Questioning the fate of the Grand CD

Stacks of jewel cases used to be a point of pride; a conversation starter at a party.  Something you’d stare at longingly and beg, if you had a best friend with more music knowledge than you, a chance to borrow one of those prized items.  Only later would they learn your penchant for accidentally scratching their favourite Modest Mouse album.  (Woops!)

But the actual jewel case CD?  Breaking the cellophane wrapper and eagerly whipping out the interior booklet to see the album art and thank yous associated with them is a thing that I fear is not regarded the same anymore.  I know for me I’ve got CD wallets (remember those??) hidden on book shelves and boxes of the cases at my mother’s storage unit.  What’s most valued is what’s on my hard-drive storage.

It used to be limited to industry personnel to get free music but now everyone can get free digital music whereas before a trip to your favourite record store was the only way to be connected to that world.  Nowadays bands like the Weeknd and Vance Joy can get huge record deals and award nominations through their bandcamp.  You could go years without hearing a song repeated now with all the free music available online.  Youtube, Bandcamp, Sound Cloud… it’s overwhelming to think of actually.

I feel spoiled with free music nowadays and my younger self would have been literally rolling *carefully* on the jewel cases in sheer glee since I  grew up in the country with limited dial-up driving my parents crazy downloading music from Kazaa and Limewire and literally no friends into alternative music to show me the way.

I was reliant upon whatever I was given at concerts and one of the most profound realizations came when an entire indie record label catalog was delivered to my parents’ home (instead of the radio station I was DJ’ing at).  The label isn’t around anymore and truthfully the records weren’t all that great, but a huge box full of music was better than Christmas for me.  Fast forward 10 years later prepping for festival season and a major label sends me their most popular artists albums in CD form and it felt so foreign!  I opened some of them but truthfully thanks to Rdio and Itunes, I already had the songs at my disposal on my computer, iphone and wherever else I wanted to plug into.  I had this confused moment where I had to question, where am I going to put these CDs?  The CDs that are stacked around the office are usually just clients’ demos and past work that I physically need to write grants and whatever else I’ve written about.  The rest though are handed to me at events.  I still love getting them but I feel badly that some just gather dust as I’ve already got them on my media devices.

That said, I get just as excited when I get emailed exclusive media-only listening pages for bands I’m interested in as when I’d wander into the record stores that marked my youth, but now are tragically closed, like no doubt so many of your favourites probably are.  So here’s to celebrating CDs and the nostalgia associated with them!

How about you?  What’s your favourite form of music?  Vinyl?  Cassette?  MP3s only?  Let me know in the comments below !