27. Nov. 2010, 9:28

    We're moving away from (or we've left in skidding tire tracks!) physical media. The majority of all our entertainment media is streamed, downloaded or resides in a digital 'cloud' we access via usernames & passwords. We don't own the hardware. We don't touch or look at it. It's stored digitally on shiny computers & housed in virtual kiosks like iTunes.


    I believe those facts influence how we consume the new entertainment media. In this case, it's profoundly affected music. The ability to change the analog waveform of music into 0's & 1's, bits & bytes has obviously enhanced the places we can go with our music. From CD's to MP3's, I doubt our music platforms can get more convenient than they are today outside of a brain implant that accesses your home computer or one of your mobile smart devices for immediate playback of your playlists directly in your brain!

    Here's the drill. Music was never made for earbuds & barely for over the ear headphones! But mobility has ruined our tastes. We'll listen to our favorite music over these obviously inferior transducers & feel satisfied because we're not really involved!

    "How can we be not involved", you say..."We have sound practically glued to our eardrums for a 3rd of our waking hours"? Well I say that sound is shit! Stop ruining your inner ear. Become a grownup. Invest in 'REAL' home speakers & stop listening to Lady Ga Ga & The Black Eyed Peas on computer speakers you can't even locate on the bloody computer!

    My point is, music is made for the imperfection of real speakers attempting to catch the magic of a typically unreal non-event. Those speakers are already limited by real world engineering limitations much less the already shoddy & limited source they're fed. But in most tolerable instances, real speakers (bookshelf or floorstanding) can do a credible job of sounding decent with a an off the shelf source component (CD player, turntable, cassette deck etc.) as long as the amplification device is anywhere close to adequate. Today, most are regardless of origin.

    Because we've made our music into a file commodity with no physical housing & no identity, it's easily forgotten. I know firsthand. Over the past year (at my own financial insistence/necessity) I haven't purchased my usual gaggle of CD's totaling in $1K plus per year. Instead I decided to try to purchase the best digital singles I could from that musical black hole called iTunes.

    I almost forgot everything I purchased! As a matter of fact I had to convert/burn it to physical media to remember the songs I purchased. That's something that rarely happened with an LP or CD. On top of that many of these digital nasties--in fact the majority--sounded (sounds) like shit! Compressed, tinny semblances of their higher fidelity 3rd & 4th cousins. But they were made to sound that way.

    And that's obviously how we want it. As the convenience of digital downloads increases & the increasing 'need' for musical mobility continues to rise, the need for real speakers in a real space will continue to diminish. The death of the home 'hi-fi' appears nigh. Only you & I can save it. If you care for music, pass this link along!

    13. Nov. 2010, 20:55

    I've learned a lot since 6 hours ago when I posted Part 1. First, going through life as a beer swilling music enthusiast doesn't have many rewards. After two thwarted attempts of posting Part 1 of this listing, & finally just relenting to throwing up the vids you see posted for Part 1, the love of my life, who knows the drunken struggle I went through, goes to the listing & picks the single video she likes (The Courteeners), plays it & politely says, "That's nice."

    Secondly, I have to figure out a way to save the bloody journal entries as I'm doing them. That's how I lost the 1st two drafts of Part 1. Finally, I've figured out just how stubborn I am. Here's Part 2:

    11. Phantogram-"Mouthful of Diamonds"

    Jenn, (the aforementioned love of my life) found this snaky little number at the beginning of the year. Slightly Goth with a little bit 'Shoegaze', "Mouthful of Diamonds" hints to an interesting pairing.

    12. Foster The People-"Pumped Up Kicks"

    'The Baron', (Bernard for those knowing Caustivox listeners) kicked this over to me a couple of months ago & I defy anyone who says he/she can get this beat out of their heads! The Baron digs the ironic lyrics. I have no idea what the hell they're saying but I can't stop my idiotic head from bobbing incessantly.

    13. Darwin Deez-"Up In The Clouds"

    Another repetitive but engaging slice of indie heaven. I think heavy doses of this guy could be irritating, but indulging in this single ditty is probably the perfect dose of Mr. Deez.

    14. We Are Scientists-"Nice Guys"

    Don't balk because this is their 2nd appearance on the list! W.A.S. is just that great. Do yourself a favor & pick up all three of their full length offerings. You can thank me for it later.

    15. The Cribs-"We Share The Skies"

    It never hurts when you recruit the greatest guitar slinger in Alt Music History, (Mr. Marr of course), but when you can come up with a soaring anthem as well...then you've achieved something special!

    16. Kindness-"Gee Up"

    I'm mystified by my fascination with grungy white guys playing faux funk with crackling turntable noise in the background. But this is my cross to bear. Enjoy! The torture is less than two minutes.

    17. The Magic Kids-"Hey Boy"

    From the ridiculous to the absurd! Trust me, it's not a Beach Boys rarity.

    18. Violens-"Acid Reign"

    I can regain my New Wave cred with this tune. Violens capture the beauty & complexity of some of the best New Wave music both past & present.

    19. Hey Champ-"Neverest"

    I'm not going soft but I do have a little spongy part left in my black hole of a heart that loves this song. Remind me to cut that spongy part out!

    20. Dom-"Jesus"

    I know it sounds like it was recorded in a bathtub but you can't deny the catchiness. Note to Dom: lo-fi is only cute for song!

    Well, that's it & I feel complete.

    13. Nov. 2010, 12:27

    I'm going to be frank about this. I'm pissed! This is the 3rd attempt I've made to get this bull posted & it's 3:55AM. The rest of the family is sleeping & for some reason, I can't get this done but this is my final try. All of these singles were released from November '09 to November '10. For whatever reason (probably because they're quite good), I can't get them out of my brain! Let's begin:

    1. Julian Casablancas-"11th Dimension"

    2. Morrissey-"Shame Is The Name"

    3. We Are Scientists-"Rules Don't Stop"

    4. Carl Barat-"Run With The Boys"

    5. The Courteeners-"You Over Did It Doll"

    6. Field Music-"Them That Do Nothing"

    7. Two Door Cinema Club-"Undercover Martyn"

    8. Tracey Thorn-"Why Does The Wind"

    9. City & Colour-"Boiled Frogs"

    10. Everything Everything-"My Keys Your Boyfriend"

    This isn't in any way how I wanted to do this but it's a start!

    10. Nov. 2010, 5:38

    As a rather aged person participating in this music social society of, I feel that I need to make a few statements about the importance of this site.

    Initially I wasn't sure about what I was signing myself up for but since joining, it's been an utter delight. The listening tracking has helped me find out how many times my 'girls' have been strolling through iTunes & ruining my listening profile! Suddenly all of my 'neighbors' are 20-30 years my junior & listening to 'Asking Alexandra'. It just wouldn't be appropriate to 'friend' these individuals without fear of some kind of children's protective strikeforce barging through my door! But I digress...

    Secondly, 'Scrobbling' works magnificently! The band/artist suggestions are spot on & the comprehensive band profiles make the experience complete. Watching band photos scroll by while reading that information makes it all the more immersive.

    The ability of the site to link you to music listeners (with your preferences!) from all over the world, makes the site bigger & more open than any site I've experienced before.

    If the recording industry is to survive in this decade of 'free downloads', & watered down mega pop-stars that barely anyone over the age of 30 has any awareness of, it's going to take a site like Last.Fm to inform the unwashed masses of what's available. People that truly have a passion for music will find it. I'm one of those people. Otherwise, people my age will continue to listen to the same old stuff (albeit good) that we've listened to for years.

    That's a travesty. Last.Fm is a true call to remembering why music is important & the search & discovery of new music is nothing short of a fountain of youth! Kudos Last.Fm!