Are You A Listener Or A Collector ?

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take5_d_shorterer
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Postby take5_d_shorterer » 05 Jun 2006, 03:33

Q: Are you a listener or a collector?

John Fahey was at a particular extreme:that of being a listener. He would get his hands on 78s, tape them, and then sell them for as much as he could get. The only important thing to him was the music. I like this purist approach, but I also recognize that collectors really do serve a useful purpose. Somebody once told me that without instrument collectors in the 19th century, many Strads would be lost. It's only because some people essentially locked these instruments away that they have survived. I don't know if that is completely true (can you play a violin to the extent that there's nothing left?), but I wouldn't be surprised.

Having said all this, I think there's a pretty easy way to tell if you are a collector or a listener. Given $500 (or whatever amount now), would you rather get a mint copy of Please, Please Me (mint in the sense that the cover is perfect) even though you already have a copy; or would you rather take that $500 and use it to buy a whole bunch of records in a genre you don't know well, such as electronica or country music from the 1950s or vocal music from England from the 1600s?

The answer is pretty clear for me (the latter). There are circumstances under which I would turn towards a collector's instinct, namely if I felt that I could do the best job of archiving something, but those circumstances are rare.

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sloopjohnc
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Postby sloopjohnc » 05 Jun 2006, 05:08

django wrote:I'm definitely still a listener, although I do understand the feeling of having more music than you can listen to. I get nostalgic for when I was 14 and had about 6 records, all loved to death. I knew every word of every song on those records. I can't give music that kind of commitment any more.


I nostagically look back to those times when I used to pore over every lyric sheet. I'm definitely a collector now. I don't give any album more than one or two shots anymore.

It's funny though---my son had me read the same Berenstain Bears book five times in one sitting. I was bored as hell but he was picking up and revelling in every nuance.

That's the way I used to listen to music.
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Re: Are You A Listener Or A Collector ?

Postby Delgado » 05 Jun 2006, 09:08

The Slider wrote:
Slim wrote: not forgetting 100+ mimidiscs (remember them ?


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Oh yes.


Oops !
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Postby John Mc » 05 Jun 2006, 11:10

take5_d_shorterer wrote:John Fahey was at a particular extreme:that of being a listener. He would get his hands on 78s, tape them, and then sell them for as much as he could get.



I've read that he would also try and shove the thrift shop staff aside and get into the stockroom, because 'they keep all the best stuff in there' (an impulse, which, sadly, I recognise). And tapes do take up less space in the back seat of the car...

take5_d_shorterer wrote:
I think there's a pretty easy way to tell if you are a collector or a listener. Given $500 (or whatever amount now), would you rather get a mint copy of Please, Please Me (mint in the sense that the cover is perfect) even though you already have a copy; or would you rather take that $500 and use it to buy a whole bunch of records in a genre you don't know well?



Mono or stereo? No, I'd go for the second option, I'm not totally nuts. However, I have paid good money for 2nd vinyl copies of things I already have, or vinyl copies of things I own on CD, and I've got a few rare bits of vinyl I've never even played, which is crazy. So I'm clearly some sort of acculmulator, or curator, whatever. Not a 'collector', though; I can't relate to being completist about an artist, or whatever, or spending silly amounts of time/money searching out 'limited editions' and 'collectors items' (that's just exploitation). The attempt by various mags and dealers to hype up things as 'collectible' makes me feel rather ill, actually. I'll be the judge of that, pal...

What I mainly listen to is CDs and CDRs, and for listening pleasure, the latter will do me just fine. But I'd miss just owning my Can and Serge et al on vinyl...

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Tom Violence
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Postby Tom Violence » 05 Jun 2006, 12:13

Mine is a small collection by most standards, nearly 1000 albums, but it's already starting to be unmanageable. i.e. it's not possible to listen to every album regularly or as often as I'd like to.

It's a quandry alright, buy more and discover more great music, or concentrate on enjoying the records you already know you love. Somewhere there's a happy medium :lol:
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Postby Oscar » 05 Jun 2006, 12:40

RcL wrote:can't be bothered with sleeves, cases and all that. Itunes has made life much easier... I have special playlists for times when I'm working / reading.


I'm on the way to this but it's presenting it's own problems, like what do I put on and what do I leave off? I'm slowly transfering all my cd-r's and mp3's onto an external hard drive and then putting these into the iTunes library. By the time I get half of my collection onto the hard-drive it will probably;

a) be full
b) be the year 2020

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Postby Snowdog » 05 Jun 2006, 13:09

Oscar wrote:
RcL wrote:can't be bothered with sleeves, cases and all that. Itunes has made life much easier... I have special playlists for times when I'm working / reading.


I'm on the way to this but it's presenting it's own problems, like what do I put on and what do I leave off? I'm slowly transfering all my cd-r's and mp3's onto an external hard drive and then putting these into the iTunes library. By the time I get half of my collection onto the hard-drive it will probably;

a) be full
b) be the year 2020


Which puts me in mind of this.

Arguably the worst lyrics ever.

