Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Curse You Birdland! Look at the Monster You’ve Made of Me!

The used to be a time when I was a content to simply just read some music mags, watch 120 Minutes, or listen to the radio to find new music. I’d walk into a Best Buy, or Media Play, or Waves or Sam (cough) Goody and usually find what I was looking for. I miss those days. Things were so simple. I was happy. Then I walked into Birdland Music.

Other than the friends I made there, Va Beach has one other good memory and that was Birdland Music. It’s a small, blink you’ll miss it, store in a strip mall. My literally crazy roommate at the time was the one that suggested the store. Considering his whole collection consisted of Jethro Tull I was a tad bit skeptical. Upon first entering the store I wasn’t the impressed. It was so small. It had its used section and LP’s, but I’d seen better in Columbus. Then I met Barry. He was the owner of the store, and the nicest record snob I’ve ever met. Actually, he isn’t a snob. He’s just a walking encyclopedia of music. He’s the guy you would go to when you would hear a song on the radio and they never said the title or artist. But music isn’t the only thing he knows. He knows and remembers he customers. By the second time I came into the store he knew my name, and that I was going through my Replacements phase. This is what really made Birdland and Barry great. He was always taking what he knew of your musical taste and introducing you to new stuff. And I don’t mean he would push sales though it was obviously a goal. He would simply suggest or recommend something. Anything I bought on his recommendation he’d take back if I didn’t like it, or he’d just play something in the store for me. When a rare (at the time) Grandpaboy EP was brought in used he held it for me knowing I was into anything Westerberg at the time.

He also had a knack for finding anything you wanted. I wasn’t at that stage yet in my musical life, but that’s where the thirst began. Often while talking with him, a customer would come in, he’d pull out some LP or 45, and you could see the customer’s eyes light up. What followed was the customer asking how he found the record, or who did he have to kill to get it. That’s when I came to know there was music outside what even the hip or alternative media were pushing. Not that everything they are pushing is bad music, but there’s stuff on the fringe and in the past of the same ilk that is out there to find.

That’s when the sickness began. It hasn’t gotten any better. Take this past week. I’ve made known my love of power pop. During my browsing of the internet for nuggets of power pop goodness I came across some French guy’s exhaustive (but dated) list of power pop bands. He also had a song on the home page that I really liked. Of course I had to find it. Since I was unable to contact the French guy, I spent hours and hours scouring and calling people. Apparently it’s only available as a 7” EP and is as common as girlfriends in my life. I eventually just created a slightly distorted mp3 of song. The thing is that’s not the really bad part. The bad part was what happened during my search. During my hunt I came across some outstanding smaller than indie label compilations and a few OOP compilations and CD’s. Yes, I bought nearly every one of them. I even came across an outstanding OOP LP going for $80. I had to talk myself down from buying it. I don’t even have a record player anymore! Of course that made me think I need to go pick one up. The eventual total has come to 11 CD’s I’ve picked up in a week’s time. That’s not including the multiple downloads. A few of the CD’s were dirt cheap, but still. I need to stop. Once again my addictive personality has taken hold. At least with this addiction I get some great music out of the deal, and the time between withdraws are longer. Also, I think it’s outstanding that there are people who know so much more than I do and are remastering and making once lost music available to those who are looking for it. I just need to work on obtaining it in moderation.

Finally, as I was searching this song kept running through my head. Nothing genius just something fun and appropriate.

I Need that Record-Tweeds

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