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Thursday Discussion: Mementos, The Memory Maker

Posted by - 01:59 PM on 06/28/12
I'm a few words short of my Consequential Apathy column this weak (check back tomorrow), but its main focus is what we as music listeners, and more importantly - fans! - are willing to pay for a piece of limited medium from our favorite bands. Last week I talked about physical ownership of music, so now it's time to narrow it down to a few pieces of tangible items in my collection I purchased - from CDs to DVDs to vinyl - some of which I bought when rent was due around the corner or was forced to eat Ramen for a week straight. I invite you to share your most special items in the replies and maybe how much (or for some how little compared to what it goes for now) you ended up obtaining it for and the stories behind them. There are a lot of memories in most of what I own and a lot of times when I thought, "I shouldn't buy this right now, but when am I going to find this again?" For most things, the answer generally is, "Never," or "Man, I can't believe it goes for that much now!" Sometimes I simply had the money, and can't look or hold the item without thinking about the story behind it. Thomas helped me out this week, so keep scrolling.

Long live the physical medium of art!

1. RX Bandits - Live Vol. 1 DVDIf you don't know that I'm the biggest RX Bandits fan on staff by now, then, "Hi. My name's Adam. I fucking love the RX Bandits!" I remember when the DVD was being released my senior year of high school and I had to have it. My mom wouldn't let me use her credit card, because at that time the Internet was still less secure with transactions like that. I had a friend from high school use his PayPal account (which again, was fairly new). The DVD ended up coming in the day I left for my Senior Trip to Disney World. As tired as I was the day I returned, I made sure to watch it at least once when I got back to my house before napping.

2. Portugal. The Man's The Satanic Satanist / RX Bandits' Mandala Pre-Order BundlesI'm lumping these together. These are the first big bundles, and I think the only two that I can recollect, that I bought the most limited of. Both bands meant and still mean the world to me, and before hearing a lick of either record, I knew I had to have the best packages. I was real close to rent with this one, and I think both went up around the same time. Well worth that week of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cereal.

3. Copeland's Beneath Medicine Tree (Final Tour Only Vinyl)This is where it pays to be a helpful person. The first and last time I ever got to see Copeland was on their final tour. I was standing outside Emo's in line, and their merch guy came up to me and asked, "Hey man, can you watch these boxes while I go inside to grab the gurney." Sure. He came back out, and for my help, he gave me a deluxe edition of You Are My Sunshine. After the show, I went to buy a copy of the tour only edition of Beneath Medicine Tree on vinyl, and he said they had just sold out. I was bit bummed. Well, I guess he could see it on my face. He went to the van to snag one. Sorry next stop of tour, you got one less chance to get one. I apologize for my kind behavior.

4. Brand New's 2007 Spring Tour PosterThis was Brand New's first tour back after releasing The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. It was my first time seeing the band. My stepbrother somehow was upstairs meeting the band with friends and brought me up. I ended up talking to Jesse Lacey for about 20 minutes about the record before they all left for food. I asked their manager if he could set a poster aside for me since it was my first time seeing the band. We all walked outside and in front of everyone outside the House of Blues in New Orleans, he screamed to the merch girl unloading the truck, "Hey, make sure you set aside a poster for THIS GUY!" Talk about 100 sharp eyes in my direction. (side note: During the band's 2009 tour, I went and bought three girls who were in the front row posters who didn't want to leave the front row. Karma is awesome!)

5. Alliance 103's Songs of Unity / As Cities Burn's first demoWhen I was young, I was just as much into ska as I was into punk. While it's great to see As Cities Burn get the recognition years after they broke up for their discography of records fans love and hate within their musical shift, most of you probably don't know about a small Mandeville ska band called Alliance 103 that ACB members Colin Kimble and Cody Bonnette were once part of. It's fun to show people sometimes. It's something I probably could get a bit of money for on eBay, but it reminds me that every musician starts somewhere, even if they may want to forget about it. Oh, and the first ACB record? I remember seeing them in high school and thinking, "Man, I love Taking Back Sunday. This is my new favorite band!" I wonder if I'd have that same attachment to an MP3.

