I've recently been format shifting my music collection, because it's easier to carry a USB drive full of ogg vorbis files to work to listen to than it is to carry a CD-wallet full of discs. I've been wondering how other people deal with albums where the artist's been a bit unorthodox in the way they've presented the music.
For instance, with albums where there are "hidden tracks" with a few minutes of silence before the music starts, such as Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, I've been trimming off the dead air. Mike Oldfield's 1989 album Earth Moving inexplicibly has the last two songs as one track, so I carefully split them into two ogg files.
Should I feel guilty about interfering with the artistic vision of the composer? This is the sort of question which haunts me late at night.
Is there a word for when you have so much music that you've lost track of what you actually own? I was looking through my CDs last night and discovered I had a copy of "Once More, With Feeling", the soundtrack to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode of the same name.
I'd completely forgotten I had it, and I still can't remember when or where I bought it. Being it came out in 2002, it could have been during one of my trips over to the states for the Gallifrey One convention, or I might have ordered it online.
I'm now wondering what other CDs I've bought, put away and forgotten about...
I was out shopping yesterday and noticed that there's a new release of Mike Oldfield's last album (Music of the Spheres) out - a limited edition with a second disc. Balls. Or spheres, as the case may be. I already bought the single-disc version, so I doubt I'll get the two-disc version. It is, you know, kinda annoying when they do that without warning. Usually a limited edition will be released at the same time as the vanilla version (and if it had in this case, I almost certainly would have bought the two-disc version).
OTOH, from reading the case, the extra disc is actually a live performance, so perhaps I'll wait and see if a DVD of the live event is released. In the case of concerts, I much prefer to have a visual as well as an audio record anyway...
I've noticed that releasing two-disc versions of albums seems to be on the increase recently. Alanis Morissette's Flavors of Entanglement and Enigma's Seven Lives, Many Faces both spring to mind, and of course Mike's previous album was a two-discer. Perhaps I should have been anticipating this happening after all.
I totally didn't mean to go so long between posts. Anyway!
So last week I headed up to Auckland (with Jeff, who will no doubt comment on this entry) to see Kraftwerk live in concert at the Auckland town hall. Once we presented our tickets at the door, we were affixed with some sort of tag, which I suspect may have been tracked by satellite, and directed to our seats in the circle. Although it was noted on the tickets to start at 8, it actually took a while possibly because people were still coming in (and continued to come in after Kraftwerk had started).
Finally strange electronic music began to play, the lights dimmed, and then four silhouettes became visible against the drape along the front of the hall. To audience applause, the drapes opened to reveal Kraftwerk playing The Man-Machine. Fantastic!
Behind the band, a video display assaulted us with retro computer graphics (occasionally with seizure-inducing flashing effects) the most sophisticated-looking being a wireframe head during Music Non-Stop. Dead groovy. There was also occasionally live action footage, such as the Tour de France and vintage model clips for the appropriate songs.
Their new songs were, of course, well received. I'm wondering if Showroom Dummies with its talk of breaking glass was possibly inspired by the 1970 Doctor Who story Spearhead from Space.
Two hours after it started, the concert ended, and three days later I'm still humming Kraftwerk tunes. I'ma definitely going to have to buy some more of their albums. A superb concert, and I hope they come back to do another sometime soon.
A while ago I got hold of Björk's latest album, Volta. Volta is very good, however its packaging is not. Maybe I'm traditional, but I prefer my CDs to come in a standard jewel case and not some overblown artsy packaging. Volta has the silliest packaging I've seen so far on an album.
Once you get the shrink wrap off, you have a bright-red cardboard box with two flaps on the front. The flaps are held together with a metallic sticker of Björk dressed as a multicoloured vegetable with blue feet. Assuming that, like me, you don't want to tear the sticker, you have to gentle peeeeeel it off on one side in order to open the box. Personally, I peeled it off completely and stuck it onto one of the flaps to stop it from getting torn.
