Friday, October 17, 2003


I am somewhat dissapointed by the iTunes Music Store. I could deal with my TiVo being unable to play my files, or having to find out how to make it deal with the fact that I like to keep my library in two places -- my notebook and the home-server -- if only it were a muscial candyland of previewable completeness. This would be such a perfect place to actually put music of limited appeal, even from the major catalogs, like the official EPs, remixes, strange B-sides. Yet, when glancing through my staples of mid-80s to late-90s synthpop (I am listening to twenty year old music. I have become one of those annoying people that in my youth polluted radio with their outdated 60s crap) the reality of the endless library candyland shrinks to the selection of a mediocre record store.

And this completly ignores the smaller labels I buy at and other places. iTMS is not going to give me my Echo !mage or Apoptygma Berzerk fix. But I knew that, and I guess I will keep buying those mail-order. In fact, what I saw myself do on that music store is indulge in brainless crap candy. The kind of one-hit-wonder'ism of perfect little synthoid electro dance popsongs that fit my braincells for the month in which they are hot and I end up listening to WGAYStar 93.7 for hours on end just to hear them: the current single by Blondie, that strange mix of Danii Minogue over an ancient Dead or Alive track. (I am admitting to wanting to hear a Danii Minogue song. Fortunatly she is too obscure for most of the people on my friends list to care, but the Aussies are now rolling over the floor at my admitance of my utterly bourgeois candy-pop tastes. Well, let me do what I do best, which is go all the way: I was always more of a Danii than a Kylie kind of guy. So there. Of course, nobody ever knew.)

In fact, it was the kind of stuff I downloaded from Napster. If I wanted a CD of music I though I would actually listen to often, I'd buy it from Amazon, with predictable shipping, complete tracks, and an unsurprising bitrate. Napster was to get those one-offs that pollute my harddrive (U96, Fire Inc., Stacey Q, that single specific Enya track) that makes all my pretense, held up by the MP3 collection of ripped CDs, of having some kind of non-mainstream quirky developed taste be moot. You know, those tracks that make you cringe when they scroll by on the TiVo screen for all your guests to see while you are trying to find a playlist to show off your erudition. ("I have the complete collaborations between Riyuchi Sakamoto and David Sylvian!" "That's great FJ!!, but was that 'Theme to Mortal Kombat' going by there?")

So the iTMS is helping me keep up my hubris by not allowing me to buy the songs that I think they could make absolute killings on. But, now that I have confessed my sins -- and yes, I will die maintaining that "You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record)" is one of the top 5 most brillian Hi-NRG tracks ever, ever, EVER -- right now I'd rather be having Debbie Harry telling me how Good Boys Never Win.