A journal entry in which we take an unintended stroll down memory avenue

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I hope the new NIN single is a dance remix and not the actual song.

It has become extremely difficult to find the album of The Upsidedown. They are a Portland-based band that I heard Tim play the other day on the Northwest Noise podcast. It is not quite goth, not quite punk, and not quite europop, but quite good. Over near Powell's, neither Jackpot nor Ozone UK have their album. Music Millennium does not have it either. An alternative would be to mail-oder it and pay $3 for it to be shipped from north Portland, which seems silly. I have written them and hope to find out where I might get a copy. iTunes does happen to have a partial album, but with only 8 songs downloadable, I sort of would like to get more than 53% of the album.

Wandering around several music stores yesterday really brought back some memories. Specifically, the times back in the late-80's-early-90's at Bionic Records (sorry, that link really sucks–they still exist and are quite strong, but have no real web presence.) It is great to wander around things like iTunes, allmusic, and even Amazon and all of their cross-referencing, user-commenting glory. On the other hand, it is quite nostalgic to step into a record store, greeted by a waft of incense to mask the pot smoke in the back room. Walking past the glass cases of stickers, patches, and buttons to the racks of empty CD cases is just something you cannot emulate on the internet. Scouring the used bins for specific bands, but running across something that looks like it could be good, but is entirely unknown–yet cheap–is another experience that is difficult to do online. The latency and lack of tactile feedback would make flipping through CDs about as enjoyable as reading an ebook. Yes, the whole experience brought me back to the days when NIN was first forming, when I wore a black leather trenchcoat and collar to school, when I did entirely too many hallucinogens, and when I worked at the Radio Shack in the same parking lot as the bank and Bionic. These were the days when “disposable income” was the phrase of the day and every other Friday would end the work day with a saunter across the parking lot to the bank to cash a paycheck followed by a stroll to Bionic, at the other end of the strip mall, to blow a couple of hundred on CDs.

I suddenly feel old. At some point, worrying about who would be at Saturday's party and who had cheap liquid L got replaced by worrying about down payments, mortgages, and 401(k) plans. When did THAT happen? And how the heck did I end up as a successful computer/electronics scientician after all of that debauchery?

Posted in: Music

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