I like keeping track of things. Like dates. I've been buying music occasionally since 2001 (I know, I was a late bloomer), and more or less obsessively since late-2003, with rates of accumulation accelerating since then. Although I add the date of purchase to the little "notes" area on the info tag in iTunes, there's really no convenient way to chronologically arrange albums. But when rearranging files in iPhoto last night, I discovered that all the album art I'd transferred from my old computer is handily tagged by date added thanks to iPhoto. In one click, every CD purchase made in the past two years. Nice.
This, of course, leads me to chronicling my personal odyssey in the realm of music buying. I find it very profound and fascinating. It's almost like watching myself mature. Either mature or decay. One or the other. Maybe both.
It began on 18 March, 2004 when I first downloaded iTunes. But it wasn't until 7 April that I discovered that album art could be added. On that day I saved some thirty-six images to my harddrive. I was into Coldplay
by then - I remember buying A Rush of Blood to the Head
on or near my birthday that year. Also, dreck such as Good Charlotte
, amusing but worthless bands such as Jet
, and bands like Switchfoot
that now make me cringe and scream for mercy. Lots of movie soundtracks. About a dozen classical compilations, and as many albums of Celtic and Irish folk music. Some New Age.
Later that month I added Welcome Interstate Managers
and the Elephant
, among others, for a total of four purchased in April 2004.
May 2004 I bought Sing the Sorrow
(WTF, I think now. doubleyou. tee. eff.), a couple of soundtracks (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
among them, as I was still in the first flush of my obsession), and most notably, Good News For People Who Love Bad News
, my first nominally indie album. I know, I know, that particular album was released on a major label, but it was still an initial foray. Ironically enough, I never really fell in love with that disc. It's okay. I still listen to Ocean Breathes Salty
on occasion. But I could definitely live without it. Eight albums in total that month. Wow.
June was a momentous month, yes indeed. On the fourth I bought Franz Ferdinand
(right after seeing PoA in the cinema), beginning a violent passionate love affair that hasn't yet ended, and two days later I bought Final Straw
, which contains such songs as Spitting Games
, which still haunt me, and which still seem to be eerily and continuously applicable to various vicissitudes of my existence. Five CDs that month. It was an important month. I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it without much reservation, too, which is more than I can say of June 2005 or June 2006.
Heck, eight CDs in July, too. And I don't really enjoy any of them now. The Ataris
? Ick. Spider-Man 2
soundtrack? SO first-half-of-the-decade.
August proved more exciting in a number of ways. The Killers
entered my life on the sixth. I bought it after getting my books for the first semestre of college. It was a reward to myself, and what a nice one it proved to be. I can still remember driving away from Hastings, listening to Somebody Told Me
, then curiously trying out another track called Mr. Brightside
. Ah, destiny! Also, Scissor Sisters
on a whim on 20 August. Still a guilty pleasure. Five albums that month in all.
September was a four-CD month. Steriogram
was a bad choice. Best Of Delerium
is still what I turn to when I need mindless release.
Ah, October brought me The Shins
. And to my credit, I had not yet seen Garden State
- I know, it was out in cinemas, but I discovered The Shins through my own initiative. I also rather recall having a crush on one of my Biology lab partners. Okay, so I don't rather recall. He was cute. October was a good month.
Eleven CDs in November. I joined that BMI music club, which was, of course, a very bad idea in hindsight. Also, new albums came out from Gwen Stefani
, neither of which I can stand any more.
Only one bought in December: Antics
. Definitely an album to stand the test of time and my own jaded sensibilities. I fell in love with Take You on a Cruise
only the week before last.
January 2005 was musically promising. Thanks to Jennifer's encouragement, I bought Give Up
on the eleventh (and this album will always be inextricably linked in my mind to walking across campus to frigid eight o'clock Micro Econ classes with a loathsome professor and heinous classmates) and Keane
's first album, also thanks to Jennifer. And I found out that Conor Oberst makes me want to STABBITY. Most of the time.
Bought only The Futureheads
in February. Was I bored? Or uninspired? Or numbed by Econ?
March was nearly as lean, with only Hotel
(meh) and Details
joining the family. God, I still love Details. So much.
April was more interesting - Kaiser Chiefs
, The Bravery
, Hot Hot Heat
(which I've never liked as much as I think I should), and Bloc Party
. Bloc Party is love. And my English class was good. I won an award. High point.
May? Only Waiting for the Sirens' Call
. Their eighties stuff is better.
I was in Europe for most of June, so I suppose that explains that month's torpidity: X&Y
(even when I listen to it now, an immediate flashback to airplanes, Paris metro stations, and nasty Italian hotel rooms sweeps over me) was the only album I bought
What did I DO that summer? I need to check the archives. In July, I bought only Bleed Like Me
(which I cannot help but loathe).
, along with two other less memorable albums. Also, Do You Want To
was released as a single. That was the theme song to the early part of the fall semestre.
September: Twin Cinema
and Picaresque on the same day
. Has it only been ten months since I've loved The Decemberists? Honestly, I can't conceive of existing without them. You Could Have It So Much Better
finally came out on fourth October. I'd been counting down the days for months. (and has it really been that long since it's come out? it still feels like a new album to me in some ways.) I also bought Dear Catastrophe Waitress
on the 19th, and Imogen Heap
's solo album on the 27th (my struggles with which I'm fairly sure I adequately chronicled in my blog). Illinois
in November. Again, it seems so much longer. And In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
. And Confessions on a Dance Floor
, which to my credit, I bought very cheaply at the day-after-Thanksgiving sales.
Only two CDs in December. I never buy as many when I'm not in school, it seems.
First CD of 2006, and the only one I bought in January, was The Arcade Fire
. I'm still learning to appreciate this one fully. It takes time. Lots of time.
February? The Life Pursuit
, which I bought the day it came out; The Subways
; Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
; and The Arctic Monkeys
. It was an eventful month. Maybe not so much for the CDs.
I March I bought only We Are Scientists
and Wolf Parade
. Wolf Parade haunted me the rest of the semestre. Music is conflicting. Sometimes I'll find an album I love, but which hurts to listen to. Apologies to the Queen Mary
is one of those.
In April I attempted to medicate myself with music binges: Firefly
, Her Majesty
, Broken Social Scene
, Gimme Fiction
, and Panic! at the Disco
. All good albums. Although Panic! At the Disco occasionally makes me want to smash something and scream obscenities.
May was fruitful as well. Open Your Eyes
, Rilo Kiley
, Bottoms of Barrels
, Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins
, Show Your Bones
, and Animal Collective
And in June, Broken Boy Soldiers
, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
, Camera Obscura
, Architecture in Helsinki
, News and Tributes
, Under the Iron Sea
, and Elf Power
And moving on.