20 March 2006

Have "La La", Will Travel

Okay, I admit I'm a bit strange when it comes to my musical choices. I am one of the few (actually I am the only one I know, but I have hopes that I will find others someday out there like me) who can, and frequently does, go from listening to AC/DC to Caruso to Hank Williams (Sr. and Jr.) in a single acoustic wonderland setting. For the same reasons, movies such as "High Fidelity" (with the ageless talent of John Cusack in the lead) stand in my Top 10 Must See films every year. I begrudgingly gave up my entire TOFOG (www.gruntland.com) CD collection to a new found friend in Australia, only to now be in withdrawal in the 2 months since as she's finding out which of the 6 CDs she likes best. (Yes, that is the band that features actor Russell Crowe as the lead singer, but no matter your personal feelings on Crowe, don't hold that against the band...they, and he, are actually quite good. Too damn bad no one in the US can verify that except every 2-3 years or so when they play like 5 shows max.) I have, thankfully, have my Elvis Costello (hereafter referred to as God) and Janis Joplin CDs to keep me company. But I want more, although my poor budget doesn't allow for it (saving for Australia can hamper one's discretionary spending habits, let me tell you).

So imagine my rather pleasant surprise when I happened across this little new service: "La La", a CD sharing service, sorta an underground Netflix for audiophiles. Mentioned in "Time" magazine, of all places.

Anybody have any experience with these people, or this service, yet? I admit I am practically chomping at the bit that someone may actually have some bootleg INXS songs I never heard, or some Merle Haggard early Okie works, or hell even some Janis Joplin 'live in Austin' outtakes. If this works, could be a whole new outlet for people to finally learn about some of the great music they have been missing and could be a whole less costly than buying 15 or so copies to get friends to finally listen to your favourite band. (This is both a good and a bad thing if you're a TOFOG fan...trust me, I think I should have taken out stock in them a few years back after my contributions. Or at least had a say in what kinds of T-shirt designs are chosen.)

I know there are several successful book sharing services, but essentially the members contributing to that actually believe that they will not get their books back (they even have little history markers attached to the inside covers so the books can be tracked from owner to owner, destination to destination), or not get their books back in any kind of timely manner...the dear books are 'released', much like you would a rescued bird back into the wilderness. And Lord knows the disposable camera logs are quite popular, too. (With that, somebody buys a disposable camera, takes a few pictures, passes it along to a friend who takes some more, then they pass it along to another friend someplace else...eventually the camera gets full and sent back in for development. After that, the developing company posts the pictures online where then all the participants can caption and discuss the pictures...nice way to not only see the world in a small and personal way, but also get to know volumes about your friends - and theirs).

I think I'm gonna try this one out, the price seems like something I can handle right now. And I'll even make it quite entertaining for those who want to get some real musical knowledge: first up on my 'lend' listings will be my History of Chess Records Blues Collections, Volumes 1 and 2. (Just in case the worst happens, though, I'm burning copies to my hard drive before releasing them out into the wild.) I'll let you know how, and if, this adventure all plays out.

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