Is the internet broken?

Posted in New, Petulance on July 9th, 2009 by Alex

I’m not a demanding person. I have simple needs: my wife and kid, something to occupy my (slightly defective) brain, beer tokens, my iPod and a constant supply of new music. Please don’t upset the balance.

In the UK, no-one can hear Cave In scream

In the UK, no-one can hear Cave In scream

It is the final ingredient in this most subtle dish that is making my world pie taste a little sour today. It is important that I hear the new Cave In track Retina Sees Rewind (from the forthcoming EP Planets of Old) that Hydra Head records proudly announced is available, right now, on iTunes. Bloody marvelous, thought I, on hearing this news. Cave in have produced some of the most deftly challenging, commercially orientated music of the past decade. When they disappeared on indefinite hiatus in 2006 we were all sad. When recently they reformed we all cheered.

Cave In have tantalizing talent for reinvention and the question on everyone’s lips is “what will they do next?” Well I’m bloody well going to find out, thought misguided me. Arriving at iTunes I discovered, to my intolerable disdain, that it’s only available to US iTunes users. Steve Jobs you bastard, give me my music! Undeterred, I went on the hunt.

It is a wonderful thing the modern interweb. When I want to hear a track, 95% of the time I can find it, or at least bits of it, even if it’s some dodgy mobile phone recording obscured by some twat telling his mate to “check out the guitarist’s gnarly stack”. Most of the time, some copyright ignorant hoodlum has posted it on Youtube helpful adding a static sleeve scan for our audiovisual entertainment.

But is seems that the tech savvy hoardes are not Cave In savvy. I could not find the track anywhere. I can’t buy, borrow or steal. It’s not up on the musical promotion phenomenon that is Myspace either. Presumably, the limited edition EP will be similarly difficult to obtain. Meanwhile, thousands of smug Americans bask in the song’s glory.

What is going on? I really thought we’d transcended the age where if you wanted to hear the latest Lawnmower Deth track you’d need to get your mate to tape it for you.

The new age of the musical internet is democratic. You listen to new bands/albums/tracks because you can, and you support the bands by seeing them live and actually purchasing their tracks. If you don’t like what you hear, don’t pay. This is how it works now whether the record industry likes it or not. Music spreads like a virus electronically, just as it always did in the real world – this is because music is about connections in our brains, and between people, and has nothing to do with distribution formats.

So given that I am unable to even listen to this track, even once, just a snippet, I can only assume that the internet is broken and that Google will fix it soon. Then I can listen to Retina Sees Rewind and tell you all (both of you unlucky souls who arrived here accidentally) all about it.

Hydra Head assure us that UK  (and I’m presuming international) fans will be graced with this tune’s availability imminently. Too late, but let’s hope it’s not too little.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of the internet that isn’t broken.

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