Hanging A Lichtenstein In The Chauvet Cave
I’m so happy to have gone all-digital. I don’t miss my CD collection at all, or at least the idea of a physical disc. My ears aren’t the kind that can make any arguments for sound, but CDs, I think objectively, never held an aesthetic candle to vinyl, so good riddance. But I do miss them as a timeline. I always organized my collection by date-of-purchase rather than alphabetically, a system which I alone could navigate - and easily. I had this wonderful wall of shelves where I’d feel a little rush back through time every time I went to pull a disc. A sense of deep shame looking at those Limp Bizkit and Korn CDs and the sense of relief seeing me right myself a few discs later. That ska period, that Strokes and Friends (Hives, Vines) period. The handwritten, custom labels that mark the moment Napster happened. You can see when my dad bought me a guitar. There’s no justification for giving bad music shelf space when it’s organized alphabetically, but chronologically by purchase? It’s a story!
When mp3 happened, I started ripping and digitally archiving, at first just because I could and technology was awesome. When faced with the choice of dedicating valuable car space to a box of books or a box of CD’s to haul away from home, the choice was clear.
The timeline is toast now. The story’s pages are all ripped out and reorganized and the page numbers got erased. I don’t really know why I continue to pack-rat these mp3’s the way I did my CD’s. I’ve got 96kbps Limp Bizkit songs that have traveled thousands of miles across multiple operating systems and computers, still alive and kicking in shiny iTunes 11. But now they’re just awful, irredeemable songs in between Less Than Jake and Lisa Loeb, who’re barely pulling their own weight. These Citizen Kings, Shawn Mullinses, Taking Back Sundays. The Blink-182 discographies. They don’t get played or they’re immediately skipped if I somehow overlooked checking the “Skip when shuffling” box in “Options.” I used to have this cool picture of a kid learning music, and now I’ve got this picture of a lunatic whose every Rilo Kiley or A Tribe Called Quest is counteracted by a Godzilla: The Album, leaving him with neither good nor bad taste, but rather no discernible taste whatsoever.
Anyway, all the above text came out when I initially opened up Tumblr to post the following sentence:
“Who Got The Hooch” just shuffled came on and I didn’t skip it.