Drove downtown in the rain
Nine-thirty on a Tuesday night
just to check out the late-night record shops -"Brian Wilson" by the Barenaked Ladies
It's been a long time since I've been in any kind of record store, late-night or otherwise. This is unfortunate, since I live just down the road from some pretty tremendous examples of such retailers up in Berkeley. Of course, nowadays, the very soft, paper and vinyl thump that I fondly remember as the sound of hunting and gathering new sounds to bring home to my music machine has been replaced by the clackity-clack of the plastic stems that compact discs are stuck inside to create a deterrence to thieves who might otherwise simply pocket the little wafers in their trench coats and wander out into the darkness.
The iPod is ten years old. That's old enough that the word iPod doesn't cause my spell-check to flinch anymore. It is what it is: a brand name just like Band-Aids or Kleenex. Steve Jobs left us with the eponymous mp3 player, and that's where my Tuesday nights have gone. I don't get in my car. I log on to Al Gore's Internet and go searching for music, old and new, that I can play without packaging. No soft vinyl thud. No plastic clackity-clack. Just point and click. The rhythm of my life hasn't changed much, but the activity is much more sedentary. Buying new music could be done from anyplace with an Internet connection. Like a sandbox in your living room, for example.