Every year I say it. I’m like a broken record repeating, ad nauseum …the same old, same old. But it’s always so difficult to actually achieve what I spout out. every year. Without fail. Here’s exactly what I said last year. Verbatim.
Well… this year I did it! I spent roughly half of what I did the previous year! I came in seriously under the $500 threshold I was hoping for. Let’s cut right to the chase: I bought about as many titles  for about half of what I paid last year for the same amount of music. While there were no months without at least one purchase, the music budget was as low as it’s ever been since I returned to keeping records. Possibly the lowest it’s been since college! In short; I’ve hit at least half of my goal. To spend a lot less on music.
Of course, it helped that we’re still in a global pandemic where socializing is dangerous. I’ve not been in a record store apart from four minutes spent in Harvest Records on RDS of this year, when I bought the Harold Budd OST 2xLP of “I Know this Much Is True.” Similarly, concerts were also at a [near] standstill this year. In late October, ahead of the omicron wave, we chanced an outdoor show in Raleigh seeing Khraungbin, Lee Fields, Big Daddy Kane, and Terminator X from Public Enemy.
The show was outdoors, with vax passports or onsite negative test for entry, so it was not too scary. Where our seats were, there was no one sitting for 20 feet around us, so it was socially distanced. Too bad that when Khraungbin closed the show they were TOO LOUD. We left three songs in. None of the openers had that problem, and kudos to Big Daddy Kane who I was expecting to enjoy but his 11 piece band was a stunningly great setting for his MC work. The Hip Hop MC of the late 80s I recalled had matured into a much funkier…well, daddy! His young son got to bust a move onstage to a favorite jam.
Coming up in March we have tickets for Sparks in Atlanta and Nick Cave and Warren Ellis in our own fair city. I’m expecting that the shows will not take place. If they do, we will choose not to attend. At this juncture, anyway. This exile from live shows and record stores is now in its second year for me and do you know what? I’m fine with that! I could really go the rest of my life without it. anything I really want is mail order only, for 90% of it, so not pawing through bins is no great loss. I’m old enough so that time spent pursuing records unsuccessfully is too big of a loss for my increasingly finite lifespan…and budget!
Not buying records that I have not been pining for [in cases, for decades] just because something just happens to be available is a plus. Every dollar spent on records that I have not already wanted merely thwarts my desires. At my age, I just want satisfaction. Not the “thrill of the chase.” How did the numbers shake out?
Total titles purchased: 86 [↓5%]
Total expenditures: $472.41 [↓45%]
Average cost: $5.59/title [↓43%]
– LP: 7
– 12″: 10
– 7″: 3
– 10″: 1
– Downloads: 29
Last year there were several expen$ive Boxed Sets Of God that accounted for half of my music budget. This year there was only one three figure BSOG, but we’re out of time for now and will get to the all important lists tomorrow.
Next: …Today’s List