existential vinyl question

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Serious question: do you ever hear a voice in your head that says "hey, maybe you weren't meant to be the steward and conservationist of every 12" disco single from every Goodwill in the tri-county area"?

Just sitting here thinking maybe that wasn't my lifepath. What do you do about cleaning house when the records you've been collecting are already cast-offs? Return them to the wild and wish them good luck?

peace, man, Monday, 11 July 2022 12:15 (eight months ago) link

Nope. Nevermind. Can't do it.

peace, man, Monday, 11 July 2022 15:58 (eight months ago) link

I’ve probably wasted too much time worrying about this - it’s hard to entertain the thought, “wait, why am I even doing this again?” without failing into a spiral of existential questions, and much more difficult to find a lasting answer. It used to (and also still does) bother me that I was stuck being a bedroom DJ, without opportunities to play out/share music/extend record collecting into a more socially participatory practice (not to mention gain recognition and validation). My deep interest in collecting records has been tied to a feeling of solipsism and existential anxiety, which comes from spending a finite lifespan trying to build and/or be something through that collection. With age I feel that less, and think less about a foundation of existential meaning for spending too much money on too many records that are all on bandcamp anyways. I think that’s meant changing attitudes, looking at collecting records more like home gardening. I’m making broad assumptions here, but I think non-professional gardeners don’t have a higher purpose in mind, nor strive for permanency (at least where there’s winter) but focus on the satisfaction of cultivating something, planting something to watch it grow, and to enjoy its produce. Again, broad assumptions about gardening, but it’s a metaphor that helps me feel more present and satisfied in “cultivating” a record collection. But I dunno…

ed.b, Monday, 11 July 2022 16:41 (eight months ago) link

Good answer ed. I think the whole concept of rationality has to stay far away from record collecting. When I've spoken to others about it sometimes I mention that price of this or that has gone up but it feels dishonest since I hope I don't ever have to sell, that is unless my kids have absolutely zero interest in it. I always liked the adage "you're not collecting records, you're collecting yourself" because that's how it feels to me most of the time. A lot of the records I have mean something to me for one dumb reason or the other. Point to anything in my collection and I can tell you where I bought it (unless it was just "online") and when I was really into it. By buying these things and forcing yourself to dedicate finite resources to it I think it can force you to listen to them a lot closer. For example Cluster's Grosses Wasser is something I've listened to a dozen times (according to iTunes, at least) but it wasn't until finding a copy that I really allowed myself to figure it out. Of course just having a good set-up accounts for a lot of that.

frogbs, Monday, 11 July 2022 18:33 (eight months ago) link

My answer is that I enjoy going to record stores and antique/thrift stores looking for records I love. I just found a mint copy of an Area Code 615 album in a small antique shop in rural South Carolina and even though I had it I bought it for credit at my local shop. I don’t have much…

Heez, Monday, 11 July 2022 18:44 (eight months ago) link

But I am culling a lot of stuff and trading what I don’t listen to for other vinyl

Heez, Monday, 11 July 2022 18:45 (eight months ago) link

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