Thomas' list:

Hellmouth Ė Gravestone Skylines (Bible Ash record)This is a Paper + Plastick release, but it gets its own spot on this list because I actually purchased it from the label before I knew anyone there, or began working there. Itís also one of the coolest damn things I own. Hellmouth took a 16th Century German Bible and burnt it, then pressed the ashes into the wax. The result is a record that is unplayable Ė well, Iíve never actually tried to play it for fear of what will happen to my needle Ė because there is so much ash on it. If you touch it, you get ash all over your hands. Itís the only record that wasnít a gift that I have hanging up in a frame, and there are only 33 of these in existence. Easily the most interested variant in my collection.

The Wonder Years Ė Suburbia Iíve Given You All And Now Iím Nothing (record release version)I donít live in the northeast, so I wasnít able to attend The Wonder Yearsí record release show for Suburbia. But luckily, a couple of close friends were able to pick me up one of these rare variants and send it my way. My thoughts on the record itself are well documented, and the band is certainly one of my favorite groups right nowÖbut what makes this so special to me is the polaroid picture in the inside cover of the gatefold. Each of the record release variants had one, and the polaroid I got was easily the one I would have chosen if I could have had my pick: No. 9/50, Memorial Park. It has a picture of the cannon in the park and corresponds to one of my favorite songs and lines on the record: ďI keep ending up in Memorial Park / Breaking fingernails while I claw at the frozen ground Ö. The manger scene every Christmas next to the cannon / Every year someone steals Baby Jesus / Nobody stops them / Itís a nice tradition.Ē This is why you collect things Ė you donít collect them to have a bookcase full of stuff or have a list of your things onlineÖyou collect because it gives you the chance to own awesome shit like this forever. This is something Iíll show my kids one day, itís something that will remind me, when Iím an old man, about how passionate I was about this record, this band, this community, this lifestlyle when I was younger.

My stereo systemIt seems like a strange thing to put on this list, but itís the truth. My tower speakers, receiver, turntable and new pre-amp are basically the most treasured things I own aside from my actual vinyl. My first job in college was as a delivery driver for a Chinese restaurant during the summer after my freshman year, and about half the money I made that summer went toward this system. Really one of the first major purchases I ever made on my own, and I remember reading reviews and advice about how to build your own home theatre, and all the different types of speakers I could choose from. I went to Best Buy probably a dozen times to blast different combinations of receivers and speakers, always playing Brand Newís ďDegausserĒ to judge the quality for some reason. I was ecstatic when I bought them and I know Iíll have this system for years to come.

All of my Paper + Plastick stuffWorking for this label has taken up a great chunk of the last year and a half of my life, but itís still never really felt like ďwork.Ē Publicity and marketing may not be my true loves (journalism is), but getting the chance to have a job in this industry has provided great fulfillment over the past 18 months. I love the records that the label has released since Iíve been on board, and always take a couple of variants home with me...but my favorite part about the job is whenever we get a new shipment in and I get to open the boxes for the first time. Itís a thrill for everyone to get mail Ė and itís no less thrilling when itís 1,000 copies of the same record. Checking out the different variants for our new releases is the best feeling, and some of the die-cut packages are among my most valued pieces. The toys the label has released are awesome too, including the rare 3D logo toy, which is one of my favorite things P+P has ever done. If I ever turn into a guy that works in a cubicle with little to no interest in music, at least I'll have these to look at and remind myself that I had a cool job once.

New Found Glory, Yellowcard and Green Day CD discographiesI recently sold about 400 of my CDs Ė I only had about 450 of them Ė because I am so into vinyl now that I didnít think it was worth it to move to a new apartment with the CDs and their bookcase. I was very interested in the ones I decided to hold onto. There are different reasons for why I held on to each of the CDs I kept, but my New Found Glory, Yellowcard and Green Day discographies were no-brainers. I bought most of these, used on eBay or in the FYE store at my local mall Ė while I was in freshman or sophomore year of high school. I had absolutely no money, but my mom always gave me too much for lunch so by every Friday, I would have about $10 left over. Green Day, New Found Glory and Yellowcard were the bands I first loved in middle school, so when I decided to start buying CDs, I bought them in order by release date for these three bands first. I started at the FYE store in the mall but they didnít have everything used, so Iíd buy them with my momís eBay account and give her the money for them. I guess in a way thatís how I started collecting physical products.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 59
02:21 PM on 06/28/12
Aaron - my username is dumb
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kcpunk's Avatar
My signed copy of IIOI's Proper is pretty special to me.
02:23 PM on 06/28/12
Registered User
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_veges_'s Avatar
My red Jimmy Eat World "headphones" shirt will always be special to me as well as one of my first three vinyl records ever, Balance and Composure's Separation