"You ain't gonna need your teeth
Won't need your eyes
You won't find a thing to chew
Nobody's gonna look at you"


:lol:

Waste of a pretty good idea & tune, imo.
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Postby Johnny Fartpants » 05 Jun 2006, 13:19

aLb wrote:I keep on acquiring stuff that I never listen to, but I feel I ought to own.


Now that is probably being obsessive. I love music, but I only love the music that I love, if you see what I mean ? I have never once bought an album because somebody has told me it's a "classic" and that I should have it in my collection. I'll only buy an album because I've heard at least one or two songs off it and I've liked what I've heard enough to try the whole album.

Buying an album just to say you have it, but never actually playing it, seems to be missing the point if you ask me.

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Postby PENK » 05 Jun 2006, 13:26

I'll always listen to things I buy, although I have plenty of albums on mp3 I haven't got round to yet, but there are quite a lot of albums sitting on my shelves that I'm pretty sure I'll never listen to again. I think I do enjoy having a (comparatively) large collection, so I don't want to get rid of them. I'd be perfectly happy to never hear Devendra Banhart again, I have no interest in ever giving that last Smashing Pumpkins album another try, and I'd probably be best off putting a few tracks from 69 Love Songs on my computer and selling the fucking thing on again, but I like to have them there just for the sake of it.
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Postby Corporate whore » 05 Jun 2006, 13:43

Slim wrote:I was given the new Zutons and Delays albums this week -


Don't hold your breath on the Zutons one...
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Postby Corporate whore » 05 Jun 2006, 13:52

Definately a listener - I don't think I have ever bought an album 'just to collect the set', even though, when I find an artist I like I tend to work my way through all their stuff.
This might sound contredictory, but I f'rinstance I don't have a copy of the first Kinks album on CD, because its shit - and I'm a huge Kinks fan.

I recently started a project to listen to all of my CD's (2075 in the catalog) - In the first month I listened to 5.4% of my collection (sad, I know), the bad news is that in that time I added more stuff to the catalog then I had actually listened to.
I'm still listening to new stuff multiple times, but when I feel like something different i'm casting my net further then the usual suspects. Having a 'Teenage Kicks project' day to day - fantastic.

And sometime in 2008 I will be faced by 6 Slim disks and AndyMcAndys Embrionic Journey....
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Postby Oscar » 05 Jun 2006, 13:56

Johnny Fartpants wrote:Buying an album just to say you have it, but never actually playing it, seems to be missing the point if you ask me.


Not if you're a collector.

I envy the purity of your listening habits but I'm afraid curiosity always gets the better of me. And also, it's just the satisfaction of knowing that I don't like Frank Zappa because I actually listened to some albums. And that broadens my experience. Even if I don't like a band or an album I'm bound to get something out of the experience of 'finding out' - even if it's a bad experience. For example, I know much more about really shite music than you will ever know. Hang on, I seem to be losing my own argument here ...

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Postby Tom Violence » 05 Jun 2006, 15:15

Corporate Whore wrote:
Slim wrote:I was given the new Zutons and Delays albums this week -


Don't hold your breath on the Zutons one...


Nor the Delays one, I was sorely dissapointed. Couple of nice tracks tucked away at the end, but not a patch on their if i may say fantastically brilliant debut.
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Postby Tom Violence » 05 Jun 2006, 15:18

Corporate Whore wrote:This might sound contredictory, but I f'rinstance I don't have a copy of the first Kinks album on CD, because its shit - and I'm a huge Kinks fan.
Journey....


Whereas all the other albums are... :lol: :wink:
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Postby Corporate whore » 05 Jun 2006, 15:54

Pretty Boy Floyd wrote:
Corporate Whore wrote:This might sound contredictory, but I f'rinstance I don't have a copy of the first Kinks album on CD, because its shit - and I'm a huge Kinks fan.
Journey....


Whereas all the other albums are... :lol: :wink:


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Postby Tom Violence » 05 Jun 2006, 23:22

:D 8-)
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Postby jimboo » 18 Dec 2006, 12:12

The Virgin Smamfy wrote:Moving this into classic threads. Stu's post seems quite poignant now.


I'm lucky? because it takes me an hour to walk home from work everyday.So i get to play at least one album a day.I have changed my listening habits in the sense that i do not skip tracks anymore.Every morning i pick a c.d , after spending some time at the weekend pulling out c.d's that i have not played for a while.

I have about 1000 or so c.d's and several hundred records.My main problem is the continual amount of product that i yearn for. I cannot pass my local oxfam or it's ilk without looking for albums. The other problem is that sometimes , i really cannot remember if i already own a copy of a particular album.

I would say i am a listener.
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Re: Are You A Listener Or A Collector ?

Postby Mon1018 » 01 Apr 2008, 11:05

I'm still a listener in the first place.

Molony

Re: Are You A Listener Or A Collector ?

Postby Molony » 17 Apr 2008, 19:36

I think that I am primarily a listener, but I have collected so much stuff in MP3 format that I no longer feel in control of my musical situation. This causes me some discomfort because it does turn listening to all the unheard stuff into something of a mission rather than the more 'organic' process of yore...