Inside the box is another series of cardboard boxes in a sort of Russian doll effect. On one side of each box is a picture of Björk in a crochet wearable art outfit, and on fire. Yes, someone's also photoshopped the pictures to make it look like she's on fire. At least I hope it's a photoshop. "OK, we've painted her face and put her in the wool outfit. Is it artsy enough yet?" "No. SET HER ON FIRE!"
Inside the Russian doll boxes are a booklet and the Volta CD in a plain white paper sleeve (and the DVD version, if you got that version). I have yet to determine how to store all this. I'll probably simply stick the CD and booklet into a jewel case and put the rest of the packaging away somewhere. Meh.
Lots of short items which I can't be bothered writing full posts for:
Prime TV is going to start screening Series 3 of Doctor Who on August 19th. You can read more about it here (I know the page layout sucks - I'm going to tidy it up on the weekend).
Blogger: Please add a bulk submittal version of your spam reporting tool, so I when I get spammed with 200 blogspot URLs, I can report all of them at once.
I believe the hacker who's been trying to hack into my site to be a Brazilian who goes by the handle Nicksom2d. One of the scripts used to try to hack in was located on a hacked site, with a main page title "Owned by Nicksom2d from Brazil". Nicksom2d also wrote there "I never really hated the stupids admins but I hate the admin that make a website and ignore all the possibilities of invasion, sometimes I would be a hacker... just it..." Word.
Stone Age, one of my favourite groups, has a new album out, Totems d'Armorique! And it's, like, almost totally different to their other albums.
The NZDWFC site had 7720 unique visitors last month, beating its previous best of 7624 set in May.
So, back in the mid 80s when I was a young lad, and I realise I'm dating myself here1, my parents gave me a tape deck for Christmas, and an aunt gave me a compilation tape called "The Hottest Summer On Cassette"2. I played it many many times, which probably goes some way toward explaining why I like 80s music so much3.
Surprisingly it has no copyright date on it4, but I would guess by the songs on it that it came out around '86 or '87. I've never seen a CD version, so I guess CBS Records Limited never released one.
Since I'm wallowing in nostalgia at the moment, here's the track listings:
The UK music show Top of the Pops has been screened here by TVNZ for years and years. Then a couple of years back, TVNZ opted to start making their own version, which used a NZ presenter and combined performances from the UK version with live performances from Kiwi bands. But then they stopped playing it, and the last TV Guide responded to a letter by saying that TVNZ weren't bringing it back. This made me saaaaad.
But! I emailed C4 to ask whether they're going it pick it up, and they already have! It starts on the 6th of May. Hooray!
... will not be gracing my music collection, despite the fact I spotted a copy in the store the other day. Not only does it contain Copy Corruption technology (or "Copy Control" as it's more commonly known) but it also contains the evil Sony rootkit malware.
Amazon UK have it, but it's listed as an import and I'm not game enough to order it without knowing where they're getting it from and whether it has Copy Corruption/Rootkit crap on it.
While one-quarter of the nation's music fans say they've downloaded songs onto their computers — legally or otherwise — a new nationwide poll suggests music executives should look elsewhere to explain their business woes.
Three in every four fans complain that compact discs are too expensive, and 58 percent complain that music in general is getting worse, according to the poll conducted for The Associated Press and Rolling Stone magazine.
So the problem's not downloading but the fact that CDs are too expensive, and music's getting crapper? Perhaps they should stop putting crappy DRM products on their CDs and take a look at making the music better, hmm?
As Boing Boing reported, Sony BMG has put in place a program to allow customers to exchange infected CDs with CDs without the rootkit crap on.
Which is sorta sporting of them, but as I pointed out previously, Sony said they were abandoning copy protection last year, so who knows what future Sony releases will have on them. It's entirely possible that they'll take a lesson from the extraordinary amount of bad press they got this time, but (and excuse me for being cynical) I'm not holding my breath.