Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yes I’m a Junkie

When someone describes another person as a junkie nine times out of ten it is perceived to be a bad thing. If you look up the definition of junkie in a dictionary sure enough the very first one you see has to do with being addicted to narcotics, but if you look further you will see a second definition; a person who is addicted to a specified interest, activity, food, etc, etc, etc., and I most definitely fall into the second category. If the truth was known I actually have more than one addiction; take a look into my office, and you would see it filled with movies, books, and video games, but without a doubt the one thing that would make your eyes pop out of your head would be my collection of compact discs. Yes I am a junkie; a proud self professed music junkie.

I had always loved music when I was growing up. Now talk about diversity: the Archies, Jim Croce, Kiss, the Charlie Daniels Band, and the soundtrack of Grease were my favorites back then, but my addiction started one night when I was twelve years old. I was tuning my A.M. radio and came across WLS; now being a young boy living in Arkansas being able to listen to a radio station in Chicago was the coolest thing in the world to me, and did I ever listen. Every night I would listen for as long as I could stay awake, and at the time WLS played music that none of my local stations were playing which I thought was even cooler because I was hearing music no one that lived in my town was hearing. All of this led to me trying to find these different bands albums at my local stores, but not only did I have to have the music I had to know as much about the band as I could learn; which led me to read as many articles as I could from various magazines. The magazines in turn introduced me to other bands; which of course I had to hear as well, and my addiction grew from there.

From 45’s to albums, cassettes, compact discs, and now to mp3’s, I-pods, and external hard drives I can proudly say I have never outgrown my music addiction, and I never will. Music consumes virtually every aspect of my life now; if I’m not listening to it for work or personal enjoyment, which is very unlikely, then I am talking about it to friends, family members, or work associates. My appetite for finding new bands and hearing new music is just a voracious today as it was all those years ago, and of course I am loyal to bands I loved from the past that continue to put out music today so I have to have their latest album as well when it is released. I will admit that educating myself about different bands has dropped off considerably since my younger days, but in all honesty that has more do to with the bands today being pretty much faceless when they are compared to some of my favorites from the past.

More than once I have been told I’m crazy for all the money I spend on music or the amount of space, both physical and virtual that I use to store my music, but to me it is definitely worth it. I couldn’t even begin to count the times music has brought a smile to my face, made me feel better, or has gotten me through rough situations. Music is with me regardless of what I am doing or where I am at, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you ever need to show someone an example of a music junkie; just come find me I’ll be more than happy to show them what a music junkie is.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Neglected Blog, Fat Bastard Record Companies, & I-Tunes

Wow! It's been six months since my last post?? Damn time flies, but to be completely honest if it hadn't been for the gentle prodding of my buddy Ryo Vie it probably would've been even longer for me to get a new post out. I have found there is just not enough time in the day for me to do everything that I want to do. A lot has been going on these last few months, in case you didn't know Hard Rock Hideout now has it's own radio show, which I host every Wednesday night from 9:00 p.m. til 12:00 a.m. (you should join us, I promise you won't regret it), and I am also the morning show host on KACV FM 90, Monday thru Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and now the station's music director as well, which I have to say is one of my dream jobs, (writing movies for a living would be my other dream job, just in case you're wondering). On top of that, I am also taking 15 semester hours of classes with 3 labs and still need time to be a husband and father, a good one anyways. I'm not trying to use any of this as an excuse at all; I absolutely love my life right now, and wouldn't change anything. I just wanted to give you an idea of why I have the most neglected blog on the internet right now.

In case you didn't know I like to bitch about the music industry, and while I loathe and despise everything about it I still have to face the fact that it is the main way for me to still get my beloved music. Now, for years the music industry has been whining and crying about downloading, and how it is destroying the music business, and I tend to agree with them on that subject. But, I still can't feel sorry about these fat bastards that get rich off of a musician's blood, sweat, and tears. I do feel sorry for the musicians because they get fucked by the fat bastard record companies even more than the fans do and repeatedly without being asked or even lubed up for it, but they get fucked by downloading as well because it is taking money out of their pockets and the days of the super rich rockstars are over, whether you know that or not. New bands have to bust their ass on tour and selling merchandise and hope they make some kind of profit after paying back recording cost to the fat bastard record companies.

Now I know you are scratching your head wondering exactly what the hell I am rambling and ranting about well here it is...and I am not by any means endorsing downloading, but in a world where we can put a person on the moon, talk instantly online to someone half way around the world or (feel free to insert any of your own cliched examples in here) why the hell do I still have to pay an arm and a leg for the latest Gotthard album or D.A.D. boxset just because they do not have a record contract in the U.S.? The most expensive c.d. I've ever bought was Shake The Faith's "America The Violent" for $50.00 plus shipping back in 1996 or so and the price wasn't because it was a rarity, but simply because it was an import. Does it really cost that much more to record an album in Europe than it does in the U.S.? Is there not a single person in the entire world that can come up with a way for fans to get music legally regardless of where a band or their record company is from?

Yes we have I-Tunes and Amazon downloads, which I love by the way I have bought tons of music from both and will continue to do so, but still they have their limits as well when it comes to international releases. Yes it may be available on I-Tunes U.K. or I-Tunes Denmark, but because I live in the U.S. it is not available to me. Hate Gallery's "Compassion Fatigue" is a prime example, I searched for almost 4 days trying to find a way to purchase this album. Yes it was available for purchase on I-Tunes Finland, but I'm not allowed to buy it because I live in the U.S. I was finally able to find a website that let me purchase the album straight from the record company, but it was a task to say the least. The same thing has happened with albums available in I-Tunes Australia and Japan as well.

I have spent a small fortune on c.d.'s and music in my lifetime and will continue to do so until I am buried with my skull candies and I-Pod tucked right along in my casket with me. But can't someone please come up with a way for me to get the music I love for a decent price regardless of where the band is from.

Everyone talks about a world without borders, but when it comes to music we not only have borders we have brick fucking walls blocking us from getting the music we love. Now maybe just maybe if someone can find a way to knocks those walls down and open those borders music piracy and downloading would become a thing of the past or at least a speck of what it is now.