Saturday, March 10, 2007

Better than eBay

Since I moved out of my parents’ house they’ve slowly and methodically been giving me back stuff that they said I could store at their house “forever.” Sometimes crap they don’t want gets thrown into the mix – much like this last time I moved.

With that in mind, I wasn’t too surprised to come into possession of some old vinyl records that I had enjoyed as a child. I have the soundtracks to Benji and Mary Poppins, a Mother Goose nursery rhymes album, a very early version of the Chipmunks (this is probably a knock-off), and some Christmas albums. Of the four Christmas albums, one is a children’s album (I know, you noticed the trend) and the rest are, I guess, technically geared towards adults and families (no, not *that* kind of “adult” you sick puppy).

I guess the best way to describe these albums is to ask you if you’ve been a to a gas station lately. If you have, did you go inside? Did you notice those racks or bins of cheap cassette tapes? Did they have some random mix tapes? That’s what these Christmas albums are like. Kind of cheesy, not a big label, and were probably purchased just to have something to play on Christmas morning, or in the background during parties.

As much as I appreciated my parents handing off these relics of my childhood, I was a bit confused because they failed to notice that I didn’t own a record player. I thought that maybe I could just find the songs on iTunes or the campus network, and reconstruct the albums on my own – but had no luck. Some of you remember me questioning you about having a record player of your own, specifically one with a tape deck for the purpose of transferring some of these albums to tape (I’ve got tape players in spades). Thank you, again, to all of you who humored me, and even attempted to help me in my quest to hear these albums again. Your efforts meant a lot to me. I wish I could have repaid you all with second-hand furniture, but there was only so much to go around. Let this be a standing invitation: if you’re ever in the Rochester area, you’re welcome here.

Anyway, I think handing off these albums was also part of an elaborate ploy by my parents to later foist on me a stereo that does in fact have a turntable AND a tape deck. I was excited for the opportunity to transfer these albums to tape myself. You can imagine my disappointment to find that most, if not all, of the albums are warped and sound terrible. I don’t quite know when they bit it – perhaps during shipping, or during their stint in my storage space. Either way, they’re pretty useless to me now.

I thought I’d take one last stab at finding the songs online and reconstructing the albums on my own. I tried iTunes, Rhapsody and eMusic. Turns out that Liberace’s “Christmas Suite” and Ronnie Aldrich’s “Winter Wonderland” are not in high demand. Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney were much easier to find – but what was I going to do with half an album? In desperation I turned to Google, and typed in a bunch of random artists to see if anything would come up with all of them. Lo and behold Amazon came through for me!

Why didn’t I start there?
Because that would have been too easy, that’s why.

Shut up, Mocky McSmirkpants. You’re supposed to laugh *with* me, remember?

Anyway, now I have my Christmas albums on CD, of all things! I can’t believe someone actually put them on CD. Granted, they were all under $5, so they’re obviously not big sellers, but it’s comforting to know that someone else loved these albums enough to put them on CD and distribute them to random people like myself.


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