When I upgraded my iPhone this summer to the new 3GS, one of the benefits was that it gave me the ability to buy songs from iTunes anywhere from my phone. This is, of course, a mixed blessing — one the one hand, it’s terribly convenient, but on the other hand, well, it’s terribly convenient. It’s resulted in quite a few impulse purchases of songs that have come to mind, most recently on my morning walk today. It’s made worse in combination with the Shazam app; I can go seamlessly from hearing an unfamiliar song to knowing what it is to owning it in seconds.
Point being, I’ve been buying a lot of individual tracks since getting my new phone in June. Lately, though, I’ve gotten into a kick of buying albums. I go through music-buying phases, but the last two or three weeks have marked, for me, a high-water mark for album purchases.
The picture at the top of this post is a subset of that — weekend before last, there was a record and CD sale at a local radio station. These weren’t serious music purchases, they were just fun. I have a pretty thorough collection of Paul Simon on CD and iTunes, but I’ve also collected a bit on vinyl, just for the sake of it. The Mary Poppins soundtrack was just fun, and Richard Marx was solely because I thought it would be cool to listen to “Hold On To The Nights” on LP. And The Jazz Singer … ah, The Jazz Singer. One of the great guilty pleasure albums of all time, and one I remember being played on eight-track in my house growing up.
Also at the sale, I bought some CDs, as part of my efforts to expand my musical horizons. To wit, I picked up some Lonestar, Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood. The Lonestar had one song that I know and like, “What About Now,” which I actually had already bought on my phone, but I figured that meant there was at least a possibility that I would like other songs on it. Faith Hill is a little borderline for my taste in country, but I had bought Breathe recently on my phone, and figured I would give the album it came from a chance. The Carrie Underwood CD I bought, Some Hearts, had nothing that I was really familiar with, though I’d heard a couple of them, but she’s somebody I’ve enjoyed other stuff by, so, again, figured I’d give it a shot.
Around the same time, I made a trip to Best Buy that drove home just how much other people have contributed to my musical tastes lately. The purpose for the trip was to pick up an EP they were advertising by Miranda Lambert, who was recommended to me earlier this year by someone who has introduced me to some great stuff. I’d bought a couple of Miranda Lambert songs earlier in the year, tracks that this friend would have described as “attitude” songs — “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Gunpowder and Lead” — and really enjoyed them. This CD was a little slower, but still decent stuff. At the same time, I also bought an Aerosmith Greatest Hits CD, not one of my favorite bands, but one that I was exposed to some and figured there was enough stuff I liked to make the (cheap) purchase worthwhile.
About a week later, I returned to Best Buy for another CD that I had seen for sale on that trip and had debated buying, Lady Antebellum’s eponymous album, from which I already had “I Run To You,” which I blogged about a while back.
I ordered a Goo Goo Dolls CD after a recent trip to the theater; their song “Better Days” played during the trailer for “Love Happens,” and from that clip of the song — “So take these words / And sing out loud / ‘Cause everyone is forgiven now / ‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again” — I had to get it. It was almost an iPhone song purchase, but I saw a greatest hits CD cheap enough that it was worth getting. (Though I remain to this day troubled by the fact that baby’s black balloon doesn’t simply let her fly.)
iTunes ran a sale on country albums, from which I bought Dierks Bentley’s Feel That Fire, largely for the title track. I was also familiar with Sideways, and, while it’s not one of my favorite songs, I do like the sound, which I figured was a decent indicator I would like other songs on the album. That said, I haven’t had a chance to listen to it enough to really find out, what with all the albums I’ve been buying lately.
A friend introduced me to Elbow with The Seldom Seen Kid. Just got it Monday, so haven’t had the chance to really explore it, but I do like the sound.
As I mentioned Monday, at Big Spring Jam, I picked up Heidi Newfield’s CD “What Am I Waiting For.” Again, I’m still exploring it, but am very much digging “Johnny & June,” which I’ve played multiple times a day since getting it; the Lori-McKenna-penned “Wreck You,” which strikes some familiar chords for me; and “Nothin’ Burns LIke A Memory,” which is just fun. Also after Big Spring Jam I ordered Trace Adkins’ second greatest hits compilation, which I’m waiting to arrive.
Also in the mail is Garbage’s debut album, which I had on tape back in the day. My two favorite tracks, “Stupid Girl,” and “I’m Only Happy When It Rains,” I’ve had in iTunes for a while, but the other day, I had Real Life’s Send Me An Angel in my head for some reason, which in turned morphed into Garbage’s “My Lover’s Box” (“Send me an angel — piece by piece.”) and made me decide it would be worth the four bucks or so it cost me to get the CD so I could listen to the whole thing again.
And, thankfully, the fact that I’m limiting this to the deluge of albums I’ve bought in the last two or three weeks means that I don’t have to disclose the fact that last month I finally broke down and bought Britney Spears’ Circus from iTunes, because that would just be embarassing.