Tuesday 17 June 2003


I just finished...acquiring...erm...accidentally placing on my computer...okay, okay, I was downloading mp3s with Kazaa and got myself the latest album from Guster. They're an American band and unfortunately, this album is not available here. So I downloaded it, loaded it into Winamp, and played the first song whilst puttering around the Internet. I wasn't entirely sure but it sounded like the lead singer was meowing. Or was I just really tired? No, he was meowing. Being a quirky sort of band, I thought that the first track must consist of music and meowing for comedic value. Then the second track played and more meowing ensued. I quickly scanned through the rest of the tracks and discovered that every single song consisted of the (probably correct) background music with the vocal track replaced by Guster going "meow meow meowwww meow meow meooow". (Click here to download a zipped version of one of the fake songs - it's fabulous.) For those of you not in the know, some bands have resorted to various techniques to stop their music from being downloaded for free via peer to peer software like Kazaa. The most common tactic is to plant "dummy" tracks, consisting of silence, the same song for all tracks on the album (look out for this one with Third Eye Blind's latest), or something else to deter freebie music lovin' folks. This has to be the most creative deterrent ever. To think that these guys sat there and meowed through their entire album is too funny for words.

I'm going to order Guster's latest CD from the States and pay the extra dough for shipping just because this made me giggle. I find this far more effective than Madonna's anti-mp3 dummy tracks consisting of Madge yelling, "What the fk do you think you're doing?!" repeatedly. For someone who earns a bazillion dollars a year and can't come up with anything wittier than swearing loudly, I don't really feel the incentive to shell out the cash for her latest album at my local HMV (apart from the fact that it's a really, really, really bad album). Guster was funny and clever about it, and they are not mutli-millionares. So to the guys from Guster - well done and yes, I will gladly pay for your album. I'm even keeping the dummy version 'cos it cracks me up. Oh yes, and they even have a blog.

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