Home > Tales of the Weird > 3AM Confessions of a Strung-Out Music Junky: Kick Hit Before Hit Kicks You

3AM Confessions of a Strung-Out Music Junky: Kick Hit Before Hit Kicks You

November 15, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

by Mat Weir

Yes, it’s no surprise, growing up sucks. Parts of your body that you never even knew existed begin to ache and some of them even grow hair mysteriously out of the blue. We have more responsibilities, more bills, more worries and less time to fuck around and actually enjoy our short time in this life. We have to push ourselves to do things we don’t really want to do, but after-all, it’s “the adult thing to do.” Recently, I’ve been facing several “adult” dilemmas, which have then seeded more problems. And one of these problems has been haunting me for several years.

It may come as no surprise but I am a music junkie. Like many of us here at Streetlight–and many of you wonderful shoppers–I have a pretty extensive music collection. Of course, like any junkie, I don’t think it’s really THAT much of a problem (after-all, look at all of those people who have even more than me. I swear, I’m just chipping!), but compared to someone who doesn’t have the disease, I’m a full-blown burnout. Besides the wall of vinyl, I have not one, but two hard drives filled with MP3s, some leftover cassette tapes, and about four apple crates full of CDs.

And before you go crying about how this isn’t an adult problem, I’m going to point out that everyone has one collection or another we can’t part with. Maybe it’s music, maybe it’s shoes, maybe it’s shot glasses, or maybe it’s bad relationships; but we all have our thing, so let’s move on.

Like any good suburban teenager who realized just how fake and soul-crushingly devoid of culture his town really was, I was hell-bent on artistic nihilism. My friends and I wanted to “fuck shit up” and give those safe, suburban families something to be frightened of. Music was our religion and we were the most dogmatic of followers.

Throughout my teenage years I kept an extensive CD collection. Everything from the blues to punk, hip-hop to classic rock. Pretty much like my vinyl collection now, actually. I had them all categorized by genre, then alphabetized by artist and sub- categorized chronologically (also like my vinyl. Some things we can’t change.). For years I kept them in Converse shoe boxes, lined up right next to my CD player and played them from the second I woke up until I went to sleep and sometimes even after.

Over the years, I moved around enough to where I was just living out of boxes and my car. Anyone with a collection and a knack for driving knows just how much of a pain in the ass it can be taking a handful of jewel cases on the road. They break easily, and mine did. Just as bad are the soft wallet cases. Constantly sliding the disc in and out of the pocket causes scratches, and mine got them. But, and maybe this is just my problem, the worst thing of all is sheer laziness. Who hasn’t changed a disc in their car and put the outgoing CD into the ingoing CD’s case? The old switcheroo. Or just thrown the disc on the seat, only to have it reach a floor that hasn’t been cleaned in weeks and probably wont be for another month. My precious library of moments in time became scratched and worn, some even FUBAR, but I couldn’t stand to part with them because of what they represented to me. I’m sure some of you can sympathize.

Recently, I found myself moving yet again (my third time in a year) and decided that I don’t want to live out of boxes anymore. NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!!! Er. . .boxes. No more boxes. But that brought up an interesting dilemma: if I’m to get rid of my boxes then I need to get rid of the things in the boxes, including my CDs. It was a painful decision and one I spent many a sleepless night over, relentlessly pondering if I could give that part of my soul away. Would I be the same person, or just an empty shell of a man? What if they are the source of my power, much like Samson, and if we were separated would I fall under the pillars of a normal 9-5 corporate desk job at an insurance agency?

But like I said, we all have to make those hard decisions about who we are and who we want to be. Not to mention, what we can afford to keep with us as we pass on through this wild reality. So, after much deliberation, I finally just took them all in to sell, cold turkey (well, ok, I have a small stash of CDs that my friends’ bands have made over the years). I’m here to tell you, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, as is the case whenever you clean out your life, it was a cathartic experience and one that I felt better for the second it happened. It’s like getting rid of a bad ex, you don’t realize how much it was weighing you down until kick it off your back (did I mention I’m a music junkie?)

We all like to keep certain parts of us alive. Those specific times and memories that made us who we are today; especially the painful ones. Maybe the trick is to remember that they are just memories—chemical reactions used to imprint and retrieve moments in time. While we may never get those times back, the memories are still a part of us regardless of whether or not they are attached to a specific, material thing. It’s an important thing to keep in mind, or else the weight of trying to relive those moments will bury you under your piles of stuff like a bad episode of Hoarders.

So fear not, and take this winter season to clean out your cluttered garage, or maybe even an area of your life that you might have been avoiding for some time. Suit up, breathe deeply, and just take it one day at a time. If you’ll excuse me, I have some records to play and I don’t want to hear anything about switching from one addiction to another. I feel like I just kicked speed only to find Christ, let me ride this one out for a bit before you go bursting my bubbles. After-all, it would be the adult thing to do.

Editor’s Note: Gather up all that music you’re not listening to anymore and bring it to your neighborhood Streetlight Records. We buy and trade CDs, vinyl, DVDs, Blu-Ray, video games and more. Think of it this way: someone is going to love finding that CD in the bins and you can swap your old music for stuff that you’re currently into. Out with the old, in with the new!

Categories: Tales of the Weird
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