Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Not Bad Is The New Amazing: An Obsession, Part 6

I will admit that my fascination with the overhyping of mediocre music has become an obsession. I try to put the subject to bed, but that damn baby will not go to sleep.

Last week, my friend Michael called to discuss Leon Bridges, an artist he cares about as little as I do. After a few minutes of mutual venting over the ludicrous Sam Cooke references, Michael calmly offered his closing thought.

"I wonder how many people would love Leon Bridges if they had to buy it and not stream it."

This immediately took me back, way back.

I was buying records at a very early age. Like some of you, I bought "Sgt. Pepper" while The Beatles were still a band. But I wasn't allowed to listen to it until I did my math homework. If I wanted to hear the new Rolling Stones record, I had to save two weeks allowance to purchase it and if that Stones album happened to be "Goat's Head Soup," I would cry that the only record I was able to purchase that month only had 5 good songs on it. ONLY 5 good songs. (I've grown fond of "Goat's Head Soup" over the years, but that's only because "Dirty Work" and "Voodoo Lounge" exist.)  Still, I stayed with it, listening to every note, crushed, knowing it'd be a year minimum before Mick & Keith would release something else.

When you invest time and money into something, anything really...a meal, a vacation, a record...you suddenly become more critical. Reservations three weeks in advance for that new steak house with the fab wine list and the meal that's going to cost you three bills is more important than the quick burger off of Route 202 in Danbury when you're starving. That Merlot just may get sent back. The burger though, wasn't bad. I mean, you were hungry and you never really have to go back to that joint again. Nobody's sending back a chicken sandwich from Wendy's.

1971, you bought a record, you unwrapped it, you caressed it. You read the lyrics and the liner notes and the band credits. You listened and if you loved it, you listened again and again, sometimes with friends. If you didn't love it, you still listened. You just filed it away more quickly, and still, you'd come back to it, as if it miraculously grew a few more good tunes.

2015, you read about five new bands and dial'em all up. You give'em a test drive, maybe a minute here, thirty seconds there. "Hmmm...not bad." What are your favorite songs? "I like #2, #4 and that one with the choir." In 1971, we knew the length of every song on "Sticky Fingers." Nobody ever referred to "Bitch" as "#6."

As I said in the earlier post from June 16th on Leon Bridges, I hold nothing against him. It's not his fault. The man has some talent. But I do wonder how great his debut would sound if all those "not bads" actually dropped $15 for it. I guess you could argue that the $15 bucks would make it better. I fell into that trap many times, unwilling to admit I hated what I just paid for.  I also wonder how great the Leon Bridges debut would be if that was the only record you bought or listened to in a week.

This isn't really about Leon Bridges. Or the Alabama Shakes. Or any of the artists I haven't warmed up to. It's about all of them and more. It's easy to hand out 4 star reviews when you've got nothing invested in it, and occasionally, not even the 38 minutes to listen to something in its entirety. It's about quality control and not being so easily satisfied.

Then again, who am I to tell you what to listen to? I listen to a lot of crap myself and genuinely love it. But it can't be just me who is fed up with "not bad" being the new "amazing."


Mark said...

You’re right on the money.

And more. Any album paid for generates sufficient economic cognitive dissonance (Did I really waste my money on this piece of crap?) to make all but the wealthiest of us think about or rationalize the purchase of discretionary items such as albums in whatever Godforsaken format we choose.

For you it may have been Sgt. Pepper. For me it was Dr. K’s Blues Band on World Pacific in 1968. To me, the album was dreadful, but I had paid $2.49 for it at Sam Goody’s as a 17 year-old – after hearing one track on radio -- and I tried and tried and tried to like the album but finally gave up within a year. When I would occasionally spot the album hanging on walls at used record stores in the East Village – thirty years later -- I would chuckle to myself.

