Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER: A Reader's Twist On A Year End List

If it's Tuesday, there must be new releases, yes? Well, no. Not really. It's December, so it's slim pickins. But if you're interested, there is a new Fall Out Boy CD and a new Anthony Hamilton CD. Go nuts! Instead, the year end lists continue, this time with an odd twist. A loyal Burning Wood reader, who for obvious reasons we will simply call "Doug," sent me the following. It is a little bit bitter, more than slightly immoral, and completely hilarious. I think you'll get the picture.

"We true music fans are obsessives. Fan IS short for fanatic. Since Sal closed his hallowed CD emporium NYCD, (EDITOR'S NOTE- "LET'S NOT FORGET MY BUSINESS PARTNER, TONY SACHS") , and then ultimately closed his online version of NYCD, he has given me papal dispensation (EDITOR'S NOTE: "NO I HAVEN'T") to download music from the many bit torrent sites on the interweb. I mean, there aren't really any stores left to buy music in anyway.

This brings me to my year end list. The list's relationship to the opening ramble is simple, since I am no longer constrained by having to actually pay for the music I acquire, I can take my music collection to even more absurdist realms. This year's goal: acquiring every box set I can, in addition to the 75 I already own, and loading them all onto a 160 GB iPod and setting it to shuffle. Oh, there are rules to the collection. (Collectors always have rules.) What determines a box set? Sal can explain all that (EDITOR'S NOTE: "NO I CAN'T.") since he is my box set collecting conscience.

So, here is my top 10 list of box sets that I have downloaded and in all likelihood, will never listen to other than the random track on shuffle.

1.) Joy Division – Heart & Soul - 4 CD collection (from a band that only had two official CDs) who I never listened to except for "Love Will Keep Us Whatever," in the movie about the Manchester scene.

2.) Velvet Underground – Peel Slowly & See – A 5 CD set of everything they recorded, plus early demos, outtakes, etc., by a band I really never liked, that influenced bands I don't really care for. And really, a 13 minute acoustic demo of Heroin and a 15 minute acoustic demo of Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams-- puhleezeee. Now it's on my iPod.

3.) Derek & The Dominoes- Layla: The Complete Sessions – OK, here's one from my actual collection, but it's still so lame that, other than the original album, with probably the wrong mastering, the rest is a waste of time. A couple of previously released outtakes and literally 2 hours of jams that make The Dead's "Space and Drums" seem dancey. Boriinnnng.

4.) Ravi Shankar– In Celebration Droooooooooooone. Still good on shuffle.

5.) Bob Dylan –Dylan This is basically an expanded version of a 2 disc "best of" that was issued a few years back, but since it is considered a box set, it got downloaded. It's not bad. (EDITOR'S NOTE: "IT'S NOT BAD?! IT'S FREAKIN' DYLAN!") It's just really a best of with an extra disc and box set packaging and I think maybe one weird take or version so it qualified but really not very boxsetty.

6.) Emerson Lake & Palmer – From the Beginning – I don't even like them OR prog rock, but if it's there, download we must. If they had taken their three best songs, put one each on a disc and made a box to put it in I might have actually liked it. (EDITOR'S NOTE: "THAT'S PRETTY FUNNY, ACTUALLY")

7.) The Byrds – There is a Season - I own their first box which is one of the first and best box sets ever! This is basically the same thing with some songs that were later put on the re-releases of their catalogue. Can somebody say product r

8.) Weather Report - Forecast: Tomorrow I hate electric jazz fusion AND that song they did that was played all over the place back then. (EDITOR'S NOTE: "JEEZ! BIRDLAND? I KNOW A DOG WHO KNOWS THAT SONG") If I don't fill up the iPod soon, I may have to break rule number 1 and download the Celine Dion and Jimmy Buffett boxes. (EDITOR'S NOTE: "SO WHAT IS RULE NUMBER ONE?")

Well I could go on but I think these lists should stop at eight anyway 'cause like so many records, movies, books and BOX SETS, it all goes on too long."

And there you have it. PLEASE SUPPORT THE ARTS!


peter said...

Celine Dione and Jimmy Buffet are responsible for millions of records sold and the Velvet Underground have had a massive influence on countless young bands that have changed the face of Rock n Rolla yet this guy is too snobbish to Download them for free (like a thief in the night) and bitches about great bands whose music is beloved by many. Sounds like a real A-hole to me and don't even get me started on ELP. I'm sure your glad you don't have to deal with this guy in your store anymore. Merry Christmas

Continental Travelnurse said...

I don't get it, Doug. If you've gone all Bugsy Malone and decided to just listen to anything and everything you can for free. I'd assume that meant you got to hear stuff you wouldn't normally afford (massive boxed sets) or just that many more albums -- giving you a better chance of finding stuff you like. Instead you just slag your "top" boxed sets of the year. Hopefully you had better luck w regular CDs. Personally, I don't like most boxed sets. If they're an act who worked in the album genre (ie not some pre-Sixties group), I'd rather hear their best album or a well chosen hits collection instead of the third alternate take etc. Is the Byrds set remastered and with the sound vastly improved? If they had one of the first and best boxed sets, that means it was out a good 20 years ago. Surely they're due for an audio upgrade?

Continental Travelnurse said...

Finally, record sales are never a defense, Peter. (Thougb having grown up in South Florida, I have a weakness for Jimmy Buffett.) But heck, if you're gonna steal boxed sets from the year, why not the complete Motown singles, the Hank Williams radio shows set, the Augustus Pablo, the Nina Simone, the Jimmie Rodgers various artists, the Jerry Ragovy Story. If I was gonna steal, that's where I'd start. I don't like ELP either, so why waste your time? It's like going to the library and beginning by checking out Sidney Sheldon and John Grisham and wondering why books are dull.

Anonymous said...

I think Doug is goofing on us fanatical collectors gang! Very, very funny.


Meanstreets said...

Thanks for giving high praise to The Byrd's 1st Box Set....and for convincing me I don't how to buy the 2nd set....how much better can the revised one be ?

And, I really miss Clarance White....