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iTunes is not all I'd hoped. I'm not complaining about any of the file-sharing restrictions or anything (none of which affects me on a practical level, since I listen to music almost exclusively when I'm at the computer, writing or doing layout or editing or whatever). I know they have a huge and ever-growing database of music, etc., but there's some stuff I really wish they had, which they don't. I mean, I just want the studio version of Ween's "Nan," which they don't have (they have a few Ween albums, but not that one). I don't like most of the songs on that album, which is why I don't own it already, but I love "Nan." (In the meantime, I must live with some of the million mp3s from bootlegged live shows that circulate out there, none of which have quite the right emotional resonance... Though what I really want are recordings of some of the performances by Doctor Rock, a Ween cover band several acquaintances of mine formed in college, which I actually found superior to the real Ween in some ways.) Nor do they have "Pachelbel's Canon" by Thanks to Gravity, which is the last song I need to reproduce a marvelous mixed-tape that my old housemate and co-conspirator D. created back in 1997 (why is this important? Because I'm about to write some fiction set in high-school/college, and musical touchstones help me recall emotional color with greater depth. Also, reproducing old mixed-tapes based on ancient scrawled track-listings is first-rate writing avoidance behavior).

I might have to go out and actually buy CDs. Man. I thought we'd progressed beyond that, as a society.

We're listening to lots of Dar Williams, thanks to Jenn, who gifted us with some of her stuff on her visit last weekend. Heather and I bop around to "The Christians and the Pagans" a couple times a day. (Jenn also gave me 69 Love Songs last year; she's like the musical good fairy.) We're listening to Cake, which is always fun. I'm pillaging the depths of my memory and googling half-recalled lyric fragments to find songs that I recall from specific times in high school or college, like "Not an Addict" by K's Choice or "Popular" by Nada Surf, and listening to those. It's working. I'm getting in the mood to write some stuff that should be written. I think I'm finally ready to write about high school, and parts of college. It's been long enough that I can recollect the strong emotion in tranquility. (It sometimes takes me a few years to be able to deal with things really well. Which is why my story "The Witch's Bicycle," about Junior High, could only be written many years after the experiences that inspired it.)

And of course there's always Radiohead, Rockwell Church, R.E.M., the Old 97s, Counting Crows, Modest Mouse, Juliana Hatfield (and permutations thereof; Blake Babies, Juliana's Pony, Juliana Hatfield 3, etc. Or not etc. That's pretty much all the permutations, I guess). Agent Ink, and now the Octobers. Beck, Tori, Ani, the Decemberists.

Re-ripping all the music you lost when your computer ate itself a week ago is also excellent writing-avoidance behavior.

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