When I was a wee tyke of six years, I went out on the porch to watch Jack, our lawn mower, do his work. Jack always wore the same thing - jean overalls with blue flannel underneath. I was already drenched from the heat by my salty secretions, but somehow Jack always worked outside in that flannel. I was drinking my cherry Kool-Aid on the porch, when he began to walk toward me. As he meandered up the stairs, he took a long, hard look into my cup. "Kool-Aid?" he asked. I muttered an inevitably inaudible 6-year-old response. He countered with the last thing I ever heard him say: "Good. It'll put some hair on your chest."

In a way, I kind of think the economy is like my humble glass of Kool-Aid. It was certainly sweet while it lasted. We just need to take this time to suck it up and put a little hair on our chests. We need to show 'em what we're made of, and I would say that I'm made up of about 60 percent music. In this case, I'm going to put my money where my ears are, and continue to support something I feel strongly about. I urge you to do the same.

 

Music will survive solely on the addicts. In a time when citizens are choosing between paying off a mortgage or a child's education, cuts are going to need to be made. Everyone is finally bunkering down and deciding what is important in their lives. For me, cutting out music is simply not an option. I checked in on Parasol Records with bated breath to see if they had been putting a little hair on their chests as well.

"When the economy tanked, our customers' discretionary income was the first thing to dry up," publicist Jim Kelly explains. "Sales took a long, slow dip and have maybe leveled off at a reasonable point for the time being."

Kelly shares the sentiment that the real music junkies will keep the place afloat. "We deal with a niche market of music fanatics who still like their music on an aluminum disc or vinyl platter, and dealing with fanatics has its upside," he said.

This isn't to say that I wake up every morning with a headache, ready to shoot up some tunes; but I believe true music addictions are certainly their own rare breed of mental illness. Collecting music is a tick, a passion that can't be snuffed by patches or mocha-flavored gum. That fervor can't be tamed, even with pennies in the pocket.

Parasol is hoping a new web site design and inventory system will make it easier for customers to get their hands on the goods. After the site redesign, they plan to expand their customer base by advertising and viral means. They can only continue to put out great albums and provide a space for record hunting with the support of the community.

Save your nickels and dimes for the things you truly love, support local business, and remember to drink your Kool-Aid.