EDIT: and of course my Bleed American 3x LP that I got for Christmas, I can't believe I forgot that
02:27 PM on 06/28/12
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Briyen's Avatar
My signed copy of Illuminate on their cd-release tour, 20 people in the crowd, Mindy White and Leighton, the dreamteam

everytime i lose it my heart sinks, but i know ill bump into it again around the house and smile
02:28 PM on 06/28/12
Registered User
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hisnextvictim's Avatar
I have a signed Decoder poster. They're not exactly rare considering you can buy them still on MerchNow i believe, but it's still pretty awesome to have one.
I also will treasure my CD copy of American Idiot for the rest of my life, mostly because it's the first album I ever bought.
02:28 PM on 06/28/12
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jordalsh's Avatar
the signed TEN poster that my sister got when she preordered The Mother, The Mechanic, and the Path. She gave it to me a few years back. I also have a signed I Can Make a Mess poster that I got after I met Ace at Warped
02:35 PM on 06/28/12
Regular Member
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Micklovin's Avatar
Alchemy Index vinyl. Hands down. It's my baby!
02:36 PM on 06/28/12
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DevinDomino's Avatar
I have two shoe boxes full of signed concert tickets and stray pieces of paper by every one from Billy Joe Armstrong to Soupy. Probably my most favorite is Andrew McMahon because I waited years and years to meet the guy and finally got it.

Also, I was taking a family trip from Texas to Iowa in 2004, we stopped at a Wendy's to get food and use the restroom. We pulled up, I get out of the car, start walking towards the building when I spot a disc on the ground in the parking lot. Pick it up and it's a CD by band I had never heard of. I kept it on me anyway so I can check it out because it looked like it might be interesting and didn't have any damaging scratches on it. When we got back into the car, I pull out my laptop and put this "new" CD in. Turns out it was a copy of The Early November's "The Room's Too Cold". Since then, I've been a huge fan of that band. So, if you lost a copy of "The Room's Too Cold" in St. Louis, I still have it and thanks!
02:37 PM on 06/28/12
do you believe in magic?
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klawansie7's Avatar
even though I haven't gotten it yet, my Boys Night Out Trainwreck vinyl is extremely special to me. it's one of my all-time favorite albums, but it will also be my first vinyl record. my best friend bought it for me as a birthday present, which is fitting because for her birthday last year I bought her her first vinyl (The Wonder Years' The Upsides and Suburbia).
02:43 PM on 06/28/12
Holly HoX!
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Holly HoX!'s Avatar
My copy of Dog Problems on vinyl that I don't want anymore.

The test presses of the first record on my label.
02:43 PM on 06/28/12
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phaynes1's Avatar
Mine's definitely my Felix Culpa "Commitment" vinyl that should be coming to my house in a few days. Only 100 of these went into production, and I'm pretty sure the 100 mark that was needed wasn't reached until the last few days of the month it was given. Definitely one of my favorite albums and one I spun regularly in high school while I grew up in the same basic area as the band.
02:44 PM on 06/28/12
Back off, man. I'm a scientist!
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nerd_drummer's Avatar
My copy of Dog Problems on vinyl that I don't want anymore.

The test presses of the first record on my label.
I will take that copy of Dog Problems then.
02:47 PM on 06/28/12
Regular Member
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my thursday, poison the well, engine down tour poster that they handed out for free after the show. got that thing framed and still hanging up in my room after all these years.
02:50 PM on 06/28/12
Holly HoX!
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Holly HoX!'s Avatar
I will take that copy of Dog Problems then.

02:52 PM on 06/28/12
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Nettooo45's Avatar
Hey Thomas, what stereo system did you end up getting as i'm in the same exact position as you were and have no idea where to start.

Oh and mine has to be my signed copy of Coheed & Cambria's Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV because I bought it at a local FYE and had no idea it was going to be signed since it was wrappedup in all the packaging. Also my Zeppelin IV vinyl cause its the first vinyl i ever received and starte my collection.

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