Technology is great. I admit it.
I tell Alexa to play me Yes and Thee Oh Sees and Black Moth Super Rainbow and she does. I carry 500 GB of music with me in my work bag on an external drive. I have some of my absolute favorite albums of all time on my phone and ready to be listened to at any moment. It’s a glorious world indeed.
you can’t take an MP3 to a show and have your favorite artist sign it, or grab the setlist from the show you weren’t at, or even order a signed copy of a CD or album… it takes analog for that to happen.
For me grabbing a show poster is a must. There is nothing I love more than having a token of the show. Many people who have gone to a show with me have experienced the wait until the doors open, then the dash to the seats or stage floor spot only to have me say “I’ll be right back” and slink off to see if I can grab a show poster before other like minded folks who were not so early do the same. These sometimes end up on the music room wall.
Here is The Psychedelic Furs, The English Beat and a Pat McCurdy (local awesome artist for which I MADE the poster – extra special). The Pat McCurdy is signed. Also seen here is a Droids Attack / Imperial Battlesnake vinyl album I got at the show, signed by the band. That’s analog man. You can’t beat it.
The signed album is another great analog treasure. I have gotten a few over the years. Behold my signed Psychedelic Furs album (all but Richard signed -sigh).
Sometimes you just come across an album that is signed.
I already had a copy of Paul Black and The Flip Kings album “How How”, but was amazed to find another out in the wild. I almost left it behind, but I turned it over and to my surprise it was signed by the entire band! Sold!
Oh man. Awesome.
When we were in Chicago for a getaway weekend, we went to a jazz club and we happened to be there on the night Marquis Hill was playing. It was my first time really seeing live jazz and it was totally cool. Between sets he was selling CD’s, and I got mine signed. He later came to Madison and I eagerly went and took Joe with me.
I have even been know to cheat a bit and order a signed copy of an album. It still counts. Recently I bought a Juliette Lewis CD, signed.
It may only be a squiggle, but it’s mine.
My first signed thing (maybe) was a Linda Ronstadt album that I picked up for a buck at Half Price Books. I have my doubts about its authenticity, but I was not going to pass on it.
I have also been known to come home with a set list on occasion. Not signed, but still a nice analog token of the event. This one I peeled up from the stage at The Reverend Horton Heat show at the High Noon Saloon in Madison Wisconsin. It made the music room wall.
This one was from a Honor Among Thieves show. A local band that has played for years and years. I finally got a chance to see them live and the drummer passed this one to me. I know it’s printed and not hand written, like the Reverend Horton Heat above, but it was on the stage at the show. Even if it was printed by the girlfriend of someone in the band, it’s still cool.
I have even been know to risk being a little fan-boyish to get a picture with a favorite artist. Little venues are great for this. Another show at High Noon Saloon afforded me the opportunity to get a picture with Wayne “The Train” Hancock after a show. It was killer. I watched him from the front row, like a foot away, then got an awesome picture too. Great night.
Then there is the slightly less personal, but THAT IS HIM shot from the crowd. You know, where a turn and face the crowd, that looks at you like what are you doing man? you then take a selfie with the band onstage. Also analog.
That’s me stage left with Dave Wakeling of The English Beat over my shoulder…
and me with Buckethead. Booyah.
So, yes, technology makes the world great, and content is at your fingertips in massive quantities. Just don’t forget to go out into the world and experience it once in a while. If you really dig an artist, support them and buy their stuff, maybe signed. It gives it a bit more uniqueness and significance for your collection, and get that picture no matter how the crowd looks at you.
One day a grandchild might say to me “You saw Buckethead?”
“Yep, and I have proof”.