A few weeks ago my wife was watching an episode of Community and one of the characters said something that kind of made me feel old, but mostly made me realize that technology has created a gap in my vocabulary. Here’s the line:
Jeff: How old is he again?
Annie: 30-something I guess. He has a land-line and uses the word album.
So, in addition to the fact that we still have a land line — though we probably wouldn’t if our building’s intercom didn’t require one — I noticed they categorized the use of the word ‘album’ as something 30-somethings say because they haven’t adapted to the iPod generation yet and still think of music as LPs. Which I found odd. Maybe some people do that, but that’s not why I say it.
Yes, I say album.
Assuming that the writers assumed It’s not that I grew up using records. My dad did, and my brother had a few, but I started with tapes, then went to CDs, then ditched CDs for MP3s. Probably earlier than most people, actually. But I did always refer to collections of music by the media in which they were distributed…a new Van Halen tape or a new Soundgarden CD.
Yes, I listened to Van Halen.
Anyway, I stopped equating collections of music to the distribution medium once I stopped buying CDs six years ago. Without a physical medium to refer to when a band released a new collection of music, I couldn’t think of a better alternative than to call them albums. What else was I supposed to call them?
And it’s not as if the concept of releasing/purchasing music in batches went away…music is still released to physical and online stores in named collections, awards are still given for ‘best album’, and so on.
So, I’ll continue to refer to new musical releases as albums, until the day when record labels (yeah, uh…why do we still call them that?) let bands release songs one at a time as they feel like it, and the whole silly setup starts to make sense, and the anachronism dies. Like photo albums.
And yes, I used to have photo albums.