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Went to Amoeba Records on Haight Street with a local friend last night. Wow. It was pretty cool on lots of levels. I mean, just the shear number of artists was impressive. But it was also fun to flip through the used Pet Shop Boys section and realize that I’ve managed to collect most of the rare releases (Very/Relentless) and limited editions (the lego case for Very — not exactly limited, but a complete relic of a more interesting time in music packaging) over the years. I picked up three items — two used, one new:

  • “The Creek Drank The Cradle”, Iron & Wine (new)
  • “30° everywhere”, Promise Ring (used)
  • “Hopes and Dreams”, Keane

I bought the Promise Ring disc mostly for completeness — it’s been on my wishlist for months. My friend was playing Keane in the car; I guess it as Travis, and he commented “well, close; they’re the new Travis”. Sort of, although perhaps more consistently bright. Overall very very good. And then the Iron & Wine disc, well, it was a total impulse. I’ve been really digging his joint EP with Calexico, “In The Reins”, so decided to take a chance. Listening to the soft, lilting sounds now, what an amazing album.

G gave me guitar lessons for Christmas. Its a long story, but I was already excited, and listening to the stripped down, spare guitar and vocals of Iron & Wine raises the expectations. My first lesson is the Monday after I return from San Francisco, January 9.

Finally, I’m listening to all of this amazing music using Banshee , a music management application for Gnome. I hadn’t used it much before this, but since I can’t sync my iPod with my laptop (it’s tied to my iMac right now), this was a good excuse to try it out. And I really, really like it. It has iPod support so maybe I’ll try to move my music over and sync to Linux. That’d be cool. And since I really like it, maybe this is finally an excuse to look at C# and see what all the fuss is about.

But really, who cares what the fuss is about when you have music like this?