Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid | AspenTimes.com
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Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid

Todd Hartley
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

I’ve always wanted to be the start of something viral.

(Wow. Think about how much the meaning of that particular phrase has changed in the last few years. That used to be No. 4 on my list of “First Sentences You’ll Hopefully Never Write.”)

And by that, I don’t mean viral in a Lou Gehrig-y type of way. I harbor no illusions. No one’s naming a disease after me. And I don’t mean it in a herpes kind of way, either. That’s not a cold sore on my lip. I just got a little overzealous with a fork. Good soup’ll do that to a man.

No, what I mean is that I want to be the person who spawns an Internet phenomenon, the modern-day equivalent of a bountifully coifed blonde who tells two friends about Faberge shampoo, and they tell two friends, and so on, and so on. Not the person who actually makes the shampoo, but the person who first posts a link to it on Facebook with the message “OMG LOL!” and has friends who like to forward links to their friends. That’s who I want to be.

In part, it’s because I’m apparently incapable of creating or accidentally filming something on my own. Sadly, no one has been there with a camera any of the many times I’ve been hit in the groin with something, and I forgot to remove the lens cap that time I filmed my son falling down the stairs. For some reason I couldn’t talk him into doing another take.

Unable then, as I am, to be the creator of something of note, I’d like to be the next best thing, the guy who recognizes the inherent awesomeness in something he stumbles upon while surfing the Internet and makes everyone else aware of that awesomeness.

All of which brings me, after entirely too long a prelude, to the point of this column: I have discovered something awesome, and I want to be the one to spread the word to the masses.

As virtually no one seems to be aware, I have a music blog called “The Daily Listen” on my website at zerobudget.net. Each day I post a song to listen to, with a little background about it and links to videos and information about the artist.

Since I’m cheap, I’m always on the lookout for free music I can download legally, and I happened to stumble upon a website called jamendo.com. It’s run by people in Luxembourg, and it’s essentially a site where unsigned musicians and bands can post their music for people to listen to and download. There’s literally thousands of albums you can have for free.

Granted, 95 percent of it sucks. That’s why it’s free. And much of it is people singing in foreign languages, which is pretty much an automatic disqualifier. But if you go to jamendo.com and do a search for the band “Papilemon,” your ears are in for a treat.

Download the album “Cyrilo’s Hell,” a 5-song EP that is one of the best things I’ve ever heard. It’s a groovy, acid-jazzy sound that calls to mind Phish and Herbie Hancock, and it’s basically all I’ve listened to since I found it. It’s in Spanish, admittedly, but pretty much the only words are someone saying he’s “Jimmy the Lemon,” or something that sounds remarkably like that.

After you download it, give the songs a good listen, and then, after you acknowledge the awesomeness of it, retweet the link, or Facebook it, or e-mail it, or do whatever you have to do to make sure everyone who owns a computer realizes they can have great music for free. Let’s make Papilemon the next big thing that everyone hears about one morning and then promptly forgets.

“But Todd,” you say, “even if Papilemon reaps the benefits of going viral, what’s in it for you? No one will remember that you were the one who recognized their genius. Why would you do something so selfless?”

Well, I’ll tell you. As great as it would be to be a homeless guy with nine kids and a mellifluous radio voice, it would also be cool to be the guy in the car with the camera who took the time to talk to a crazy-looking man by the side of highway, posted the video and saved Ted Williams (the homeless guy, not the dead ballplayer) from a life on the streets.

Not that Papilemon is necessarily homeless, but you get the idea.


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