I took home a copy of Mega Man 9 and a debug Xbox 360 last night so I could savor the game over a long weekend…and when I booted it up this afternoon, I saw the Red Ring of Death. I think this confirms the theory that the RROD only appears at the absolute moment you least want it to.
But it all worked out, because I ended up returning to the office to grab a replacement system and found that UPS had made a delivery while I was away: the complete Led Zeppelin studio recordings box set. I’m trying not to spend money at the moment, but Amazon had this set as its random super-cheap item of the day and I figured there is no way I will ever again find the band’s complete works for $6 an album. Even if I disregard the existence of In Through the Out Door and Presence (like any sentient being should), that’s still only eight bucks per. And best of all, it’s strictly studio, which means no interminable drum solos. There are no down sides, really.
I was sort of surprised to realize when I ordered the set that I don’t actually have a single Zeppelin tune in my 60GB music library. Not a one! Then I remembered that my brother and I owned the band’s old “best of” box set, back in the days when box sets were new and awesome…and music came on cassettes. (It’s been a while, see, because I’m old.) I guess once we phased out our tape collection, I never quite got around to replacing the box set with individual albums. But hey, it’s been 15 years. I suppose it’s time.
I really do miss box sets, though. Back in the days before music was a commodity to be swapped for free on the Internet, those sets were dense treasure boxes full of music by bands I sometimes didn’t really even know — an opportunity to discover something new and amazing through total immersion. But they were pricey enough that they had to be enjoyed sparingly. I realize this makes me sound like a stupid old fart, but I really think the ease of filing sharing does a disservice to music appreciation. It has nothing to do with legal or moral issues, though; what I’m talking about is the sense of commitment that investing in an album or compilation was for me when I in high school. Music was relatively expensive in those days, so I had to pick and choose my selections carefully. Sometimes I didn’t really get my money’s worth — but when I did, when I bought an album unheard based on an intriguing title or artwork or a desire to learn more about a given band and discovered something unexpectedly phenomenal, that music stuck with me forever.
Someone, please tell me that this sense of risk and reward still exists in the realm of music appreciation, or I will be forced to recognize what a fossilized old fart I am and be sad.