Two disappointments in two days

I can be really stupid sometimes. No, really, I can.

A few months ago I discovered the LA Theater Works, a group which specializes in producing radio versions of many different plays. They are broadcast in southern California and a handful of sister radio stations, then offered for sale on cassette or CD. I also learned that they produced Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple back in 2001 and now offer it for sale. Cool! I was preparing to audition for the play anyway, so I thought I’d pick it up. It also helped that Nathan Lane starred as Oscar Madison.

Picking it up proved to be a bit of a challenge. I could have gotten a hard copy direct from LA Theater Works for $15 plus s&h, or from any other major book seller for a comparable price. On a hunch I decided to check Apple’s iTunes music store. Lo and behold, they had it for the same $15, albeit without shipping and handling charges. Cool again! I picked up a $15 gift card from Target and downloaded it.

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a hard copy of the play offered by none other than LA Theater Works on Ebay, so I watched the auction. I ended up winning it with my $3.25 bid. Add $5 for shipping and I got the thing for less than ten bucks. Stupid, right? I already had it on my computer, so why buy a hard copy? Two reasons: as a backup (a weak reason, I grant you, but it is valid) and so that I’d have all the information about the production (cast, crew, etc.).

The thing I neglected to do was verify the format. Most of the other offerings from LA Theater Works were on cassette, but this one wasn’t specified, so I guess I just assumed it would be on CD. Today I was proven wrong. It’s on two tapes. That sucks. Still, I have the info I wanted, so it’s not all bad, is it?

So that was one disappointment. Here’s the other.

Last Friday I saw and was smitten by the movie Sideways. One thing I particularly liked about it was its music, so after I got home I started shopping for the soundtrack. It was easy to find. Since I had a $25 gift card sitting around from Christmas, I decided to use that to buy the CD. I also needed something else to bring my total above the $25 to qualify for free shipping, so I thought that this would be an ideal time to pick up a James Brown anthology CD. That’s one of the big, gaping holes in my music collection, so I decided to take a step toward rectifying that situation. The CD I chose was called Sex Machine and I picked it because it had the greatest number of his songs that I knew. I didn’t recognize the record label, but went for it anyway.

That’ll teach me not to check my facts. I got the CD late this afternoon and immediately ripped it. I quickly found out why it has so many songs that I recognized: it’s a live album. Not only that, but it’s a live album culled from several performances and released by a third-rate label. I was pissed. I’ve only been burned this way a handful of times, but it still sucks.

Well, at least I have the Sideways soundtrack. One of these days I will still need to fill that James Brown gap.