Other elements of our contemporary dial-‘em-all-up listening culture that contribute to 4-star reviews of inconsequential artists are 1. the size of the industry itself (it’s now enormous), 2. the few barriers to listening (almost anything and almost anytime), 3. the low cost of production and distribution, and 4. the sheer number of gatekeepers (reviewers) to point listeners in the right direction.

Or elsewhere.

More than 40 years ago I joined my Brooklyn College on-air radio staff not so much to be on-air, but to be able to listen to any record at any time (well, during school hours, anyway) and not have to PAY to sample the wares of so many shopkeepers. Now I do the same thing at home. I still purchase new albums, usually in CD format, to support the new bands I like, and the longtime artists that produce music I like and/or admire, and whose only income apart from constant touring is the direct sale of new music to longtime fans.

kevin m said...

I may be the last person on Earth still legally downloading music from iTunes and/or Amazon. And that includes buying Leon Bridges, Curtis Harding and the Alabama Shakes. I'm enjoying all of them (although to a lesser extent the 2nd Shakes album). As I said, I'm enjoying but not in love with them. But I have no regrets about the purchases.

I do agree with you Sal that back in old days, buying music was more of a commitment and there was certain amount of ritual involved with the unwrapping and reading the liner notes as you turned up the stereo.

Anonymous said...

Hello all…no, please remain seated,

Great points. I enjoy these meditations on music quality and consumption. I go back & forth on the issue of “not bad being the new amazing”. On the one hand, I would certainly never make the assertion that, say, Arcade Fire’s Funeral is the equivalent of Revolver or Rubber Soul. But, on the other hand, Arcade Fire may be as culturally important to a teen or 20-something as my beloved Beatles & Stones are to me. I think I’ve voiced this opinion before, but age matters in popular music. Many, if not most, young people prefer to hear popular music performed by young people. It’s a tribal thing. New music may suck to my ears compared to “For No One” or “Street Fighting Man”, but it may connect deeply to a younger person who is surrounded by other young people in high school, college, or first jobs.

Also, popular music no longer has the same artistic weight relative to other art forms as it did back in my hey-day. Today, lots of great creative minds choose careers in game design, coding, blogging, television, etc. whereas in the ‘60’s they would have gone into music. Fun thought experiment….what would Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek do with their Film Studies degrees if they graduated today? Would all those British art majors (Keith, Eric, etc.) from the 60’s do today? Killer phone apps? Jeez…it seems like half of yesterday’s rock gods admit to taking up the guitar in order to attract girls. What attracts girls these days?

Not making light of folks’ concerns for the general health of an art form we all love. Just sharing my belief that things change. Maybe we should all undertake a cultural cleansing. Ya know…swear-off popular music for a year; listen to nothing but classical, then come back to it. Kinda like the way the Vampires had to go to ground every now and then in the Vampire Lestat series.


William Repsher said...

I remember the time commitment much more than the money commitment. When I bought an album, if it was good, I would be listening to it for weeks, the whole thing, not lifting the needle to skip tracks. I haven't done that in years, even for new albums coming out now that I recognize as being pretty good. We used to live with albums for awhile, weeks or months sometimes, in ways that seem impossible now.

There seemed to be a lot less options back then. And we didn't have decades of pop-rock experience behind us. We now have a vast sea of this kind of music behind us, a library of greatness, what I recognize as consensus (that, again, no longer seems possible). There was a culture around the music that seemed set in stone, and powerful in and of itself.

That's all gone, or at least greatly diminished. This is why I think there's so much hype now ... the longing to create that sort of culture that no longer seems possible. If enough people start hyping and believing, the culture around an artist or album grows, they become stars in that traditional rock star sense ... that, again, just isn't possible anymore! It's a sort of nostalgia to create that sort of "rock" greatness we associate with The Beatles or The Stones or Led Zep, etc.

