There was a point in time where my CD collection was a thing of pride & joy. I displayed the shiny jewel cases in wooden racks that were placed all around the living room of my apartment. I would run my finger over the alphabetical by artist and then chronological within artist collect and find what I wanted to hear. A stack of favorite discs could be found on my desk near my computer.
But then Napster, Audio Galaxy, and iPods happened. And I jumped on the digital music bandwagon as soon as possible. I had no romantic notions about listening to music on CD. My records and record player didn’t survive my college moves, and CDs never felt very romantic.
This is why a majority of my CD collection lives in a large Amazon box located on the floor of my kitchen. The box is covered with dust, cat hair, and the various crap that falls off my shoes when I fling them off the moment I walk into Supergenius HQ. The bin from my icemaker lives on top of the box, so does the box from the Kitchen Aid Mixer I got for Christmas. So does a dustbuster. And that swingy lid thing from the garbage can.
Not all my CDs are housed in that box. Because I am a sentimental old fool my absolute favorites are kept on the bottom shelf of my Grandpa St. Martin’s bookcase. There you’ll find the entire catalog of Paul Westerberg and The Replacements; Wilco discs from A.M. to maybe Yankee Hotel Foxtrot? Perhaps even Ghost is Born. Liz Phair, obviously, and Matthew Sweet. I think all the Local Current comps are in there too. I can’t remember it’s been a long time since I dug around in the bottom shelf of that bookcase.
My CD collection is a perfectly preserved time capsule of a 90s alternagirl with a penchant for Bob Dylan and Tom Waits and a distinct dislike for sweeping and dusting.
Occasionally I have to dig around in that box in search of something I swear I owned but is not in there (today it was Sleater-Kinney’s “Dig Me Out”), and I can’t remember if it’s not in there because I gave it away or if I just never actually owned it. The memories of 90s alternagirls aren’t what they used to be, but damn I have distinct memories of that cover in my house.