Monday, April 26, 2010

...You've Done It Again

So JB Hi-Fi just finished their annual stocktake sale, which basically means they have further discounts off they're already nicely priced stock, and this year it just so happened to align with the advent of my birthday.Which means, wth vouchers and 'birthday money' in hand, I went a little bat-shit insane.

While many would see this stocktake sale as a good time to inflate their Blu-Ray collection, finally get that new Laptop/TV, or simply get some Hollywood-approved dross from the movie section; I instead headed straight to the music department.
Here we have a further sub-section of people who would use 20% off all CDs to grab a few new releases at a discounted price (in fact, in retrospect not picking up Owen Pallett's Heartland or Gorillaz Plastic Beach for a bargain-basement  $16 pricetag may be something I soon regret). No, instead I saw it as an opportunity to fill out some desired pockets of my weighty CD collection, oblivious to the fact that the ever-encroaching pile of plastic jewel cases that surrounds my computer probably means I don't really have space for such an investment....

Another thing to note, despite the fact that the stocktake sale also applied to JB's online store, I forgo this luxury for the thrill of the hunt in the real-word. Scouring the racks to find that physical item has always been far more satisfying than in the digital realm. As such, I definitely felt like an obsessive-compulsive freakshow at times, scanning methodically through the sections like some sort of ravenous, clinical cyborg (Alternative A-Z, Heavy Rock A-Z, Popular A-Z, cursory glance through Urban/Dance/Bargain Bins/Boxsets). Precariously balanced stack of albums in one hand, iPhone calculator app in the other - I'm sure there were a few who saw me as that guy.

Anyway, here's my JB HiFi blowout in numbers:
4 number of separate JB HiFi stores visited
350 amount in $$$ (roughly) spent
130 amount in $$$ (roughly) saved
23 music related purchases made
6 number of those purchases that were albums by Joni Mitchell
27 the percentage of those purchases that can be clearly defined as "Progressive Rock"
1 bubblegum metal album among them, take a bow Def Leppard's Pyromania
1,178 the number of minutes, total listening time, that all that music amounts to

Which all begs the question, why am I telling you all this? 
Some sort of narcissistic boast about my spending habits? Not really, I realise that blowing a third of my fortnightly payslip on any singular expense is bordering on reckless. No, I'd like to think instead that it gives you just a little bit of insight into that dying breed: the record collector, as well as show the importance of supporting the artist by buying their product. Far be it for me to suggest a 'holier than thou' approach, proclaming from my ivory tower that everyone should buy CDs. To be sure, some of those purchases were to replace cheeky downloads i've made in the past (though for fear of legal retribution I won't say which... but definitely not Joni, I wouldn't dare dream of second-handing Joni). 
Make of it what you will, but i'm still positively buzzing from the experience, and the thought of going through all this new music makes me as giddy as a child with lego on Xmas morning. Hopefully you have the same experience, and knowledge of music's worth, no matter by which means you procure it.
May your ears and iTunes be full of goodness.

Anyway just to end on a little footnote to prove that i'm not totally against the turning of the tide to digital distribution. Local Melbourne duo, Young Heretics, have made their debut album We Are The Lost Loves available in full, for free(!), from their website; and it's bloody good stuff.
So good that I might just purchase the CD.... aaah, the circle of life.

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