I happen to have made a list of debut albums a while ago, and add to the playlist periodically when I think about it. Not definitive, by any means, even of albums I have in my music library, mostly because I’m a slacker at heart.
I also didn’t include some lead-off songs that I don’t really care for – like The Beatles “I Saw Her Standing There”, Neil Young’s “The Emperor Of Wyoming”, M.I.A.’s “Ba-Na-Na [Skit]”, etc. I also fudged, and didn’t include debut EPs1
Anyway, here’s one hundred songs I’m playing this morning, sorted alphabetically by album:
Yesterday I realized that iTunes 12.x doesn’t have an option to merge two or more music tracks into one. I thought iTunes used to have this functionality, but perhaps I was mistaken. I could have dug out my original CD, and merged the songs that way, but after briefly Googling, I discovered that Applescript master and long-time iTunes expert Doug Adams has built a (Mac only) app that performs this very task. Cool!
Join Together will create and export a single AAC or ALAC audio file from the audio data of tracks dragged from iTunes or files dragged from the Finder, leaving the original source tracks and files intact.
Quality LP sides have their own internal logic & mood, as sequenced by the artist/producers. Each LP side can even have its own character. Breaking up albums into single songs in iTunes defeats the artist’s intent. I realized there were many albums that I owned that would benefit from being joined together like this. Mostly albums from before CDs became the default medium, I’m guessing in the early 1990s.1
An LP that has been played many, many times embeds itself in your brain as it is sequenced. Of course, thinking back, I often did skip a particular track on some albums if I wasn’t otherwise occupied, but usually I would play an entire LP side, and then maybe not even flip it over, but move on to the next LP.
Wu-Tang Clan’s debut LP
Albums that I loved on vinyl enough to replace on CD, aka Desert Island Discs; LPs like Highway 61 Revisited, or London Calling, or Kind of Blue, Electric Ladyland, individual songs that should be heard together in sequence like the Grateful Dead’s China Cat Sunflower and I Know You Rider, or even the short songs that make up the second side of Abbey Road; these are ideal candidates for Join Together.
Whenever I played the Meat Puppets 2, I always played the second side first, as I thought the first song on the first side2 was too jarring, and unlike the rest of the LP. When I use Join Together, I’m going to recreate that playing experience. I don’t need to hear Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” more than once or twice a year, so I’ll make a version of Led Zeppelin IV -Side 1 without Stairway3. Same with the Velvet Underground & Nico: how many times a year do I want to hear “European Son”?
Last night Sticky Fingers1 came up on my shuffler2. Within a millisecond of the opening riff of “Brown Sugar”, I instantly knew what I was listening too, and went into a reverie. Here’s an edited version…
I cannot quantify the number of times I’ve heard this album in my lifetime. When I was a child living in Toronto, or Frostpocket, whenever there were parties hosted by the Ragnarokr generation, Sticky Fingers was a frequently spun disc. When I was 8 or 9, Sticky Fingers was one of the albums I would play when I was alone in the house – I distinctly recall sitting on the Frostpocket front porch in a rocking chair listening, loudly, to Sticky Fingers played through the house speakers, reading some book or other, and not reading but just listening.
When our family moved to Austin when I was a teenager, I remember Sticky Fingers playing at dinner parties or other occasions for guests to mingle.
I started attending The University of Texas a few months after my 17th birthday, I also moved out of my parents’ house. My first financial aid check was blown on frivolities/necessities like a stereo for my car, and a receiver, speakers and record player for my apartment. Sticky Fingers was one of the first LPs that was played on that stereo system.
Chios – or Mutiny On The Aegean
For a few years while a student at UT, on Saturday’s, I would go have breakfast with Honoria, strike poses (fully clothed) and she would sketch line drawings while we listened to music and chatted. Sometimes I brought friends, but mostly, just me and a few records made the journey. Sticky Fingers was a frequent companion.
My friend Trey Buck3 would come over and we would spin records, drink wine, shoot the shit. Sticky Fingers was a frequent companion.
I made several dozen mix-tapes4 of music that played while I worked at Magnolia Cafe South, at least until the ASCAP people came by and harassed Kent Cole, the restaurant’s owner. Songs from Sticky Fingers were often in the mix.
