August 13, 2008


A few posts back, I talked about the effects of an over indulgence in music.  In response, I received a fair batch of well-written emails that I’d never thought I’d get from that discussion.  Since then, I’ve seen the topic arise on some blogs.  All of this got me to thinking about the devaluing of music.  Surprisingly, I’m not alone in that thought.  In the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine*, Trent Reznor speaks out about the same concern (albeit a different direction), a sense that music is being de-valued by the belief that music should be free.  I go a little further.

It is well known that Trent Reznor, of NIN fame, has bucked the system by releasing a free album (Ghosts I-IV), and for a fee, an increasingly superior product leading up to a $300 Deluxe Set.  Since, he has released The Slip in the same way and then has released a physical copy in a Limited Edition CD/DVD set (250,000 units).  That set went on to enter the sales chart at #13.  In short, he is experimentally discovering a model to provide his music to you to help you avoid making a bad acquiring decision.  If you like it, you should still pay a reasonable sum for it.

In the article, it states that Reznor has rejected the Radiohead model of ‘pay what you feel’ because of a belief that fans will de-value the music to ridiculous sums simply because they can.  A visit to any P2P network can reveal that to you with all the free music you can illegally acquire. 

The smoke and subsequent fall-out has not settled on the issue of music being free or stolen or borrowed or cheaply acquired.  What is important to note is that in times past, when there was no internet to move things cryptically through the digital smog, most of us saved our dollars to buy music from bands and artists that we loved.  In that way, we were more invested in the bands that we have chosen, fiscally and emotionally.  Now, it is all dispensable because we can collect music cheaply and freely, shove it into iPods with huge storage capacities and then forget about because of days of continuous, shuffled overload.   I’m not pointing any fingers here nor am I being accusatory or judgmental.  Honestly, I’m merely making observations.

But my observation is that we have de-valued music in more ways than a dollar amount.  And one of those ways is instant access to all kinds of music that we are more than likely to dispatch after a short while once we’ve grown tired of them.  Too many bands, many of them bad, no longer have a governing body to weed out the inferior product.

The question to ask yourself is this…Have you reduced your own love of music because you have too much of it to concentrate on?  I’ll bet that if you are honest with yourself and ponder this question, you’ll find that the answer is an easy yes.  I love a full collection as much as the next guy.  But I have to realize that the absorption of too much music has diminished my time and scope…and appreciation.  There is simply too much music to take it all in.  Sure, I’m going to pass up a few that I might have fallen in love with.  But the time required getting to those removes me from the enjoyment of the few that I already love.

Don’t give up searching for new music.  It’s how we grow and evolve our love of it.  But don’t throw yourself under a bus for it.  The internet has a value and it should be used.  But we should also exercise a respect for our own sanity and valuing of music by cautiously acquiring music that we really want, and not that which we can easily have.  You’ll find that music is better enjoyed the less of it you have.  Music hasn’t changed, the way we listen to it and acquire it has.

Find yourself a favorite website or three and let them do the weeding out for you.  Subscribe to the magazine of your choice and use the internet to listen briefly to their recommendations.  But keep the acquired stuff to a manageable level.  You’ll be happier and you’ll value what you have.  The music scene is malleable; it will reshape into something healthy.  We can be a part of that resurrection.

Got something to say?

*(Edwards, Gavin. “Reznor Rolls Out Summer NIN Tour.” RS 1059. 21 August (08). pp 21-22).

Reviews today include the 2CD/1DVD retrospective of the recently deceased Isaac Hayes. Called Ultimate Isaac Hayes, it is truly that. In addition, I've spun the new disc from Amelia called A Long, Lovely List of Repairs.

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

To access the previous site and catch up, click here.






MVD Visual will release a set of DVDs on September 30 that includes Double Dynamite from James Brown, and Live at the Budokan from Chic.

Hatebreed will release a DVD of live performances called Live DominanceLive Dominance will include over two hours of live footage including a sold-out show at Harpo’s in Detroit.  All scenes have been filmed in HD, and will contain interviews and bonus live videos.  It is slated to be released on September 2 from Koch Records.

I’ve had a lot of people email concerning the mention of this release from Hip-O Select for Rare Earth.  The collection is called Fill Your Head: The Studio Albums 1969-1974.  This 3CD set features newly re-mastered tracks and a 32-page booklet that features exact reproductions of the original LP jackets.  The three discs contain their first five albums (not including Live) on Motown/Rare Earth (Get Ready – label debut 1969); Ecology (1970); One World (1971); Willie Remembers (1972), and Ma (1973).  Those albums generated hits like the pared down “Get Ready” from the album’s side-length cut, “(I Know) I’m Losing You,” “Born to Wander,” “I Just Want to Celebrate,” and “Good Time Sally.”  This collection also offers a selection of rare singles, some non-album tracks.  Those bonus inclusions are “Generation (Light Up the Sky),” the radio-edit single version of “Get Ready,” the radio-edit single version of “(I Know) I’m Losing You,” “When Joanie Smiles,” “Here Comes the Night,” the non-album Top20 “Hey Big Brother,” “Love Shines Down,” “Chained,” and “Fresh From the Can.”  This set is scheduled for September 9.

