Monday, July 7, 2014

Charity Shopping with Twitter

I'm embarrassingly new to the smartphone game - less than a month ago, I was still using the hyper-outdated LG phone that I inherited from Sarah when she first graduated to smartphones.

However, I'm pleased to report that I have now joined the 21st century and got myself an iPhone. I'm still kind of awed by all the stuff it lets me do; I can check Facebook, play Risk, and even write these blogs on the go. Like the N64 owned by your far cooler friend in primary school, this is the kind of technology that has always seemed to belong to other people, but now I've got it in my pocket as well and I couldn't be more thrilled.

And yesterday, I discovered yet another great way to use my new phone. I was in my local Tenovus shop, flicking through the CD rack, when I came across an Electrelane album. Now, I was faintly aware the Electrelane were quite good, but this half-formed opinion was mainly based on the fact that they're namechecked alongside Karen O and Sleater-Kinney in Heard About Your Band by Brakes.

Whatever, dude!

While a younger, more spontaneous me would have bought The Power Out on the spot with no questions asked, I decided that I didn't want to spend a pound on a CD about which I knew next to nothing. What if this was an album from Electrelane's universally reviled cod-funk period? Or, more likely, an also-ran from the very beginning or the very end of the band's career?

Clearly, buying the album blind was a big risk. But rather than simply walking away, I did something far cooler: I pulled out my iPhone, and I did a tweet.

Furthermore, this gambit worked - I was still on Albany Road when I received the following replies from @BenLikesMusic:

So I bought the album (thereby contributing a pound to the fight against cancer - charity shopping doesn't half make you feel smug) and, sure enough, it's really rather good. Electrelane have a great motorik sound going on, and these 11 tracks were definitely worth the quid I paid for them. As Ben pointed out, The Valleys and Oh Sombra! are very good tracks, but my early favourite is actually Only One Thing is Needed, the album's penultimate song:

Now, some of you will be thinking that I should have just bought the album without a second thought - after all, it was only £1, and even if it had been awful, that would have been £1 to a worthy cause, right?

Well, yes, but I have *a lot* of CDs in my house now, and I can't afford to waste precious space on rubbish albums. As I mentioned earlier, I was a lot looser with my cash back in the day, and that's largely because I still had a lot of CD rack left to fill.

Having said that, I did also buy three albums from Spillers yesterday, so perhaps I'm not all that worried about space.

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