I buy most of my music through iTunes, these days, for a few reasons. One, it’s quick and easy. Two, it means there’s no exchange of plastic cases or paper liners or the actual, soon-to-be-scratched-up CD that was carried on a gas-guzzling truck from Lower Uzbekistan or wherever it is they make CDs these days. Three, I can get a single song instead of an album, when I want to. Four, when I want a whole album, it’s generally cheaper than buying it in a store.
Sometimes, though, I only think I want the whole album, and then I’m hit with the problem of electronic purchasing: no returns, and no re-sales. So yesterday I shelled out $10 for Coconut Records’ last album, Nighttiming, on the strength of the song “West Coast.” (That song is totally worth half the album’s price, luckily, or I’d be more annoyed by this purchase). Why did I buy the whole album instead of just the song? Well, a few of the snippets sounded good when previewing them over the iTunes store (where they inevitably play the best 30 seconds of a song, which is sometimes more misleading than you’d think), and… honestly, I associate Jason Schwartzmann with Phantom Planet, and The Guest was such a completely playable album that I was hoping this might be, too.
So why does this make me miss the days when I bought actual, cased CDs? Because had I bought this all wrapped-up, I would probably take it to the used CD store and sell it back tomorrow. It’s not terrible, it’s just not great, and I think my disappointment would turn around a bit if I could get $5 back.
“West Coast,” though, is going on heavy rotation, along with a few others (after the cut):
Most Listened To in the Last Two Weeks:
The Flaming Lips, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1.”
Modest Mouse, “Missed the Boat.”
Silversun Pickups, “Lazy Eye.”
Aimee Mann, Bachelor No. 2.
Spoon, “Don’t Make Me a Target” and “I Summon You.”
Bat for Lashes, “What’s a Girl To Do.”
Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight, particularly “Silver Lining” and “Moneymaker.” Incidentally, this and a compilation of Frank Sinatra’s hits were my first CD purchases of 2008.