September 03, 2008


Out of Sight…Out of Mind?

I read in the OC Register recently about the productivity of Trent Reznor.  At 43, Trent has bucked a down time in his life after having produced some very impressive works in his catalog, chief amongst them being The Downward Spiral.  However, in 2008 alone, he had released Ghosts I-IV and The Slip.  For both of those albums, Reznor has been free of any contractual obligations and has released those albums outside the traditional path.  He has also released them using the old methods, as physical CDs and has done reasonably well.  I acquired the digital files (it was easier and instantaneous at the time).  Now, like many of my digital files, and I have only a few because old physical acquisition habits die hard, this music has slipped to near forgotten status. 

All of that brought me to a question in my mind.  I have some digital music files but they are scattered here and there.  I’ve always meant to bring them under control but just never put my best foot forward.  In short, I don’t always readily find what I’m looking for and as a result, it’s become an inconvenience of sorts.  My question is this.  How many of you have gone largely digital and how well do you maintain your collection?  

But this now brings up a greater question.How well does a digital file alone actually add to the artist appeal and long-term endurance from a consumer perspective?  In the past, we could look at artwork on LPs, even the diminishing CD, all which exemplified a band.  There were notes, photos, posters, pack-in singles and EPs, lyric sheets.  All of these things added to the mystique and allure of an artist.  With today’s artist, we have virtually nothing with which to engage the mind, save FOR the digital song file.  Granted, the song is a powerful force.  But does the mind need a bit more to catalogue the artist better for a more memorable experience?  Let me provide an example.  In the ‘70s, there was a female vocalist by the name of Maggie Bell.  She had a fantastic voice even if the songs were so-so.  However, to this day, I remember her, as obscure a name as she is and when I do, her album cover comes immediately to mind.  That spurs the songs to come forth and then I have an ‘iPod’ in my head playing those songs.  Might this example be a reason we can’t find a connect to many of today’s artists?  It’s an interesting thought.

Yes, I could buy the physical disc and get what I want but we all know that’s a dying process.  The younger class do not much care for the whole package, just the loadable digital files without all the tag-along art and such.  By not allowing the mind to collate and organize unique band logos, cover art, provided lyric sheets in a memorable album with the album’s music, do we lose some touch with the band after the songs ‘get lost’ inside a huge iPod or PC Media Center?  By not being able to glide a finger over the spine of a physical album, pulling it out, and perusing it, do we degrade an artist’s long-term impact on ourselves by not being able to psychologically bring elements together for a greater impact?  I bet that we do. 

Will today’s digital revolution and a comment by my nephew (“…who needs a booklet?”) be the legacy of artists?  Will I remember them as thoroughly as I do Maggie Bell, almost 40 years later?

It’s a good question to ponder.

I knew and appreciated Jerry Reed, if not so much for full albums, I sure did appreciate his Top40 classics ("Amos Moses," "When You're Hot, You're Hot"). Regardless, his contributions were not small. He not only was a fixture in Country Music (he won three Grammys), but also in films - his thieving, cheating Coach Beaulieu in The Waterboy is one of my favourite Jerry Reed moments. Jerry Reed died on September 1 at the young age of 71 from complications of emphysema. He joins a great band!

Jerry Reed

First things first...I cannot believe that it is September already. It's been a fast one, people. And I know that surprises none of you. But we move on, regardless.

I have started to get emails on the size of the page. Some are saying that it is too wide. I've shorted it by 150 pixels so you have to let me know if it works for you. If more of you were ok by the original size, I'll take it back. Just let me know if this works for most of you. Use Contact US link on the menu. Thanks for helping to make this a better place.

Two reviews for you today. The first is a revisitation. It is the Sermon on Exposition Boulevard by Rickie Lee Jones. The other is a good album called Jubilee from Ten Shekel Shirt.

We'll see you back here on Friday with the winner of the Amy MacDonald contest.

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.






