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Seven Things for Which I'm Musically Thankful

Pick out a few you're thankful for.
Pick out a few you're thankful for.
Jeffrey Smith

I haven't had to work on Thanksgiving for a long time. But I had a column to write, with a Friday deadline, so work I must. I know it seems obvious (because it is obvious), but if I was going to be writing on Thanksgiving, I truly thought it would be wrong of me not to be thankful in my column.

No problem, my friends. When it comes to music, giving thanks is not hard to do.

See also: - Record Store Geek: 11 Albums to Help You Explore the Blues. - Guilty Pleasure TV: Steve Wiley's Defense of Ancient Aliens

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.

Music is kind of a big deal to me. A huge part of my life.

If you've read anything else I've written on Up on the Sun -- or if you know me personally -- you know this.

If you are sitting here reading a music blog, chances are you feel the same way.

So on this Thanksgiving weekend, I'd like to take the opportunity to give you Seven Things for Which I'm Musically Grateful.

1. I'm thankful that I can hear the music.

I have to credit my wife, who's a lot smarter than me, with this one. She threw it at me when I told her my potential topic this morning.

"You should mention how great it is that you can hear."

How simple, how obvious, and how easy it is to overlook. Of course, I'm thankful I can hear -- but I honestly, I haven't said it out loud (or in my head) lately. So I'll say it now. It's great to have functioning ears so that I can enjoy music every single day of my life. I can't imagine what it would be like to be without it.

2. I'm thankful that I've been able to spend my whole adult life in the music industry.

I remember getting out of high school and having people ask me what I wanted to do. It made me nuts because I didn't have any specific idea.

So I'd say something like, "I'd like to do something with music."

I had no idea what that something might be, but for sure I didn't mean I'd like to work retail. However, life decided to work it out as it did, and that's where I ended up. Turns out that selling music is a big part of the music industry -- so I ended up doing just that.

I've been able to meet rock stars, go to a truckload of special music events, and work with a product that I truly believe in to the depths of my heart.

Plus, my retail career has led me down many other musical avenues -- including writing for this music blog.

3. I'm thankful that I get to bullshit, er, write about music every week.

Although writing this column is work, in the sense that I have a commitment (and I get paid), I've had a lot worse jobs.

Here's how I think about it: How cool is it that I get to do a little random babbling about my opinion about music?

That's what I'd do if we were in my store. That's what I'd do if we sat at a bar together (it's not all I'd talk about, but the topic would come up, I assure you). It's what I'd do if you were in my car.

 

4. I'm thankful for the digital revolution.

Did the digital music revolution change my life? Threaten my livelihood?

Of course.

So you might expect me to be some kind of a throwback in this regard.

But how can you not love a 160GB iPod? Hundreds of songs on your phone? Endless amounts of awesome performance footage on YouTube? Instant access to almost any album you could want on Spotify?

You gotta love it. Even if you are a Record Store Geek.

So I roll with the changes and enjoy the digital ride.

5. I'm thankful that you are reading this.

If you weren't reading this, I assume I wouldn't get to do it.

I honestly have no idea how many people read the columns (I don't get a stat sheet or anything), but I'd like to personally thank each and every one of you.

6. I'm thankful I invested money in my music collection.

Even though I do enjoy the digital ride, I still prefer listening to CDs and LPs whenever I can. And I like owning my music, which to me means I have to be able to hold it in my hand. Over the years, I've spent a lot of money on my music collection. I've always considered it an investment for my soul.

It's been a great investment.

And, as it turns out, the investment has been a good one in general. As the music world gets more digital, more and more albums (CDs and LPs) are going out of print, and consequently, up in value. I'm not moving into an upper tax bracket or anything, but it's better than I expected.

Which is great. Not that I'd ever sell anything.

7. I'm thankful I went to so many concerts in my 20s and 30s.

I say this mainly because I just don't have the oomph to get out and go to bunch now that I'm in my 40s. Or maybe I do have the oomph, but I just like hanging out in our little pad with my family more.

Either way, I don't go to that many shows.

Luckily, I took in hundreds of shows back when I was a pup. They really do provide me with some great memories to go with my collection.

A Happy Music Holiday to All

That's just a few of my musical things. There's a whole plethora of non-musical things as well.

Hopefully the same goes for you.

And your holiday season is full of both.

Steve Wiley is Up on the Sun's resident Record Store Geek and Jackalope Ranch's Parent Hood.


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