Hello and welcome once more to yet another edition of my blog series, Get (Into) What You Paid For; a series in which I blog about music and media I own, to distract myself from the fact that I am sworn off buying anything new for a month (or in this case, three months).
Its day 90, so that means I’ve made it an entire three months without buying any cds, dvds, comic books or videogames. The man who started this blog four years ago could never have gone this long without consumerism. I’m pretty sure back when I worked my old job in 2010, I probably bought on average about two cds a week for the entire year at a minimum.
I’ve been trying to avoid spending anything these last three months but there’s been severe temptation, I just got into Manowar right before the challenge started, and boy-oh-boy do I want some more Manowar albums. I’ve also been really tempted to check out Blind Guardian… I’ve been listening to so much Power Metal over the last two years from the limited sources of only Helloween, Gamma Ray, Stratovarius, Hammerfall, Sabaton, Dragonforce (and now Manowar)… and it seems like a pretty obvious omission to leave out Blind Guardian. Its like listening to Thrash and not listening to Slayer.
You know what else, Accept… Russian Roulette and Breaker. I’ve been really heavily listening to Restless & Wild, Balls To The Wall and Metal Heart… its time to expand my Accept repertoire. I’ve got lots of Maiden, Priest and Saxon to listen to but only three Accept albums.
What else? Slipknot released a new album… I’ve been re-playing their back catalogue a heck of a lot this month to get in the mood. I’ve been getting reacquainted with the bonus tracks like “Scream,” “Don’t Get Close,” and “Snap” again, as well as the four main albums. I forgot how damn good Iowa is, especially deep tracks like “The Shape” and “Skin Ticket.”
What I really forgot though is how good Vol. 3 is. These days I tend to think of Vol. 3 as just “Before I Forget,” “Duality,” and “Vermillion Parts 1&2” and forget all the interesting stuff like “Virus Of Life” and “Opium Of The People.” There’s some seriously interesting music on there. Not that the hits are uninteresting, just… overplayed. To top it all off, I’ve also broke out 9.0 Live, the disappointing Live album that I never feel like I’ve listened to enough times.
I’ve also been really tempted to buy several comic books… My good buddy Paul introduced me to Ultimate Spiderman Volume 1, and the subsequent volumes have been screaming my name ever since. Also, Batman Zero Year part 2 has been released in the time I was under the challenge… how did I not buy that?
To avoid buying new comics, I’ve re-read Hush, Hush Returns, Heart Of Hush, Hush Money and House Of Hush. (Which range from awful to brilliant). I really like Paul Dini’s spin on Batman. That makes me want to buy more Dini Batman comics though… it’s a terrible trap. Now I want to buy Streets Of Gotham Leviathan. Maybe I’ll learn more about the character “Abuse.”
I also re-read Arkham Reborn, which is absolutely fantastic. I really, really recommend that book to people who want to read Batman. It’s a stand-alone story that you don’t need to have read anything else to enjoy on one level, and a tie-in to Battle For The Cowl on another level. Its art is superb, the tone and pacing are good, and its not just the usual “high stakes problem gets solved in the nick of time” stuff.
Its not all been fun though, I re-read Dark Knight Vs White Knight… that one… that one is a stinker in my opinion. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
To top it all off, I read the Batman Vampire trilogy, a gift from my good friend Paul. It was very entertaining. I don’t know if I would call them good books, but they were very entertaining.
I’ve been looking back at older purchases all month to try and avoid making new purchases. Some of this stuff dates back to my earliest days of music fandom, some of if is a few years old, and some of it is a few months old. Some of this stuff I haven’t listened to in yonks.
Some of this stuff, man, I just never feel like I’ve listened to it enough. Made In Japan for example… I got it for my birthday in 2009 and I just never ever felt like I listened to it.
Some of them, like Periphery 2 and Trivium’s Ascendency, I listened to them a heck of a lot all in once but then really haven’t listened to as much recently.
Some of it just got lost amongst the better albums by the same band, like Saxon’s debut, WASP’s Headless Children and Dio’s Dream Evil. Heck, this month I even listened to Green Day’s Dookie again… when I was 11 years old, that was a daily requirement. For the past decade though, its been a once-a-year sort of thing.
I have to say, even though I’ve not enjoyed the not buying things I want at whim aspect just because I’m a spoiled westerner… these three months have been really entertaining. Its pretty nice to break out stuff I haven’t been listening to again. I mean, I buy all this stuff because I like it and want it, but then you pile so much up that it becomes impossible to keep up with all of it. Its nice to not be so focused on the NEWNEWNEW mindset and just enjoy what made you like it all in the first place. I don’t listen to Slipknot’s debut nearly enough. I don’t listen to Iron Maiden or Pantera nearly enough. I don’t re-read Batman books nearly enough. Its nice to just soak in the good stuff, y’know?