Saturday, August 20, 2005

I ♥ eMusic

(That's supposed to be a heart. If it's not, your computer is heartless.)

Everybody knows about iTunes, but eMusic, another online music store, seems to be much less well known. Check it out: 25 cents a song or less, restriction-free MP3 files (play anywhere), tons of independent labels in all genres. There's no major labels but so what? I guess it's my folk-and-jazz bias, but I don't really miss not having whatever the hit of the week is with all this great stuff out there. And this month they added 138 albums from Smithsonian/Folkways, which may not be a major label to anybody else, but in the folk world it is. (Of course I already have a lot of those on CD, but not all by any means.)

And no, eMusic doesn't pay me for this. I just love it. And I want to make sure lots of other people pay them money so it doesn't go away.

Another small enterprise I'd like to support is the small natural food store on Jackson at 15th St. in Oakland, the name of which I can't remember. It just opened this year and I hope it survives, because they have fresh Grace Bakery bread every day and I enjoy having the good fresh sourdough bread within a close walk of my apartment (although I do prefer Semifreddi's bread). It's what a convenience store would look like in a world where all grocery stores were Whole Foods.

I hope they last, although I have my doubts since Jackson St. is not a thoroughfare and it's not really visible from 14th St., which is. And of course the real Whole Foods will open up soon on 27th and Harrison (in a historic building that was originally a cable car barn). That is going to be good for the city (although their labor relations could stand improvement), but I hope the little store on Jackson does enough business to survive.

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