Wednesday, June 16, 2004

sure but she's a real fake

I did venture into easyeverything but didn't stay long and deleted the unfocused blog entry I hacked out before sending. I ended up in a lousy hotel. It was scruffy, smokey, hot and noisy... Never again.

A meeting this morning then the aim is to travel oop North out of rush hour. A good plan except for overhead cable damage in the Stevenage area. Doh!

iTunes Europe launched yesterday. I'll take a look I suppose (when I get my PC back) but fond as I am of MP3s and my iPod, something anal in me likes to know that I still have the CDs.

I even find myself saying things like 'CD packaging isn't as intrinsically enjoyable as that which housed vinyl LPs' (admittedly I don't say things like this THAT often but you get my drift).

Also, a combination of MP3s, playlists and shuffle functionality means that the 'art' of truly knowing and loving an album is dead. I connected with music in my youth completely differently to the way I do today. Part of this was due to saving up for specific records and then cherishing them (The Jam - Sound Affects, Specials - Specials, New Order - Power, Corruption and Lies, The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace...). Part of it was the linear process of listening - end to end, side 1, side 2. The music was recorded and sequenced to be enjoyed in this way. Even today I'll hear a track on the radio say and, as it fades, have the next track on the album cued up in my head ready to kick in. (Admittedly I'm almost exclusively listening to 6Music when this occurs).

Also, I used to learn these records by rote. Every word, every solo memorised. Even now I can irritate my family by singing every word of songs unheard for years (and often never heard by them).

The Bluebells - Cath
Heaven 17 - Crushed By The Wheels of Industry
James - Just Hip
Rain - Lemonstone Desired
The Beat - Hands Off She's Mine
ACR - Knife Slits Water
The Wedding Present - Kennedy
Aztec Camera - Orchid Girl

But, hey, look what I'm doing... I'm creating another mental playlist. Maybe we've found a way of expunging the filler tracks which we used to put up with ( The Police - Be My Girl Sally, The Human League - Get Carter, The Jam - Music For The Last Couple...). That being said the quality:filler ratio has significantly worsened since the advent of CD with average playing times jumping from 34mins to 65+. Indeed, the little shiny disc's defining release, Dire Straits 'Brothers In Arms' was purposefully all filler just to test the concept. Also the 80 minute capacity of the CD was the death of many a career... especially those who confused quality with quantity e.g. Prince, squiggle and TAFKAP, and those who were just confused e.g. Prince, squiggle and TAFKAP.

When was the last time you bought a record which really blew your mind? Not one which you thought was 'pretty good' or even 'brilliant' but one which you listened to time and time and time again until you felt that your life would never be the same again? Maybe this is purely a factor of youth in that you haven't heard much music and you have a mind prone to being blown by any stray Pixies, Smiths, R.E.M. orJoy Division track ( or worse Queen, U2, Sting, etc - some never recover). Anyway, you are now old enough and wise enough to know that To The Five Boroughs ain't gonna cut it, so why are you going to buy it?

Lastly, why are iTunes tracks 79p in the UK but only 99c in Europe. Somebody call Robert Kilroy Silk.