Arcade Precinct - 1990s (mp3)
The next hour, sometimes longer, would be spent working through a stage of consistent processes:
- Rip all stickers of albums you might kinda sorta like to have;
- Separate the Kinda Sortas into two piles: the Not So Muches and the Maybe Yeahs;
- Put the Not So Muches aside, but don't throw them away;
- Count the Maybe Yeahs, and if I had more than 12, then repeat steps 2 & 3 until you arrive at 12 or fewer finalists;
- If you arrive at fewer than 12, go back and repeat steps 2 & 3 with remaining rejects until you arrive back at 12.
The story from there is nothing but cliche. I was too lazy to send back those damn postcards. They sent me shit like Celine Dion and Spyro Gyra (no offense to Ms. Dion or Gyra, but they ain't my bag, baby). I was too lazy to return them. I paid excessive amounts for them. But only after numerous overdue collection notices and repeated hate mail from the company. I canceled my membership as quickly as possible. I went six or eight months without thinking about them. I stumbled across those sticker sheets in Paradeor another magazine. And the cycle would start all over again.
With that story as background, it should be no surprise that I recently joined eMusic.com.
I stumbled across this site because I was desperately looking for a way to get my hands, legally, on a 1986 album by Flesh for Lulu called Long Live the New Flesh. I loved this album as a teen and listened to it with ridiculous regularity, but finding it -- anywhere, in any non-vinyl format -- is next to impossible. But eMusic had it!
So I joined. And the minute I did... the bastards at eMusic showed me that the Flesh for Lulu album wasn't available to their US customers. And I cursed. Openly and loudly and repeatedly. But, whilst cursing, I also surfed around their site to see how I could best make use of that one month's worth of subscription before I would most certainly cancel and never set my eyes on their miserable site again.
Two hours later, I was still gleefully hunting around their site for albums that I've had on my radar screen or that were worth putting on my radar screen. I was engaged in an online version of the sticker-hunting and gathering I had done 15 years earlier. Drive-by Truckers albums. Buffalo Tom, Hoodoo Gurus, Tift Merritt, 1990s, Ladytron, the Weepies, 500 Miles to Memphis, Juliana Hatfield. Granted, eMusic doesn't have these artists' entire CVs. They usually only have 2-5 of most artists' albums. But so what? I had enough albums saved up that it's worth holding on to my membership for at least six or seven months!
If you like playing by the rules but paying perfectly reasonable amounts to get your hands on some off-brand musical brilliance, I highly recommend you give yourself a tour around that site. For $12/month, you get 30 downloads (plus the 50 bonus ones you get for signing up). That's basically 2 1/2 albums' worth of material for $12. And you don't have to promise anything more than a single month. No year-long commitments or anything.
In the new economy, that's not a bad deal if you like off-brand musical brilliance.
Both songs were obtained through eMusic subscription but are also available at iTunes and Amazon.com's mp3 site.