I've readjusted to this reality accordingly. And you have to realize, there's just so much noise so, so much radio static, swarming over the internet. It's hard to hear anything, good or bad. So when something remotely good comes along, I think a lot of people feel the need to grab as much attention as they can, to force it, because they rightfully recognize the vast sea of nothingness most people are drowning in on the internet these days.

Frankly, some things are better. Streaming services like Spotify are wonderful in that they allow you to sample complete albums, complete discographies in some cases, to judge whether or not you want to spend money on an artist or album. If you're like me, there are a problem a few hundred albums in your past, maybe more, that would have made much more sense as a downloadable track or two.

These are crazy times, where music has much less value than it once did. And I think that's the key issue. It's that much harder to sell something with less value, so people feel the need to revert to superlatives of the past, the old way. I don't know what the new way is, or even if there is a new way. It's hard to come up with one when millions of people spent a decade downloading billions of dollars worth of music for free and are now being encouraged to rent it and give the bulk of money to phone, cable and computer companies.

Shriner said...

I'm not sure I agree with the hypothesis.

Because of money (and space -- really primarily space) -- I've stopped buying a lot of *books* (and *movies*, for that matter...). I haven't cut back on my reading, though -- my family makes wonderful use of our public library (one could argue that I pay for this with my tax dollars, but let's not do that...) But, really, my house doesn't *need* another bookshelf, so when the walls filled up and we started double-stacking shelves with books, we realized we really didn't need to buy things (unless we really, really, thought we were going to relisten to them.)

How does this compare? I have a bunch of albums and CDs that I paid for that I've listened to *once* and never again. I still have the albums and have tried selling the CDs I don't like over the years (and were mostly successful in that). But once I filled the large CD rack (with added shelves after the fact) with CDs, it became an issue of space and I looked into digital and haven't looked back (except for rare occasions -- and the Public library is surprisingly good about getting physical copies of CDs if we request them -- even frequently obscure stuff...)

My point? *Ownership* is somewhat overrated. Music ownership even less so than books. Books can go out of print, stay out of print and never be found again (even in the national library system...) Music -- now that it's digital -- will exist forever.

To your *original* premise -- I'd like to think that the access to such a vast library of music now (Spotify, Apple Music, etc) that doesn't require ownership -- is a wonderful thing. Even though it feels like a firehose sometimes...

But I would probably agree to one point -- if I had to drop $10/12 on everything I've listened to since streaming/downloading, etc, I probably wouldn't have heard 90% of it ever and would have missed out on some great discoveries.

But having access to the firehose means (to me) that an album from somebody I haven't heard has to *significantly* engage me in the first 3 songs. If it does not, I'm moving on to something else -- unless somebody tells me I should really revisit it (which I've done on some rare occasions...) I have come to appreciate being able to do that for "free". In that sense, reviews help.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I like this debate. I don't think Sal's wrong, but I'd like to throw this in the stew.
Back in the '70's and '80's I bought a lot of imports on Charly and Ace, collections of obscure R&B artists, that I paid $7.50 for because my friend at the register gave me her employee discount. Often it was easy to see why they had remained obscure. A notch or two below Sam Cooke, but worth the trouble anyway, and there was usually at least one song worthy of a mix tape.
I listened to Leon Bridges on shuffle while I was cooking dinner for about 2 hrs. It reminded me a lot of music I sought out, paid for and enjoyed. I woke up the next morning with "Coming Home" in my head, which I thought was a good thing.
When records were $5.98, I bought many more than I could actually listen to, a situation not unlike today when I download music I'll probably never get to, like yesterday's 10 disc Box Set of Henry Cow. Like the 9 record set of Sun Blues I bought in 1983, I don't like all of it, but there are plenty of gems to find like #6 on side 12. Or whichever track number is Junior Parker's original "Mystery Train", or one of the handful of tunes by the late, great, and obscure Roscoe Gordon. Speaking of Roscoe, here's one from one of those imports, released on a Swedish label, "Little Bit Of Magic", originally self-released on Bab-Roc records in 1969. This is dubbed from the cassette I made in 1984, as the actual album is long gone, and I've never seen it anywhere else, again.


