There was a time, back when I had a mostly disposable income, that I would make bi-monthly trips to Sam The Record Man and other Toronto music stores and load up on CDs, usually four or five at a time. As I’ve moved into adulthood and life as a homeowner, I’ve come to realize that a heavy sense of responsibility weighs on my conscience when it comes to buying music. I still support musicians with any chance I get, but I rarely allow myself to buy impulsively anymore.
Two or three years ago, when Cari and I first visited L.A. together and stayed with her brother, Dan took us by Amoeba Records in Hollywood. I had never heard of Amoeba before, but Dan promised I would love it. I did, though I was so overwhelmed by the size, selection and prices of used CDs the store carried, that I felt faint and overstimulated. When we returned on our last visit in June 2008, I still felt like a kid returning to his favourite candy store, but I had equipped myself with a list of items to look for. This made it a lot less nerve-wracking though equally hyperactive.
We knew Amoeba had to be a part of this visit, and yesterday morning was my chance to go nuts. Before we left, Cari handed me an envelope with an early birthday present: $100 to spend at Amoeba. Huzzah!
Everybody has their own strategy when confounded with thousands of used CDs. Mine was to grab a basket and load anything that looked remotely interesting into the basket and ultimately narrow down my choices to a number that fit my budget.
It wasn’t an easy decision, but ultimately I ended up with:
- American Recordings, Johnny Cash
- The Complete Goldwax Records Singles, James Carr
- Live at the Apollo, James Brown
- Duet for Guitars #2, M. Ward
- Moon Pix, Cat Power
- Lost In Space, Aimee Mann
- Bone Machine, Tom Waits
- Back To The Egg, Paul McCartney & Wings
- Either/Or, Elliott Smith
- Fox Confessor Brings The Flood, Neko Case
- Everybody’s In Showbiz, The Kinks
Once that was all done, Cari convinced me I should pick up an Amoeba t-shirt, which I did. Then Dan handed me Writer’s Block by Peter, Bjorn & John and a reusable Amoeba tote bag. Thanks, Dan & Cari!