Tone It Down.

May 28, 2009

I thought that by now you would be able to hum (even if you’re tone deaf) a few notes of a song that’s in your head at your computer and your iTunes would find it and download it for you. I also thought that you’d have your choice of as much of any band’s discography as you’d like by just shouting the band’s name at your computer. Not the case. I thought the future would be a little more futuristic than this.

For the last two months I have been on a very active quest for something quite simple. A compact disc containing some music from The Undertones. It started as a quest for a CD of their discography– which exists. That was downgraded to a search for their first album, which was subsequently downgraded to a search for a greatest hits (ugh), and eventually that was reduced to a hunt for some compilation or anything with at least “Teenage Kicks” in some sort of digital format.

This quest, by the way, is totally the reason that I haven’t made an entry on here in two months. This sort of thing can be very time consuming. I’ve been to at least eight stores looking, no, scouring the shelves for SOMETHING. I’ve made multiple trips to some of those stores because they at least had a divider labeled “Undertones,” but no, nothing. New, used, greatest hits, compilation, NOTHING! And each occasion came complete with the incredulous look-through-the-adjacent-bands’-sections-because-surely-they-have-this-here-somewhere scavenger hunt.

“Why didn’t you just download it?” That’s what you’re saying to yourself while judging me for wanting to purchase music in a physical, but non-vinyl format. Well, shut up, because I tried that– plus I have two Undertones records. Call me old fashioned, or at least 90’s fshioned, but sometimes I like to have a non-burned copy of a CD. And, I’ll have you know that one of the two Undertones records I own is a somewhat coveted copy of their “Peel Sessions.” The other one is this:

I know. Nothing is hotter than a second rate version of Kelly LeBrock covered in bacon, prosciutto, and cellophane. But that’s a seperate post all together (possibly one discussing really good ways to get sick while simutaneously not attracting men, and the fact that a Kelly LeBrock google search suggested the related search: “kelly lebrock fat,” as she is currently… like Kirstie Alley fat, it’s bad.) Anyways, The closest thing that iTunes has to any Undertones anything is some stupid tribute album with a bunch of shitty groups doing very poor covers of very exceptional songs. How did that make it through? Really, why would you sell an album that is a tribute to a band whose original music you don’t sell?

I finally broke down and ordered an extensive greatest hits CD from and ebay music seller. On the day it arrived I watched some Undertones videos online– something I’d been intentionally avoiding for the fear that it would make me more frustrated. I’m not sure what would have happened if I had discovered this video without owning something I could listen to without a record player or a computer. It doesn’t matter, but what does matter is how great that particular video is.

I also discovered an a capella group that calls themselves The Undertones. They are ALSO amazing. They’re just a bunch of Notre Dame students (with the football jerseys to prove it. No fakes here, OK.) who perform popular songs like: “Jack and Diane,” “Sweet Caroline,” and “Uptown Girl” AND they do it ALL with their mouths if you can believe that! They also have a few showtunes in the mix, like: “Kiss De Girl” from The Little Mermaid, and “Circle of Life” from The Lion King… Disney songs count as showtunes right? I thought so.

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