too much typing—since 2003

1.16.2008

a trip to the record store

Yes, I do still do that. In this edition:

What did I go to the store to buy?

* The new Magnetic Fields CD, Distortion - which also came with a bonus CD with Stephin Merritt's "The Man of a Million Faces," which he wrote and recorded in two days for NPR.

What did I pick up from the used bin, as long as I was there?

* Bottom of the Hudson Fantastic Hawk
* Frank Black Fast Man Raider Man
* Marmoset Florist Fired
* Hot Hot Heat Happiness Ltd.
* Japan Obscure Alternatives
* Badfinger Straight Up
* Centro-Matic Triggers and Trash Heaps EP
* Damon & Naomi Within These Walls (I didn't know this existed...obviously a well-publicized release...)

What did I snatch from the counter and add to my pile, even though reasonable questions might be raised as to the legality of its sale?

* Radiohead In Rainbows disc 2 (CD-R)

(That last item have something to do with why I'm not naming the store in this instance...)

5 comments:

yellojkt said...

A reasonable question would be why did you pay money for something you could have downloaded yourself legally for free? I'm not busting your nut, I'm just curious.

2fs said...

Depending on what you're referring to, there are different answers. Theoretically, I could have found downloads for all of this stuff. Theoretically, I could have found legal downloads for all of this stuff. Free legal downloads? Maybe a track or two.

Oh - wait: no, it's disc 1 of In Rainbows that was (not "is") legally available for "whatever you want to pay" (which might have meant free), not disc 2. (FWIW, I d/l'd the first disc - paid I think $5 on the grounds that the music's worth that much at least, but no more thinking that I just might possibly have sprung for the big ol' box of both discs, including LPs, and artwork, etc.).

More generally, though: why would I pay more for what I could get for less? Because it's not the same thing you're getting, basically. Some of those titles might have been d/l-able from eMusic...but not at full resolution, and not with the packaging. I'm not so old-school as to prefer LPs to CDs because of the big package...but I do think the artwork & info is an important part of an album, and some CDs suffer from lack of same if only the songs are downloaded.

Dana said...

I found out about the Damon & Naomi album late too and was kind of surprised that it was so unpublicized. Then again, I don't like it much at all (and I'm relatively fond of the band, though I think they peaked on their debut) so maybe the lack of publicity wasn't a fluke.

yellojkt said...

I didn't understand that there were non-downloadable versions of In Rainbows. As one of the last CD buyers alive I understand the tangible aspect of a real CD and the hope that some of that money gets to the artists. It's the buying of a CD-R bootleg I have an ethical problem with.

I even have qualms with used CDs because I had my entire collection stolen once and feel that buying used CDs feeds that market.

2fs said...

Sure...but if selling used CDs were illegal, it'd feed it more - because the price and potential profits would be higher (see: drug war; failure thereof). Anyway: if you really want to support a band, in addition to buying their CDs, buy their t-shirts, go to their shows...because standard contracts pay artists last of everyone on CD sales. Actually, where possible, I try to buy CDs directly from the band - that helps somewhat too.

In the case of my buying the disc 2 CD-R (which in all likelihood is a bootleg), I guess I feel pretty guiltless because (a) I don't know for a fact that it's a bootleg...for all I know this is yet another wrinkle in Yorke et al.'s clever marketing plan; (b) the band isn't starving - they've made more on this release than on their entire catalog on EMI, simply because any profit goes to them directly, and (c) I kinda think the legit way to get disc 2 - to buy the megahuge 80-buck package - is a bit excessive, and I guess I feel like I'm using the market to demonstrate the need for a middle-priced alternative to that set. (I could argue that at least I'm supporting an indie record store,too - rather than just looking online for disc 2...which I'm sure I could have found readily enough. Radiohead are no fools, also - I think they're aware that such things happen, and most likely the big box is collector-bait, the sort of thing that presumably might actually increase in value over the years due to rarity.)