Wednesday, 14 August 2013

June 2013 - Popular Music

Tori Amos - Scarlet's Walk
Tori Amos - Past the Mission single, Parts 1 and 2
Bat for Lashes - The Haunted Man
Marc Cohn - The Rainy Season
Gomez - How We Operate
Radiohead - In Rainbows

I was travelling throughout the month of June.  I wasn't necessarily going to mention that on this blog, but it's an important piece of context for what I decided to write about.

One of the things I occasionally do while travelling is wander into music shops. Not generally with that much intention of buying anything (especially not when the luggage is already excessively full...), but I find the exploration to be a nice little diversion or time-filler on days when I don't have a set plan.

I don't know if anyone else does this, but I tend to 'test' the quality of a music shop by looking for certain things. Favourite things, ever so slightly obscure things. Does this shop have a good range, or is it a generic store full of the same CDs as every other big brand store? Is there some depth here?

It probably comes as no surprise that one of the most frequent tests is looking for Tori Amos material.  This clearly isn't because I have much need to buy more Tori Amos. I have most of what I really want, and indeed a fairly large proportion of everything she's released.

Imagine my astonishment, then, when I walked into a music store in Toronto called Sunrise Records and not only found a couple of albums on LP, but one of the few CD singles I hadn't acquired yet.  In the second-hand section they had Past the Mission.

It originally came as two separate parts. Record companies are always trying to make more money out of you, of course.  The gimmick was that one part had space for both CDs, but the second slot had a cardboard placeholder instead of the actual CD - which you had to buy the second part to get.  Sure enough, the copy in the shop had both CDs.

Apart from the studio version of the song, there are a total of 7 live performances taken from Tori's 1994 tour.  At the time of release, the performances were about 2 months old at most and the tour was still going. So it's a nice little time capsule.

There was no way I was passing it up. I think it was only about 10 dollars as well.  So congratulations, Sunrise Records.  You are officially the most impressive music store I've encountered in a while.

You shouldn't have such sticky labels on your products, though. I hate that, and I'm sure the corner of the CD's original cardboard packaging suffered damage as I tried to get one of the stickers off. Ironically the sticker said 'quality guaranteed'.

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