I wonder how many of you reading this can actually recall vividly the last time you actually got up off of your ass, drove your car to the record (music) store, and bought a physically-bound, carbon-based copy of an actual Compact Disc (CD)? I'm willing to bet that the majority of you can't remember when that was since, even as I speak, you are too busy staring hypnotically at the glow of your computer screen reading this blog while you sink ever so slowly into your chair illegally (or legally) downloading your favorite songs and/or albums whilst you Twitter with yourself and slowly fade away from the collective as your social skills revert back to caveman-like grunts.
Of course, all of this is only a personal opinion. I, myself, never really got into the music downloading craze. I would much rather buy the actual CD. It's nothing against anyone that doesn't like to buy from the record store, but I think that there is a special kind of satisfaction and gratification that comes from buying the CD itself. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that when you buy a CD, it is a corporeal object. You can actually hold it in your hands and feel its weight. You have that little book inside the jewel case that has pictures and lyrics that you can look through while you enjoy your purchase. When you download music, you don't get any of that. If you think about it, a downloaded song doesn't even really exist other than as an array of 1s and 0s, and I just can't find any pleasure at staring at a little file icon on a computer screen. And besides, when you DO get bored with your CDs, they make kick-ass ninja throwing stars that you can use against people you don't like. You could try to throw your computer at them, but it might be a little too heavy for your feeble, underused muscles to handle after all the time you've spent slumped over at a computer desk.
I don't know, maybe I'm just crazy. But apparently, I am not alone in these thoughts. Just yesterday (April 18th), a menagerie of record stores across the country celebrated the second annual Record Store Day in an attempt to garner some attention back from the digital music industry. You didn't even know that it was yesterday, did you? Many artists showed their support for the holiday by performing gigs at local record stores to draw larger crowds. Metallica performed last year at San Francisco's Rasputin Music. This year, Chris Cornell, Disturbed, Ra Ra Riot and the Breeders are just a few of the bands who performed. As a matter of fact (albeit a day late), Hollywood Undead is going to be stopping by the Gallery of Sound in the Gateway Shopping Center in Kingston at 1pm this afternoon.
THAT, my greasers, is what music is all about. You can't get an mp3 file autographed. You might be able to see artists on iTunes streams, but you can't reach out and shake their hand or have a conversation with them. We all need to try to remember that there is a reality to come back to after all of the digital stuff turns off. There are things in the real world that stimulate all five senses, as opposed to only that mushy spot at the top of your brain that tingles every time you post a "Tweet".
Bottom line, stop by your local record store and buy a CD every once in a while. At absolute least, you will be helping the economy by supporting small businesses. Silver lining, people...silver lining.