There's plenty of vinyl arriving into the music stream. We stated on last post that the amount of music coming out is pretty wild. As you may have already surmised given the gargantuan size of our latest posts. But before we realy get started, I wanted stand front and center to alert fans of Crawler, that Wounded Bird will be the first US market (I believe) to put the Epic discs, Crawler, and Snake, Rattle & Roll on CDs. From what I understand, both albums will contain a bonus track, which is nice manuevering from Wounded Bird. But Wounded Bird is primarily a re-release house and not one that re-masters and so it is unlikely that we'll see re-masters of these soon. Regardless, it will be nice to run across official CDs of these two albums, especially with bonus tracks. These are expected over the next few weeks so pre-order if you need to. YIPPEE!!

Now to the vinyl stuff. We had already mentioned the upcmoning LP reissue of Agents of Fortune by Blue Oyster Cult coming from Columbia Records, scheduled for September 16. But I don't think that we had mentioned the LP reissue of Boston, the debut album of Boston. It too is slated for release on September 16. Also coming on the same date is 16 Greatest Hits from Johnny Cash.

Varese Vintage, an arm of Varese Sarabande will release Greatest Hits 1973-1985 for Gladys Knight & the Pips, featuring songs like "Midnight Train to Georgia," "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me," and "I've Got to Use My Imagination." This is planned for release on October 21. This is planned for CD.

Columbia will also reissue in LP format, British Steel by Judas Priest for September 16, while RCA will release Blows Against the Empire from Kantner and Jefferson Starship, planning this one for September 30.

New West Records will release the classic This Old Road from Kris Kristofferson on LP format, scheduling for September 16. New West will also release vinyl LP for Live from Delbert McClinton, same date.

Fans of Ray LaMontagne will get his upcoming new album called Gossip in the Grain, slated for release on October 14 from RCA Records (Red Ink). It will release on both LP and CD.

Out the Box Records will release 26 Letters 12 Notes from Dave Mason, scheduling the album for release on October 14.

Evil Teen Records will release A Tail of Two Cities from Govt Mule, planning the album for September 16.

Watch for new vinyl releases for My Morning Jacket of several of their titles that include It Still Moves, Z, and Acoustic Citsuaca. It Still Moves, and Z will be in stores by the time that you read this while Acoustic Citsuaca will be in stores on September 16.

Another one heading from Legacy is Red Headed Stranger by Willie Nelson, slotted for September 30.

Even good ole Elvis Presley is jumping into the vinyl market by having his self-title coming on October 14.

Legacy will release Surfing With the Alien by Joe Satriani on LP scheduling for October 14.

Metal Blade have four Slayer titles planned for LP on October 28. The titles involved are: Anthem for the Broken Hearted; Show No Mercy; Live Undead; and Hell Awaits.

Columbia Records will reissue Trio of Doom by the band of the same name and planning for September 30.




Concert Review - Jethro Tull - Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre - August 09, 2008

Jethro Tull has provided musical entertainment and originality for decades. In their show at the Jones Beach theatre on August 09, 2008, they continue well into their 30+ years of music. Sam Rosenthal attended this show and wrote up his assessment. Read on...



Review - Rickie Lee Jones - The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard - CD

Rickie Lee Jones has cred going all the way back. Her albums and memorable songs have been a part of the greatness of Rock music. With her latest, The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard, she turns a corner that is essential and important. It simply reestablishes her as one of our treaures. Although nearly one and a half years old, I just can't seem to shake this one. I always come back. And so, I wanted to reintroduce you to something that could do the same for you had you missed it.

Maybe some of you SACD and Rickie Lee Jones fans didn't know this, but this album is also available as a 5.1 Surround SACD-Hybrid with bonus DVD.


Review - Ten Shekel Shirt - Jubilee - CD

Ten Shekel Shirt has more going for it than just their music. They are part of a large charity foundation that engages to eliminate child slavery prevalent in many countries of this world. But their music is important as well and is emblematic of their commitment. the new album is called Jubilee.








Copyright 2002-2008 Matthew Rowe.
All rights reserved.All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Disclaimer: various news pieces may state a specific media publication or program as a source. All other news is considered 'rumour' only. That goes double for release dates.

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)