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bombtune.com

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It all started with music. My father used to bring home mixtapes from Europe that you couldn’t get in the US. It made me curious: if such diversity of music existed what else was out there that I needed to discover? Music was and still is my compass for navigating a world of cool stuff.

Check out what I’m listening to at bombtune.com. Here are my favorite tracks from 2016 if you’re interested in beats, rhymes, and pieces.

Daily Prompt: Sound

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John Peel on vinyl

John Peel: "Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don't have any surface noise. I said, 'Listen, mate, life has surface noise."

“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs
are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise.
I said, ‘Listen, mate, life has surface noise.”

John Peel

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The CD Case «

As for the CD format, I can’t imagine listening to, say, Green Day’s Dookie any other way. Dookie is to CDs what Creedence is to vinyl. It is a record resting eternally in the collective memories of aging music fans, a lost piece of data tucked inside scarcely used multidisc changers and laundry baskets full of shit leftover from collegiate apartments. The Beastie Boys’ Check Your Head is like that, too. So are Odelay, Siamese Dream, and Exile in Guyville. You can’t hear those records without anticipating the parts where the disc is scratched to hell and won’t stop skipping.

Vinyl I get but CDs are the industry’s attempt to monopolize users into an overpriced bundle when all there may be is a couple good tracks. Plus, that shrink wrap always infuriated me.

My CD rack is old and dusty and while I’ll never use any of the CDs in it again the collection is nostalgic; it represents the days I collected music religiously. Music was so much harder to find pre-Internet but it also made discovery more fun. Nothing beats the pleasure of finding a great album that no one’s ever heard of.

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You Need to Hear This Extremely Rare Recording 

Things are no longer rare; they are either popular or unpopular.

Rarity itself has become very rare.

All it takes is one digital file to create infinite inventory. Hence the paradox of ‘rarity’ in the digital age.

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Beats: How Dr. Dre’s Headphones Company Became a Billion-Dollar Business

“When you succeed, don’t think you’ve done this incredible thing. Stay focused on the product. I never collected the gold records of the albums I engineered.” (Iovine has worked for U2 and Tom Petty.) “My father asked me why I never put them up. I said, ‘Dad, they haunt me. I can’t think about anything yesterday.’”

The greatest achievers are the least satisfied.

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Vinyl, 1000x close up.
Vinyl, 1000x close up.
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ninjatune
ninjatune
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Put the bad songs at the end and all the good ones in the beginning?

The album format still misguides some artists. They make more songs just to meet the expected album format of 8-12 tracks, or at least 40 minutes.

But excess content actually degrades the album. Record labels think they can convince you to buy a whole album on the premise of the first 3-5 good songs. In reality, listeners are merely consuming singles, or not even buying at all.

Listeners today stream songs a la carte on YouTube, Spotify, or SoundCloud and merely add those songs to their playlist all without spending a dime. Listeners pay with attention, not money.

If the music is the marketing today to drive live shows and merchandise, then why would a band risk publishing one bad song?

Radiohead is the first band that comes to mind in producing holistic albums. Radiohead treats their albums like novels, with each song or chapter shaping the album from beginning to end. You can’t skip a track if you want to understand the ebb and flow of the entire story. 

For music albums, less is generally more. Enchancing the album with more songs doesn’t actually make the music better but worse.

Bands should consider the EP instead of the LP; create and publish their best 4-5 songs instead of 8-12. Unless you’re trying to tell a story through your music, it shouldn’t matter if your best tracks play in the beginning or at the end. All songs on the album should be fungible as they already will be on the listener’s playlist. 

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Diego Maradona listening to records, 1980
Diego Maradona listening to records, 1980
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Project Bootleg:  ”first live recording that’s actually made by the crowd.”