The Sublime Effects of iTunes

CLEVELAND — “I love iTunes. The idea of looking up a movie I want and buying it once feels great. In the past I bought Back to the Future on VHS, numerous DVD versions and the super Blu-Ray trilogy. And finally, I bought the iTunes version because I have an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and an Apple computer, so it makes perfect sense for me to start buying this format. But what really makes this stand out is that I will have it forever, on any future format. As my tv gets better my DVD copies get worse but now with iTunes I will always have an HD version. On top of all this, if I am out of town I can download my entire movie library with Apple TV at any hotel. This is not just for movies but also music, which I assume is where the idea started. One more neat thing about this is that for $1.99 you can buy Music Videos. Buying Machine Head by Bush may be a bad idea but owning Thriller forever for 2 bones is well worth it.

But my problem with it is that it is killing music. Now, we can start at the root of the problem and blame napster (which I do) but iTunes is taking it to new ground. I think it’s a great service for all the reasons I stated for other media but my problem is that albums will no longer exist.

My daughter will be born in January and will never know the feeling or smell of buying a new album. I have fond memories of going to the record store and thumbing through all the carts for the new big thing. (Do you recall when they switched to C.D.’s from tapes and stores wanted to keep the same carts so they added all that useless packaging?)She’ll be able to find new music in a way I can’t even think up right now but I’m scared she’ll miss out on accidental greatness…

When I was in Jr. High I wanted to be a disc jockey and even shadowed Dj’s at a few Rock & Roll Alternative radio stations. One of them gave me a some free albums with music I had never heard of and was so excited to blare in my headphones before anyone else could. It was album called Ham Fisted by Local H, and although now I would say it’s no good, I felt special listening to it in ’95. I learned that they were coming to Cleveland to a small (world famous) punk rock club called The Agora. As someone who didn’t have a lot of friends or the means to get around by myself I called my sister who was in college and cool. (she took me to see the Screaming Trees, Soul Asylum, and Spin Doctors a year before) She couldn’t take me to see them because of some random excuse she came up with. My Dad who by all definitions of the word is a square, not because he is a bad guy but because he was born in 1936, said he would take me. I could never express myself enough to my Father how grateful I am that I could go to that show.

Local H was one of the openers for this tour, so they played and left early. I actually have no memory what so ever of them playing except thinking a two piece band was neat. The memories that come from this show is the headliner, a band I had never heard of in my youth but would never forget. The headliner was Sublime and this was their 40oz to freedom tour and literally the only time they have played in Cleveland. The one other time they were scheduled was for the Warped Tour but they were kicked off the tour by the time the Cleveland date came up. I still recall certain people from the show because of how strange they looked to me at the time. Honestly, it was the first time I saw someone wearing fishnets. Bradley Nowell was walking around, probably drunk and high and said to me “Thanks for coming little guy” The reason I quote it is because it’s a quote. Little me was amazed a Rock Star would talk to me and then about a bit more than year later he died and the self titled album exploded, I knew I had meet a legend.

The reason I am expressing this is because it is one of the coolest music moments of my life and it all happened because some DJ gave me a record. If iTunes is the way of the future; would he have given me a promo gift card? If that was the case would I have picked up Grave Dancer’s Union because I already knew I liked it? Accidents are what makes for perfect art. I hope my daughter makes the best mistakes possible.”

Dave Ralph

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