New REM CD Sold Out! Days Ahead of Schedule
by Jesse Schmitt
Is nothing sacred anymore? I remember in my younger days, when getting all excited for a new release of a new album by a favorite band used to mean something. There was some kind of solidarity in the understood “waiting” for something. Tuesday. That was the day when records were released. Tuesday. And while the facts have become muddled in my old age and the lines of black and white have frayed to grey, there are some things I’ve always felt responsible for; among these is holding to tradition.
So it was with some shock and awe earlier today (FRIDAY) that I stumbled upon a horrific entry into my daily life’s journal. This was a thing which made me mad, sad, and indifferent; it had to do with the new release of the latest album of my favorite band, REM. I had been looking forward to this release with some anticipation (this COMING Tuesday) however when I achieved the golden ticket earlier this Friday, I felt sad because it’s true that all that glitters isn’t necessarily anything more than pixie dust.
When I went into the coffee shop of record this morning it was not with the intention of writing an expose. In fact, I was quite content to just grab a cup and go. However the story goes that I stepped up to the counter of the Starbucks Coffee shop on Allen Street in Chinatown in New York City, I saw a thing which I’d been anticipating for days!
For those of you who don’t frequent this chain of coffee store, you would have a hard time distinguishing this place from a music store with a coffee counter if you didn’t know any better. In recent months Starbucks has become your home for all things audiophile including new releases of records. So it goes and the aforementioned shock and awe was quickly replaced with a feeling of intense guilt. I knew that this record didn’t go on sale until four days following; what the heck was it doing in their racks?
I was met with a turn and a shrug at the counter of Starbucks on Allen Street in Chinatown when I queried to the gent at the counter. I snatched it up nonetheless and turned it over to read the track listings and be sure that I wasn’t imagining things.
“The manager just told me to put these out, you know?”
I bought it anyway, and that was when I felt a strange sickening feeling and wanted to return it. I have memories of standing on lines in the middle of the night; long, epic lines with my muggle wife to get things like the latest Harry Potter book. Come to think of it, there hadn’t been too many record releases of recent memory which had shook me in any real way. Then I thought more about it and realized that this release wasn’t so special at all. No, in fact you can hear the whole album online. And event though I’ve listened to the tracks in their entirety online, I’ve only done so once! REM is my favorite band! Why don’t I care more that this new record is out? Why don’t I feel more guilt that I’ve gotten this secret stash so soon?
A footnote in this disappointing chapter: New REM CD Sold Out at Allen Street Starbucks; Days Before Release. And Nobody Seemed to Notice; And Nobody Seemed to Care.