I’m sitting here at my desk, writing this post while ripping a copy Andrew Bird’s recent collection of Christmas and holiday-inspired songs, Hark!, at 320kbs. It’s January 4, 2021. I received the disc in the mail on Saturday.1
Bird had previously released some of these songs on an EP of the same name. I didn’t buy the EP, so I was excited to get the long player. Initially, he released the LP only on Vinyl and Digital Download. I don’t have or want a record player. I listen to MP3s on my phone only because Apple no longer makes iPods. Rather than buy low-rez files from SoundCloud, I prefer to rip a compact disk myself. I buy CDs. I like CDs. I am, after all, a middle aged white man. I’m saddened that another middle-aged white men, like Andrew Bird, no longer see me in the market and didn’t initially released the album on CD.
So it goes.
Rather than get it Amazon Prime-d, I preordered the CD right from the record label. The CD was issued on December 11. It was put in the mail December 11, at a post office just outside of Chicago. It didn’t move from that post office until the 22nd. It didn’t even arrive in the the great state of Maryland until the 28th.
I’m sure it’ll play just as well in 2021.
Speaking of CDs…What seems like decades ago, SHE and I watched the third season of The Crown, following a revisit with the second, as prelude to the fourth. We had abandoned the show after one episode of the second season and only came back to it because either we watched literally everything else or it was the only thing we could agree on.
There’s a scene with Princess Anne, played by actress Erin Doherty. She’s driving in the rain and singing along to David Bowie on the radio. The song is Starman.
Starman waiting in the skyDavid Bowie’s Starman
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
‘Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie
You see the power is out out all over London, and Buckingham is in total darkness. Anne arrives at the palace and is lead through gets to the palace and Anne is lead through hallways lit by 10000 candles, while humming the la, la, la, la-la, la part over and over
Wait, you can just watch for yourself:
To keep myself from freaking the fuck out every twenty minutes, I let me brain go on walkabouts. During one brief trip, that melody snuck and stuck for days. Sometimes, in quiet moments, I will shout out “Let all the children boo-gay.”
And then I thought: why can’t all the children boo-gay? Right: Pandemic. I guess my kid’s only DJ Krew is on temporary hold: streaming music over the Internet to a room full of dancing 6 year old ravers is still something that record companies and publishers frown upon, even during a global health crisis.
The Google machine brought me to the website for a compilation CD, Let All the Children Boogie. It’s a collection of all-ages-approved David Bowie covers, with proceeds going to the It Gets Better Project. Of course, I bought a physical CD. From Amazon, unfortunately.
And it’s a good comp, and, thankfully the covers aren’t faithful recreations of Bowie songs. Folk-y and/or countrified “alternative,” as it might be programmed on the satellite radio, they’re a good introduction to his songwriting for kids (and their parents) who aren’t quite ready for the real thing. Unlike so much during 2020, the disc was a good surprise.
- Since my days as a secretary I’ve loved the U.S. Post Office. It’s rules and exceptional basic competence. Performing a largely thankless (and often maligned) task well and inexpensively. I hate the damage that Trump and his cult have done to it – explicitly and with purpose – over the last four hears. I hate the Democrats and Republicans who, since the Clinton administration, have taken concrete steps to weaken the Post Office enough that it has shattered under the stress of COVID. ↩