I finally stopped by my post office box yesterday to pick up the mail that has accumulated over several days. Normally, I cruise by on my way to or from the day job and things don't pile up. Life, however, has been a bit abnormal lately, so I haven't been able to get in there, and it just hasn't seemed that pressing. After all, in the era of online socializing, I rarely get any personal mail, so that's not a motivator. Most of my bills come to me via email, so I don't need to worry about those. I occasionally get a new movie from Netflix or a check from a freelance client, but those aren't enough to excite me. Tonight, however, when I opened up my post office box, I saw the things that energize and enliven me: CDs.
When I get new CDs - whether in the mail or digitally delivered - I feel like a kid on Christmas. I can't wait to tear into the padded envelope, take a perfunctory glance through the press release and take my first listen. In a lot of ways, I have the same response to a new bottle of cheap shampoo or shower gel. Today's CDs - one from a singer-songwriter and the other by a deceased 16-year-old Brazilian boy - are enough to jump up and down about. But, as I got home was slipping the discs into my MacBook, the thing that was really making me salivate was the album from a local musician that was slowly downloading to my computer.
I won't reveal yet what that album is yet because it'll be a while before it's released, and I'll be writing a review of it for this paper. I will say, however, that I was surprised by the eager anticipation I felt as I waited for the five-song EP to finish its trip through the wires. It was the feeling I used to get as a small child when I'd walk into the living room on Christmas morning and see all those wrapped packages, full of potential to bring joy, fun and possible injury. Watching the download progress, I felt like I was examining the wrapping paper, reading the gift tag and maybe even shaking the box in hopes of somehow divining its contents. My imagination ran wild as I anticipated just how great this album would be.
Of course, as with any surprise, there is just as much likelihood that it will delight as disappoint. I don't know yet how good that record is. I know that it might not stand up to my expectations. Even so, a great deal of the joy is in the anticipation. I can't wait to unwrap it. --Eryc Eyl