Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Today is the day

The new White Stripes album is out today....Icky Thump. It should be a national holiday.
I can't believe I'm at work today.

New releases always come out on a Tuesday. Why is this? I have no idea. But it’s the way it has always been. Tuesdays are the day for new music. Monday nights I get emails from a few places telling me what the new releases are. It brightens up my Tuesdays. They can be really depressing days (more of this theory to come.)

Fifteen years ago I remember trying my best to convince my grandmother that Sir Mix-a-Lot only used profanity as a way of self expression. And that rap was on the cutting edge of music. All to convince her that the ‘parental advisory explicit lyrics’ label had a purpose. She bought me that CD. I loved her for being so cool like that.

Ten years ago, when a new CD came out, I’d wait till school was out and drive directly to Tower Records. I’d immediately go to the Top 25 section to see if there was anything else worth buying. Maybe the new Bone Thugs, maybe a new Death Row release. I’d find the new CD, wait in line, purchase it, spend 10 minutes trying to open the damn package and then play it on the drive home. It was a religious experience.

Five years ago, when a new CD came out, Jericho and I would start the partying around 9pm on the Monday night before. The tradition was to do cannonballs…(it seemed appropriate. Welcome new music to our lives with continuous pulls of Carlos Rossi followed by 3 foot bong rips.) At around 11:50pm, we’d sprint (yes sprint) down to Tower Records. We’d stand in line with the eclectic group of fans; some Tori Amos fans, some NIN fans, some Dave Matthews fans. We’d buy the new cd, sometimes multiple copies for friends who we were sure would want one, and then hurry back to our house. Like clock work, I would pass out halfway through listening to it…amazing.

Side note: It always would be a few days after the fact that I could listen to the new cd again. Something about associating feeling sick with specific songs didn’t mix well. Certain CDs just never got a fair shot with me I guess.

Today, my new CD magically appeared on iTunes. I had pre-ordered the album. It was so difficult to not listen to the album before today. It was all over the internet. Friends were sending MP3s of the leaked album. The Australian radio station we stream at work was playing the album last week. I had headphones ready at all times. Why? Cause I wanted to hear it first with Jericho, the way I had always before.

Times have changed. Albums are leaked. And sometimes it’s great. (I remember getting sick of TV on the Radio’s Return to Cookie Moutain before it was ever released.)

There’s something nostalgic about waiting until the release date of an album, in my opinion. Technology dictates user consumption of information these days. Singles are outselling complete albums 5 to 1. At the click of a button you can get the hottest single. Rarely are artists recording or planning a complete album experience. Can you imagine if Pink Floyd was putting out albums today? Sure, I’m not going to buy Fall Out Boy’s whole album, but damnit if ‘Dance, Dance’ wasn’t on rotation in my playlist.

So I waited. I was able to put off all of the distractions, the pirated versions, the leaked copies to hear Icky Thump today. In its entirety, the way the artist intended it to be heard.

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