Saturday, February 28, 2004

How I spent my $13.86

I have a story in today's Santa Fe New New Mexican about music lovers receiving settlement checks from that multi-state antitrust suit against the music industry. READ THAT STORY HERE.

I was "tipped off" to this story by a weird little non-descript piece of mail that I had in a pile of junk mail I was just about to throw away. Luckily I opened it. I'd forgotten about registering in the lawsuit online a few years ago.

So how to spend this $13.86 windfall? On music of course. But somehow it just didn't seem right to give back the dough to the people who'd ripped me off in the first place. (Yes, as a critic and DJ I do get tons of free CDs, but as a music nut, I also undoubtedly buy more CDs than your average 50-year-old citizen.)

In the Capitol pressroom yesterday I cynically suggested I'd spend the money on blank CDs just to piss off the RIAA. But I decided instead to spend it on some unknown, independent musician who I'd never heard of before.

Surfing around the CD Baby site -- that's a righteous web-based company that sells my CD -- I came across a dude called Ukulele Man who is described as a "cross between Cab Calloway, Ukulele Ike, Abbie Hoffman, and a mild-mannered Captain Beefheart; if the Pogues were a Cajun band that hung out with Robert Fripp>"

His album Crazy Old World has a song about PeeWee Herman (I heard a sample of this one -- sounds bitchen) and tunes called "I Wish I Were a Pirate" and "Thank God for Toilets."

How could I go wrong?

With postage it came to $15.22.

I'll let you know how the album is. Meanwhile, if you're one of the 3.5 million who are getting an extra $13.86, please consider spending it on an independent artist.