Thursday, February 11, 2016

Redux: The Record Store of the Mind by Josh Rosenthal

RosenthalCOVERIn my January 7, 2016, blog post I wrote that I had received a copy of Josh Rosenthal's memoir The Record Store of the Mind -- and I included a bit about the author himself, and that he started his own record label, Tompkins Square, in 2005.

On Monday, I finished my current editing project (Barbara J. Webb's What Dreams Shadows Cast, book 2 in her Apocrypha: The Dying World series; more on this soon) -- so I was able to pick up The Record Store of the Mind and continue reading. In fact, just this morning I finished the book, but TRSOTM is the type of book -- actually a reference -- one goes back to repeatedly: What was that Tia Blake album Josh recommended? And that list of obscure acoustic guitarists? What were those two special Charlie Louvin albums, and the duets he did with Lucinda Williams... And then there are the nine pages at the end of the book entitled "Listen Up!" in which Josh recommends album after album of "old-time" music for your listening pleasure.

But what I wanted to share with you is the closing paragraph of Josh Rosenthal's memoir. Whether you are a book collector and reader, or a music lover and listener, you will (unfortunately) be able to relate to what Josh has written. Following Hurricane Sandy, in which Rosenthal lost some 500-plus albums, many autographed, due to flood damage...
I did learn from the experience. I look at my collection differently. It used to seem like some indestructible totem, a shrine I had built in honor of my own good taste. After the flood, I realized that I could lose it all at any time. Once you get to a certain age, you realize there are records you own that you'll likely never play again before you die. Probably quite a few of them. Whereas when you're in your twenties, you don't think about your time being limited, how many more Mays and Septembers you might get to experience. Realizing this, you become haunted by your own possessions. You realize a certain portion of your used LP collection belonged to dead people with similar tastes as you. And all your records will someday belong to someone else.

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