Saturday, July 29, 2006

Ghost Music

Ever hear a song that you like on the radio and then not hear it again for many years? One good thing about the Internet is that it makes it easier to track those songs down. Thanks to MusicMatch (I also have Itunes on my computer, but I don't use it very often), I was able to find and buy many songs I listened to in my younger years. Unfortunately, MusicMatch doesn't have all the songs I remember fondly. One of the ones I've been searching for is "Ghost Town" by Cheap Trick. I remember it from undergrad. I used to have it on tape (I was naughty in my younger years; I taped songs right off the radio because I didn't want to buy the records), but I don't think I have it anymore, and of course cassette tapes are pretty much obsolete anyway.

Since I haven't had much luck with MusicMatch, I tried another online music service: Connect. A couple of weeks ago, I got a code for three free downloads from them when I bought toothpaste. So I signed up online, downloaded the software, rebooted my computer, and searched for the song. I found not only "Ghost Town" but two other songs I've been looking for: "Edge of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks (it's a John Lennon tribute song) and "White Bird" by It's a Beautiful Day (a more obscure song I've heard on the local classic rock station.) I got to listen to "Edge of Seventeen," but then the music player from Connect froze up. I haven't been able to get it to work since, and I can't even figure out where the songs are stored on my hard drive so I can import them into MusicMatch. Talk about frustrating!

After being so close to success, I wasn't going to give up on the ghost. (rimshot) The all-knowing Google helped me figure out which Cheap Trick album it was on. I then returned to MusicMatch to search specifically for that album, but for some odd reason, MusicMatch has the album--but the track isn't included. I have no idea why they'd omit it. So the next thing I tried was searching the local library catalog online. Lo and behold, they had the album and the song, but the CD was checked out. Knowing my quarry was almost within reach, I put a hold on the album. It came in Thursday. Today I picked it up and copied it to my computer, so I got to hear "Ghost Town" for the first time in over a decade. Pretty cool.

I haven't given up on the other songs either. I have another hold on a Stevie Nicks album at the library, and that should come in soon. As for "White Bird," I think I'm going to put that album on my Amazon wish list. The music is intriguing enough to make me willing to listen to the whole album.

P.S. As a writer, I think this makes a pretty good outline for a short story. There's a character with a specific goal who has to overcome several obstacles and setbacks to reach it. So, will I try expanding this into a real story? Probably not, but the exercise of writing this down may help me plot other stories. Lord knows I need to do something writing-related, as I'm really forcing myself to edit Lennon's Line. Maybe I need to take a break from it for a few days. The sequel is calling me anyway.

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