Category Archives: music

Radiohead Price: Whatever You Want

I just ordered Radiohead’s new album, In Rainbows, for about $5. You can only pay in Pounds Sterling, but the price is entirely up to the buyer (so you can choose to pay £0.00 if you so desire). The business model relies on consumers paying for something they can get for free, where I think any motivation to pay nothing is actually driven by inconvenience rather than perceived value. I tend to leave pretty good tips at restaurants, so I have no trouble conceptualizing spending a little extra simply so that someone gets paid a little extra. I do think that the difficulty of making micropayments by typing in credit card numbers and similarly complicated transactions is holding back a lot commerce. I’m always optimistic that things will be more efficient in the future, but check out my third point in my 2003 post on a similar topic.
its up to you

Morrissey Cram Session

I like Morrissey, but I wouldn’t really call myself a Morrissey fan. After being invited to a Morrissey show, I decided that I should study-up so I’d know more of the songs. This involved borrowing approximately six Morrissey albums and listening only to Morrissey for several days. This made me (in order) depressed, apathetic, aloof, and finally… somewhat anti-patriotic. These emotions were conjured by the music itself, whereas the fact of my listening to the music (typically in the car at high volume levels) also made me feel somewhat embarrassed. I’m pulling out of the Home Depot parking lot with the windows down blasting “the heart feels free”, and I’m free not to make eye contact with the driver of the massive pick-up truck next to me. On the other hand, each morning I pass a construction site which features two trucks labeled “Morrissey Electric”, so his name is not totally foreign to the construction trade.
Of course, I now realize that I should have invested my efforts in listening to the latest Morrissey album over and over, because taking one or two passes at six Morrissey albums wasn’t really an effective way to “study”. In the end, Morrissey lost his voice and canceled the show – so I’m back to Bright Eyes and The National.

Guitar Hero Becomes Rock Star

Every night when I walk past TT The Bear’s Place on my way home I turn my head a little to see the dry-erase board that lists the evening’s entertainment. Last week on Monday, the sign read “Guitar Hero, The PlayStation Game“. Apparently a video game, which features a plastic guitar, has taken over for actual live music.
This may not be a bad thing. In a society that favors home theatres to corner coffee shops, it’s nice to see a movement towards public interaction. As video games become the standard interactive entertainment choice, it’s good to see that some games are breaching their inactive antisocial bounds (nod to my high school friend who referred to his system as a “super no-friendo”). In the case of MMORPGs, the player is isolated but the game is social. In the case of Guitar Hero at TT’s, the game itself is solitary, but the player encounters actual, live, interaction (in real time too).

No Reason to Copy Sony CDs

Apparently I am completely out of the loop on what the hip kids are listening to these day. Of the twenty CDs that Sony decided to protect with their anti-copying software, I have only heard of four, and of the four, three are Neil Diamond, Celine Dion, and Ricky Martin (artists I would not consider listening to – well maybe Neil Diamond). A Google News search today returns over 400 articles about the Sony recall. So far, music CD anti-copying software has (1) deterred purchases, and (2) caused a mountain of bad publicity. Perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea.

Nascar Guitars

I saw these Nascar Guitars in the latest Zzounds catalog. Now maybe it’s just me, but I just can’t see any connection between auto racing and acoustic guitar music. Are the winning drivers expected to serenade the crowd with the sweet sound of strummed strings after their aggressive display of pedal pressing and wheel turning? Or is it simply that there is nothing left on the car to sponsor so the cars themselves are now sponsering other everyday items?

The Exchange Rate’s First Show

My band, The Exchange Rate, stepped forward from the shadows last week to play our first ever show at PA’s Lounge in Somerville. A good time was allegedly had by all (most of the audience were friends of the band – so accolades cannot necessarily be trusted). Thanks to everyone that came to show. Stay tuned here for future show announcements. I promise to give more warning next time.
The Exchange Rate (band)