While everything else has been going on, I’ve still been optimizing, organizing and sorting out random files of things, long forgotten albums I once owned, podcasts, randomness.
Geez, that’s a lot of stuff.
Which might sound flippant. The thing that excites me still, in a weird, ridiculous fashion, is that the volume of things around doesn’t change at all. The hard drive just…sits there.
As part of the activity around my writing work, I’ve noticed that increasingly promotional releases are streamed via the web or sent as links or zipped files or the like. For instance, you might have noticed (if you’re on my last.fm feed at all) that I was listening recently to the Helio Sequence — for good reason, since I ended up getting an assignment to cover them for an upcoming feature in the OC Weekly, which will run in a couple of days. The assignment was fairly late in the game, so I got a hold of the appropriate folks at their label Sub Pop and they were able to arrange for me to have an ear to the album without having to send a thing physically.
This is prosaic, of course, but it’s still remarkable just how prosaic something so strange and new has rapidly become. Had something like this cropped up ten years ago, the arrangement would almost certainly have been some next-day delivery via FedEx or whatever. I still remember when I was rush-sent a copy for a little something called The Downward Spiral shortly before its formal release in 1994 (an appropriate memory, I think, given the TVT story I described earlier today, though by this point of course Trent R. had been settled at Interscope for a while). And you’ll search in vain for even an e-mail in the original liner notes for that thing.
Once all the basic work has finally been done, the next step will be the thorough reviewing of all the discs I still have around and the beginning of the hard but necessary choices to reduce the collection drastically. The value of the CD of course has crashed radically and I don’t expect to get as much for what I have as I once might have — regrets, I’ve had a few, etc. But at the same time the ability for something so affordable like the drive I have was really only achievable recently — a needed balance in the end.
Will I miss all those discs I’ll be letting go? I suppose there’ll be some accumulated memories, but really, I am not interested in needless sentimentality — I plan on keeping nearly all those items that were evidence of a certain modern ‘craft,’ those limited CDRs with handdrawn covers and the like, not to mention all those discs I still regularly pull out and listen to without having to think about it beforehand. The other day I listened to Lull’s Cold Summer, adding once again to the amount of times I’ve dug that out — that’s an example of something not going away.
There’s always more to hear and more to rediscover. I embrace the flow and enjoy it. It’s the best way.