swag

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buying so much music in a big burst like this has got me thinking about the stuff i like about buying music.

as is my wont, i usually store up a wishlist for a while and then go and buy a bunch of stuff. i don’t know if i enjoy it more doing it like this, or if it would be cheaper and more enjoyable to just purchase in a steady stream. but at the end of the day i am just glad i can afford to buy music — and hopefully pass some of the moolah on to the bands. who i think need it more than ever now that records are going the way of the dinosaur. or are a luxury goods item…

here’s some obsolete audio format pron for your pleasure. it’s from my NYPL internship at The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound that i kept a blog for, if you are interested it is here.

Sad DAT

Meredith Monk DAT en masse

and while i will leave my gripes about the format wars / insanity of audio obsolesence for another post, it’s occuring to me that it’s not just the records anymore that excites me about music buying. i also enjoy the swag, in its many uh formats. a lot.

i have come a long way from my weekly Tuesday bike rides to Peaches Records & Tapes (R.I.P.) in Lincoln, Nebraska during the early and late 1970s. god i loved that record store downtown.

when we moved to the “big city” (Omaha) from Lincoln, i didn’t feel the same connection to my local record store. i bought music but it wasn’t the same. later, as i got older and lived in other places beside Nebraska, i would frequent record stores like Peaches. stores like the Sunset Boulevard Tower Records (R.I.P.). and the crack-den like Homer’s Records and Tapes on 132nd and Center (location R.I.P.) in Omaha. where i would sneak off and go into an immediate flop sweat of excitement at being in a great record store where i could talk to the clerks and get great recommendations.

thankfully Homer’s still survives, i’m sure just barely. i don’t go back to Omaha as much. and the record stores in New York City are really crap now, compared even to how they were 10 years ago. it makes me really sad. i still remember getting paid on fridays and going to the record stores in the village and just being so happy.

but back to the swag…

my friends at Bloodshot Records — who have been instrumental in turning me on to much of my foundation long-term love affair with music — sort of really understand the swag thing.

Jon Langford screenprints these super cool workshirts:

and i have this super cool temporary tattoo that i got when i bought some Scott H. Biram CDs:

another cool thing i love is the buttons that sometimes come in my packages as little surprise goodies.

flair (a la Office Space)….:

Destroyer, Split Lip Rayfield, etc.

Iron & Wine (before they started to annoy me), Low, etc.

The Whigs, Spoon, The Clientele, etc.

and my super prized ones: The Sadies, Tandy (R.I.P. sob!), Nebraska Speed! that i got from Rob at Bloodshot, Split Lip Rayfield, bella union

if you make it i will definitely come

well, you know what i mean. i just want to encourage bands out there that if you are taking the time and effort required to release physical product, things like stickers, temporary tattoos, cool handmade things, and surprise gifts like buttons in the order make me come back and buy more. again and again.

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