Issue #148 – Pick your tunes online

Issue #148

Surfing & Cruising

Pick your tunes online

by Bret Kelly

I’ll confess, I downloaded Madonna’s new single, Music, off the
Net back in June. A week before the official release, I downloaded
the entire album track by track. As I write this column, I am
downloading the bonus track that’s only included on the Japanese
version. Later, I will convert the MP3s into .wav files and burn
them to CD… for a friend.

I have mixed feelings about the copyright debate. I haven’t
stopped buying CDs but I have stopped buying bad CDs, which I
consider the new Madonna album to be. Nifty cover art but not
worth $14.99.

When I first discovered Napster (for the PC] and Macster [for
the Mac), I went mad downloading tunes that I couldn’t locate at
any record store. I am a huge music buff and I do have over a
thousand (paid for) disks in my collection. With MP3s, I can avoid
CDs like Eiffel 65 [anyone want it?), as I can listen to a few tracks
and then decide if I want it in my collection.

The issue that I have with most shops in Toronto (compared to
the US or Europe], is that the CDs I crave the most are always
imports or just not available here. With Napster, I can download a
track in just seconds, the same track that I spent weeks looking for
in the stores.

The other joy is stumbling on a great song that you‘ve never
heard. For instance, I downloaded Born this Way by Pour Homme,
which never received airplay in North America (though it was a
hit in the UK). Later, I discovered it’s a remake of an old 70s tune
by the oddly named Carl Bean. I had expected it to be huge smash
during Pride Week, as it contains delightful campy lyrics like:

“I’m happy, I’m carefree and I’m gay!” Seemed like a sho0—in for
go-go boy floats… but nada. Without Napster, I would never have
discovered such a homo classic.

Lately, my tastes have skewed towards cheesy disco and trance
tunes. The radio and the dance clubs here have always been far
behind Europe, however with technology, the latest choons are a
click away. I constantly check DotMusic [],
a UK-based site, for possible future favourites. 12-Inch Dance

( is also a worth a visit for new vinyl releases.

I also regularly frequent “DI only” Web sites. DI008 (a locally
based remixer] presents the Dance Network [,
where you’ll find some rare and ultra bootleg white label mixes of
the latest dance hits. Club Trax [Lam/clubtrax) is similar in
nature, except they take requests and you must change .pdf exten-
sions to .mp3 after download. Both sites offer a disclaimer that
you must be a D] to enter and recommend you delete the tracks
within 24 hours.

I agree that the artists deserve dollars for their efforts but I also
think that the labels need to find a better way to get the songs to
the buying public. Until the legalities get worked out, enjoy the
music. After all, music brings the bourgeoisie and the rebels