Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I keep all of my CDs filed in an old dresser drawer. Each disk sits in its own plastic sleeve cut from the old CD book that grew too heavy for me to ever put CDs away in. The albums are arranged alphabetically, because at times I have obsessive-compulsive issues, but moreover –alphabetization just makes sense.

Of course, some CDs pose a problem to categorize. Would Django Reinhardt be filed under D or R? Others lend themselves to easy categorization. I would never consider putting Jolie Holland under J. Without hesitation she was filed under H, but Django…well, Django sits in D because when for the week I did stash him under R, I found myself shuffling through the D’s only to find that old Depesche Mode CD tucked in between Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, and Nick Drake.

Then there are the albums that don’t easily fit into an alphabetized system. Such albums are filed under “Mixes” or “Soundtracks”. But this week I found I had to make an entirely new category altogether for a growing section of my collection: “Local”.

In the past week alone I have acquired three new disks from the Schenectady based band Desperately Obvious (see Tim’s blog from April 4th), Albany based Laura Boggs’ new album Whiskey & Springtime, an album by Schenectady musician Erin Quillinan, and another Albany gem: Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned’s new disk While waiting for the Space Age. Add that to the formerly acquired disks –The Greatest Gravity, a project of Sgt. Dunbar’s Tim Koch, Get off the Moon, the album of Albany based Scientific Maps, along with my stack of impressive underground Hobo Banned recordings and demos, and you’ve got yourself a worthy cause to start a new category in the CD drawer.

Falling in the genre of local musician myself, I have been beyond fortunate that all of this incredible music was bestowed upon me in exchange for nothing but for my own time and efforts. I have found local musicians incredibly willing to trade you their hard work, manifested in CD form, for your hard work manifested in CD form. I am encouraged to know that although starving artists may not have the monetary funds necessary to help feed each other in order to support art, they still have the ability and the willingness to support one another in an often more impacting form. In place of money they offer muse, encouragement, and track after track of inspiration. Not to mention a reason to create an entirely new category for a collection of CDs.

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