At lunch I popped into a Best Buy and left the store a changed man. I originally planned on buying a memory card, but the rack of "New Release" CDs caught my eye.
The odds of Best Buy carrying any artist I like are pretty slim , I mused as a glanced at a display of Christine Aguill..Aguiell...(whatever her name is) boxed sets...but no, there it was- the latest Cursive CD, Mama, I'm Swollen. I am a huge Cursive fan and I have passed my addiction on to a special faraway friend ; we have been anticipating the release of this record for some days. Our plan, which was not unprecedented, was for me to buy a CD and make a copy for her.
I never expected to have an epiphany at Best Buy, butI found myself reaching for two copies of Mama instead of one. The cashier gave me a strange look and pointed out , "you have two of the same CD", her expression indicated that she thought I was a complete fool -you know you can copy these, right?
When I opened up the CD, I knew I had done the right thing. It's got a great, large fold-out lyric/story sheet and a voucher for free on-line goodies, just the sort of thing my friend will love. And the record is awesome...ugly, beautiful, caustic and healing -with scars to follow.
In the 1990's I was a part-time video pirate. I was lieutenant of a small operation that sold bootlegs of crap like Kimba The White Lion, Marine Boy and Space Giants at Sci-Fi conventions.
Back then there wasn't a 'real' Web and cable was still fairly small, so old TV shows were scarce. I don't feel any remorse for what we did. We never touched 'hit' movies or new stuff, so the FBI barely glanced at us as they made the convention rounds.
But today I feel differently about new music. As a DJ, it's my job to continually seek out new bands and most of them are more than happy to send CDs to the station- and sometimes even to me. There are also lots of Web PR firms that will send free CDs to you if you have radio credentials, which I do. It makes sense, the labels only send CDs to stations that will play them and save a lot of money.
These bands are trying to make a living with their art and I am friends with many of them...copying their CDs takes money out of their pockets and the kind of bands I like are often quite poor.
I will make exceptions with single songs. From time to time, I am compelled to say "you must hear this!", but if the person likes it, they can go buy the record themselves.
Next week's show will touch on the Irish. Not just your average jigs and reels, though.
Thin Lizzy are Irish!