Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Goo Goo Dolls: An unexpected journey there and back again
Apparently CDs are getting harder and harder to track down these days.
               My journey to purchase “Magnetic,” the tenth studio album from my beloved Goo Goo Dolls, took me through three stores (!).
               Admittedly, the first stop in my travels is mostly known as a book store and the second was Target, which can be a crap shoot, but still. Three!
               I realize the cool kids today are all getting their entertainment via the internet, but come on. Is there so little love for a guy looking for music from a classic 90’s band on a classic 90’s format?
               I’m a browser too, by nature, so shopping with me can be a bit of an ordeal. I’m not one of these get in and get the hell out male shoppers. I like to look around. Peruse the shelves.
               See, it’s all about the thrill of the hunt. Sure, I could just ask an employee if they have a certain product, but where’s the fun in that? I’ve got to look around, try to track it down myself. Corner it and stab it in the heart with a spear, sling it over my shoulder and carry it to the counter. Just like our forefathers shopped.

               Only after I’ve exhausted every possible avenue will I ask for help. I guess in that way, I’m more like the average male driver than shopper.
               I’m not much of a social creature either, so I guess that factors in to my disinterest in asking for help finding something.
               Anyway, after the vaguely female looking cashier named Luke informed me it was sold out at Barnes and Noble, I found myself in Target.
               And it was in Target that I got full-on “Miracle on 34th Street’d.” Like hard core.
               Once again after browsing futilely for entirely too long, I asked for help. Target of course, didn’t have it, but they did have it on their website. Or, as the store clerk helpfully pointed out, I could hop across the parking lot to Best Buy, who would almost certainly have the product I was looking for.
                Or if that didn’t work, I could simply drive to the nearest mall, which was only a few minutes away and get it there.
                The helpful son of a gun sent me to not one but TWO of his store’s fiercest competitors! I was amazed. If I had the time to track down Mr. Target, I would have given him a firm handshake and congratulated him on having such a noble employee.
                It was sometime around this point that I wondered to myself: “Maybe no one cares about The Goo Goo Dolls anymore.”
                Now granted, I’m a guy who is perpetually and usually willingly behind the times. And not in the cool, retro way, either.
                Still would have made me sad if the world had moved on from them to the extent where stores couldn’t even clear off a little shelf space for them. This would have been especially painful considering the untimely demise of another of my favorite bands, My Chemical Romance, a few short months ago.
                But no, the CD was there. I was finally able to complete my purchase and just last night I postedmy first impressions of it.     
                So the natural question after a journey so epic I should have been accompanied by a few hobbits and split it into at least three parts is: Was it worth it?
               Absolutely. The Goo Goo Dolls have been at or near the top of the list of my favorite bands since 1997’s “Dizzy Up the Girl.” For a band of this personal significance, no mere digital copy will suffice.
               I have to have the satisfaction of struggling with the excessive packaging, scanning the liner notes and actually physically holding the disc in my hands.
                After all, how good can an album really be if you don’t spend twenty minutes scratching off the remains of that annoying sticker the manufacturer puts across the top of the case?
                Not bloody good at all, is the answer. After all, getting there is half the fun, right? Or is it just me?

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