2-3 single discs on average.

This is one reason why my standards may lower in the future! If I did straight digitizations of my vinyl with no regard to noise removal I would have one hell of a lot of new music to listen to in a reasonably short while. But the caliber of my final product is literally, most of the work and the source of my pride and satisfaction in the final product, and as such; I'm reluctant to lower those standards. And yet, the reaper gets ever closer... I really don't want unheard records on my deathbed!

7:49 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

"I really don't want unheard records on my deathbed!" - a great topic for a blog - or a series of blogs!

8:12 AM  

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