Monday, November 24, 2008

Tears in My Eyes

There were tears in my eyes -- quite literally, and I don't mean literally like I'm literally gonna kill you or, you know, when people say Literally...! and they mean the opposite -- when I read the news.

Unneccesary backstory: I used to work in a record store. A couple, in fact. Maybe you know that. And they thing about that is, you get used to being up to your armpits in CDs, just music everywhere. Reach out and there's a new musical direction to explore, somebody you work with turning you onto something you've never heard. And then there's the cost, of course: cheap. So, you're a young man and you have few responsibilities and you sink a lot of cash into the creation of a collection. It is a good time to be you. Alright, that's nice. Can't last forever, someday you move on. I moved on. But the jonesing for new music, that never leaves you. You can take the addict out of the record store, but you can't make him drink, or something. I'm always scotching those.

And not only do you not work in the record stores anymore, but you have responsibilities. The whole nine: mortgage, child, cars, dog and cat. So you can't funnel the money into the music anymore. But you find ways to cope. My way? eMusic, which is adding tons of new stuff daily. I don't do iTunes because ain't nobody gonna tell me how to use my files, plus it's a bit pricey, and I don't steal a lot of music because I still have this thing about maybe somebody ought to get paid. Karma, right, because maybe one day I'll be an artist, and it'd be nice if you'd lay out a bit of cheddar for my hard work (not musical, but art and work just the same).

I like eMusic. It gets me by. I pay my monthly and I get my alotment of downloads, and I'm through them in a day or two. Appetite sated, somewhat. You get your Love is All and your Gaslight Anthem and your Blue Giant and, yes, some John Prine too, and you feel contentment like a warm blanket over your heart. And the improvised music selection is good, like real good. I mean, lots of new, small labels (Clean Feed, holla atchya!) and some old stuff, like Fantasy Records. So no complaints.

But this? This is something other.

Ever heard of Black Saint and/or Soul Note Records? Well, god bless the Italians, because these sisterly labels contain an embarrassment of riches in their collective catalog. And that catalog? Now on eMusic. Which is insane. Which caused the teary eyes I mentioned a few 'graphs ago.

Already I have burned through some Jemeel Moondoc, some Dave Douglas, some String Trio of New York, some Geri Allen with Haden and Motian, and, of course, some David Murray. I'm debating whether or not to supplement my Old and New Dreams vinyl by obtaining the digital version. And on and on. There are like five hundred records in the stable now, and the only tough part will be prioritizing.

This right here is very, very huge. Thank you, Giacomo Pelliciotti! Thank you, whoever runs eMusic!

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