[Staff Musings] Amoeba Music and Why Physical Copies Still Matter

“I always tell the girls never take it seriously, if you never take it seriously you never get hurt, if you never get hurt you always have fun, and if you ever get lonely just go to the record store and visit your friends.” -Penny Lane, Almost Famous

As a self-proclaimed music junkie, I consider myself pretty lucky to live in such close proximity to Amoeba Music in Los Angeles, CA. I have spent countless Friday nights walking the aisles of Amoeba – browsing the music of my favorite artists as well as discovering new artists – but if I’m being honest, my addiction to Amoeba didn’t start until I started college a few years ago and found friends that shared my undying love for music that didn’t come in the form of an iTunes download.

And if you ever get lonely, you just go to the record store and visit your friends.

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Although I didn’t start frequenting Amoeba until a few years ago, music has always been an integral part of my life and every time I walk through the doors of Amoeba I feel like I’m at home. There’s nothing more comforting than being surrounded by an endless selection of music and finding an album that suits every mood. Some of my closest friendships have grown from nights spend browsing the endless selections at Amoeba and talking about the memories connected to the albums we pick up.

While I don’t see anything wrong with purchasing and listening to music in digital format – I listen to music on Spotify every day and my iTunes account is overflowing – I have always felt that there is something special about being able to hold a physical copy of my favorite album. Buying a physical copy of music is an experience. One of the most exciting things, in my opinion, is opening a new CD for the first time and putting it in the CD player – whether it’s the Barbie CD player I had when I was 7 or the built-in player in my car.

One of my favorite things about having the physical copy of an album is the album booklet. There is nothing better than flipping through the album artwork, reading along with the lyrics (and realizing that you’ve been singing them wrong) and reading the artists’ thank you’s while you listen to an album. Reading along with the lyrics while an album blasts through the speakers feels like you’re being told a story by the artists, and seeing the artwork that accompanies an album can help you better understand what the album is really about.

I support people connecting to music in whatever way they can, regardless of what form it’s in, but I will always gravitate towards CDs and vinyl. The notion of having something tangible that I can hold onto forever will never lose its appeal.

Amoeba has three locations located throughout California and each location has some exciting stuff in store for Record Store Day, so I highly suggest checking them out if you’re able to make your way out to Hollywood, Berkeley or San Francisco!

Morgan Griffin-McNair

Morgan Griffin-McNair

Morgan is a music enthusiast and avid concert goer. When she's not looking for new music to listen to or hanging out at a show she can usually be found practicing photography or exploring new places.