Have any of you had that defining moment in your life when you say to yourself "man, I'm getting old." Join the club. This sad fact was revealed to me in the oddest of places - the overpriced CD store known as FYE.
Over the past year or so, I've been having a very tough time tracking down new releases. Now, if I want that new Beyonce album, there are a ton of options - Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Circuit City (before most of 'em got shut down by The Man), Leroy at the barbershop. But what's a brother to do when he wants to cop a lesser-known artist?
I've been having this trouble for the past couple years now. Ask a 17-year-old in Best Buy if the new AZ album is out and they'll think you're reciting the alphabet.
I can understand a young'n not recognizing AZ. The guy's last major hit was like back in '97. They were still showing new episodes of "Living Single" back then. But I've had similar trouble with much more recent artists. Last year, Lil' Mo, one of my favorites, released her third album, yet the sales clerks had no idea who she was. True, she's no Rihanna (and thank the Lord for that) but her last album was released just 3 years or so before her latest effort. It's not like I was trying to cop Skee-Low's Greatest Hits.
I had similar trouble finding Robin Thicke's second album, Lil Kim's latest, Keith Sweat's live album, Ani DiFranco for the wifey and tons more - all artists who release material relatively frequently. Have they been forgotten that quickly? Or am I that out of touch?
Maybe it's the latter. The kids in my church youth group chide me for listening to "old man rap." And by "old man" I don't mean Kurtis Blow, or even Rakim (and I love me some Rakim). They consider Jay-Z "old man rap." Jay-Z! Isn't he still current? Isn't he the guy Lil Wayne, T.I. and those other little weirdos are aspiring to be? I'll never forget when one boy told me that his mom really liked the American Gangster album. The woman is more than 10 years older than me!
Back to my FYE story. After driving all over the city in search of that Deborah Cox album I recently reviewed, I went to my final destination when hunting elusive CDs - FYE. They almost always have 'em, but good lord their stuff is overpriced. Who's going to pay $22.99 for a raggedy Al Jarreau album?
Anyway the sales clerk had NO IDEA who Deborah was, or if they'd ever get the album in. I guess that was good thing since I'd probably have to pay $25.99 for it anyway.
At the end of the day, I just downloaded it from iTunes. I guess I could have just done that in the first place, but an old man like me prefers real CDs, dagnabbit.
Have you had any trouble finding your favorite artists? Are retailers justified in focusing solely on mainstream musicians these days?