Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mine's Bigger Than Yours

Picture this: A bright spring morning, three pensioners on a bench in the Market Square comparing the size of their MP3 players....

Until the start of 2006, I usually bought about seventy CD's a year. There were artists whose albums I'd buy automatically; Dylan, Bowie, Dan Bern, Richard Thompson, Frank Zappa, Tom Verlaine to name a handful; others I'd get because I'd read an interesting - not necessarily good - review. Some were bought because they were panned by reviewers whose tastes I knew and generally disliked; some were recommended by people whose judgment I trusted; others I bought because I liked a particular genre, string quartets, say, or pre-war blues. So far this year, I've bought the grand total of five CD's, but I've heard more new music than in the previous twelve months.

I now download most of my music from emusic. I use this site for two reasons: It's great value ($9.99 for 40 tracks each month) and it has loads of stuff I've never heard before. If you're looking for the big, poptastic names that festoon the charts, this is not the site for you; but if you are adventurous, and have the time (and you do need time) to listen to the endless samples, you'll find yourself embarking on an odyssey that could bring you from homely, old-time favourites, through blues, classical, rock and world music, to the furthest reaches of avant-garde jazz. Through emusic I have discovered such great, disparate artists as The Mountain Goats (expect a longer epistle on this subject some time in the future), Extra Golden, The National, Califone, Field Music, Phosphorescent....

You're right.... I was one of those pensioners.


Blogger Overbeyond said...

Never worry about the size; you're getting old too young.
I also download from EMusic and what great value it is.
Sites like Emusic must be the start of the beginning of the end for the high street retail of packaged music.

10:25 pm  

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