After all the BS surrounding the Supreme Court and Obamacare, I think it’s time for something to clean the ol’ brain…
How can I say this? Let’s have an example from this morning…
I was watching an excellent movie from 1983, Bill Forsythe’s Local Hero — a small budget Scottish flick about an oil exec coming to buy a small coastal town. Another I like of his is Comfort & Joy — another comedy based on the glasgow “ice cream wars” (which weren’t funny and involved drug trafficking…but not in the film.) I can’t get Comfort & Joy in the US, and the DVD I might be able to lay my hands on is the wrong region — thanks to greedy fucking companies that limit distribution between countries. There’s no electronic download of the movie on iTunes, either (to be fair, it’s not on the UK store, either…but trying to buy it, were it, would involve having to have a UK address, credit card, and account.
It’s a fucking electronic format file! Why can’t I buy something from another country online? Because of the distribution and copyright nonsense. I want to buy the movie…not pirate it. But what choice, if I really wanted it, would I have? I could buy the wrong region DVD and cut it to an e-format…but that’s also piracy in some countries (and always in the minds of the MPAA.) It’s ludicrous and purposefully keeps people from purchasing their material. But they’ll pitch a hissy if someone shares an Adele song they might have made a buck and a quarter from.
Similarly, a decade ago, I wanted to buy some albums from The Beautiful South. No one in the US had the band on mp3 and the CDs weren’t available. Once again, I could have bought them from amazon.co.uk — but the shipping alone made it not worth my while. What is a boy (of 33 at the time) to do? You can’t buy the damned things, as much as you want to.
The copyright system in place, and the distribution roadblocks don’t help the consumer, nor the companies that have put these obstructions in place, and they certainly don’t aid the artists in expanding their audience. (And it’s why, no matter how many book sales I might lose to “loaning”, I won’t DRM my stuff.)
Yup, from the east coast bastion of bad ideas, Massachusetts comes this lovely: the Boston Public Health Commission is now posting “healthy songs” for teens to listen to. Steer clear of those unhealthy relationship songs, kids! Because only the government knows what’s good for you.
Yet another example of how environmentalists make everything they touch rotten: the FBI raided Gibson Guitars in Memphis and Nashville a few days ago to seize computers, wood, and guitars. The reason? The federal government is worried the wood they use might be from protected forests.
Gibson was subjected to this in 2009, as well, which led to the ingoing United States of America v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms. In that case, it was claimed — but not proven — that Gibson was using Madagascar ebony wood, which is not necessarily illegal.
Once again, environmentalist have managed to get ridiculous laws passed that have real effects on workers and companies.
I haven’t played guitar in years, but have recently thought about taking it up again…I used to be an Ovation guy (I love the sound of a roundback), but after this crap, I might have to buy a Gibson. Preferably strung with the guts of a spotted owl.
I went on an iTunes binge this week, downloading a bunch of the Bare Naked Ladies albums, including their All in Good Time — the first without Steven Page on vocals. I also bought Steven Page’s solo effort Page One.
So, first Page One: like one would expect, Page’s album is a bit eclectic, but feels much more like the old BNL than All in Good Time. A few of the tracks, like the swing-inspired “Leave Her Alone” and the very pop-oriented “Queen of America” really stand out for being different in flavor from the first half of the album — which feels lot like Gordon. Overall, it’s a solid record, with about half of the tracks really standing out, and the rest good, if not as catchy. If you like old BNL, you’ll like it. Recommendation: buy it.
All in Good Time is the latest Bare Naked Ladies record. The feel is much more like the 21st Century efforts of the band — there’s a variety to the feel of the tracks, but they have the more stylized quirky flavor of Stunt and Maroon, but with less of the angsty lyrics of those albums. There’s a couple very strong tracks — “You Run Away” and “Every Subway Car” are aimed squarely at pop radio, but I think the catchiest tune is probably “Another Heartbreak” (which was a particular standout song when I saw the band in concert a few months back.) I found I really missed Page on the record, in a way I didn’t at the concert; the sound of the band is sharply different with Ed Robertson and Kevin Hearn taking the leads on vocals. (Hearn sounds much much better on stage — there’s a sweetness to his voice that gets lost in the production mill.) It’s a good album and worth the $10 on iTunes.
One of (if not the) best albums of the Rolling Stones’ career is being rereleased with 10 new songs this month. The BBC interviewed Mick Jagger on the event. One of his statements I found interesting, as it jives with something I posited in one of my historical lectures on popular culture:
“…people only made money out of records for a very, very small time. When The Rolling Stones started out, we didn’t make any money out of records because record companies wouldn’t pay you! They didn’t pay anyone!
Then, there was a small period from 1970 to 1997, where people did get paid, and they got paid very handsomely and everyone made money. But now that period has gone…”