Mike asked me a question the other night, and I’ve been mulling it over since. He had recently gone to a Phish show, and was talking about how he’s just too old to try to get right to the front at a concert anymore, though he’s never been the one to rush the stage. I mentioned that the last time I can remember trying to get anywhere near a stage (other than friend’s bands concerts) was seeing Dashboard Confessional in Kirksville years ago. At one point in time, I owned all of his CDs and listened to him regularly. (I know it’s ‘Dashboard Confessional’, but it’s pretty much just Chris Carrabba right? Thus the regular references to ‘him’ rather than ‘them’.)

I remember going out at midnight when ‘The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most’ was released and just sitting in a friend’s car with them listening to it from start to finish because we didn’t want to wait to get home to hear it. And then listening to it again and again on my own. I fell asleep to that CD with my discman and headphones in my bunk bed freshman year when I couldn’t fall asleep in a new and strange place without something comfortable and familiar to comfort me. I lived and breathed that album. And the ones that followed.

Mike asked me this simple question: “Is there anything in your life right now that you would go out to get at midnight?”

….holy crap. There really isn’t. I don’t mean that there aren’t things that I enjoy, things that I love. I just don’t have anything that I just had to have RIGHT THEN, anything I’m so excited about that I anxiously await it’s arrival and rush out to get the first moment it’s available.

Part of that is due to the nature of technology and accessibility in our everyday lives. If I want an album, I can just buy it on my phone. I don’t even have to buy the entire CD; I can pick and choose whichever songs I like. Sometimes I love this. It’s nice to have so many things at the tip of my finger. But it takes away SO much of the experience. There’s no delay, no anticipation, no impatient excitement and the eventual (and much greater) satisfaction of finally getting something that you’ve been anxiously awaiting. It’s just there. I just have it. I don’t have to really do anything. No wait.

I think I miss the wait. I miss that feeling of connection to something tangible, even. The crinkle of plastic on the new CD, the liner notes. The feeling of having an album, not just a song. Something I can hold in my hands. Something solid. I miss that feeling of being connected to a band, and not just isolated songs by a number of different bands. I miss feeling impassioned and excited.

Is there anything you’d go out for at midnight because you just can’t wait and have to have it as soon as you possibly can? Or are we just too disenchanted these days?

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One thought on “

  1. Admittedly, I’m a CD nerd because I like looking at the liner notes and the pretty pictures. I still buy them and prefer the actual disc to digital media. I used to go to Vintage Vinyl at midnight on Mondays whenever a new album from one of my “top tier” bands was coming out, even though I knew I could get it a few bucks cheaper at Best Buy the next day; there was something about getting it as soon as I could.

    Do I still go to V.V. at midnight? No. I’m old and lazy and I will wait until my lunch break on Tuesday to go to Best Buy and get a new CD.

    But as a CD collector-dork, I will continue to buy the actual disc and artwork as long as bands keep making them.

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