I’ve written before about the difficulty of finding time to listen to music once you’ve had a baby. Another way that my music consumption has changed is that I no longer have much money to spend on CDs. By no means are we living on the breadline, and we have a very comfortable existence compared to many people, but we do have less income and more expenses han previously (those playpens and baby sensory classes don’t pay for themselves!) so a few treats have had to go.
When I was younger and had more disposable income I used to love going out and splurging on CDs. When I got my first weekly pay for my post-uni temp job I immediately went out to Piccadilly Records in Manchester and bought all four Pixies albums. When I inherited a small amount of money at age 16 it pretty much all went on CDs and books rather than anything sensible. I think at my peak I was typically buying about 10 albums a month which got a bit ridiculous as I even then was barely finding time to listen to them all.
Of course, things are very different now. I have Spotify (other music streaming services are available) so I can listen to pretty much anything I want whenever I want, so I don’t feel quite the same need to buy CDs any more. But there is still part of me that feels the urge to buy, to collect, to curate, so I’ve started to get more and more interested in vinyl. For years I’ve resisted its’ lure, and I still don’t even own a decent record player, but I do have a handful of records and keep being tempted by more.
Of course, vinyl records (unless second hand) are even less affordable than CDs, so I’m certainly not going to be going out and buying ten a month, but as the occasional special purchase they are so much more appealing. For example the recent announcement of a 7 album Sleater-Kinney box set had me virtually salivating. It’s certainly a change in attitude for me as owning a nice object like a box set doesn’t actually make the music any better, and I suspect it is quite a middle aged urge. Still, now I’m a dad being middle aged doesn’t worry me as much as it once did.