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Confessions of an MP3 Vulture

My name is Mark, and besides being an Obamaholic, I'm also an MP3 vulture. I scour the interwebs looking for cool tunes then I download them shamelessly. I reckon that this addiction is akin to one that my brother suffers from. Dear old Steve can't drive by a thrift store without stopping to see if they have any old records for sale. I imagine a jolt of adrenaline pulses through his veins when he finds a record that he knows is good, or that he can clean up and sell at the Dusty Groove in Chicago. It's about the music, but at the same time it's more than just about the music.

What I do is a little less dusty, and is accomplished right at my desk. I check out web sites that post MP3s, I listen to the links, and if I like the music, I press control "download linked file," and soon enough the song is sitting on my desktop, waiting to be added to itunes. It's hard to express the pleasure I derive from this, but any collector will understand.

Just a few of the great websites out there, lovingly tended to by music heads:

1. WFMU's Beware of the Blog. The web site of Jersey City's (and the world's) premier Freeform radio station. While there are all sorts of odd and interesting stuff here, there are also zillions of MP3 files available. I'm interested in only a small percentage of them (country mambos, versions of "Harlem Nocturne," 60s gospel sides, goofy promotional music, to name a few that I have snagged), still, a small percentage is quite a lot of music.

2. Scott Soriano's CRUD CRUD. Here's how Scott describes the site: "... a tour through the stacks of records, demo tapes, etc. that surround me. No recycled MP3s, CD tracks, or reissues here. Average price paid for the records below is $3. Very few I have spent more than $5 on. You also will get a few book jackets from time to time. I present to you some of my favorites. It keeps the guilt of hording this crud distant." Some good stuff, and his comments are always fun to read.

3. Matt Yanchyshyn's Benn loxo du taccu. That's Wolof for "one hand can't clap" He describes it as "world music for the masses." It used to be primarily a site for African music, although now he is stretching out. Lately there have great posts on Syria and its music.

4. Music and food meet at Soul Cocina. The music tends toward Latin, Jamaican and Indian (funny, the recipes do too!). Good food, good tunes.

5. For hip-hop, I like to go to Cocaine Blunts. Recent files I piked up over there: Cee Lo singing and rapping on an Atlanta radio station, and some Lil Wayne joints.

6. For jazz, Jeffery Siegel's Straight, No Chaser. Lots of good jazz stuff here, plus on-point commentary.

There are so many other great sites: Locust St., Diddy Wah, Funky 16 Corners, and the list goes on and on.

You could really get lost collecting MP3s from the internet. My opinion is that these sites are also good for the music industry. I couldn't count the times that after hearing something cool as an MP3 on the web, I went looking for it, or other stuff by the same artist, on the itunes store.

Beyond that, it is a great way to find music that has long been out of print. I learned the fascinating history of a bunch of Brazilian sides that Columbia Records issued in the forties, heard one cut, and found out that the set has yet to be issued on CD. One reason why I heart the internet.

These guys are doing great work in making music available on their websites, and I thank them.


Very Resourceful

How ever do you find the time?
I suppose I do somewhat the same to obtain concert dvd's, old sci-fi and monster movies from the 50's into the 70's. I search until I get what I want.
I am already so overwhelmed by the music that I own to the point that I rarely play it. Internet radio is so easy to tailor to my moods and needs. (It's when I don't want the computer on, that I am left walking in circles with total silence.)

Re: Very Resourceful

Yeah, it goes beyond simply playing the music. It's like that poem of yours, about wanting it all. It would take us months to listen to all of our music. For me, it's the thrill of finding something new. The bad part is that you find something really cool, and it might get only a couple plays before it gets lost in the archives. Oh well!I cain't hep it.

May 2018



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