Charlie Messing said...

Yes, absolutely. I used to save pennies when 45s were 69 cents. An album? Over two dollars, so it better be good. I bought Elvis's first and second LPs, Little Richard's first two, Ray Charles's (except for his jazz albums), Chuck Berry, The Teenagers, Bo Diddley...all at Korvette's. It was more of a commitment in every way. The radio, especially Alan Freed, was my link to the crossover "R&B" world. It was so different then - I bought "Get a Job," a gigantic hit, but I don't even know if the Silhouettes made an album! Things have come a long way - no apprenticeships, just overnight sensations. Etc.

Sal Nunziato said...

Let me start here:

Kevin M.- As I said, I'm enjoying but not in love with them.

Buzzbabyjesus- A notch or two below Sam Cooke, but worth the trouble anyway.

If you read a Leon Bridges review that said "a notch or two below Sam Cooke, enjoyable but you won't fall in love with him," how quickly would you have dropped the bucks?

As for ownership, Shriner, my poin about buying versus renting was more about the quality of time given to anything, in this case, music. I don't want streaming to go away. I love what Spotify offers. But I'll be the first to admit, I'm paying more attention to one thing than I am to ten things at once, and that I truly believe, sways our thinking and our listening.

Sal Nunziato said...

And one more thing--I am in love with obscure R&B. I have hundreds upon hundreds of scratchy 45s, that were digitized featuring off-key harmonies, hilarious lyrics and out of tune instruments. These were all discovered on the comps that BBJ mentions, or YouTube videos, or friends mixtapes. But I am NOT calling Ironing Board Sam the next "anybody." This is my beef.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Sal-"If you read a Leon Bridges review that said "a notch or two below Sam Cooke, enjoyable but you won't fall in love with him," how quickly would you have dropped the bucks?"

Even reviewers I trust have burned me with records I ended up hating, so I'd only buy something I could hear first. I downloaded The Alabama Shakes "Sound And Color" because I heard them on WNYC. I would have bought it, but I didn't have to.

William Repsher said:
"I remember the time commitment much more than the money commitment. When I bought an album, if it was good, I would be listening to it for weeks, the whole thing, not lifting the needle to skip tracks. I haven't done that in years, even for new albums coming out now that I recognize as being pretty good. We used to live with albums for awhile, weeks or months sometimes, in ways that seem impossible now."

I quit doing that a long time ago, because all those albums I listened to death never get played anymore.

And Mark, I bought the first Canned Heat album because I heard "Let's Stick Together" from "Future Blues" on the radio. I played the thing over and over, trying to like it and failed.

Sal Nunziato said...

Okay this is coming together--

BBJ- "Even reviewers I trust have burned me with records I ended up hating, so I'd only buy something I could hear first."

That wasn't so easy to do 25 years ago. You needed to read and wait for a tune on the radio. Now, you don't have to buy anything. You could listen to it all. No harm, no foul. "Yeah, not bad." You don't see how this devalues the music? Of course, you find a reviewer you trust and most of the time, you agree. But I would certainly stop trusting anyone, including close friends, if EVERYTHING was amazing or if everything "sucked." But also, I need to defend myself a bit. I don't think Leon Bridges sucks. I don't think the Shakes suck. What I think sucks, and maybe this is nothing new, is the universal lovefest... the desperation to discover something huge and special and lasting to latch onto, that we wind up settling for "not bad." At least that is how I see it. And hear it. And already on Facebook, someone replied with a "get off my lawn" comment and I resent that.

buzzbabyjesus said...

No need to defend yourself here. This has been a really good discussion.

A walk in the woods said...

