Monday, October 19, 2009

Monochromatic Suburban Music

In shopping yesterday, I wanted to get a couple of jazz albums. They have had airplay on WDCB 90.9 FM. Granted, WDCB is a public station and is located in a suburban Chicago junior college campus, but the albums in question should have a wider fan base as they are current. It's not like I'm looking to replace my Fred Astaire cassette tape, although that would be a nice idea, replace all my jazz cassettes with CDs of the same album.

Does anyone even say "album" anymore or does that seriously date me?

Anyway, the mall where I was at only had one store selling any kind of music, f.y.e. I walked in and could not find the jazz CD's. They were way in the back corner. There were only two sections for jazz. It could be worse. I could prefer blues. There was only one section for that.

I was looking for Eliane Elias' Bossa Nova Stories and Patti Austin's For Ella. How hard can this be?

Well, maybe I should have looked to replace a couple of my Ella Fitzgerald tapes because everything they had would be considered either smooth jazz (gag) or born before 1935. The clerks were busy with customers so I was able to sneak out. I didn't want them to offer to order something because I don't want to have to drive all the way up to Woodfield Mall to get music.

The Pop/Rock section was huge. It was such a disappointment not to have any selection to even browse. I might wander over to the Border's here in Wheaton as they tend to have a larger selection of jazz versus Pop/Rock.

I remembered a store at Oakbrook Mall. It was nothing but jazz and classical music, about 2/3rds jazz and 1/3rd classical. At Christmas, I would take a note pad and write down my top 10 wants. There were always people in the store, but it closed after about 3 years. There was another one tucked away in a corner that was heavy into jazz but they lasted only 18 months.

It just seems the music offering in the suburbs is strictly what's featured on the top 40 radio stations. Shortly after Carole and I heard Old Blind Dogs on a public radio station in Iowa, we were able to go to Tower Records and buy their CD's
The World's Room and Fit?. We ordered the rest of their available CD's through Now, I order them off the band's web site. But, if I were looking for something I heard on "Blarney on the Air" on WDBC on Monday nights, I'd be really hard pressed to find it through traditional outlets. There's a celtic music store in Villa Park, which is a 15 minute drive east, assuming I can remember where they are when I get there.

Maybe it's just my age and my curmudgeonlyness. I think it does a disservice to people when they aren't exposed to a wide variety of music. I was extremely lucky in having a father who loved early Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby and the like. My mother has this wonderful collection of 78's with jazz music from the late 1950's. These are songs you don't hear, not even on WDBC which play all jazz (except 'smooth', whatever that is) so has millions of songs available from the early days of jazz through today, as witnessed by the two CD's I linked above. Jazz is still very alive with performers recreating the standards and writing new and interesting material. Having this available to the consumer expands the fan base.

There's a reason Eliane Elias and Diana Krall pose seductively on the covers of their CD's. They know people will pick it up based on the cover alone.

The urge to possess these CDs has passed. I thought I would reward myself with some music and that was not to be. I did get something else not of the chocolate persuasion. I have Halloween M&M's with peanuts on top of the fridge so my chocolate needs are satisfied for now.

Maybe at the end of the month, I'll check on music. It's not like I don't have any music. If I played everything stored on my mac, it would take, currently, 5 and a half days to get through and I haven't uploaded ALL my jazz CDs to the Mac. Carole has more than me, I believe.

Now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to do some writing to the dulcet tones of Artie Shaw's Greatest Hits.

Beverage: Huckleberry tea


1 comment:

  1. Since the last time my computer had to be wiped I didn't burn all my cds back onto my hard drive but right now I'm sitting at 4.75 GB = 2.3 days worth of music.

    I get all my music through iTunes now although they just raised their prices to $1.29 for more popular songs instead of $0.99. There are a lot of things I wish I had but I don't want to spend the money to buy them just yet.