In the end, right here right now, itís the idea of Napster, as opposed to the reality, that is so appealing. But what should really scare the record companies isnít so much Napster, but that Napster is one of a half-dozen ways that I acquired music online this year. Thereís also email, ftp, Usenet, Hotline and just the plain old World Wide Web. And I wasnít even trying. If and when Napster gets good, forget about it, the partyís over, and will the last person to purchase a $20 CD turn out the lights please.
Which might be awhile, of course, because -- for most of us -- downloading music is a somewhat frustrating and definitely time-consuming hobby. Because the landscape is ever- changing, and some nugget youíve been searching for -- the first two Rank and File albums! -- could suddenly show up at any time, there for the taking.
After all, in a world where I can listen to a freshly burned CD of U2ís Irving Plaza show on my car CD changer the day after they played the show -- it having been posted to Usenet practically as it was happening, all of the record-company co-opting of Napster ainít gonna help. Better to go the Pearl Jam route, and flood the market with their own cheap bootlegs -- which was the coolest, most anti-Metallica gesture of the year. But of course, other people no doubt ripped those bootlegs and posted them. And so it will go.
The people who are probably really out in the lurch are the bootleggers. While top-notch quality and liner notes and photos are reasons to pay for commercially available CDs, the huge majority of bootlegs donít come with such, and, so there is no reason to pay for them at all.
One more thing to worry about: as the musical choices expand towards infinity and the time to listen shrinks towards zero, are we all going to naturally retreat deeper and deeper into our own individual turfs? I felt like that this year, what with U2 and Lloyd Cole and Rancid, and even Teenage fucking Fanclub all making my top 10, though only Rancid has been consistent for me in the last past decade, and others like Everclear and the Jayhawks and PJ Harvey have never even come close. But still, some of these people have been making music for longer than Britney has been alive.
Anyways, hereís the list:
|U2||All That You Canít Leave Behind||15|
|Lloyd Cole||The Negatives||14|
|Everclear||Songs From an American Movie Vol 1: Learning How to Smile||13|
|Aimee Mann||Bachelor No. 2||09|
|PJ Harvey||Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea||08|
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This page finally put into HTML on 22 June 2001
I was listening to Aerosmith -- Just Push Play