Russians, Adele and How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize I Have the Consumerist Soul of a Suburban Woman

GoMusicNow.com is a music website that offers full albums for about two dollars and songs for about 15 cents. It is heaven, and it is likely (HAS TO BE) illegal. And I think it is based out of Russia.

One day in the not too distant future I will almost certainly take three steps out of my apartment and then three KGB agents will grab my arms and legs and cover my mouth with a chloroform rag before transporting me to a secret underground missile silo that doubles as a gulag for punk Americans who think they can cheat the music industry. I know this. Their names will be Dmitri, Boris (pronounced bo-REEEES) and Vladimir. I wait attentively like a minuteman for this regrettable day. Until then, GoMusicNow.com is worth it.

Home over Thanksgiving Break, I went on one of those downloading binges where you lose an afternoon in front of your computer just clicking and clicking and clicking. I downloaded two Wale albums, Foster the People, some new Florence and the Machine, the new Drake, some old Regina Spektor, and probably something else. It cost me the equivalent of a single Fruit Roll-Up.

Now you understand why I am willing to risk becoming an imprisoned expat for this music. The selection is unmatched. Ever wanted to listen to Afritanga? Neither have I, but the point is I can and I can do it for $2.03.

I do, however, want to listen to Adele. But her latest album, 21, the most popular album of the year, the album that contains the song “Someone Like You,” which I REALLY want to sing karaoke to, is nowhere to be found on the website. You can get 19 and some other random albums of hers and you can even get “Someone Like You” off Now 77 (and I am NOT making up that number. Now is up to 77.)

So I face a first-world conundrum. I want the Adele CD but like most classless, spoiled, hipster yuppies I dread paying for it. I will have to shell out $10-13 for her album, whether I want it off ITunes, Amazon or from a store. I’ll probably choose the store. When I have to pay $10 for something, I generally want it wrapped in a bunch of worthless plastic.  So I’ll buy a concrete CD.

Here, to the best of my memory, is a complete list of the last true CD’s I have bought, i.e. CD’s that I got from the store and came in the case, since July 2007. You’ll see that it resembles the taste of Penny Marshall.

December 2009: Alicia Keys The Element of Freedom

September 2009: Lily Allen It’s Not Me, It’s You and Kings of Leon Aha Shake Heartbreak

December 2008: Lady GaGa The Fame

September 2008: “Sara Bareilles Little Voice

November 2007: Jay-Z American Gangster

July 2007: Michael Buble Call Me Irresponsible

Notes: I was given a Lupe Fiasco CD as a birthday gift in December 2007 and a Ghostface Killah CD as a Christmas gift in 2007 but will not count those because I did not actually purchase them.

Aside from two buys, Hova and Kings, those CD’s are purchases of a demographic that doesn’t fit the average 20-something guy who writes pointless blogs (Or do they?). I swear, I also like MONSTER TRUUUUUCKS and HARDWARE STOOOOOORES, but something about buying actual CD’s clearly unleashes my inner suburban white mom.

I think it does for everyone. This is because the only people who buy actual CD’s are suburban moms. They see them at Starbucks or Target or Wal Mart or Alco, if they live in Central Kansas, and pick them up. Unlike with young people or the more tech savvy, it is just as easy for them to purchase music at stores rather than from Amazon or ITunes or through partially legal third parties that will undoubtedly be raided by the feds. This choice of consumption has allowed mothers to become the most influential people in the mainstream music industry. I will prove this point to the death, or until I am imprisoned in that gulag.

A couple of months ago, my friend Joe argued that Kanye West became the most famous act to appear at Austin City Limits when he did so this September. Maybe he is right. But I say he isn’t. Norah Jones performed at Austin City Limits the year before, and she is more popular because she is beloved by suburban moms. My mom, who lives in a two-story house in a neighborhood called, seriously, Nottingham By The Green, owns at least two of Jones’ albums. She wouldn’t recognize Kanye West if he ran on stage and acted like a complete douchebag, totally ruining an award night for America’s sweetheart Taylor Swift. He of course did do that. And I am sure she still doesn’t recognize him from Cornel West, a person I am sure she doesn’t recognize either.

Let the numbers illustrate this theory further: Kanye West has sold 11 million albums in the U.S., according to Wikipedia. Norah Jones has sold 14.5 million, not to mention about 22 million more worldwide.

I would guess Kanye’s album total would be significantly higher if jackasses like me didn’t download My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy from sketchy websites. But we do and suburban moms don’t. So when I actually set foot in a record store, through osmosis, I turn into one of those suburban moms, and soon enough I’m heading to Target to buy the Adele CD.

I better hurry. Someone named “Vladislav from St. Petersburg” just sent me a message on G-Chat. He didn’t sound friendly. Oh nyet, comrade.

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