Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Road Atlas Journey

So, the entire year I've been meaning to stock up on Calexico music.  I'd managed to cop most of their studio albums and EPs throughout the year.  The problem was that Calexico also had a series of "tour albums" self released joints that they sold at live shows.

As December approached it looked like I was going to strike out on my mission to collect Calexico.  And then I found out about Road Atlas.

On Black Friday I was bored at work and decided to check out some of the sites that I know are work safe.  One of those sites is Pause & Play.  That's the place I go to on a regular basis to see what albums are out on any given Tuesday.

So, on Black Friday I check out Pause & Play and see that Calexico released something called Selections from Road Atlas.  Now this intrigued me, because I'd never heard of Road Atlas.

Road Atlas is a 12 LP box set of Calexico's eight tour albums.  It's four albums and four double albums.  It's got a forty page booklet full of awesome pictures and essays.  It's also limited to 1100 in the entire world.

It was released on 11/22 and I didn't even know it existed until 11/25.

As soon as I find out what it is, I try to track it down.  Of course googling "Calexico, Road Atlas" churns up all sorts of results.  Not only does it give me Selections from Road Atlas and Road Atlas, but also there are actually road atlases and Calexico is an actual geographic location.

I eventually sharpen up my google skills and find sites that are selling it.  Unfortunately every site is sold out.  I become dreadfully acquainted with the phrases "out of stock" and "item discontinued."  It's frustrating.

To make matters worse, I'm not even 100% Road Atlas exists.  I can't really find a trace of it and no one is selling it on ebay, which strikes me as odd because usually you can find at least one person selling exactly what you're looking for on ebay.

I even call Sound Garden, because I'd love to buy it from them, and it doesn't show up in their system.  I go back to google.  I'm like ten pages deep into results before I finally get a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.

One site has Road Atlas in stock.  I frantically thrust my credit card into the appropriate places and hit "sent."  I get a confirmation email and then I wait.

And I wait.

And I wait.

Finally on 12/1, I give the site a call because I haven't been charged for my order and there's no indication that it's shipped.  Furthermore, the page for Road Atlas on their site has vanished.  Like gone completely.  When I call them, the guy is way dismissive and tells me that the label has discontinued the product and they sent me an email telling me that my order has been cancelled.

At this point, I'm a weird mix of emotions.  On one hand I'd disappointed that this thing I've been looking forward to getting won't be coming.  On another hand I'm furious that I never received their email (it went to my junk mail.)  But I'm also totally bummed that I've got an extra $150 and that I missed out on a chance to not only support a band, from Tucson, that I dig, but also on a bonafide collectors item.

When I get home that night I figure that I'll give it one more google search.  I'm twenty pages in with nary a whiff of Road Atlas . I'm on the verge of being going full on modern day Don Music when I decide to switch tactics; I decide to use the "shopping" tab.

I hit it and I get two results, and one of them is Silver Platters.

Silver Platters has Road Atlas in stock.

Again, I frantically volunteer my pertinent information and get a confirmation email.  The next day not only am I $150 poorer, but I get an email letting me know that my order has shipped.  Two weeks after I learned of it's existence and initially ordered it, and one week after I finally found it in stock, Road Atlas arrives at the crib.

And it's totally worth every hoop I had to jump through.

I'll forever be indebted to Silver Platters and plan on being a loyal patron of theirs for the foreseeable future.

But yeah, Road Atlas is glorious, and I'm so glad I'm one of the lucky few who actually owns one.

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