Looking for great music

Music you can’t ignore. The oldies. Memory triggering songs. Meaningful music to get you through tough days, or meaningless music to fill an hour of cleaning. There’s a huge offering. In school my teachers told me it’s how history was shared between generations before it was even written down. And maybe in a way it’s still representing of our lives, our culture, our era. And I can always love a couple of songs, and I will also always get really tired of music and never listen to it that song or artist again. Each January I try to just flush everything I have and get the music I miss most again, while being open to new things. That’s where you come in, because I am looking again.

What artist do you have to listen to, or perhaps you value the most? Are there songs that will always be in your playlist? Maybe you’re making music and want me to give it a try? Or know of some undiscovered but amazing indie band or something along those lines? Contact me, and I will probably check it out. This is how I found Metric and Audioslave.

When I was younger one of the things I did was go to the mall on Friday afternoon when the new Top 40 singles were available and buy the ones that I thought were pretty cool. Yes, I actually own an original Rick Astley LP single with alternative versions and some weird song on the B side. It’s okay Rick, I will never give you up either! Anyway. Those turned into awesome CDs, of which I owned hundreds, but then with the introduction of the Internet, MP3 compression, and Napster, my mind exploded and music was a whole new world. No longer was our little country limited to what the music industry crippled us to. Live performances, covers, studio recordings, it was all there, and possible.

I never got it why something like Napster wasn’t something the music industry made, and charged for. I would have spent so much money on music, if only they understood. Instead, they took down Napster and killed music as we knew it. The result was piracy on the rise, iPods and iTunes as the second choice to finally get what you discovered was amazing music (Thanks Steve Jobs). And record labels in a panic, music stores filing bankruptcy, and the music industry in tears – trying to convince artists that American Idol and the way of Justin Bieber is the future. Thankfully there are artists out there using social networks, Vimeo and YouTube, and Facebook to get their name out there, and making enough money to realise their dreams. Thumbs up to Nine inch Nails and Wu Tang Clan, Jonathan Coulton, Josie Charlwood, etc. They understand change, music as it should be, and approached it from various angles with their own various success.

Anyway, I loved listening to the radio and recording the songs, mixing tapes on my hi-fi stereo, listening back to it while rocking out on my guitar or whatever. To buy singles, to get the album on CD, to download the songs from MySpace etc. These days it is all different though.

I don’t buy any music anymore. I try, but it’s just a terrible experience. Once every so often I get a song or album, and it is locked to a device, even when it said it was DRM free. Or it just stops working after a month, and I have to delete it and re-download it. It’s lesser quality, because iTunes doesn’t offer anything reasonable compared to the nearly uncompressed releases you could perhaps find elsewhere. The extras are so annoying. You play music and boom, a window pops up with some trailer or teaser video or some commentary track or just the official music video. I am fucking working on shit, the music is supposed to be background.. now I have to take time and delete these extras from the playlist. The cover art is locked down to what they give you, while something like Plex or last.fm always shows amazing artwork. The price you pay just isn’t worth it anymore. Even when it is this cheap. Not to mention that if you re-install your system, you’re dealing with authorizing and de-authorizing your media or system in iTunes or whatever you’re using. It pops up for passwords to prove that you’re the owner of that fucking 99 cent song that you aren’t the actual owner of. You’re leasing it, it’s a license. Since the CD and mp3 era, we do not own our music, the terms clearly state it’s licensed, which also means they can revoke it. I am getting all worked up. I think I just convinced myself again why kids these days, and people like me, do not buy music anymore. We just stream it, youtube it, or whatever. Music means the world to me, but it has lost it’s value. Completely. (end of rant)

So, every January I flush my playlist, free songs, paid songs, shared songs, it doesn’t matter. Bye bye, it’s gone. And I will slowly rebuild the list. If you have any recommendations, if you want me to listen to anything particular. Give me a poke.