July 20, 2005

Letting go


"This or any other procedure is merely a dam against the spring tide of memories which surges toward any collector as he contemplates his possessions. Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories. More than that: the chance, the fate, that suffuse the past before my eyes are conspicuously present in the accustomed confusion of these books. For what else is this collection but a disorder to which habit has accommodated itself to such an extent that it can appear as order? You have all heard of people whom the loss of their books has turned into invalids, or of those who in order to acquire them became criminals. These are the very areas in which any order is a balancing act of extreme precariousness." —Walter Benjamin, "Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting"

I dynamited my dam yesterday. Anyone interested in a partial glimpse into the habituated disorder of some 20 years of my life may find traces of it — 3000 some such traces, in fact — creeping into the shelves of San Francisco's Amoeba records in the next few weeks. You might expect me to mourn, but I feel strangely invigorated. It's refreshing, releasing all those little beasties back into the wild.

Posted by philip at July 20, 2005 02:44 PM

The Misfits? Fuckin'A!!!

Posted by: at July 20, 2005 05:37 PM

Actually, I ended up keeping that one. Purely for investment purposes, of course.

Posted by: philip at July 20, 2005 05:38 PM

A Yars Revenge 12"? That's bizarre. What is that one?

Posted by: Tim at July 20, 2005 08:10 PM

i wondered if anyone would notice that! congratulations. it was some sort of soundtrack to the video game. unfortunately, REALLY bad. not even sample potential, as far as i could see. anyway, amoeba has it now.

Posted by: philip at July 20, 2005 08:15 PM

Hope you didn't sell that 'Dummy', bet you don't want enemies this side of the Atlantic...

Posted by: javier at July 20, 2005 10:32 PM

nope, everything on the shelves stayed with me. (and believe me, there are at least as many records as i sold still on the various shelves in this house.) so portishead and born against, pictured right above it, are both still here - and not just because they (sort of) rhyme.

Posted by: philip at July 20, 2005 10:48 PM

For god's sake, man, post a list or something (not here obvs, but maybe in the downloads section?). Just the thought of all that promotional vinyl is making me drool like a mental patient. The idea of letting it molder away in some record shop in SF is more than I can bear. I, along with many others I'm sure, would love to be able to say, "This record? This record came from the collection of Philip (not Phil) Sherburne! ... He's a writer. For XLR8R, Slate, and Pitchfork. ... They're music magazines. Yes, I expect he has written for Rolling Stone."

Well, I'd be proud anyway.

Posted by: John at July 21, 2005 04:26 AM

three words to that last poster: get a life!

Posted by: erik at July 21, 2005 08:07 AM

How pithy. Tell me, erik, do you often post inane comments-on-comments? Do you find it amusing to insult people you don't know?

You'll be thanking me if he posts that list, er[d]i[c]k.

Crap, now I've done it, too!

Posted by: John at July 21, 2005 08:24 AM

sorry, no list - half the records i sold i didn't even know existed, much less that i owned them. and i never got much promotional vinyl anyway; most of this was just the detritus of a long spell of collecting. impulse buys and completists' tics...

Posted by: philip at July 21, 2005 10:35 AM

Weird...many an hour was wasted playing Yar's Revenge when I was, oh, 7 years old. I don't remember any soundtrack at all, just a constant vaguely unpleasant slowly pulsating hum, so I'm sort of curious to hear what would have been on it. Though, admittedly, probably not enough to dig through Amoeba to find it and pay money for it ;)

Congratulations...reducing the clutter and the burden is always a good thing. Plus that's X$ that you now have to...spend on more music, perhaps?

Posted by: Tim at July 25, 2005 10:29 PM

That Yar's Revenge song ("Fly, Yar Warriors") is quite strange. Kinda poppy with some electronic (vocoder) touches to make it all "video gamey". IIRC, there is also a song about Missile Command on the same disc. I have mp3s, if anyone is interested.
(Unless what I have is completely unrelated to that 12". That is a distinct possibility.)

Posted by: Phill at July 27, 2005 02:31 AM

I would've kept the Born Against as well.

Posted by: Johnny at August 16, 2005 03:03 PM

Hey, nice piece in the Wire about yr vinyl sell-off, btw.

Posted by: kek-w at August 25, 2005 11:47 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?