In Defense of The Download, part 2:

by CultureOfNone on September 12, 2008

Being a crazed music enthusiast is largely a thankless condition. Your appetite for hearing new stuff can easily exceed your available funds, especially when new releases are involved. Both iTunes and eMusic provide budget-friendly download plans, but I have to assume that most folks run out of downloads each month before even beginning to knock down their growing want list.

My own consumption of “music product” eludes the record industry’s vision of the ideal consumer, with the largest portion of my spending taking place at thrift shops (LPs and CDs), with regular orders of used CDs from and eBay/ Most of my ‘new’ CD purchases are directly from labels or distributors online, usually limited release titles primarily available via mailorder from these label websites.

The last six years or so that I have been thoroughly web-reliant have expanded my musical interests (AND my collection) many times over. Yet, despite my efforts to BUY everything that I want to hear, there’s simply many cases where that’s not feasible, or even a fair possibility.

Take for example my 20-year fandom of the German thrash metal band Grinder. I have always loved their ‘Nothing’s Sacred’ album, and have many fond memories of listening to it throughout high school and beyond.

I had accumulated the rest of their catalog over the years, but when I happened to find out through the BNR Metal Pages that they had continued later as Capricorn: I HAD TO HAVE IT. Of course, I discovered (much to my surprise and chagrin) that the two Capricorn CDs were basically out of print, scarce, and…a sole second hand copy was (ahem) available for only $149.99 on

What saved the day was googling a string of key words something to the effect of “CAPRICORN metal band CD germany blog” and I think I may’ve even thrown in a song title or two. Somehow (and I plan on giving credit here if I can find my bookmark) I came across an overseas blogger whose blog theme seemed to be progressive rock, and who’d posted both albums ripped to mp3 format, as .RAR files. As a result, I was able to hear these super rare discs within minutes.

There are times, especially with rare or out of print metal, when file sharing is the greatest ally of the music consumer, and a reminder to the industry that the availability and enjoyment of music is a squirmy thing to try and lasso with a pricetag.

Do I endorse that you pirate Britney’s albums instead of paying retail price for the brand new CDs? No, I support the industry on that one: Britney Spears works hard to perfect her art, there are many other mouths in the machinery of her success that need to be fed, and she deserves every penny of her hard-earned royalties and residuals.

However, if you seek Capricorn, or In Reverent Fear ‘Written in the A.M.’, or Mindless Self Indulgence ‘Tight’, or Deadsy’s first CD, or even Tegan and Sara’s ‘Under Feet like Ours’, or any number of 80’s thrash/death metal releases…you may want to seek a blog.

{ 1 comment }

1 Tor Hershman September 13, 2008 at 7:14 am

You can always ‘mine’ a site as Audio Street, Sound Lift or Garage Band.

Stay on groovin’ safari,

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