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35 Music Experiences You'll Never Have Again

Kids these days will never know the joy of going to the record store to buy music on an inferior medium from a man who hates you.

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1. Finding a band in the bargain bin you've never heard of and buying their album because you like their name.

Flickr: waltjabsco / Creative Commons

Or hate their name? It's so tough to tell sometimes.

2. Memorizing a list of songs under two minutes so you have something for the end of the mix tape.

Flickr: punkjr / Creative Commons

There are only so many times you can end a side with Ween's "Push th' Little Daisies" before your crush starts to notice.

3. Holding your tape recorder up to your TV to record an MTV video premiere.

That way, you could listen to a crappy, lo-fi cut of Michael Jackson's "Scream" for DAYS before the single was released.

4. Watching several hours of VH1 in the hopes that you'd see your favorite band's new video.

I heard Michael Jackson's "Scream" was added to the regular rotation.

5. Discovering an entirely new genre of music after playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater.

You were REALLY into the Suicide Machines and Goldfinger that summer.

6. Buying an album from a band that you don't necessarily love, just because you need to fill a hole in your record collection.

I'm totally fine spending $15 on a Captain Beefheart album because I need it, but I don't actually have to listen to it, do I?

7. Opening this totally unnecessary but wonderful package.

Thus negating entirely the "compact" part of compact disc.

8. Spending a lot of time decorating tapes or CDs that you burned yourself.

Finally, art school is paying off.

9. Reading the liner notes.

And looking for hot listening tips from the band.

10. Trying to figure if your favorite band is in the alt, indie, rock, punk, or pop section.

Do you think DMB is more "adult contemporary," "soft rock," or "jam band"?

11. In-stores.

Flickr: mbk

First stop, the Rosedale Mall Sam Goody — next stop, Carnegie Hall!

12. Obsessively pausing and rewinding a song for an hour to memorize the lyrics.

13. Making the case to your parents for why the explicit tag doesn't count in this case.

"No! Seriously, mom. It's not going to corrupt me. It's tasteful swearing. They're making a statement."

14. Building your record collection with 8 cents a month. hundreds of dollars in inertia selling fees.

15. Having long discussion about which side you liked better.


"Air Side is great. Nobody is saying it's not. But if I was stranded on a desert island and only got to listen to one side, it'd be Metal Side. Hands down."

16. Being afraid of this guy's judgment.


...but secretly desperate for his approval.

17. Unloading all your questionable purchases at the used CD store.


Sixth months' worth of poor decisions equaled about $4 of store credit.

18. Going out on a limb and buying an entire discography for $10.

Via Flickr: thechorompys / Creative Commons

"The complete Uncle Tupelo collection? Sure. Why not?"

19. It was way easier to judge your friends' tastes when you could see their collection.

Flickr: 12771303@N00 / Creative Commons

You displayed your Tori Amos album by your Agent Orange album so people knew you were sensitive but edgy.

20. Having a system.

Flickr: buzzingbye / Creative Commons
Flickr: fanintoflames / Creative Commons

"It's roughly by genre, but cross-categorized by mental state at time of purchase."

21. Changing your system.

Flickr: buttongirl / Creative Commons

"I want to organize them by color, but I don't have enough red CDs."

22. Listening booths.


"You mean I can listen to music without buying it?! These record stores are going to put themselves out of business."

23. Waiting outside record stores for midnight releases.


Because you absolutely had to have Evil Empire 10 hours before everyone else.

24. Buying the entire album for the single.

"I'm looking for the album with that 'paranoia, paranoia' song on it."

25. Buying the single for the B-side.


Or, if you really knew what you were doing, buying the import for the live version.

26. Getting tricked by that Aphex Twin album cover every time you went to the record store.


And you always saw it too, because it was right there in the "A" section at the front of the store.

27. Six copies of your favorite band's worst album. Zero copies of their best album.


Yeah, I already own a goddamned copy of Machina. Thanks.

28. Being too ashamed to ask what's on the store play.


...but desperately needing to know.

29. Buying the LP, which sounded better AND was cheaper, then recording it onto a cassette to listen to in the car.

Only a chump pays extra for the actual cassette.

30. The cassette was only $8, and the CD was $13.

At those prices, you could afford TWO cassettes.

31. Sometimes your only option was to go to the FYE in the mall.


It's clear now, in no uncertain terms, that FYE is directly responsible for the entire world suddenly deciding that we can't have record stores anymore.

32. Getting upset when your favorite band moved to a major label.

Ugh. I can't believe those sellouts are trying to make money doing their jobs.

33. Going to a concert without staring out over a sea of cell phones.

Flickr: 30815420@N00 / Creative Commons

Cool, that terrible cell phone footage you took is going to look and sound great when you show it to literally nobody ever.

34. Carefully balancing your Discman, at just the right angle, so that it doesn't skip.


Unless you had G-Shock skip protection, moneybags.

35. And this.