Fania Records will release a 2CD comp set that features The Fania All Stars.  The set contains 20 classic Salsa tunes that have been digitally re-mastered.  You can get this set beginning on September 9.

Geffen and Suretone Records will release a 4-song EP of remixed songs from The CureThe Cure tunes are songs that have been released in 2008 but have been remixed by members of other popular bands.  “The Only One” is a remix by Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars; “Freakshow” is remixed by Jade (AFI); “Sleep When I’m Dead” is remixed by Gerard from My Chemical Romance; and “Perfect Boy” is remixed by Pete and Patrick from Fall Out Boy.  This EP/CD will be released on September 16.

Growing Country band, the Eli Young Band, will have their new album called Jet Black and Jealous available on September 16 by Universal Republic Records.

More Keepnews Collection re-masters from Orrin Keepnews, including liner notes form Orrin and bonus tracks will arrive on September 16 from Concord Records.  The albums included in this batch are Thelonius Himself (Thelonius Monk), and Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Bill Evans) Thelonius Himself will add five bonus cuts (“Monk’s Mood” – false start, “(I Don’t Stand) A Ghost of a Chance (With You),” “Functional” – Take 1, “I Should Care” – Take 1, “I Should Care” – Take 2).  Sunday at the Village Vanguard will add four bonus tracks (“Gloria’s Step”) – Take 3, “Alice in Wonderland” – Take 1, “All of You” – Take 3, “Jade Visions” – Take 1).

Decca Records will release the latest James album in the US called Hey Ma.  This will be released in both CD and LP on September 16.

Quinlan Road, a subsidiary label of Verve Records, will release a 4CD linen-covered Box set for Loreena McKennitt.  The set will hold her first three recordings (Elemental, Parallel Dreams, The Visit) as well as a bonus disc of six live recordings and rarities.  The bonus inclusions are (“Caravanserai” – Live (PBS, Nights From the Alhambra), “The Bonny Swans” – Live (1998, World Tour), “The Highwaymen” – Live (2007 NA Tour), “Penelope’s Song” – Live (PBS, Nights From the Alhambra), “The Mummer’s Dance” – Remix, and “Dante’s Prayer” – Spanish (Una Casa Con Vista al Mar film).  This set is called The Journey Begins and is expected on September 16.

British sensation, Beth Rowley will have her British debut charting release, Little Dreamer (it entered at #6), domestically released in the US on September 16 by Verve Forecast.  It will also be available as a DD.

The 2006 release of Songs From the Labyrinth sold 250,000 units in the US.  Deutsche Grammophon will reissue the Sting album as a Bonus Editon, augmenting it with three new tracks.  The first two new bonus tracks are Live cuts, “Fields of Gold” and “Message in a Bottle” – Live (NYC 2006).  The third song is a studio track of Robert Johnson’s “Have You Seen the Bright Lily Grow,” recorded in Tuscany 2006.  This will be available on September 16.



Review - Isaac Hayes - Ultimate Isaac Hayes: Can You Dig It? - CD/DVD

Isaac Hayes represented the '70s primarily with his brand of Soul and R&B. After his death on Sunday, I had to dig through the collection to extract this wonderful set. I spent a whole day listening to it...several times. And I still need to go back to it because, like Marvin Gaye, Billy Paul, Curtis Mayfield, and others from the same time period, I am transfixed by these timeless stars. I miss Isaac Hayes badly and thought that I'd whip up this review for you. The 3-disc set (2CD/1DVD) is called Utlimate Isaac Hayes.

Can you dig it?



Review - Amelia - A Long, Lovely List of Repairs - CD

This Oregon band has made an album of fine songs with several elements built in that make it just that much better. It is a good album to enjoy. Amelia has been around a bit and this album, A Long, Lovely List of Repairs metaphorically deal with a lot of life's sadness.


For Your Consideration - White Hills - NYC

New York City still feels like it's on the cutting edge of music of all types. With more and more early era music bei ng researched and emulated, the deepest ones just seem to push the envelope. NYC's White Hills give a distinct psychedelic sound to music that, at times, have a twist of Robin Trower, some Hawkwind, and more from that rich era of experimental Rock. Here's a chance to step into their MySpace page and get some spacey psych music into your life.








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212 Frech

"Even though most of the people I knew in my youth are gone, I still reach out to them..." Norman Maclean - Paraphrase

"...we should enjoy every sandwich." -- Warren Zevon
"Buy the ticket, take the ride." -- Hunter S Thompson
" best wake up 'fore tomorrow comes creepin' in...: -- Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad)
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." -- Kurt Vonnegut
"Because they wouldn't let me go for three..." -- Woody Hayes (OSU)
"Show me peaceful days before my youth has gone" -- Neil Diamond (Serenade)