Thursday, June 2, 2011

There's something magical about getting a new cd....

If done the right way, it's an experience unlike any other purchasing endeavor. For me, it is a delicate process that's taken years to perfect, with a strict pattern I always follow. Maybe it's a little bit of my obsessive-compulsive side coming out, maybe it's a little crazy. Whatever it is, it's a pattern I follow to a tee, and makes me ridiculously happy each and every time. 

Before I begin my new album buying venture, I have to know what I'm looking for. Wandering around and just getting whatever music looks good just won't work. This is a premeditated act, one planned out, researched and not just done on a whim. It's serious business we're talking here.

Once I know what i'm looking for, whether it be a new cd that just came out or an older piece I want to add to my collection, I hop in the car and head to Best Buy. I am a creature of habit, sometimes even to extreme levels, and the location of my music purchases are no exception. Yes, yes, I know, I should support local record stores and all that. And I would love to. But it's the habit thing, I just can't break it. (Obsessive-compulsive much? Don't say I didn't warn ya.) And hey, at least it's not Wal-Mart. (I won't buy music there anyway because they only sell edited copies. If I'm paying $13 for a product, then I want my $13 worth.  You wouldn't buy a shoe with the strings removed as a way to protect you from tripping on them, would you? No. And I won't buy a cd with words removed to "protect" my ears. I'm a big girl, I can take it. Give me my cd, cussin' and all.) 

So I walk in to Best Buy. I go straight to the cd I want, grab it, and head to the checkout counter. "Yes, I do have a reward zone membership." Swipe debit card, no bag necessary, stuff receipt in pocket, walk toward the doors, and reply to the nice man, "You have wonderful day yourself, Sir." By the time I have walked out the sliding doors, the corner of the cd is in my mouth, trying to rip into that first plastic layer of defense that's keeping from my new music. 

Now this outer casing isn't too much of an obstacle. I just use my little vampire tooth (don't even act like you don't know what I'm talking about- it's the sharp pointy one with a name I don't know because I'm not a dentist) to rip one of those top corners. A little tear begins in the thin plastic, and the claws come out to rip it all off in one piece. But now comes the hard part. I swear, I don't know what kind of glue they use on the sticker that holds the case shut, but it must be a close relative to crazy clue or maybe even that epoxy stuff. All I know is that it makes me insane trying to take it off! There is no easy way to remove the bar code/band name branding; and don't even think that pulling where you are directed to pull really helps. It doesn't. The vampire tooth might come out again, which only scratches the case, so I don't recommend that, but if worse comes to worst, I understand the necessity. Fingernail polish is chipped, teeth as well, and 15 minutes later, the first little piece of the plastic is lifted enough to grab a hold of. Elation fills my head, only to be crushed when the tiny corner piece I'm gripping goes rogue and only a tiny sliver rips off, leaving most of the sticker still stuck. At the point of tears, I try once more, grabbing a bigger piece this time, and gently pull the rest of it off. Thirty minutes have passed since I got into the car, my fingers are bleeding, and my head hurts from concentrating so hard but all the trouble is finally worth it. I pop open the case, breathe deep and fill my nose and my lungs with that new cd smell, put the disc into the player, and crank the volume up. 

It is my belief that the car is the best place to listen to music. For the first listen, you gotta leave the windows rolled up. (After this first listen, it is more than acceptable to roll the windows down, turn the music up even louder, and cause older pedestrians and more cautious drivers to shake their heads in disdain and scrutiny of your ear damaging level of decibels--Ignore them, they're just old. Hence the old saying, "If it's too loud...".) In the car, every little sound is trapped and bounced right back at you. If you are capable of sitting still with your eyes closed for long periods of time (not while the car is in motion, of course) then this would make the experience much better. If you're like me, though, and the only time you can sit still with the eyes closed is when you're sleeping, then just put the car into drive, and take off.
And don't get crazy and start skipping around through the songs the first time. They were carefully chosen to be in that order, and that's the way it's meant to be heard!

One of the main reasons that I choose to buy the actual cd instead of an online version is the book that comes inside the case. I have to open it up, look at the pictures, and then: read the the band's thank you's. I love seeing who they credit with their success, who they thank and who they love. It makes me so happy see how real these people I idolize are, and makes me feel pretty good about giving my money to a group of guys who I feel pretty close to at this point. I read the lyrics as I hear the words, some for the first time, but most definitely not for the last time.   

This may all sound a little more than crazy to you. But when you take music as seriously as I do, then buying new albums becomes serious business. There is little room to stray when there are so many opportunities to ruin the experience. Whether you take it to the level of ocd that I have reached, or simply download an album from itunes, just be sure to buy music. Life is short. You never know how many more moments you have to experience something as pure, deep, and emotionally stirring as listening to new music. Find a new artist or album and fall in love with it, and create your own listening traditions. Hopefully they will become as important to you as they are to me <3        


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