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last.fm, and why I think I refuse to pay for music

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It's been damn near 5 years since I've payed for music in any form...CD, digial, or otherwise. For a while, it seemed weird, because I had always bought or otherwise obtained CDs without much thought whilst working at the now almost totally defunct Wherehouse. I inevitably ended up losing/got stolen a large disc wallet which left me with close to 30 empty jewel cases, complete with album art and booklet. The logical explanation would be to just take better care of your music, but it wasn't until earlier today that it really sunk in why paying for music leaves such a bad taste in my mouth.

"Record executives" is probably what you're thinking. And, honestly, it's the first thing I think too. Some fat asshole doing coke off of his Italian marble mini-bar in his 10th floor executive suite is not the kind of person I want to give $17.99 for a piece of plastic just so I can listen to a song I like. But it boils even more simply than that. The actual music that gets made, at the moment it's being played, is volatile. It's fleeting, and I think that's what gives music a lot of its appeal. Recording a song in a tightly controlled, meticulously engineered environment does indeed capture the sound of the music in an incredibly immaculate way, but it bottles up that perfect sound and freezes it in stasis forever. That particular performance of a song will never get better or worse. At this point, it becomes a photograph. A soulless memory, for better or worse. So, listen to more live music. Make more live music. And with that...

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