August 06, 2008


We’re musically overwhelmed.

I haven’t REALLY realized it until just recently when I looked at the pile of music to listen to that I usually have stacked.  Just stuff to shuffle through and get to.  Collectively, music listeners are being barraged by a literal sound tsunami, a constant push of unorganized music to their ears  There are so many bands and tons of music available these days that to fully enjoy the impact of a few excellent bands, you really have to shut off the flow of much of it.  There’s a bit of anarchy in the air and it may end up not having been too good to us.

Let’s back up a few steps here.  Of course, there has always been a lot of music.  However, in the early days of Rock (late ‘50s, and all of ‘60s and ‘70s), there weren’t such a multiplicity of bands with ready access to quasi-marketing tools provided by a “free” internet – MySpace, Facebook, Last FM, online PR – and DIY sales tools like Snocap.  With the ability to record outside a costly studio, and the cheap production of a thousand CDs, anyone can start shoving purchasable music out the door, 1-2-3.

Like any sport, once you add too many teams, you begin to dilute the pool of talent, often placing a singular talent alone without effective support.  What ends up happening is that you have a whole lot of disinteresting teams.  What follows is a lessening impact.  Just ask the NBA what this means.

I’m beginning to wonder if this inundation of album-filled music may have some overall impact in us “shutting off.”  We’ve reached a point where the majority can only tolerate the songs they perk up on, leaving the rest for the devoted fan.  Sound familiar?  Sure, we have a band or two that we attach to but the music experience has mostly devalued to an iPod full of desirable tracks, with most of them classics tracks from the past.  The album experience has dissolved; it’s just too much music.  Using the sports dilution argument, how many decent musicians with little to no writing panache can fill an album with exciting material?  NONE.  A fair amount with minimal song-crafting skills can come up with ONE song that has a catchy melody or hook, but cannot replicate that beyond the one lucky song.  This is the overload of disinterest that has helped to kill the music business, who loves a sold CD and who is failing at that sales goal.

With the advent and proliferation of online music such as the previously mentioned iTunes, MySpace, Last FM, and a hundred other accessible music points (eMusic, Napster, etc), our “all you can eat” buffet diet of music may now be more music calories than we can handle. We’re fattening our indifference and, in the process, de-sensitizing our musical sensitivity.

In earlier days, we had to make a choice of music based on our ability to purchase.  Experimentation was left to extremists who had extraordinary collecting habits and little else to spend money on – a rare breed.  There were no internet channels to digitally “offer” music on a virtually unlimited basis.  Instead, we made precise purchasing decisions, and borrowed the rest.  Now, it is easy to indulge your every whim within minutes.  And the future is developing more instantaneous gratification paths with phones becoming portable media centers.  Soon ‘overwhelming’ will no longer be the word we use, ‘drowning’ will work much better – or sensory suicide.    Too much of a good thing leads to ennui.

I bring all this up to make a point.  Perhaps we’re in too deeply and we need to extricate ourselves.  It’s nice to hear all of this music but it’s likely the reason that we’re shutting down and becoming insensitive to the art of it all.  We’re still enmeshed in the downloading of songs but I wonder just how closely we listen to those songs anymore.

I may have overwhelmed you myself by spouting off nonsensical drama.  Or perhaps I’ve put a thumb on a valid side of the whole argument.

Your turn to discuss. 

Give us your view of the best Byrds contribution and we'll judge the response, answering accordingly. Send your choice at this link.

We have tw reviews for you that include Anonymous from art rockers, CIAM and the reissued Empetus from Steve Roach, as an expanded 2CD Limited Edition.

See you on Friday!

If you have missed the last As The Disc Spins (updated), check it out here.

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Shout! Factory will be releasing a series of collections.  There will be 100 Greatest Speeches; 100 Greatest News Stories; 100 Greatest Personalities; 100 Greatest Scandals; 100 Sports Moments; and all of these available in one Box Set100 Greatest.  These are planned for September 23.

J Records will release Fearless… by Jazmine Sullivan on September 23.

Nettwerk Records have slated Tennessee Pusher by Old Crow Medicine Show for release on September 23.

 Remember the David Gilmour releases called Live in Gdansk that we had mentioned a while ago?  Columbia will be domestically releasing these in various configurations on September 23.  Just a friendly reminder.

Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish) will release his Country solo album on Capitol Records come September 16.  The album is called Learn to Live and will contain his current Country single, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.”

Husband and Wife, Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson will join together to deliver an album called Rattlin’ Bones.  This is scheduled for September 16 on Sugar Hill Records.  You can hear a sample at their MySpace page.

Capitol Records will release a ‘best of’ for Dave Koz on September 16 called Greatest Hits.  This collection is the first compilation for Dave Koz and will feature 4 new songs for a total of 15 tracks.

Ice Cube – The Essentials will be released on September 16 by Priority Records.  This collection overlaps 2001’s Greatest Hits with only three songs, making the set worthy of pickup.  This set spans 28 years and is a complementary addition for Ice Cube fans.

A&M Records will release Certifiable by The Police on November 11 in, thus far, a DVD video and an LP.  I’m sure a CD is in the works as well.

Jimmy Ryan from Haste the Day gets a chance to expand musically with his first album with a band outside of his mainstay band.  The formed band’s name is Trenches and their first album is called The Tide Will Swallow Us Whole, which is scheduled for a September 16 release by Solid State Records.

Blue Note Records will release The Cole Porter Mix by Patricia Barber on September 16.  Most of the tracks are Cole Porter songs with three written by Patricia Barber.  This is planned for September 16.

Blue Note will also release on September 16, the new set from the RVG series.  The titles planned are Dearly Beloved (1961) (Stanley Turrentine); Evolution (1963) (Grachan Moncur III); Leapin’ and Lopin’ (1961) (Sonny Clark); Dimensions and Extensions (1967) (Sam Rivers); and Peckin’ Time (1958) (Hank Mobley).  These are coveted re-mastered reissues so don’t delay in getting yours.

The LP reissue market continues to fire up with the upcoming releases, all planned for September 9.  They are classic titles by: Natalie Cole (Still Unforgettable - 2LP); The Eagles (Hotel California); Prince (Purple Rain); Van Halen (Van Halen I); and Warren Zevon (Warren Zevon).  These will be released by Rhino and ElektraRhino will release a CD version of Still Unforgettable as well.

Island will release an LP version of Burnin’ from Bob Marley and The Wailers on September 9.  Other September 9 LP additions include Teaser and The Firecat (Cat Stevens); Pyromania (Def Leppard); Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (Derek and the Dominoes); Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John); Appetite for Destruction (Guns ‘n Roses); Are You Experienced? (Jimi Hendrix); Mad Dogs and Englishmen (Joe Cocker); Second Helping (Lynyrd Skynyrd); Ace of Spades (Motorhead); The Downward Spiral (NIN); Synchronicity (The Police); Music of My Mind (Stevie Wonder); Sublime (Sublime); Who’s Next (The Who)The Low Spark of The High-Heeled Boys (Traffic); and Velvet Underground & Nico (Velvet Underground).  If that doesn’t keep you busy, then I don’t know what well.



Review - Steve Roach - Empetus - 2CD

Steve Roach is as good an ambient sound master as there is. When the great ones (Tangerine Dream/Michael Hoenig) came and went, Roach remained. Recorded in 1986, Empetus sounds like some of the great German synthesized classics. This re-released classic Limited Edition adds another bit of music to the already classic album. You'll love it if ambient is your thing, especially if you were a fan of it during the '70s.



Review - CIAM - Anonymous - CD

CIAM is a group of international musicians creating music reminiscent of Radiohead and other experimental bands. They're worth the time to investigate and see if they might fill your sweet tooth with their brand of art music. The album's name is Anonymous.


Single Review - L.P. - Good With You - NYC

L.P. has a voice reminiscent of Shakira.  She just uses it with a more Rock-like approach.  Her naturally powerful voice is home in the big city of NYC, a place that just seems to produce quality talent.  She has already enticed thousands with her live performances, particularly that of her ’06 SXSW show, which prompted signing offers (Island Records was turned down).  She has caught the ears of Entertainment Weekly.  She also sings the theme song heard on the TV Show, South of Nowhere (“Wasted”).

Her pre-album release single, “Good With You” is the first jolt from an album that is planned to be released in January of 2009.  I recommend a visit to her website as well as her MySpace page.  You might like what you hear.








Copyright 2002-2008 Matthew Rowe.
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212 Frech

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