Wednesday, 22nd March '06

A Final Hit

That's it. I'm officially a MUSIC ADDICT. You know, with the advent of broadband and peer-to-peer software and ourTunes and Senuti and ridiculously large in-built Powerbook harddisks and iPods with storage space more than Mum's old desktop... music has kind of lost it's capacity to last.

What I mean by that is that when you can get virtually any song you want without paying for it, it's so good for your music education, but so damn unhealthy too. It's like having that itch that you can't scratch. You get so hopping mad trying to find it, get at it, satisfy that craving to attack it with your nails for all its worth. But the fact is you can't reach it. Same with the music itch I got hit with today.

Somewhere in between the utilitarian theory of copyright law and how that may or may not be a workable model when it comes to the protection of athletic movements, I got hit by that itch. I don't know what I was playing on the iPod at that particular point in time... but whatever it was, it wasn't doing it for me:

"Panic on the streets of London; Panic on the streets of Birmingham
I wonder to myself - could life ever be sane again ?
The Leeds side-streets that you slip down
I wonder to myself...

Hopes may rise on the Grasmere, but Honey Pie, you're not safe here
So you run down to the safety of the town
But there's Panic on the streets of Carlisle, Dublin, Dundee, Humberside
I wonder to myself...

Burn down the disco; hang the blessed DJ
Because the music that they constantly play
It says nothing to me about my life

Hang the DJ, hang the DJ, hang the DJ... HANG THE DJ!"

-- "Panic", the Smiths

So then I went scrolling through the iPod and iTunes for something to satisfy the craving. NOTHING. Not funny, ok. 4217 songs at my disposal and I couldn't find ANYTHING that would do it for me. Sitting in the cosy Second Cup trying to focus on reading what my major paper research had turned up, I was fast turning Mark Renton to this Trainspotting-esque situation:

"I need to visit the mother superior for one hit, one fucking hit to get us over this long, hard day."
-- Renton (v.o.), Trainspotting

Very disturbing, a disabilty to find the one song to satisfy yourself with is. So much so that you start talking like Yoda, it seems.

But you see where the Trainspotting analogy is going? First you start with a little download, then because you get hooked on the rush of having full albums at your disposal at the click of a mouse, you start to need more. Heck, you become a veritable music monger, and eventually you reach a point where you have your blueberry-brothers literally turn up at your doorstep with a mother-big external hardisk (like 160GB) to hijack your music folder. Like how Allison went to Renton for hits. And then you find that getting the shit on your own steam isn't getting anywhere fast enough, so you start bumming the stuff off your friends with iPods via Senuti or off iTunes users who stream music on your LAN via ourTunes. All those "mother superiors". And then eventually you think you'll board yourself in, take a last hit and get over this downloading madness. You book yourself into a rehabilitation facility like the YMCA with an over enthusiastic firewall that blocks all P2P connections. And like Renton's attempt, that fails miserably. An addict will find a way back to the old ways. This writer found the Dalhousie Wireless Internet connection and the free-of-charge broadband at Uncommon Grounds.

Quitting isn't easy in a country in which P2P software is legal.

The point is, eventually having 4217 songs in your playlist isn't even going to be enough. Which was the miserable state I found myself in today. The usual suspects weren't even getting the job done. Normally I could scratch the mounting itches with a little John Mayer, Maroon 5, or some of those songs that I have already set down as "perfectly arranged pieces" - stuff like "Hero" by Chad Kroeger / Josey Scott, or U2's "Walk On", just to name two.

Didn't Work. To carry on the heroin metaphor, i just couldn't get the high.


Well, to cut a long story short, the only reason I'm here typing this entry and am not currently a drooling mess on the floor (or screaming and writhing under my bedsheets as I hallucinate about dead babies crawling on my ceiling) is that I eventually DID find the hit. You'll never guess what it was.



*is too embarrassed to show face in public ever again*

And, O, the IRONY in the opening lines of that song:

"Everybody's looking for that something
One thing that makes it all complete
You'll find it in the strangest places
Places you never knew it could be."

-- "Flying Without Wings", Westlife

I always knew God had a twisted sense of humour.

And if you thought that was the end of it... ohnonono. The boyband obsession continued. It's STUPID, but I suddenly actually started paying attention to the lyrics of - get this - O-TOWN SONGS. Unfortunately, Max Martin (if it's still him who's churning out these things like nobody's business) manages to write these completely superflous songs that STILL end up tugging at my heart strings.

Sample this:

Standing with the wallflowers wishing you would've stayed at home
You kick yourself for coming when you're standing there all alone
The centers of attention are busy making all their moves
While all the guys are lookin at them, I got my eye on you
Only you

You might think you're nothing special, you might be losing hope
But baby don't you realize how beautiful you really are

Shy girl, it's written on your face
A mermaid out of water, feeling out of place
Shy girl, trying to hide a blush
Caught you looking for a second, felt my heart rush
Don't run away, don't be afraid, don't be shy girl

I'm moving in closer, slowing trying to break the ice
But it's hard to get a lock on your downward glancing eyes

You might think you're nothing special, but I'm about to lose my heart
Baby don't you realize how beautiful you really are

Now I'm standing right in front of you
I confess I'm nervous too
Girl you know there's something going on
And not to give it a chance would be so wrong

Shy girl, it's written on your face
A mermaid out of water, feeling out of place
Shy girl, trying to hide a blush
Pretending that there's nothing between the two of us
Don't run away, don't be afraid, don't be shy girl

-- "Shy Girl", O-Town

What kind of self-respecting, almost-22-year-old still listens to this stuff? Die lah, regression into a teenybopper.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 09:25 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]

smile shocked sad
big grin razz *wink wink* hey baby
angry, grr blush confused
cool crazy cry
sleepy hehe LOL
plain jane rolls eyes satisfied