I just moved into my very first apartment and this is my record set up. I can’t wait for my mornings with good coffee and music. Talk soon
Well, I did it - I officially joined the ominous “cloud.” The other day, I decided to subscribe to iTunes Match. In a nutshell, this throws all my music up in the cloud, and matches any non-iTunes purchased music along with it, with stipulation that it’s on iTunes.
I did this for a few reasons, one of them was the enticing idea of iTunes actually matching some of my lower quality music. The other being that it’s a back up, for my back up. I have all my music on an external hard drive, but now I also have it in the cloud, which for someone who has a lot of music, and who has the connection to music that I do, provides quite the safety net. In turn, this net reminded me of music I bought, in what I will call as a weak moment in life, but I will not be divulging that information on such a public platform.
However, this investment in the cloud provided me with a bit of a dilemma. Along with my digital weight in music, I also have developed a modest, yet decent record collection. I believe I am up to 200 records, very eclectic I might add, and I realize some folks out there would guffaw at that number being so few - to you, I say look at my bank account.
The dilemma, is advancing my ways of attaining music, as well as maintaing. The way I function at the moment is I go through phases in the ways I listen to music. Lately it’s been all digitally, due to my time at a computer. I spend my mornings, as I call it “futzing” on my computer before I get ready for work, I drink my coffee, watch videos, read the news, etc. I tend to flip flop for extended periods of time in listening on my computer, whether it be iTunes or Spotify, and then going to my records for a period of time. And I can feel phase to coming back into my foresight in vinyl. I will do all my morning futzing and coffee-ing, and but I’ll replace my digital listening with my vinyl listening, in the very near future.
What it comes down to, is that I’m caught in a pull of the times. A part of me loves this technological evolution of music, I love the idea of improved sound quality on iTunes, and I love that accessibility, it’s astonishing how easily I can reach my music - if I have wifi, I can get all 13,000 songs on my computer or my phone.
None the less, I am one of those people who lives by the phrase, “There is nothing like vinyl.” I wholeheartedly believe that - there really isn’t. Listening to vinyl is romantic, it’s a unique journey that you get with music that the digital age can never quite capture, and it sure is trying. Putting that record on, setting the needle, and hearing that first little scratch is an experience that can only be compared to seeing that person who was pressed on vinyl, in concert. Even then, those experiences are so individually unique. One thing to note though, I started listening to my own collection digitally. It was the iPod that inspired me to find my own tastes and musical loves, and it wasn’t until a year+ ago that I delved into the world of vinyl.
My continual mission is one that puts me in between a rock and a hard place. I am still trying to find ways to equally incorporate my passion and listening of music with the growing digital ways, and show my record collection the love I have for it, and will never lose.
At the moment, I do my best to buy new music on vinyl that comes with either a CD or digital code, and now throwing it in the cloud, and then getting to enjoy that album both with my morning coffee, and on my drive to work.
A very, very successful Record Store Day. My first one at that, as well.
Tomorrow brings upon us the 5th annual Record Store Day. I myself hope to be participating and getting some of the releases I’m most excited for.
CBS This Morning did a wonderful piece with one of my favorite bands, The Civil Wars, on vinyl in comparison to how we listen to music, which there isn’t really any besides convenience. In my opinion, music can exist in an age with both vinyl and MP3’s.
Give the video a look, and talk soon.
Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama” and “Growing Pains” on vinyl yesterday…I’m a very happy camper at the moment.
Last night I watched the documentary that captured the creation of “The Union.” The album with Elton John and Leon Russell, produced by T Bone Burnett. It presented the pure essence of friendship and musical creation. The album is spectacular, and this documentary showcased it, and the process perfectly.
This is my morning listening session.
Could not agree more.
Stop downloading music and start buying it.
…Finally - My Thoughts on “Born This Way”
Alright, well, the time has come. I’ve been trying to find the inspiration to write about this album since I gave it a few listens, but it didn’t come. And just now - UPS delivered my vinyl copy of the album. After I unwrapped it, I came up to my room, and now have it spinning through my speakers as I type, and inspiration hit.
This album has been at the top of my anticipation list since Gaga announced that she was working on a new record. That was fueled throughout the intense and suspense packed promotional train. She created buzz for the album when she announced the name of the new album, and sang a bit of it at the VMA’s last year. Ever since then, she’s been giving fans tastes of the album - be it the release date announcement on New Years Eve, or releasing the first single to world-wide buzz. Then finally, May 23rd hit, and “Born This Way” was officially released.
“Born This Way” is an intense ride of euro-pop, 80’s pop, and rock n’ roll music all fused together on one amazing piece of music. The album starts off with “Marry The Night,” a song reminiscent of “Dance In The Dark” from her second album, “The Fame Monster.” This track sets the tone for a lot of the songs on the album, and fits cohesively with arena-ready pop songs like, “Born This Way,” “Judas,” “Highway Unicorn,” and “Hair.”
A lot of the songs carry a message of empowerment along with them, and preach self-love - which has been a constant message throughout Gaga’s career - “Hair,” “Born This Way,” and “Bad Kids,” which are all clearly written for the fans. Lyrically the album is incredibly well written; Gaga has a way of creating a story in a song, but leaving enough mystery in it that fans can relate, and make it there own - i.e. “Americano,” which is a blasting techno-mariachi record, as well as “Marry The Night” which talks about her love for New York City, yet creates that sense of empowerment.
Songs like, “Sheisse,” “Government Hooker,” “Bloody Marry,” and “Heavy Metal Lover” present more of the euro-pop/techno sound that’s layered in the album. The unique sound only enhances and caters to the lyrical content in these songs. For me, these are my favorite songs on the albums, the production on all of them are outstanding, and it sounds like nothing else in pop music.
The influences that Gaga had for this album are all so clear and distinct, but she has taken all of them, and created an incredibly cohesive and perfect pop album. The elements of Springsteen inspired rock is a constant, especially in songs like “You and I,” “Electric Chapel,” and the Clarence Clemmons assisted tracks “Hair” and her current single, “The Edge of Glory.”
“Born This Way” has truly shown artistic growth from pop’s current Princess. It shows growth both lyrically and sonically - she has tapped into a distinct niche of pop music and made it her own. Also, it shows an uncommon creative juxtaposition that is not seen in very much pop music today. She does what Robyn does, she takes personal and soulful lyrics, and marry’s it with booming dance beats.
Aside from the quality of the album, the hype around this project is unlike anything music has seen in a very long time. The album debuted at number 1 selling an astonishing, especially in today’s age of music, 1.1 million copies in the first week. The last person to come close to that was Taylor Swift this past October with “Speak Now.” Granted, “Born This Way’s” sales figures were helped with Amazon’s 2-day pricing of $.99 on the album. Gaga has also had an intense promotional train for the album, appearing on Oprah, American Idol, The View, and a gigantic concert for Good Morning America. There is no doubt that the industry is cheering for all things Gaga.
I personally cannot wait to see what “Born This Way” holds when it comes to a live show - especially if The Monster Ball was the tip of the ice berg when it comes to her tours.
Paws up and talk soon.