8/18/2010

Cult of less (vinyl)

I find myself fascinated by one of the recent memes doing the rounds, apparently sparked by a BBC article on the 'cult of less', the idea that you can vastly minimise the amount of stuff you have by selling off, say, your tv, cd's and books and replacing them all with digital media. Those who take it farthest don't apparently need furniture either. Those who take it really far don't need a roof over their head.

Although I wouldn't go that far, I'm sort of fascinated. I've written before about the appeal of reducing the vast load of Stuff I own, although sentimentality and a certain possessiveness prevents me from ever selling the vast majority of my books (I think 'prised only from my cold, dead hands' is apposite here). Even so, it's entirely possible myself and Emma might choose to go back over to Taipei at some point for a good long while. Maybe. We haven't really decided yet. If that does happen, all those books go into a couple of big boxes and stored somewhere, which is kind of a pain in the ass. It's not that easy to be sentimentally attached to something stored in a box in a dark corner somewhere several thousand miles away.

Which brings me to something I might have mentioned before (or maybe haven't), that being the decision to finally sell my old collection of vinyl records, most probably in a single chunk to a local record dealer. I've no idea how much I might get for them - we're talking 500 records at an absolute minimum, possibly closer to 600-650 (all lp's, apart from a couple of twelve-inch singles). Knowing my luck, it would be a laughable pittance.

On the other hand, I no longer value them nearly as much as I do my books. I've converted the vast majority to MP3 format, so it's not like I'm losing the music. Plus, when I thought about it I realised I hadn't actually played any of the physical, vinyl items for getting on, ooh, let's see...fifteen years. In fact apart from the 'dronezone' channel on Soma FM, I've pretty much stopped listening to anything at all. If I'm not writing, I'm browsing the net, or reading, or watching a DVD. Or socialising. And if I really want to check out a piece of music, I can just head to grooveshark.com.

Nonetheless, I've had those records for a long time. There are Hawkwind gatefold sleeves. More than a dozen Black Sabbath albums. The first Jane's Addiction album with the cover that caused record shops to force the band's label to hide it inside a ribbed rubber sleeve. ZZ Top. A crapload of stuff, frankly, all sitting unloved in the cupboard next to my front door. Better, I think, they all wound up with someone who might actually play them from time to time (and remember, I have them all in MP3).

I still have to sort them out into two piles - those I want to sell (95%), and those I won't just yet, at least not until I've resolved the sneaking suspicion they might actually be worth something resembling real money (I'm talking the first Budgie album here).

I may post pictures of the exhumation.
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