Interesting conversation as always, but the only part of this I agree with is the fact that we spend less quality time with new releases than we used to. I remember I high school and college listening to mostly just ONE FREAKING ALBUM for months. In fact, my junior year of college, I only had one single cassette tape in my car all year (I won't tell you what it is 'cause I'll be mocked), and I played it over, and over, and over, and over.

So I agree with that, and am wistful for that past age.

But, I don't think we are in a dearth of good new music. There is definitely too much noise, and it's much harder to navigate, as some have said here. But I find plenty of good new stuff. And I DO like Leon Bridges' record.... much like Raphael Saadiq's mighty "The Way I See It," which was unabashedly retro but so, so good (I've probably played it more than any other single LP these past 8-9 years), I don't need it to innovate to please me. (If I did, I wouldn't like most of Dylan's recent albums...they don't "innovate," but they do what he does well.)

One last thing. The overflow of info does have a great upside - the release of so many cool things that were lost to the sands of time until now. Here's a great example by the mighty Atlanta archival label, Dust To Digital:


Sal Nunziato said...

"But, I don't think we are in a dearth of good new music."

Okay, I need to address this because AWITW is not the first to say this. I never said there isn't any good new music, which is why I resent the "get off my lawn" comments that are tossed my way as freely as 4 star reviews. There is plenty of "good" music. Good, nice, fine music. What I am saying is...there is a dearth of great, amazing, lasting music. There is a dearth of restraint from reviewers who claim everyone is the next big thing when they are almost never the next anything. One last mention of Leon Bridges and then I will go quietly. All the readers who like Leon Bridges, do you love this record with anywhere near the passion that is shown in ALL the reviews? Because so far, everyone happy with all these new artists all say, "it's pretty good."

William Repsher said...

I'm curious about the etymology of "Hey you kids, get off my lawn."

I understand what it means, the concept of an elderly man being upset because a bunch of kids are on his private property and it either irritates and/or frightens him. Which is to say "the old" is frightened by "the new."

We're made completely aware of where the old man stands and why he appears foolish in some sense.

But what about the kids? We don't ascribe any symbolic meaning to their trespassing or lack of consideration/respect for others.

What if, instead of yelling "Hey you kids, get off my lawn," the old man quietly got out his shotgun and fired a load of buckshot into the kids' asses to make them get off his lawn.

Can I be that kind of old man, instead of the one who's made out to be reactionary and weak?

Now back to the music portion!

buzzbabyjesus said...

"All the readers who like Leon Bridges, do you love this record with anywhere near the passion that is shown in ALL the reviews?"

The only review I've seen of it was yours, and because I liked the song you posted, I didn't bother reading the review where I, er, acquired it.

I think the reason I don't read reviews anymore is the very reason you wrote this post. Burned by glowing reviews of Meh music.

I'm not sure I love Leon Bridges, but I like it as much as other things I'll probably play again. And them move onto the next thing that catches my ear.

and finally

A walk in the woods said...
"In fact, my junior year of college, I only had one single cassette tape in my car all year (I won't tell you what it is 'cause I'll be mocked), and I played it over, and over, and over, and over."

That is something I've NEVER done. But don't take that as mockery, I'm simply incredulous.

A walk in the woods said...

OK, good point, Sal - I get your distinction between good music and great music. I do think part of that has to do with the age at which one first receives something. How can any music be quite as good today as I'm on my way to a day of accounting (I'm not an accountant, but just to use an everyday-job example) as when I was 20 and everything was new and uncharted?

And good call pointing that typo in my comments, BBJ - I should have said, "I played it over, and over, and over - in my car." Back at home, or on Walkman at the time, or out in clubs hearing live music, I listened to tons of different albums. But in the car, I was actually satisfied at that time having that one option. (I didn't drive much.)

Michael Giltz said...

Sal, you really struck a nerve, as illustrated by the lengthy, thoughtful comments. Lots of different ideas tossed out here:

Music is not at its peak of creativity the way it was in the late 1960s/1970s. These things come in cycles -- Broadway was at a peak and dominated culture in the 1930s and 1940s (along w movies of course). TV is the redhot mama of the moment. But there is always good new music and great new music being created.

