Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Two Pounds, Forty-Five: The Evolution of a Record Buying Experience


I seem to remember it went like this. It was 1997. I see this crazy video for "Paranoid Android" on MTV. I go, "Holy Shit!!! That was freaking Radiohead? When does it come out!!"

I wait a month or so for the release date. Drive to some Tower Records and pick up a copy of OK Computer the day of the release. Then I struggle relentlessly to peel the plastic wrapping off the jewel case and pop the CD into my stereo.

I continue to listen to OK Computer for years, thinking that it has some secret meaning to life that I could not find out on my own.

All this before:

  • The commercialization of the internet
  • The advent of Yahoo! and Google and how mainstream it has become in our lives
  • Illegal Downloading and the complete self-destruction of the entire record industry
  • The death of Rock N Roll as we know it. (Emo? WTF IS THAT!!!)
Now... roughly 10 years later, this 33 year old crumbling, impotent and feeble storer of inadequate sperm (me)...

Does the following:

  • Fires up Foreplay/Longtime by Boston to remember what rock n roll used to sound like
  • Sits patiently reloading Radiohead's site to download "In Rainbows" at the lowest price I could honestly pay for it: 2 pounds Site takes forever (3 minutes to load)
  • Enter private info for download (1 minute)
  • Runs full speed up a cold metal spiral staircase into an equally cold metal baby gate, with bare feet to find credit card. (1 minute)..Yells "Fuck!" real loud while grabbing toe. (2 seconds)
  • Enters credit card and begins downloading ZIP File (30 seconds)
  • 48 meg download, (2 minutes on my 10mbps)
  • Wonders if I can actually open a zip file on a Mac (10 seconds)
  • Drags files into iTunes (3 seconds)
  • Boston song finishes and I press play on first Radiohead song "15 steps"(Total Time: 7 minutes 48 seconds...exact length of Boston song)
My overall experiences are way different now. Yet... this is the best Radiohead album since OK Computer. Not quite as good as "The Bends" but a really solid album. My personal favorites while writing this are:

  • Reckoner
  • 15 steps
  • Jigsaw Falling Into Place
I loaded it onto my jump drive so I can install it on every computer...

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