[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]
Last weekend, I spent a couple of hours at the semi-annual Downtown Record Show in Toronto. I brought along my usual amount of gambling money, $200, and started digging through the crates and boxes looking for … I don’t know, really. Treasure? Something I didn’t know I needed? A lost record from my youth?
After two hours, I gave up, discouraged. I’d bought two things: a Nick Drake compilation (I’m really trying to up my game when it comes to British folk of the 1970s) and a six-CD set of jazz recordings compiled by the Smithsonian (another weak spot for me). Nothing else I saw really sparked any kind of joy.
Maybe I have too many records already (about 7,000, if you must ask). Maybe the thrill of the chase has worn off. Or maybe I just need some new goals when it comes to collecting. Rather than looking for the same-old, same-old, perhaps I should start searching for more weird and extreme stuff.
I’m not talking about another whacko Leonard Nimoy album (he recorded more than a few like The Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy or Japanese ultra-noise from Merzbow. (You can hear a sample of Merzbow on YouTube, and no, nothing is wrong with your device.) No, I mean something extremely specialized, very rare, and highly personal. Let’s call them “DNA records.”
Here’s where it gets weird. Keep reading.