Every time I come home from work, I find myself going to my guest-room closet and staring at crates and crates of compact discs and vinyl I don't know what to do with. Aside from the ones that I hold dear to my musical development or use for my DJ work, I have tons for which I have no sane plan.
Do I keep them to hand over to my kids one day as a dusty relic of Dad's "cooler" years, the way my folks let me take charge of their vinyl collection, or do I haul them to a record store or Half Price for store credit or cash?
When I begin making a pile to banish from life, I end up rediscovering music I forgot I owned. And then the pile dwindles into just my music and nothing changes.
I have even tried to convince myself that I am really just putting music into better hands to enjoy it, and then I get greedy and get worried that I will lose it forever. A two-terabyte hard drive be damned. What if I lose the hard drive? Then what?
Those extra vinyl copies of Sgt. Pepper, Exile On Main Street, The Wall and Tommy? I really only need one apiece, but then I start thinking about how I could give the extras to someone who needs to experience them.
That someone never materializes because I can't -- you guessed it -- let go.
When it comes to the CDs, I think about selling them but then again, where do I profit? Five bucks in my hand for five treasured pieces of plastic? I know I need to make space, but space seems trivial compared to the memories I at least think will go down the second-hand drain.
At least Sean McManus did it his way back in 2007. I have no impending move to look ahead to, so I would probably just cash the check and turn around and buy a motorcycle or a shotgun or something.
Regular trips to thrift stores with cheap CDs from the '90s in great condition only worsens the problem. Being a poor kid during my formative musical years doesn't help either, which means that now that I have money in my pocket I want to make up for lost time.
Of course I needed additional copies of In Utero, Countdown to Extinction and the first (best) Blues Traveler album. Of course. They were only two bucks each. Oh, is that a whole set of Depeche Mode CD singles??
I asked Facebook for help.
"Wallpaper. Little nails and and empty wall." I don't want to live inside a record store.
"Make a fort." But, but that is a 2003 reissue of Let It Bleed...
"Target practice!" Well... I would just have to clean up the shards.
"Frisbees!" Cruel and unusual.
"Half Price Books?" Once again, the money factor...
"Rip the CDs to a hard drive, sell the CD for a few bucks." I can't smell a hard drive or tearfully hug an MP3.
If it were up to me, someone would come around and trade with me, like we did with baseball cards back in the day, and I could trade four records for one I really
"My vinyl copy of Neon Bible for your copy of CCR's Cosmo's Factory and that Tom Petty 45? Deal!" is how I want it to go. As my friend Colby said, "Trading three minor-league players for an aging closer."
I would be all for an impressionable teen taking charge of them, with part of the deal being the promise that he or she would write about what they are hearing, start a band, or at least grow their hair really long or dye it crazy colors in defiance of their school and parental units, nearly ruining their chances at a normal yuppie future with a shiny Jetta and 401K plan.
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They could also take the CDs and vinyl and call me a fat fuck loser and sell them to buy molly, which would be fine too.