Searching for a pre-internet relationship with music

*** This post is an unpolished wip, where I might double back to add more notes/thoughts upon further reflection and/or research.

I've been wanting to break up with Spotify for a long time. But it's hard. Same way, it's hard detangling myself from all the other evil giants out there. A monumental task that takes effort, patience, research, and follow-through.

In my quest to find a better-streaming alternative to Spotify, I've concluded that there are all one and the same. Some may pay the artists better than the others (Napster wins this...which I didn't even know was still around??), but only by a slight margin.

What kind of bourgeois gibberish is it that it's our fault that musicians aren't paid well, and it has now become our responsibility to seek out "ethical" streaming services? Thx Capitalism ::sigh::

I guess the only true way to support your fav artists is to go to their live shows and buy their merch. But it doesn't solve my how do I listen to music dilemma.

Streaming services are so easy. Too easy. When I listen to Spotify, I pick one-off songs from an artist here and there and then quickly flit to another artist and do the same. Apart from listening to a full Tegan and Sara album a few weeks ago...I don't remember the last time I listened to an entire album on Spotify.

But there's something special about pulling out an album and listening to it in its entirety, from beginning to end. An album is a story that the artist meticulously strung together for us to discover and enjoy. A melodic ride. And by skipping from one artist's song to the next, I feel like I'm robbing myself of that experience.

After my dad passed away, I inherited his vast vinyl collection. Records hold such a visceral experience. Sliding them out from the shelf, soaking up the artwork, and smelling those old sleeves provide the tactile pleasure of analog warmth.

But owning this collection bears the weight of commitment. The commitment to providing new space, caring for them, and lugging them around each time I move. Maybe I'll have to pare them down to a select few.

What if vinyl and tapes could co-exist with some type of streaming service? So far, in my research, Bandcamp seems to be the champion, as I can buy albums straight from the artist. But then how would I search out new music (Spotify was the best for this, I won't lie). Recs from friends? Going to my local record shop? Bandcamp editorial?

What about online radio like NTS? Can you believe I don't have a radio??? I need to go to Value Village or any second-hand store and see if I can find one, and maybe a tape deck too...fun:)

Changing my music listening habits will likely be a slow process, perhaps an uncomfortable one?, but that's ok. It's all a wip.