Keep Mediocre Music Coming
October 27, 2003

RANT #210: Arts & Entertainment
Summary: Why do I spend so much money? It's an Enigma.
Full Text:

I don't have much money these days. But I need music to keep me going, whether I'm tidying my non-rent-controlled apartment, or blowdrying plastic to my windows to keep heating costs down, or on my way to the pharmacist to fill disgustingly expensive prescriptions. Sadly, my roomate and I still haven't busted through the router firewall that keeps us from downloading mp3s. So, it was with some trepidation that I shuffled off to my local music depot to appease my fix.

There were used CDs a-plenty, but my eye was caught by what looked to be a new Enigma CD. A new Enigma CD? After three or four years devoid of their preachy French neo-spiritualism and warped Native American chanting? I was sorely temped, my friends.

A confession: I own every single Enigma CD ever released. Or rather, I did, before I got robbed; now various people in Montreal own cheap used Enigma CDs. Enigma ain't the greatest, but there's something so warm and pretty about the rhythms and synths and urgent gasped sayings that mean absolutely squat ("our life is a wave of changes; change is our life"). Not to mention they've produced some of music's most darkly erotic tracks; no wonder goth clubs play this stuff. But I'm rambling. The point is, I thought about my teenage years grooving on this stuff, and immediately became blind to the $22 price.

I hauled my prize home and went to play it. The packaging had a copright protection sticker. Hmm. How odd. No worries though, since I know from buying the last Radiohead CD that my discman can play such things. Inside there was a flyer thanking me for buying new CDs and supporting the music industry, put out by Keep Music Coming Dot Com. Furthermore, the actual Enigma CD brochure-leaflet-thing also had a massive paragraph, in multiple languages, thanking me for buying the CD and urging me to support the music industry.

OK, fair enough. I didn't really feel proud. Sadly, when I popped the CD in the player, I felt even less proud. This CD is AWFUL. It makes me nauseous just thinking about it. There's nothing catchy or sexy on the entire disc. The lyrics are worse than usual ("my heart goes boom boom boom, every time I think of you"). There's even a song called "Total Eclipse of the Moon" (I'm serious), and the brilliant title is one of the main lyrics in this extended anthem of crap.

There was no nostalgia, only sadness. And then I realized that I'd just spent nearly a week's grocery money, and the sadness turned to anger that all the French ambient techno in the world could not diffuse. I'm well aware of the complexity of the downloading controversy, but for me there's a bottom line: I'd Keep Music Coming, only I can't afford it.

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