Friday, August 28, 2009


So yesterday, yesterday an urge came over me, an urge to buy a record album (do people buy those anymore? a CD? what if you download it, what do you call it?) that I've been thinking about for some time, and it's ridiculous how much I've had to think through this purchase — a $20 purchase! — I mean, I'm a grown-up with a decent income etc, I spend more than that on coffee in any given week — thinking about how I could get it cheaper if I ordered it online, except I'd have to wait days for it to be delivered, which is extra dumb, cuz I've been contemplating this whole thing for weeks already, or how about I just download it and have it instantaneously?, but though I buy some songs that way it's just so ephemeral and what if some faceless corporate power decides I'm listening to the wrong sort of music and having remote access to my music library decides to modify my behaviour by removing some potentially subversive influences?, and besides, I need a CD for the car, right?, cuz this is a great roadtrip type of CD, so even though we have one of those iPod adapter thingies to play it in the car, the couple times we used it for some reason it wasn't so easy because like you can't charge it up and play it at the same time or something like that, so I decided finally: CD it would have to be, and yesterday, well, yesterday afternoon I decided I wanted it now — I'd been sitting there all day, at my desk, and all through lunch, I ate my sandwich at my desk, powering through this project, and so I needed a break and I wanted this CD now, now was the time, so I stepped out over to the record store (do we call them that anymore? music store? entertainment needs centre? you know, the HMV) and I headed downstairs and there I saw the most amazingly beautiful and truly weird thing: there's this guy at a listening station, which is more like a semicircular customer-service counter with like maybe 5 plug-in set-ups, and he's a fairly small man but taking a lot of space; he's like 50-ish, wearing a faded red t-shirt, ballcap, and salt-and-pepper beard, and he's totally rocking out to whatever it is he's sampling at the listening station, playing the most vigorous air guitar I can ever recall witnessing, and you got the feeling he wasn't sampling a new release out of curiosity, he was in for the duration, with some classic album by his favourite band, he couldn't possibly be here on his coffee break, he was so fully in the music, it was a sight to behold, and so I picked up this album I'd so been wanting, being, by the way, Peaches: The Very Best of the Stranglers, which truly does represent their very lovely best, and I browsed a bit, and tried to find out what song was playing overhead, but I can't remember the snippet of lyrics now that had me in thrall, and I daydreamed a bit, or loitered really, just figuring out which route I should take back to the office so I could pick up a good, not average, cup of coffee on the way, and I paid for my CD, and on my way out Mr Air Guitar was still going strong and completely oblivious to the fact that he was at a listening station on the lower level of a chainstore, and this is a beautiful thing.

There was a chill wind, but on my return walk, the sun was at my back boring a hole through my shoulder, it felt like, even while my arms were bathed in cool.

The workday finished, toute la gang headed across the street for the annual company-wide summer 5 à 7. A cocktail this and a caesar that, it was well after sept that The Project took hold, to amass (from, eg, early leavers, pregnant women) sufficient drink tickets (44) in order to be able to order a bottle of champagne, but so we (well, mostly I — I admit, The Project was totally of my conception) negotiated this to a lesser number (23) for a bottle of French vin mousseux but not of the Champagne region, with even enough tickets (2) left over to get someone else a martini, and I had an interesting chat with a heretofore unknown coworker about Infinite Jest.

And I've been listening to my new record album CD all day.

What ever happened to Leon Trotsky?


cipriano said...

What a wicked interesting posting.
Wow, I too, have all of that CD actual BUYING angst.
And sometimes the deciding factor is exactly the thing you mentioned, YOU WANT IT FOR THE CAR.
[I find that burned-CD's tend to skip quite often, when played in a moving vehicle.... at least on Ottawa roads!]
But yeah, I am so iTuned-out....... really, what is the music industry DOING now? Any bailouts for them? I haven't heard of any.
99.9% of what I listen to comes out of my hard-drive!

The air-guitar guy.... I can just see it.
I think I have been in that HMV store too, it is massive. Is it the one that fronts out onto Ste. Catherine?

Hey, I hope that the coffee you ended up with was either Starbucks or Second Cup, and not.... NOT that coffee from the hockey-players guy's joint!

Diana said...

Your last several entries have had a style, or energy, or voice that I am liking a lot. I always like your voice, but it seems like you're experimenting with something and I'm just saying, keep on, it's intriguing.