Friday, August 05, 2005

Is it bad to buy 24 CDs in one week?

Is there a certain point at which buying CDs becomes an addiction? I own about a 1000 CDs at this point, and it seems like an insurmountable task even trying to get familiar with all of the albums that I own. There’s got to be a hundred CDs in my collection that I haven’t even listened to once. And yet, I keep seeking out new music. I keep trying to complete the collection of certain bands’ albums even though I’m still content just to listen to the great first album or two.

I spent the last weekend up in New York City and, of course, spent much of that time hopping from CD store to CD store, snapping up a handful of CDs from each store. I came home with fifteen CDs. Then, just a few days later after having eaten dinner downtown, I once again visited my regular indie CD shop Relative Theory Records and, after a marathon session at one of their CD stations, I walked out of there with nine more CDs.

I talked to Boone later that night. “Is it bad to buy 24 CDs in under a week?”

“Not at all,” he responded, always the enabler.

“…Are you sure?”

“Sure, I mean, you hadn’t bought any CDs recently, right?”

Well… mmm… I probably spent about 70 dollars at Relative Theory about two weeks ago. Oh, and there was that 80 dollars worth of CDs I ordered from Parasol about a month ago. All in all, there aren’t a lot of draughts in my CD purchasing schedule.

Part of my excuse is that I’m a sucker for deals. In total, I spent $254.98 on the 24 CDs I bought. That averages out to about $10.62 per CD. Now there’s a figure that would leave major record labels scratching their heads. “CDs that cost $10.62? How would we ever make a profit? …wait wait, how many did you say he bought?!”

The truth is, I'll buy virtually anything for ten dollars. The cheaper the CDs I want are, the more I will buy. Send me into a record store where all the CDs are price at twelve dollars, I might spend a hundred dollars… send me into a store with the same exact inventory but all priced at eight dollars, I’m probably going to walk out with about two or three hundred dollars worth of CDs instead. The indie labels are figuring this out. The majors are still filing lawsuits instead.

Back to my excessive purchasing, there’s also my obsession to stay current and knowledgeable about what’s out there, and the constant desire not only for new songs, but new sounds, new types of music… searching for that one perfect band, that unique singer, new sorts of melodies. I look for new music the way that a food connoisseur might seek out new meals and recipes. I know the food I like, and I could eat the things I know I like all the time (which, when it comes to food, I do). But when it comes to music, I’m always looking for more.

I don’t know, I could let this turn into a discussion of the very reason why I listen to indie music altogether, but that’s getting away from the main point. How much is too much? I guess I don’t know for sure, but those pangs of guilt that come from seeing a long row of new CDs sitting on the desk in front of me are telling me that maybe I should, ahem, pace myself a little more wisely.

It's not buyer’s remorse. I definitely want everything I bought. I’m a careful enough buyer to know that I’ll enjoy the CDs I buy. But maybe, just maybe, I should spend a little more time seeking out the new music already in my CD collection before adding more into the fold.

However, if you are curious what 24 CDs a man purchases for $10.62 a piece in a week's time, here they are…

Animal Collective – Sung Tongs
The Arcade Fire – The Arcade Fire EP
Architecture in Helsinki – In Case We Die
Biirdie - Morning Kills the Dark
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
The Cloud Room – The Cloud Room
The Concretes – Lay Your Battle Axe Down
Dios – Dios
Doves – Some Cities
Earlimart – The Avenues EP
Enon – Lost Marbles and Exploded Evidence
David Fridlund – Amaterasu
Grandaddy - Sumday
Ed Harcourt – Strangers
Jens Lekman – You Are the Light EP
Ted Leo + the Pharmicists – Shake the Sheets
Marbles – Expo
Mazarin – We’re Already There
The Most Serere Republic – Underwater Cinematographer
The One AM Radio – On the Shore of the Wide World
The Orange Peels – Square
Pernice Brothers – Discover a Lovelier You
Tuscadero – The Pink Album
22-20s – 22-20s

Somebody stop me before I buy more!


Anonymous Jokerman said...

I used to be like that, till I ran out of money. I would get them for $7.99 each, so who could resist? Now that I've pulled myself together financial-wise, I'm starting to do that with DVDs. Hard to resist a bargain.

But the point is, I put a stop to the CDs. I realized that I had more than I could ever listen to, I was never going to have everything I might want, and this habit or behavior was putting me in debt big time.

So I just let it go. Let go of my whole approach to the music that's out there. I didn't need to have everything I might like; I needed to focus on the important stuff. It's like giving up a favorite food that's not so good for you, say, chocolate. It's like death at first, but you soon start to feel better than you ever did before. You feel in control.

Sure, now I'm into DVDs, but now I'm able to stop buying when I come close to being broke, and then continue when I can. Plus, unlike CDs, what I want in DVDs is within reasonable reach.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can relate - everybody thinks I'm a nut.I only buy about 2-3 cds a week, but it is a challenge to not overspend.I spend my lunch hours browsing cd shops.My weakness is my love of so many diff. genres of music that I always find something I can't live w/o. Love avant garde classical,early punk and no-wave,the Austin roots/country/rock sound ,John Zorn/Bill Laswell stuff and my favs King Crimson and Ween.I probably have 2000 cds.It does become an addiction. (but better than Crack I guess)

2:13 PM  

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