Saturday, April 19, 2014


Clouds are for little kids to look up at in the summertime and imagine
 they see dragons and fairies.  It’s not a place to keep your music.
April 19, 2014

In recognition of “National Record Store Day,” I’m going to talk about records.

I love records. And not just vinyl. I love any form of a physical product that involves music.

My old vinyl Elvis albums that my grandfather gave me back in the ‘70s? Still have them. Still play them.

My collection of old 45s, which celebrates some of the biggest hits of my youth?  Still in the same carrying case I bought, circa 1979. And they still get some spins.

My vast cassette collection from the ’80s? Still have it. And it's still on display.

The CDs I’ve been buying since 1986? They take up an entire wall in my basement. I proudly refer to it as the "Wall of Sound." 

Sure, I’ll download a tune once in a while. I’ll hear some old song on the radio that I’ve always liked, and I’ll snag it for a buck on iTunes and put it on my iPod. But I just don’t understand for the life of me why anyone would rather download an entire CD rather than just buy it. The cost is about the same, and it’s easy enough to take the music from the CD and add it to your iPod, so why not own the actual product, complete with artwork and liner notes? Why not have the actual recording just in case your hard drive crashes? Should I ever lose my iPod or crash my hard drive, my music collection will remain intact. And that’s because it's mostly on CD, not saved on some “cloud.”

Clouds are for little kids to look up at in the summertime and imagine they see dragons and fairies.  It’s not a place to keep your music.

I recently realized that for some reason, I didn’t have a copy of the last Van Halen record, which was released about two years ago.  My bad. Shame on me. I decided to remedy the situation. But I didn’t  go to my (insert expletive here) computer. I went to the (insert expletive here) record store. And guess what? The VH record – brand new – was about $10 bucks. In fact, all of the CDs in the entire Van Halen catalog were less than $10 bucks.

That’s the same price as a download, but I actually own the product. And I can put the music on my iPod.

You can keep your thin-sounding little mp3s floating around on your clouds. It's not for me.

It’s National Record Store Day. And there are two right here in Wilkes-Barre that I frequent often.

I will be visiting both.
The shirt says "I STILL BUY RECORDS." Why wouldn't I? (Shown is a portion of my basement's "Wall of Sound")


Alan K. Stout has covered rock and pop music in Northeastern Pennsylvania since 1992. He currently contributes stories to The Weekender, the region's #1 arts and entertainment newspaper, and his weekly radio show, "Music On The Menu," can be heard every Sunday from 9-10 p.m. on 105 The River (104.9-FM) in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Follow Alan's thoughts on music on Facebook at:  

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