the twisted gardens of the mind

unavailable music makes me angry

this rant may piss some people off, and while i’m not really sorry about that, i don’t want anyone in particular to take it personally.

let me start off by saying: i buy a lot of music. a lot. i even still have the first 3 cds i ever purchased (probably more than that, but there’s only 3 in particular that i can point to and say “those were the first”):

  1. depeche mode – speak & spell
  2. new order – substance 1987 (2cd)
  3. the cure – staring at the sea

there are a handful of cds that i have 2 of. i have 5 different versions of the everything counts ep by depeche mode. i have incredibly rare cds, stamped or hand-numbered cds, promo cds, limited edition box sets, misprints, and any number of other odd ball (sometimes) collectibles.

since i purchased my droid, i’ve run up a fairly hefty tab on both amazon mp3 and bandcamp (whose model is brilliant, by the way).

i only mention all this because i want you to understand that it’s not my intent to freeload. and with the proliferation of music being released digitally, i do this less and less, but…

what i can’t buy, i steal. and it makes me somewhat angry.

it used to be that i would download tons of music, in the form of ripped mp3s – from this would come my decision on what to lay down money for. when i was broke, or jobless, all i could do was download. but now that i’m gainfully employed again, i find that i spend upward of 100$/month on this addiction hobby addiction.

to come to the point, a particular band i appreciate (and have purchased from in the past) has a limited-edition ep; but it will only be available at a particular location, at a particular time, and will be otherwise unavailable. i find that i’m somewhat insulted by this. i can’t and won’t be at that location at that time, and while i should have thought to mention to someone on tour with this band to grab me a copy, it didn’t occur to me until too late.

so my annoyance is, i would still purchase a copy from bandcamp or other digital retailer, but supposedly it won’t be available. i mean, i can understand the idea of “exclusive songs”, and i could totally understand something like, “it’s exclusive, but it’ll be part of a ‘ep collection’ cd or whatever, but not until next year” – that’s cool. but “you can get this recording here and never again” says to me “my shit is so exclusive no one will ever hear it”. good for you. it’s possible no one will. and congratulations for wasting the time of the remixers and other people who worked in production and whatnot, because now no one will hear their work either. except for, you know, the 100 people who get the exclusive cd.

similarly, a cd that’s out-of-print and only available on ebay for 200$ is probably also going to get downloaded. just sayin’. it’s not like the artist is going to see a percentage of that profit, so if its not something that i value at 200$ (which, off the top of my head, is nothing), then forget it.

on a side note, several years ago, i was contacted by a member of a band, asking me to remove one of his band’s cds from being publicly available (it was shared in my P2P client). as it was still relatively new, i complied, but was vaguely annoyed after thinking about it for a while – i wouldn’t have even known about his band except that i downloaded a single (because it featured a remixer that i like) from the same P2P network, liked most of the songs, and so then shelled out the 20-something$ (US) for the import-only full-length cd.

so really i guess this rant was just about: hey, why don’t you want people to listen to your music when you want people to listen to your music? what kind of fucking logic is that?

i know there a bunch of musicians on my various follow lists, thoughts?

and finally because i feel like pimping some stuff, these recent acquisitions are awesome:


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