Retail Therapy

Our shared pop culture references suggest that ladies like to go shopping for shoes when they’re feeling a bit down in the dumps.  It’s been awhile since I’ve had first-hand knowledge of this phenomenon, but I’ve been assured that it’s still true today.  I presume it doesn’t matter if the shoes are comfortable, practical, or reasonably priced.  The simple act of buying a new pair of shoes seems to act like retail therapy for some people.  And that’s cool.

For every well-meaning counter-culture ‘rebel’ out there imploring us to Occupy Christmas this year, there are five other people that are totally cool with purchasing a few trinkets to keep us company along the great road of life.  I’m fine with that.  I agree that consumerism is a slippery slope, and it shouldn’t be your raison d’etre.  However, it’s kind of silly to stomp your feet and insist that no one should ever buy anything non-essential.  If you absolutely must have a new pair of pumps, and you have the financial means to do so, then be my guest.  It’s really no different than me picking up a new power tool at Home Depot.  I think there’s a clear distinction to be made between conspicuous consumption and just living your life.

For me, procuring music is therapy.  And my new-found hobby is collecting vinyl.  In the short term, I am thinking about finding and re-purchasing all of my top twenty favourite albums on vinyl.  In the longer-term, I hope to pick up some new releases on vinyl, and go hunting for classics in the local used record shops.  Maybe my new hobby is really just a way of populating my own personal shoe rack.  Records may not be essential to life in the same way as health or shelter or food, but my life would be much less enjoyable without the simple pleasure of dropping a needle on vinyl.

Today is Black Friday in the USA, AKA the day after American Thanksgiving that marks the unofficial kickoff to the Christmas shopping season.  It isn’t celebrated as a big shopping event per se in Canada, but a lot of stores adhere to the spirit of Black Friday by offering specials on certain kinds of goods.  Today I popped into Blackbyrd Music on Whyte Avenue in that magical window between work and Friday afternoon hockey and picked up some gems at 20% off:

Radiohead’s Hail To The Thief:

Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot:

And the find of the day, Wilco’s new EP Speak Into The Rose on ultra-cool red vinyl:

I’m listening to YHF right now and I’m completely blown away by how much better it sounds on analogue than digital mp3s.  Yay for vinyl!  Wish you were here to share the experience with me.

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