Hype has always been around too. In the past, it may have been five music mags and some British imports screaming about the new Beatles (when discussing a band that had done one gig, recorded one unreleased song and been signed by a label, natch). Now it's a gazillion websites and podcasts and voices all talking louder and louder to get attention. Lots of places want to push writers to crown something the "greatest new" or "the best ever" and so on. Hence Courtney Barnett can't just put out an album and get good reviews and tour and maybe get a chance to grow. She has one album and Rolling Stone makes her sound like a legacy act that will be around for decades to come.

Thanks for the shout out in the intro: I do think your point about access got a little lost. We all love having the world of music at our fingertips. No one is saying life is worse because of this. But SURELY not having to spend $15 on a CD and bring it home and open it and then focus on it has an effect. When you can just click and listen in five seconds, the "cost" of accessing a new artist is so low that you might shrug and say "not bad." If you have to fork out $15 for each album (rather than $10 a month for unlimited access) maybe your willingness to say "not bad" will switch to "well, that wasn't worth $15. Wish I'd stuck to the single."

You mention the reverse of this: forking out money and wanting to convince yourself it was worth it. The more money you must spend the more you do this. I see this when people go to a Broadway show. They may see one a year or one in their lifetime. They spend $150 a ticket (if they're lucky) and understandably, they want to enjoy themselves. Their critical faculties are suspended because it's an 'event."

So maybe once the excitement over ease of access ends, people will in fact become more like hardcore music fans and critics. Once you can access every album out there, the thrill of doing so will fade. Just like critics at first were gobsmacked over getting free LPs but then ultimately saw the crush of releases as more daunting than thrilling. The love of music doesn't fade, but when you CAN listen to classic albums by Aretha and Joni and Bill Withers and Nick Drake and David Bowie and so on, and you become familiar with them and realize how great they can be, eventually you'll lose patience with OK. You'll realize your time is valuable too. And whatever new act aping CCR is being hyped won't move you because you know there is better and someone better be good or great to engage you because there are ten thousand other acts waiting to be heard not to mention all those classic albums waiting to be heard again.

Lesley said...

Great discussion.

Totally agree that access has eroded the investment of time and attention that brought us into profound relationships with music.

My experience has been that the loss of record stores, which had lots of options but not *unlimited* options, has made it ever-more difficult to explore and expand my musical world. There's some number of choices beyond which we simply shut down cognitively. Unlimited isn't the freedom it is touted as, it's endless overstimulation and choices. It's exhausting and often not terribly rewarding.

Yes, we are older and our relationship to music is different than it was when we were young. Yes, there is still good music (and some great...that is, there must be... right?)

We have breadth but not depth in the listening experience. We have lost the communal aspects of listening, with friends. I still listen passionately, but don't even try to keep up with new artists (though I hope when something extraordinary shows up, Sal and other friends will clue me in). The last artist I got into obsessively was Lewis Taylor, and I spent a couple of years listening to his records over and over. I would like to have that intense experience more often, but the only way I get it these days is to get in tune with an artist or record (Songs in the Key of Life for the past two weeks) and just listen and listen and sing along and listen some more.

buzzbabyjesus said...

One thing I miss about the late '60's is being at the beach and hearing everyone's transistor radio tuned to the same station and hearing a thousand tiny speakers playing, say, The Who's "Summertime Blues" mixed with the general ambience. That never happens anymore.

Mark said...

#BuzzBabyJesus -- Canned Heat's Let's Work Together IS great, and I too bought the album, Future Blues -- in 1970, and used, or a promo, most likely -- to play Let's Work Together, but yes, Future Blues does largely suck. But from Let's Get Together (and the sound that Harvey Mandel got on his guitar on that track), I started to follow Harvey Mandel, which for me, turned into another dead end.

