Discogs Memories

I don’t know what it is about putting my vinyl purchases into Discogs that makes me tingle all over. Could be the OCD side of me. Or the anal retentive that likes things in order, collected, and neat and tidy. I love having a place to go to that gives me instant information about my obsession(addiction.) Seeing all of my vinyl acquisitions over the last 9 years listed neatly for me to browse at my heart’s content satisfies something in me that I can’t describe.

I’ve always been this way. Even as a kid I loved having cases to put my “things” into. First I had a couple carrying cases for Hot Wheels. One in the shape of a wheel and the other more like the size of a lunch box. Within those I could easily access several muscle cars, Chrysler vans, European sports cars, and even my favorite, a blue van with Marvel’s “The Thing” on the side of it. I quickly moved from Hot Wheels to Star Wars action figures and then GI Joe figures. Each obsession had its own special case to carry them in. This allowed for easy access and also a way to display my collections of various Kenner, Hasbro, and Mattel toys.

By middle school the toys turned to cassettes which turned into cassette cases in my room. Swanky faux wood-looking things that pulled out awkwardly to reveal various guitar shredders, glam rockers, and Rush’ entire discography by 10th grade. When my wife(then girlfriend) and I moved out on our own we bought a Sauder CD tower which housed three years worth of CD purchases. It was heavy as hell and awkward in general, but was way cool in that it gave me plenty of room to grow a collection of shiny discs and wasted clear plastic with color inserts in them.

In 2008 I began my vinyl journey. After years of contemplating whether I should start a hobby of collecting a near dead means of listening to music I said the hell with it and bought a couple vinyl records at the Jazz Record Mart on a Chicago trip with my wife(before I’d even purchased a player to listen to them on.) A month later my Audio Technica was purchased and the rest, as they say, is history. The collection was slow going, but I was determined to fill my house with a clunky form of music consumption. No one would get in my way, dammit.

I didn’t start cataloging my albums till the spring of 2013. I had maybe 100 albums by then. I’d heard stories about a place online where you could catalog your record collection for free(as well as buy albums, too.) One weekend, after I built my first vinyl cabinet, I decided the hell with it and opened an account and began cataloging my records on Discogs. I remember staying up till 2 am that first Friday night. By noon the next day I was fully cataloged and ready to roll. I haven’t looked back since(well maybe a couple times over my shoulder to make sure my wife didn’t see me ordering vinyl.)

I was inputting some recent purchases when I decided to go back to the first entries. Seeing them put me into that weekend. Sitting at the kitchen table typing in bands and selecting the right pressing and color variant. Not really getting why this was so important to me, but I knew it was. My kids were so much younger then. I wasn’t as beat up and sore as I am now. Looking back things seemed simpler. My biggest project was sitting in a dark dining room typing in band names into a dated website and adding their records into my collection. That was important? That was relevant?

Yes it was. And yes it is.

Maybe it’s an OCD thing like I said. Maybe I just like things orderly and easily accessed. There’s some comfort for me in knowing I have a digital “Dewey Decimal System” of sorts available to access whenever I want to look up my collection. There’s really a right brain/left brain thing going on here. The methodical and the pure pleasure. I had a pretty big week of record buying and loaded up quite a few records this week. I happily opened a beer and sat down to do some inputting.

It felt good. It felt like home.