The Bullshit of Physical Media or Artists taking you for what they can.

Kiss "Love Gun" Gun

I often buy a physical copy of music.

Here are the reasons:

  1. It costs the same or less as a download. This is an obvious way for bands and labels to get you to buy the physical item. Six dollars max for digital download.
  2. The packaging is cool. Stickers, posters, cool package, download code, whatever.
  3. I want a physical back-up. Less important with cloud back and archiving to DVDs.
  4. I want to make my own superior digital files. iTunes/Amazon/etc. $9, used CD $5 with shipping.

Let’s talk about number 2. Often you hear the sheep bleating about how they love covers. Problem is most of them suck.

You get a cover that’s it. No insert, no poster, no stickers, no “love gun” and minimal information. Nothing to dig into. What am I getting besides something to take up shelf space. Hopefully the art is cool.

The art is shit. I have high expectations here. Some lazy crap, half assed inside joke makes me “feel the focking fury”. Is the cover at all related to the music? Text so tiny you need a microscope to read it. Red text on a black background. Hand writing that is so unreadable it looks like Cuneiform. Putting a link to information on a website when it should be on the cover.

Low quality. This happens more with CDs. The dreaded sleeve where the LP art is shrunk down to 5”x5”, the one panel CD cover. Thanks. Shit printing. Shit CD-R quality, I have no problem with CD-R but lets not use the 100 for a quarter kind.

No download code or MP3 download. This gets into number 4, but concerns the overall package. Come on 99% of most people are listening is on their computer, phone, tablet or iPod. You spent that much on worrying if you recording is on 180+ gram vinyl and you are giving me a MP3 or no download. Bandcamp, just do it, the downloads are in multiple formats from mp3s to lossless formats (FLAC, Apple Lossless).

This leads me to the conclusion that the bulk of artists want the highest priced item with the lowest effort, the vinyl LP and offering CDs because they “have to”.

How about taking some pride in what you are putting out there. Not treating fans like you just want to take their money, come on at least pretend you have higher motivations.

Cobain’s reactionary motives in making “In Utero”

Read this Quietus article Nirvana’s Howl At The Moon: In Utero Revisited, 20 Years On this morning.

I have thought, since I heard “In Utero”, that Cobian was not saying “fuck you” to anyone. He was sculpting his world view. He was saying “I’m not a sell-out”. Problem is he went out of his way being so caustic. Cobain sacrificed songwriting in places for being “punk”. Catering to the “punk” (this whole “the year punk broke” is a load of crap) or “indie” crowd was far more of a compromise.

Great, it wasn’t “Nevermind” part 2 but it is far too reactionary. To pandering to the “punk” and “indie” critics. Trying hard to challenge the new “frat boy” fans instead of making the best record he could.

Addendum
This article was brought to my attention by Craig Hutler. I think much of it goes to prove my point of a reactionary move to regain “indie” credability. Then when dad got pissed they bent a bit for the man.

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Just ran across this commercial for “In Utero” (via Blabbermouth)

Banging your head like it’s 1983: Satan “Life Sentence”

Best metal album of 2013, no metal band is touching this. This is freaking glorious. Makes me feel 12 again. Has that NWOBHM feel without sounding like a local band. Epic riffs and soaring vocals song after memorable song. Break out the air guitars and wave that fist with no shame.

A little history: Satan formed in 1979. They put out a forgettable 7″ in 1982 with a different vocalist. Before they realeaed their debut “Court in the Act” singer Brian Ross, of Blitzkrieg fame, joined the band. The album came out Ross left. They turned into Blind Fury then back into Satan, then into Pariah. Two members joined Skyclad with Sabbat vocalist Martin Walkyier. Satan reformed in 2004 for some European festivals.

Trial by Fire from Court in the Act.

Buzz from the Melvins on Digital v Analog and the Music Industry.

Buzz Osbourne

I couldn’t agree more with this. Quit trying to recreate a place that will never exist again.

There seem to be two fundamental tendencies in music today: On the one hand, a move towards complete virtualisation, where tracks and albums are merely released as digital files. And, on the other, an even closer union between music, artwork, packaging and physical presentation. Where do you stand between these poles?

All music is virtual. It simply moves air and it matters not how that happens. The digital versus analogue debate is totally pointless. Believe me, you can make soulless sounding crap records with either medium. Recording techniques are simply tools and nothing more. I can work with whatever is in front of me and be just as happy with the result. All the techno music from the 80’s was recorded to analogue and it all sounds like crap, case closed.

Packaging is cool in a lot of ways. I believe a move towards something a little more human in that department is desirable to SOME people, but that will be a small number. Most people will never care about such things and I have no interest in trying to make them care. I don’t have the energy for that argument with music fans. You can lead a horse to water so to speak. The main and most important thing is the music which is basically free on the internet. I see a not-too-distant future where music is free for the taking and if you want something beyond that it will have to be cool and you are going to have to pay for it. That’s just how it is.

The Internet Genie is out of the bottle and it ain’t going back. The music industry as you ever knew it to be is OVER, get used to it. For those people who want the music to be free AND don’t want to pay extra for something cool, we don’t make cool stuff for the likes of YOU. Just be happy the music is free! Isn’t that enough? What more do you want? How many records do you imagine I will make that lose me money? I promise it will be less than two…

From Fifteen Questions. Read the entire article here.

Review: Black Sabbath “13”

I’ve dreaded this. There is no good reason for this to exist. Maybe because of the mortality shock for Iommi. Other than that, this is not needed.

This is the best Ozzy has sounded since the 80’s. Is it studio trickery or real? Sounds real to me. Geezer and Iommi’s playing is top-notch. Brad Wilk’s drumming is fine, an improvement over Vinnie Appice who plods too much.

The music is fine. It’s not embarrassing but it sounds too much like an echo of earlier work. There are too many moments of “that kind of sounds like” going on here.

The middle of the album tracks 3 through 7 work best. There is a bit more life in those songs, not entirely Sabbath paint by numbers. A little expanding on well-traveled territory.

Lyrically “13” is ham-fisted in places, nothing really embarrassing, but nothing that stands out.

This doesn’t feel like an album. It’s 8 songs (11 if you get the deluxe version, adding 3 disposable songs) thrown together. It’s missing the vitality that even “Never Say Die” had. Sure you may not like “Never Say Die” but there was a feel to it. This just is.

I’ll take the first 33 seconds of “Air Dance” over this whole album.