As how we consume music gets a technological evolution, an aspect we took for granted gets eliminated in exchange for the convenience of the new model. We lost the ritual and warmth of vinyl, we lost the durability and compactness of cassettes and the disposable mix culture of CDs. These are qualities that don’t necessarily matter to every music fan.
But one thing that’s been nearly wiped out by streaming music is the concept of scarcity. With a few exceptions, Spotify offers you everything an artist has ever done, available for immediate queueing. There used to be rare EPs or B-Sides, or early albums that you couldn’t even download because no one was seeding them. You had to be lucky to find them on a blog, in a store, or even on iTunes which didn’t always have the comprehensive library it has now.
There was a certain joy in the ancient times of 2008, when I would come home from Amoeba Records with an album like Son Lux’s “At War With Walls & Mazes,” or Her Space Holiday’s “Young Machines,” artists I discovered because they only had 1 or 2 stray MP3s floating around. I took a certain amount of pride in accumulating every Bright Eyes MP3, whether it be the instrumental “Cremation” that only appeared as a B-side, or a rare collaboration with The Album Leaf. That doesn’t matter anymore. That concept has been disintegrating for decades, sure, but it’s not since iTunes has that concept taken such a beating.
There used to be rare EPs or B-Sides, or early albums that you couldn’t even download because no one was seeding them.
The Rare MP3 is all that’s left. They’re most likely to be live recordings, radio show appearances, mixtape tracks with no sample clearances, early demos or imports from nation-specific releases. Streaming & The End of Scarcity, a new feature on Moxipop, aims to spotlight some of these uncommon items from big names. All that matters is that you can’t stream it — you’d have to have been an MP3 collector in the early-to-mid 00s to have come across it in the Music Blog Industrial Complex. Today, we’re doing a live version of Broken Social Scene’s “Ibi Dreams of Pavement.” Click the player below.
Broken Social Scene – Ibi Dreams of Pavement (Live on KCRW)
“Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day)” is a stand-out epic from Broken Social Scene’s 2005 self-titled album. While Spotify hosts Live at Radio Aligre FM in Paris, a compilation of live acoustic twists on their best songs, “Ibi” on K-CRW takes place well after that album. And, fuck, it might be better than every rendition on that thing.
Once you get past the funny false-start, what you’re left with is a beautiful version of a song that originally pumped you up emotionally. Violins take the place of trumpets and electric guitars, so instead of hitting you like a wave it just rolls in like a fog. And the lyrics are actually audible, too! As the band is now on indefinite hiatus, maybe now’s a good time to dig into their deeper cuts.