Thursday, March 12, 2009

Crossroads # 569

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!

9 comments:

Donn Coppens said...

I hear ya!

Oddly enough my three older kids go and BUY CDs to support the bands. We all use this computer for storing our ipod library so it all adds up.

Just the other day I was wondering who the last band was to make it big on just album sales..now they all have to lend a song to a big ad campaign or tour. When I was a teenager it was possible to sit back and cash royalty cheques.

I cannot even begin to imagine the true cost of pirating.

I read a great interview with Kinky Friedman (& the Texas Jewboys) and his definition of an artist is someone who is ahead of his time and behind on his rent..isn't that awesome.

Give yourself a pat on the back, you're a good man Charlie Brown.

Donn Coppens said...

btw I loved Kimba and Astro Boy!
How about the Herculoids!

But Jonny Quest is still my all-time fave. I have his commercial for PF Flyers (runners) on my Youtube faves..I remember thinking that i absolutely had to have 'em!

yellowdog granny said...

good for you sweety...
i feel bad, most of my favorite music is befor 1979....but i'm be there for the irish music..i have 3 cds of irish music, but it's the basic stuff..I used to listen to a all celtic music radio station a few years back but can't find it now..

yellowdog granny said...

oh donn copens...im sure there were better quotes from kinky..the boy is full of them..years ago i saw him live at bullfrog lodges or someplace in austin and he told the most politically incorrect joke ever and i laughed my ass off and then felt bad for 2 weeks..but didn't stop me from telling the joke over and over.

billy pilgrim said...

the last honest man!

i'm still bitter over the hundreds of cds i was forced to buy to get the one song i liked. i consider getting a few free songs a small payback.

maybe the rosewater foundation can toss a few shekels Cursive's way.

angel said...

I have a huge issue with piracy. I always have. If I like something, I'll buy it. I hope I have instilled the same thing in my Damien...

citizen of the world said...

Oh my God! Marine Boy! My sister's husband insists that since my sister and I are the only ones he's ever met who claim to have watched Marine Boy as kids that we must have a shared delusion.

beth said...

I love Thin Lizzy!

whimsical brainpan said...

I can't wait to hear the new cursive CD!

Have a great show! I know it will rock.