09 November 2010

Where For Art Thou, Amazon?

It has been about three weeks since I wrote anything on this blog. I'm not sure why to be honest. I've been listening to so much good music there really isn't an excuse. Although I'm still a devout believer in iTunes, my enthusiasm is waning. In weeks past, particularly with the legal elimination of Limewire, I've been searching for a reliable yet cheap method of acquiring mp3's. And then out of the corner of my eye I spotted Amazon.com, a friend that had always casually been there but suddenly our relationship was becoming something more...

I'm having a love affair with Amazon and their brilliant Digital Download department. I'm so angry at myself for not realizing it before. They have an unbelievable, almost guilt-inducing amount of free downloads (that are actually really good!). Like any passionate affair, I'm not sure of its origin. I think it was innocent at first - I noticed that Of Montreal's "Sex Karma" single featuring Solange was a "free download of the day". Since I'm the king of sexy music and I love both artists, I figured I'd use it as a sample download to see if Amazon was even compatible with my aging laptop. Surprisingly all Amazon required from me was to install a very small program on to my computer in order to automatically transfer any of my purchases on to iTunes and bam: I was the proud owner of free, legal music.

All at once I realized something in my heart was changing. I would wait with baited breath until I could get home each night and search for more free/cheap music on Amazon. As my laptop lay on my chest and caressed the skin of my fingertips with every new song I bought, I knew this was something good. It just kept going - the recommendations I was getting for FREE songs that I actually wanted to own were blowing my mind. An entire album of 2010 Merge Record hits? Yes. A new Badly Drawn Boy single? Don't mind if I do. Chaka Khan singing James Bond theme songs? Yes, yes, yes! Even my recommendations matched my quirky personality. It was a match made in heaven.

So we're up to date. As I sit here listening to a live track from Lambchop (the band, not the lovable puppet) that was free and completely unexpected, I feel content in my musical accomplishments - although I have not been sharing them. You know how it is with a new relationship, you want to keep all the love to yourself. But now I'm ready to talk about it. Amazon and I are together. I'm sorry iTunes, you tax all your overpriced songs. I wanted to buy Cee Lo's new record from you today but you insisted on $1.29 a song when Amazon was asking a flat fee of 0.99. What am I supposed to do? You would do the same thing.

It might seem a little silly to compare music sites to lovers but you know I'm starting to think they're not too far off. The feeling I get from a sensual song is somewhat similar to the sensual feeling in real life. Because I was in the loving spirit I bought a lot of songs from Amazon today in addition to my free downloads, one of which was "Private Eyes" by the incomparable Hall and Oates. I know it's embarrassing that I didn't own it before (although I have on vinyl for many years) but it always seemed less important than other H&O songs. Now I just want to complete my collections of every artist I love. ANYWAY, it is such a sexy song - and "Do What You Want, Be What You Are", also by Hall and Oates. I wouldn't even know this song existed if it weren't for Amazon. I've amassed 56 songs in the past week because of these people. I'm pretty excited for our future together.

If we're being honest though, my emotions have been shifting back and forth frequently over the past three weeks I have been absent from this blog. There have been so many incredible highs but mentally several lows that I'm not sure how to explain. Music is a great reliever of pain and tension but sometimes it accelerates it. When you're in compromising positions mentally certain lyrics set you off just so and you can't listen to them. Lately I've been unable to relate to most songs because I'm not sad or angry or anything very strongly (except romantically charged). I mean Usher's "Trading Places" and N.E.R.D.'s new single "Hypnotize You" are definitely working with that theme but I'm in a deeper state than that somehow. It's not worth explaining as I don't even need an explanation. Actually, I'm also in a recent quest to find songs that are completely unrelated to relationships/love. The National are always good for this as very often their themes are a bit larger than mere love, it's much more nationally (no pun intended) and economically charged with a lot of lyrics trying to decipher the woes of growing older and getting up just to work and "live". I'd like to find other bands like this. It's tough because even the greatest songwriters turn to love more than absolutely anything else. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood to hear about it though.

I'll leave you with all of this brilliance below: