Kids came by the “Houuuse” tonight looking for candy, so I gave them some. I was never really allowed to get all that into Halloween as a kid, since my parents were pretty conservative and religious. We’d usually spend Halloween at the church doing stuff that I thought was pretty fun at the time. I did go trick-or-treating my share of times, and that was definitely way better. The kids are cute though.

I love honky tonk music. Waylon Jennings is my hero. Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakam, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Hank II, and my newfound loves – Moe Bandy, and Charley Pride. I can’t tell you why I like it so much, except that it’s so stripped down that the vocals have to be good, and so often the lyrics really speak to what seem like the simplest and most complex human emotions simultaneously. The guitar licks are always absolutely killer.

Check out Moe Bandy on youtube.

Joe Lewis

I fear that may become a recurring title of my blog posts simply because it’s funny, and it’s the name of a town i drove through in Pennsylvania once.

I’ve heard some good music lately.

take STB for instance. Best punk band since the Sex Pistols, and they’ve been around forever and still seem to kick ass while adhering to punk that I can identify with (note italicization).

Black Joe Lewis. Personal friends with the band (automatic disqualification?), but those guys really get at the root of blues and the roots of indie at the same time. Impossible right?

Meanwhile,

I’m looking for a job in the non-profit sector. This isn’t to say I don’t love the bank, but I feel a calling and I’d like to follow through with it for once. If anyone has any suggestions I’m more than all ears. Austin area is preferable for now, but I can go anywhere.

Have you ever thought about what the human race might be like if the family group wasn’t the dominant ideology. There are cultures on the planet who raise their children as a village with a much looser connection with the mother. I imagine that extraterrestrial lifeforms (which I thoroughly believe in), if they are intelligent and even remotely humanoid, would live like this and their cities would be composed of thousands of buildings that look like dorms or hotels.

Jester

Let’s talk about what Johnny Greenwood was talking about. What exactly is music worth?

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. In the past my friends have mentioned that they will download an album and if they like it they’ll go out and buy it, or go to a concert. Radiohead has shaken this whole thing up by giving us a little bit of the in between. It forces us to consider exactly what it is we’re paying for, and what we think of it. The unfortunate thing is that we are forced to evaluate what we are purchasing before we have the chance to fully experience it. iTunes has a set purchase price (which is still lower than distributors) but only offers a snippet upon which to base your purchasing decision. Illegal downloading is going to remain a huge problem until the marginal cost of production is equal to the profit achievable by producing that unit. Computers and the internet make this a difficult task because they make the marginal cost of production almost nil.

Radiohead’s name-your-own-price move has set the whole economics of it on its head. Instead of grumbling about the price, or committing a “crime” (I really hate calling it that), consumers must carefully ponder the enjoyment they anticipate receiving from the purchase of this commodity. More than this, though, Radiohead has challenged the very commodification of music as an art form by allowing us to have the album for free if we so choose. With media so easily commodifiable, this is a risky move, and should scare the shit out of any record industry exec.

Music was the first successfully commodified media. With the invention of the phonograph, suddenly it became possible to transport recorded audio very easily, and to create it inexpensively, and hence to sell it for a reasonable price. Other recorded audio was popular as well, but none has endured in the same way that music has. Perhaps this has to do with the ineffability of music (though I’ll reserve that topic for a later date). Music has always been on the cutting edge of economic development, and that has never been more true than now. As I’ve learned from my beloved professor Joshie Juice (who you can find linked on the right) eventually music will be so accessible that just listening to it will be free, and almost everyone will be a producer. Music software has already made it ridiculously easy to make a half decent piece of crap song, and it will only continue to be easier. Once everyone becomes a producer, the market will become more and more fragmented until it practically doesn’t even exist. This is not the death of music, but the ascent of music into the realm of what I’m going to call uber-art. I’ll work on a proper definition for the next post.

so, i’ve listened to in rainbows about six times. it’s a pretty incredible album. on the first track you think it sound like “the eraser,” and then you hear johnny’s guitar, and phil’s immaculate drumming; those are the two elements that really stand out. in rainbows really feels like more of a natural progression from hail to the thief. amnesiac and hail to the thief are almost polar opposites. for the most part the album is mellower than hail to the thief lacking that penchant for the spasmodic thom yorke from the snl performance of idioteque. instead we get the smooth, artistic, and emotional thom that songs like “lucky” have brought me to love (not that i don’t love spasmodic thom). “bodysnatchers” (track 2), as i’ve said rocks as hard as anything on ok computer, but is definitely more reminiscent of hail to the thief than the rest of the album. my favorite track is definitely “all i need.” the bass line makes the song, and it’s so easy for me to lose myself in its meandering melody. “house of cards” is another top track off of in rainbows. it’s beautiful really, and reminds me almost of “wolf at the door” on hail to the thief with its understated melody and thom’s voice portraying a “soulfulness” we don’t usually hear from him. all in all in rainbows does way more than break down the barriers that the music industry has set up through the commodifation of art. it is art in itself. it might not be the masterpiece that ok computer is, but it stands as one of radiohead’s top achievements.

a friend of mine and i were discussing the album earlier and we both agreed that this will probably be radiohead’s last album. *single tear* we said that radiohead had achieved so much and that 14 years into their career, they knew how to behave like professional artists. their blog dead air space often mentioned how much time they spent on their work and how much they miss spending time with their families. essentially, what i’m saying is that radiohead has matured. they’ve made a name for themselves (“best band in the world right now” is quite a name, and i’ve heard it used by credible sources), and they know how to go out with a bang. there is also word of a tour of the states next year.

i’ll leave with the question that johnny greenwood posed in the pitchfork interview. what is music worth? i think that question will be the end of the music industry as we know it. there will always be a place for smaller labels where bands can have their albums financed. indie fans will rely on smaller labels as sources of new music for a long time to come. i wish the best of luck to radiohead, and ask them to please visit texas on their tour (austin is a helluva town).

mine of this album is one of pure ecstasy. i’m not going to prematurely rank it, because i really feel that one cannot judge an album accurately before listening to it at least a few times. the drums are insane on this record. i’ll let y’all listen for yourselves. more on the album at a more reasonable hour.

it’s here! i received the email about 10 minutes ago, and downloaded the zip file pretty fast. i’d say radiohead had to rent enormous amounts of server space to be able to host this many millions of downloaders in such a short span of time. currently listening to track 3, “nude.” so far i’m quite impressed. the first track started with an Eraser-like drum beat but quickly showed us that johnny greenwood is indeed an extremely influential in the creation of radiohead’s music. track 2 rocks as hard as anything on ok computer but with a more organized, cleaner hail to the thief sound. i’ve switched from vintage stereo to my sony mdr 7506 studio headphones. the guitar is so transparent and precise, i’m never unimpressed by johnny’s guitar work. the production value so far is the best of any radiohead album yet. i’m entranced.

back in a few after a thorough listen.

oh, but no artwork with the download? good thing i got the disc-box.

Welcome!

so this is my little foray into blogging. we’ll see how far it goes, and if i even have anything at all to say.

in the meantime:

new radiohead comes out in a matter of hours (in rainbows)

Cheers.

Clay


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