Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Music Musings: UR DOIN IT RITE - Music Availability

If you're a regular here it's pretty obvious that I like older music. Someone once said that one's favorite music is usually between the ages 12 - 14. Yep... sounds like me. I went through a period where I wasn't listening to any music at all and got rid of a TON of music that I wish now I would have kept. Yeah... hindsight. Anyway, I've been having a blast over the years reacquiring all this music and even checking out bands that I missed along the way.

Naturally with all of this music gather my biggest problem is finding the CDs to buy. A lot of great stuff is ONLY available by download (illegal, by the way). I'm not really opposed to this as usually the market has long past and the band has long since seen any money from them. My personal download policy is to only download stuff that is out of print and at least 10 - 15 years old. I won't hesitate to buy stuff that's new and the only reason why I don't buy the out of print stuff is that I can't hardly find it anywhere!

But that's not really what this edition of Music Musings is about. See some bands complain a lot about downloading. That's understandable. Absolutely. However, occasionally these same bands have no way to access their material at all. They don't offer it on their own websites nor is it available to purchase. Now this entry isn't really about justifying illegal downloading. What I wanted to do is highlight a couple bands who I think are helping us help them by having their music (all of it) available for us to purchase so we can support them.

The Choir - This band has been around for a long time and remains one of my favorites to this day. One of the things I'm most thankful for is that they have almost all of their catalogue available. Their official store carries a decent selection but you can find their earlier and more obscure stuff on both Itunes and their download store. If you want actual CDs, their stuff is plentiful on Amazon. There's pretty much no excuse to drop some coin on this band. You may have some trouble finding Chase the Kangaroo but that's only one album out of several.

Mortification - Morty main man, Steve Rowe, has been VERY vocal about downloading. He once even compared illegal downloading to fornication. Yeah... I don't necessarily agree with him on that point but no one can say that his stuff is hard to find. Almost every album is available on Itunes. Also, all the early Intense Records discs have been reissued either by Soundmass or by other labels. These aren't crappy KMG two-disc-in-one-with-some-songs-cut-out either. These are high quality editions that include liner notes, photos, and extra tracks. While I disagree with some of Steve's rhetoric in regards to downloading, he's practically bent over backward making sure that ALL of his music is available legally and for that I salute him. I also purchased a bunch of Morty CDs too!

I'd love to provide an example of a band that's doing it wrong but the best example I have is one of my favorite bands so I think I'll refrain for now. I will say that their store is testing my patience.

I'd also like to take an opportunity to compliment Matthew Hunt and his Amazon store, Massive Groove. Matthew, I think, runs Retroactive records and by extension, Massive Groove. I have never once had a problem with ordering from him. The shipping is quick and the service is always great. Most times I'll get little extras in my package like compilation CDs (I may review one or two of them...) or posters. One time we had a little snafu with Deliverance's River Disturbance reissue. It took forever to arrive but Matthew was always quick with his communication and went out of his way to take care of me. I don't know how many River Disturbances he sent me, but I'll always be thankful for the way he took care of me. Now whenever I have to get any Retroactive or metal stuff, I always see if I can get it from Massive Groove. You're the bomb Matthew!


  1. Sometimes it's the music company that prevents the music from being re-released. Daniel Amos would love to reissue all their old stuff but KMG holds the rights to some of it and there seems to be some kind of bad blood and a grudge. However this isn't to say that they couldn't offer legal downloads of the music they DO own the rights of.

  2. I'm with you on only downloading out-of-print stuff, but I also download music if I own the vinyl or cassette so that I can have it here at work.

    Favorite music is from ages 12-14? I don't think that's right. For most people I know it's music from high school/college days.