Time was that Tuesdays used to be the best day of the week for your average recorded-music consumer. Since Rocks Off was just a wee music nerd, Tuesdays were his favorite days of the week because it was always the universal day for all new releases to hit the stores. It started with begging our parents drive us to Best Buy or Wal-Mart, and soon morphed into illicit school-ditching trips to Soundwaves on Montrose or the old Cactus Music off Shepherd. In these days of album downloads and illegal leaks, it's hard to get excited about Tuesdays from a music consumer standpoint. If you don't play by the antiquated rules, every five minutes at your computer can be record-release day. The last time Rocks Off remembers rushing to the store after work for a new album's debut was probably Queens Of The Stone Age's Era Vulgaris way back in the summer of 2007. Even then, we had already procured a leak of the QOTSA disc weeks before. All one has to do now is load the tracks onto your preferred portable player and off you go. What Rocks Off does look forward to now is the day that some of favorite groups release things on vinyl, but even then you have to wait until you get home to throw those on the turntable. Whenever we get compact discs in the mail, we have grown to hate the task of opening up the plastic tray. These days, many labels and publicists just send a download link, so we listen that way. We still love getting physical discs, mind you, because they seem quaint and personal. We also mourn album artwork in these digital times as well.
Today saw the release of the debut album from supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, a new John Mayer chick-nip disc Battle Studies and greatest-hits compilations from Fall Out Boy and Janet Jackson. Next week brings new sides from Lady GaGa, Adam Lambert (ew) and Rihanna, which have all more than likely been floating around the interweb for the past month. We called up Cactus Music to see what the haps was over on Portsmouth, and were happy to hear that they were in the middle of their lunch rush, otherwise known as a common time for most working folks to go pick up their favorite releases. The store has been making strides as of late with Tuesday promotions such as the party for the solid re-issue of Nirvana's Bleach a few weeks back. "We're busy right now, but it still always depends on the artist," said employee Jason McCullough. "Today most of the older folks are just coming in picking up other stuff."
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McCullough was referring to the big surge the store had in June for the new Wilco album, cheekily titled Wilco (The Album). People came in all day to pick up Tweedy and company's stellar summer set like it was freaking Use Your Illusion day back in 1991. Over at Soundwaves off Montrose, the action was just as subdued. Manager Wayne Patrick noted that the new Mayer and Norah Jones discs were moving swiftly, but not nearly as well as Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 did back in September. Typically, the demand for most hip-hop albums is so great they are shipped out days before the official release due to leakage and other less-than-scrupulous enterprises. Along with the loss of the luster of Super Tuesdays, Rocks Off also laments the passing of the midnight album release. We used to love heading up to a store at midnight to get an album the very hour it was to come available. If we remember correctly in the summer of 1996 we just had to be at the Blockbuster Music next to Baybrook Mall for the midnight debut of Metallica's Load. It seems sweetly innocent now, seeing that the Metallica's last album, Death Magnetic, was on our hard drive a full month before it hit the shelves.