Monday, July 30, 2007

Land of the Library

A few years ago, when I really started to get into Dylan, The Band, The Beatles and other similar bands, the main source of my music came from the library. And even now, it does too. In fact, right next to me on my desk are copies of Bo Diddley's Tales from the Funk Dimension, Wilco's Kicking Television, David Bowie's Pinups and John Barleycorn Must Die by Traffic--all from the New York Public Library system.

Downloading music from iTunes has never had much interest for me because it'd be become too expensive rather quickly. I don't really download from other sources much also (although I have, especially in the case of Dylan) because, even if only for a week, I prefer having the actual CD case, linear notes and album in my hand. An album cover gives you a picture of the album that you'll still see when listening to it (I mean, is it possible to listen to Rubber Soul or Born to Run without seeing their respective photographs) and without that experience, the musical experience is slightly reduced.

At my library back home in Selkirk, NY, all of the librarians know me by name because of the massive amount of items I took out pre-college. During one memorable visit, I had 40 plus items waiting for me: movies, books but mostly CDs. To this day, if the Kurp account perks up, they'll know I'm home for a week or two.

It's weird to think that without the library, I might never have heard Louis Jordan, Blind Willie McTell, Modern Lovers, most of Zappa's catalogue, Memphis Minnie, Joy Division, The Mountain Goats and may never have read some of my favorite novels, including War and Peace and Portnoy's Complaint.

So, whether the nice, humble women of the Ravena Library or the rude, underpaid ones of Muhlenberg and Donnell, I wish to thank them all for the wonderful stockpile of music they've given me over the years.


Judy said...

Thaks for the good words, which S. Kurp forwarded to us. And I, one of your Ravena librarians, would not know the music of Irma Thomas or Jonny Lang or the work of many novelists without the public library collections.

Am reading Flowers in the Dustbin: Rock and Roll, 1947-1977, by James Miller. It weaves pivotal music and cultural moments together through anecdotal essays. I recommend it!

plumnbagel said...

Right on! This post is awesome not only for lauding invaluable libraries, but also for the part about how a CD can make something as ethereal as music into something tangible. Thanks!