Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Scott says...

My friend Scott has been making me think a lot about music (well maybe think MORE about it) over the past few days, so it might be the subject for the NEXT few days..

I've never downloaded any music at all, actually I do have two downloads (Those first impressions by the Associates and Knock on wood by Aimee Stewart when I complained to a friend I couldn't find them anywhere should you be interested) But I have no idea really what I should do with them, I mean I could buy an iPod but it seems over the top for two tracks :-) and while I'd like an orange one as they are a bit of cool gizmo that I've always fancied owning I've got absolutely no use for them as 1. all the ones I have heard sound pretty horrible and 2. I REALLY don't like this download culture.

I'm not talking here of the 'illegal' Napster/Pirate Bay scene (while I'm with Trent Reznor on that, I'm not going there)But this whole corporate approved pushing and downloading of 'songs'. It seems to me you hear something, some latest fad, you download it, you maybe listen to it twice, until you're bored, end of story.

But what about the rest of the album? Last night I was doing one of my favourite pastimes, sitting with a glass of wine listening to an album in this case The Killers latest one, Day and Age.

There has been a single or two taken from it, but the Killers are a band where you have to listen to the whole thing (in the case of Day and Age, several times) to truly get what they are saying, to feel what the incredibly talented Mr Flowers wants you to feel. There is imagery, passion, loss, desert dust and gunsmoke but you will NEVER EVER get that from some song download, you'll get a bouncy track chosen probably by some record company exec for maximum sales.

One of my all time favourite albums,(Facades by Sad Cafe) was bought because of the killer single, but on listening the *entire* album it became one of those albums that forever changed my life. Today I would not have had that, there is so much more to music then a 'song' and in this new world order you're never going to get another Dark Side of the Moon, Ziggy would be nothing more then an instantly forgotten file 3528 on your iPod if that, pushed aside to make way for the latest wonder from pop idol or some such.

There is good stuff, worthwhile stuff, things that are genuinely better out there but this ain't it.

Like Scott also said, I am glad I'm a child of the 70's


  1. I never went the path of downloading, Graham. But Jim - well lets just say he went a little bonkers about a year ago when he was home, recouping from heart issues.

    One day I was looking for something and went into the cabinets where we store all our old VCR tapes and such. I almost had a heart attack. I swear there must be 400-500 CD's! I asked him when he was ever going to listen to all this stuff and he replied that if he ever wants to hear something, at least he's got it! (He plays all his music when I'm not home). ha.

  2. Nope, I don't download music. I have a monstrous old 'boombox' that plays tapes and CDs. If I could play 'em in Korea, I'd be picking up LPs. I agree with you about albums versus singles. To paraphrase Hillary Clinton, "It takes an album to raise a concept."

  3. I too am not a downloader, although I can think of a reason to do it. Case in point, I had an album (vinyl) by Buddy Rich called "Class of '78". It is a fantastic, although short album. It has never been reissued on CD. So I have no other way to get this music other than to download it from a source such as Amazon, as I don't have my turntable currently setup.

    Graham, I am a bit of a critic when it comes to audio components, but I can tell you that the latest generation iPods sound pretty good.

    I have the 120GB iPod Classic, and have my entire library of about 900 CD's on it. If I plug in some good headphones (I have a pair of Sennheiser HD-555's), it can be an enjoyable experience. The trick is to RIP your music at a fairly high bit rate. 192kb for MP3's is a good compromise between size and sound quality.

    If you're not going to put that many tunes on it, RIP using Apple's Lossless format and they sound even better.

    The only gripe I've had with my iPod experience is the ear buds that come with they iPod. They're rubbish to put it mildly.

    Of course it's no substitute for a nice stereo and some killer speakers :).