March 18, 2013

we're gonna find the meaning
of feeling good
and we're gonna stay there as long as we think we should

Mark Tipple, underwater, 2011

* Fantastic interview of R. Crumb. excerpt:

Q:What do you hit first when entering a new record shop that you haven’t visited before?

Crumb: I would only enter any record shop if there was the slightest hope that they might have some 78s for sale. If it turns out that they do, the 78s are usually in the back somewhere, in boxes or on shelves in no particular order or categories. One has to just start in, look at every label. This can go fast if you’ve had a lot of experience at it. First, I just skim over almost all labels from the 1940s and ‘50s. Most of what you find in random stacks of 78s is bad pop music of the ‘40s and ‘50s, and classical music. The good stuff is harder to find. Not only because other collectors have been there before you, but also that the only type of music I and many other collectors are after was originally pressed in smaller numbers and came out in a low period for the recording industry, the 1925-’35 period. A vexatious situation for the obsessed collector, this rarity business, but also part of the magic aura which surrounds these old discs. I know many collectors who are so dazzled by the rarity thing that the music sounds better to them if the record is rare. I’ve seen it often. Absurd, but such is the human condition.

Nowadays, there are really no more record shops in which the proprietor has an extensive stock of old 78s, categorized by type of music and artists. That’s pretty much over. They sell them on eBay instead. Unfortunately, I don’t do eBay, as I am computer illiterate, or maybe fortunately. One could spend all of one’s spare time and money searching for and buying 78s on eBay. I know some guys who do just that.
Q: How much time per day do you spend categorizing/cataloging your records; listening to records?

Crumb: I spend some time listening to records almost every day when I’m at home, and I spend time just pawing through the collection, just looking at what I have. Sometimes I’ll pull a record off the shelf and just marvel at it, that it exists and that I own it. Again, it’s a sickness. It’s embarrassing to admit openly to such behavior, like talking about masturbation or something. Sometimes I have to listen to records in the endeavor to purge and make room for new acquisitions, since I’ve run out of room to put new additions to the collection on the shelves. I have to get rid of something before I can put the new ones in. This involves tough decisions. My natural impulse is to save everything, don’t wanna get rid of anything. If I had endless shelf space, I guess I’d have ten times as many records. Purging, however, is good for the soul and just makes the collection better, more intense. Borderline items must be eliminated, moved out, sold if possible.
Q: Can diskaholism be cured?

Crumb: I doubt it. I certainly can’t be cured of this habit. I keep thinking, when I get old I’ll give it up, get rid of these 20 tons of records. I used to think, when I’m seventy… but now that’s only a few months off, so that’s not going to happen… Maybe when I’m eighty.

* I like this!

* "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia." -- Charles M. Schulz


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