And had I NOT tried to resolve the cognitive dissonance generated by the purchase of Future Blues and the disappointment it engendered, I would have saved some time and a few (used record) dollars. To avoid this particular tale of woe, the instant gratification (which I like to think of as instant information) of Spotify, and the Internet in general, is wonderful.

But you still gotta know where to look, what to believe, and how to process all the information found on Spotify and everywhere else for that matter.

buzzbabyjesus said...

My writing wasn't clear. I bought their "Canned Heat" album because I liked "Let's Stick Together", but it didn't sound like that, it was straight "authentic" white boy blues, and I hated it.
I bought a used copy of "Future Blues" from Sal 2004-ish and I like most of it.

And it was Harvey Mandel's guitar sound that got me, too.

Noam Sane said...

It seems that some of these new artists getting raves are the ones that have (or a manager has) figured out how to game the system. For instance, the guy who named himself "Legend" - that seems to have worked. I can't tell you a single song he's done, but I see his round Charlie Brown head everywhere I look. He's a legend! Four stars!

Karl Harden said...

Missed a few things about the "old days" ... I had "fruit crates" of vinyl, was the style at the time. Many LP's back then had an artists theme or over-arcing concept.

I still see that in a play list if someone is taking time. Worth seeking out someone that knows how to string songs together for an effect. Could be why I'm here.

The LP artwork was a big part of buying many an LP. 3 am playing with the water color feature on the Led Zeppelin 'In Through the Outdoor' album sleeve. Many an Easter egg to be found. Poring over the liner notes.

Backmasking - ruining your records playing them backward for the secret message ... this was *serious* go to court you satanic rock n rollers are corrupting our youth. Hard to believe if you try to explain it to a youngster. I was young and impressionable once - thought Paul was dead.

A last comment about a collection is your taste change over time. Songs I used to skip today I might seek out. Others that I had in constant rotation today I'd hang my head with embarrassment. Streaming is like radio .. a song once played is returned back to the ether.

Charlie Carr said...

Not bad - really!

I think when an album purchase represented a considerable portion of one's disposable income, the stakes (and the standards) were high. I remember Saturday's at the Record Baron digging into my jeans for cash money to purchase a record. If I bought three, they had damn well better be good, because I was going to be broke for a week and would be playing the heck out of all of them. Both sides. Every track. Now, even legal downloading is a dispassionate series of clicks. ("People who bought __________ also bought __________ ." [Really? Me too!]) Coupled with the fact that a credit card purchase still seems vaguely unreal and certainly won't impact the coming week . . .

But you guys are going deep. Deeper than I care to. (Chalk it up to a hot workspace, fleeting span of attention and lack of proper sleep.) But I enjoy reading. Definite flow.

I guess I don't 'get' Spotify, or probably don't use it to its best advantage. Trying to learn a little about Apple Music without gagging on the red pill. For some reason I get Pandora sans commercials through Fios gratis, which I play through the home theater array. I am still hooked on that genome concept, wondering - how did we get that from that?!?

Have at it gents!

Bemused in Bridgewater.

Kodak host said...

Two things.
1. You rant about the downloads and free music, and then give the link to the WHOLE Rickie Lee Jones album.
2. Because we had to buy records there was also a lot of really great stuff we missed out on. Pocket money and paper rounds only go so far, so yes - the euphoria of purchasing a good record, but Oh the despondency of saving up and buying a crappy one.

It all cuts many ways.

However, good discussion!

Sal Nunziato said...


I bought the new RLJ album. Vinyl cost me $22 at a record store in Connecticut. I rant about a lot of things, but I can't stop artists/labels offering full streams of their releases to YouTube. It's up to the consumer to devote quality time to a recording. If 30 second samples are enough because a free download was at their fingertips, enjoy. I just don't see that happening after someone drops a twenty on something they have to unwrap.