Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment, or How My Obsessive Quest For A Song By The Ramones Lead To Many, Many Pop-Ups.

It was last night. I was looking for a song on the internet, so I went to iTunes. I wanted to download The Ramones' cover of Palisades Park. But the song wasn't on iTunes. They had about 250 songs by The Ramones, so it seemed as though the entire discography was available, but no Palisades Park. I was darn near positive that the song was on the album Ramones Mania, because that was the only Ramones album I had in high school (being the greatest hits type of music listener that was at age 15), and I had remembered listing to this song in high school. But the absence of the song from the iTunes offerings caused me to think twice. Three times, actually. You see, I embraced iTunes and the Music Store so quickly and so fully that I now tend to trust iTunes before I trust my own memory. Sure, I remember listening to The Ramones sing Palisades Park with my old high school friend Gill. Sure, I remember the super quick beat behind the carnival-themed bridge between verses. Sure I do...don't I? Well, maybe I'm mistaken, if Apple doesn't have it how can it exist? Don't worry, I haven't fully resigned my soul and free will to the Man. I called Gill, who now lives in Boulder, Colorado (the centennial state), to verify the existence of this song; to sort of act as a witness that I wasn't an absolute fruit loop. So I was half right. The Ramones did indeed release a cover of Palisades Park, but it was on the album called Brain Drain, which, as luck would have it, is not included in iTunes' Ramones repertoire. So I wasn't going to be able to download the song, but at least I wasn't crazy!

By now, I was on a mission. Having proven the existence of the song, I would now own the song. I would find an mp3 of the song, pay for the song, and download it to my precious, still-new, cute little computer. But it had to be an mp3, or at least not a Real Audio file. I've been burned by Real; the songs I bought from them wreaked major havoc on my iTunes, iPod, and CD-burning lifestyle. Big time. So I googled and clicked on links googled some more, trying to find a site on which I could BUY the song. Yes, pay real American dollars (or at least enter my credit card number). I wasn't looking for file sharing for free music, I just wanted--nay, needed--this song.

And then I made a really bad decision.

I clicked my frenzied little way to a Russian mp3-selling website that claimed to have the song--my song. Of course, I didn't get the song there, but I did get a freaking ton of spyware, adware, datamining-ware, and crapware installed on my innocent little computer. It's taken me a good 3 or 4 hours, as well as the downloading and installing of an additional ad-ware busting application (Spybot S&D just couldn't get all of them!), but I think (I hope!) I've finally gotten rid of the last of the intrusive pop-up generating programs. Holy crap, what a mess I made. What a baaaaaaaaaaaad decision.

It's not simply about me being obsessive. I mean, sure that's part of it, but I have a genuine need for this song. This year, I'm, er, reappropriating my friend Julie's annual holiday gift-giving idea: I've created a mix CD to distribute to my family, friends and well-wishers. A very special, thoroughly thought-out, emotion-filled, and super fantastic mix CD! And it had a space reserved on it for Palisades Park, written by one Mr. Charles Barris--former host of The Gong Show, and author of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which became one of the best movies ever. You can plainly see why this song had to be included on the mix CD. But sadly, today was my deadline to stop futzing with the playlist and track order and start designing labels and jewel case inserts (last year's holiday mix CD lost out to laziness and procrastination).

Long story short: Obsessive quest. Bad decision. Lots of pop-ups.

I'll post the super fantastic holiday mix CD playlist here after I've given them out--don't want to ruin the surprise.

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