Sunday, December 03, 2006

I'm no longer a Music Download Virgin...

...thanks to Lee Feldman.

Let me explain.

I've always been the type who likes to have the complete package. You know, whether it's a CD, DVD or even the older formats of LP's & VHS. The CD cover, included booklets, lyrics, liner notes and a nice case ( and as anyone who knows me, I like to keep stuff, collect stuff and never throw them out ).

I'm always the type who likes to buy in person as well and support the local brick & mortar store. I like to buy my comics at a local comic shop, rather than an online store, or my music & books at a local record or book store. There's something about just browsing, seeing and holding what I'm about to buy.

And finally (and especially) as a creative person myself, I'm the type who likes to support the artist. I know how difficult it can be to try and get your creative work out there and would never use a Napster or any other type of illegal free download. Why would I want to screw the artist out of the money they deserve for their work that I obviously want?

Well, recently thanks to online music listening stations like Pandora Music Radio I've been able to hear artists and bands that I was either vaguely aware of or had never heard of, and now enjoy. It's as if I was back in the 1980's again listening to college radio (like good ol' WBRU from Brown University and Providence, RI.) That's the good part.

Now for the bad. I like all this new music that I'm hearing and would like to own hard copies of their work, so where do I get their CD's? Brick & mortar Music/Records/CD stores?

Fat chance. In the last few months, in case you didn't know, long time music store chain, Tower Records were going out of business. After hearing that news I drove to the nearby Tower store in King of Prussia (and this was before they were picked clean due to % off sales) and wow, they had NO selection! If I wanted the latest Britney Spears or the new flavor of the month Rap star they had tons of that crap, but try for anyone different or not well known, forget it!

And Tower's not the only one. Best Buy, Circuit City, Sam Goody's and even the local used CD store....NOTHING! Just the usual same-old-same-old. Yes I know, a brick & mortar store can't possibly carry every piece of music, they don't have the "space" that online stores, but come on! Throw me a frickin bone for god sakes!

All this lack of finding new music to buy and own came to a head last week when I finally joined the ipod/MP3 generation by buying my brand-stinking-new 30GB ipod! One of my goals with my ipod is to convert not only most of my CD's but also my hundreds of cassettes and LP's. (and boy, that's gonna be a pain to do)

So Friday night as I was downloading a few of my CD's I was tooling around on the istore and saw that they not only had the Lee Feldman record I was searching for but I could download the entire thing for only $9.99! Lee Feldman's "The Man in a Jupiter Hat" has been the unofficial face of the futility with my music search. I had heard this record a month ago and like the quirkiness of his lyrics and his sound reminded me of Ben Folds (who's music I like). Whenever I'd go to any of the aforementioned Record stores with my list of music wants, Feldman's CD would be included, but alas, it was no where to be found.

Well, not anymore. I signed up to the istore, turned over one of my Visa cards, and bought/downloaded "The Man in a Jupiter Hat". I won't completely give up on the local stores, I mean I actually found an Arctic Monkeys CD at Best Buy last week so they're not totally useless, but from now on I'll be checking the itunes store. If not more often then the brick & mortar stores, but maybe as often.

I just realized a great punch line to this story would be that I bought and listened to Feldman's CD - and hated it.

But alas, nope......I like it.

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