It's been a quiet few months on the music front for me. January or February are dead months in the music industry. Then again, if you believe the record companies it's a dead time of the year all the time now, what with them pesky music downloaders and everything.
Anyway, the point being I haven't picked up much in the way of new music the last couple of months. However, that's changed in the last week when I finally found some music that I wanted to give a chance. Those new albums include: My Flame Burns Blue by Elvis Costello, Let It Die by Feist (yes, I know it's been out awhile, but I only just tracked it down), Treeful of Starling by Hawksley Workman, Back to Bedlam by James Blunt, Little Willies by The Little Willies (Norah Jones and friends doing country covers) and Fox Confessor Brings The Flood by Neko Case.
I'm only just starting to play them so I don't really have a good feel yet as to whether or not I'm going to fall in love with them yet. I like some of the tracks on the Costello record and I have a deep, abiding love for his song "God give me strength" which he redoes here on this record, live, with a jazz/swing orchestra. Workman's album is quieter than previous releases, but still engaging.
And I can listen to Neko Case all day long. Case perplexes the hell our of Cathy. I really, truly hate most country music. Yet, there are exceptions. Allison Krauss is one; Case is another. Case is primarily a country musician (except for her work with the New Pornographers). But what can I say, I love the voice. It's probably my favourite voice in all of music. And Furnace Room Lullaby is one of my favourite records.
The problem with getting all of this new music is that my iPod is getting near the breaking point. There is now 885 mb left on it. Which is probably enough room for another 8-10 records. That means crunch time is coming. It means that along with listening to the new stuff, I'm also listening to other records which haven't been played a lot to determine if they're staying or being purged.
It's likely not a permanent purge. I have a back-up hard drive (the hard drive on my iBook is a sadly tiny 30 gigs) so some of it can stay there. But it's going to have to vanish from the iPod in short order.
So what's on the cutting block? The Arcade Fire by The Arcade Fire, Silent Alarm by The Bloc Party, Broken Social Scene by Broken Social Scene, Brushfire Fairytales and In-Between Dreams by Jack Johnson, Mind, Body and Soul by Joss Stone, Live at the Filmore by Lucinda Williams, I by The Magnetic Fields, Greatest Hits by Melissa Etheridge, Wildflower by Sheryl Crow, Best of The Specials and Apologies to the Queen Mary by The Wolf Parade.
It's not that they're bad albums. It's either they haven't grabbed me or I've listen to them enough now and are kind of bored with them. I have records that I will get bored with, but I know I will revisit. I'm a little bored with Matthew Good currently, but I know that will change in six months time and I'll going on a listening frenzy for his stuff. Same thing with Tom Waits. But, for example, I think I'm done with Lucinda Williams record.
I might also go through and trim some of the Greatest Hits collections. Not everything from Queen is worth listen to. The same can be said for REM. I'll likely leave the Beatles and U2 collections along, because I went through a lot of nuisance to get all those recordings.
So there you go. If you want to make a pitch to save one of these records from the digital scrap heap, by all means, leave a comment. Or if you have any suggestions, drop a line.
It's harder to find new music these days. Yes, some of it can be the usual grumblings from older people that music just isn't as good as when they were growing up (which is bullshit. I grew up in the 80s. The great bands sprang forth from that decade can be counted on two hands). Part of it is I used to get some new music from the radio, and that's not so much an option these days.
And part of it is I miss my friends. Back with the Muse I used to get carpet bombed with new music. I had friends with CHMR bringing new music into the office all the time. Record companies used to throw tapes at us (ah yes, I am that old now apparently. How very depressing). A lot of it was garbage, but you would find gems like Tori Amos or Nirvana. We'd all try to find new music to show off to each other. These days, even with greater ways of finding new music, it just seems harder to track down something I like.
Too much variety, it seems, means a lot more garbage making it that much harder to find the gems.
In-Between Dreams - Jack Johnson