I rebuilt my iTunes Library last in 2002, but since then, I’ve played songs from Sticky Fingers 122 times, using this particular library, or on an iPod/iPad/iPhone. This doesn’t take account of the many times the album or songs from it played in a car, either with a mix-CD, or someone else’s iPod on road trips.
Like everyone, my musical tastes have changed over time, but surprisingly, Sticky Fingers has not gotten tiresome to me, despite the constant playing over my entire life. There aren’t many albums I can say the same about.
Hello Would You Like To Restore Your iPhone Yet Again?
Kirk McElhearn, a long-time Mac columnist, adds his voice to the chorus of iPhone owners dismayed with iTunes 12 and iOS 8.
Now, syncing an iOS device—iPhone, iPad, or iPod—is too often an ordeal. And it is because it’s become untrustworthy. Will the sync work at all or will your content disappear and be transformed into something that fills the amorphous “Other” category in iTunes’ capacity bar. Will all of your content sync or just your music, or music, or apps?
Sync problems between iTunes and iOS devices are all too common. (See the last thirty days of posts in Apple’s support forums about iTunes sync issues.) In a way, this may be a predictable side effect of Apple’s push to online services. The company wants everything to be in the cloud, and it would prefer that you buy all your music and movies from there as well. Local syncing isn’t really a part of that plan and so may be treated as an afterthought. The difficulty is that not all users are right for the cloud model. For those with large iTunes libraries, or with limited broadband bandwidth, cloud storage simply isn’t usable.
Given that, it’s time to revisit local syncing. In its current state, iTunes syncing is broken and it can only be fixed by Apple.
Apple needs to fix syncing. While users who don’t sync their iOS devices in this way aren’t affected by these issues, those people with small and large iTunes libraries alike report syncing problems. It’s frustrating, and the fact that there’s no way to find out what’s wrong makes it even more so. In an ideal world iTunes would have some kind of sync log or sync diagnostic tool, akin to the Network Diagnostics utility, that would help ferret out problems and let people get on with enjoying their media.
I’ve written at least once about my frustrations with syncing, and by my count, I’ve had to restore my iPhone 6-minus at least ten times since I got it last fall. Ten times! New Year’s Eve1 was number eleven, and for some reason2 the PIN I used yesterday would not unlock my iPhone today. Since I have Find my iPhone turned on, I was unable to restore directly via my Mac, and had to log on to https://www.icloud.com/#find, and remotely wipe the iPhone.
Restore Number 12 finally began, and because I use my iPhone for more than just a phone, the syncing takes for freaking ever3, and I probably won’t have use of a phone for several hours.
Sure there are much worse problems in the world, but iPhone owners want devices that we spend thousands of dollars annually4 on to actually work. Currently, the iTunes 12/iOS 8 platform is not up the usual Apple standards. Constantly having to reinstall the software is not customer-friendly.
The latest case to bring Mr. Jobs’s spirit into a courtroom is set to begin on Tuesday in Oakland, Calif. It is a class action involving older iPods, which played only songs sold in the iTunes Store, or those downloaded from CDs, not music from competing stores. The plaintiffs are consumers who say Apple violated antitrust law because to keep their music, people had to stay with the iPod, and buy higher-priced ones rather than cheaper, alternative music players. Apple has since discontinued this system.
Maybe there is more to this litigation than is being reported, but as an owner of many iPods (including several of the early models, including the one that only worked with Macs), I can attest that all iPods were able to play music in the MP3 format from any source. If you got music from converting CDs you own (like I did and still do), or downloaded files from rival services like eMusic, or wherever, as long as the file was in the MP3 format, it played fine on any iPod. Now, perhaps there were music stores that sold tunes that were encoded in other proprietary formats, but why should Apple have to support those formats? Especially since if you downloaded, for instance, a WMA file from Music Match, you could easily convert the track to MP3 on your computer in seconds.
Dead 4G iPod
I don’t understand why this case hasn’t been tossed out yet. What am I missing?
I have a large enough collection of digitized music that I cannot ever listen to it all without resorting to various tricks, or allowing universal randomization to choose for me, or by choosing themes to build around. Yesterday, I was working in my my (digital) darkroom, and needed to come up with a title for a photograph that revolved around a revolver. My first thought was “Happiness is A Warm Gun”, because that is such a great song, but then my mind wandered, bang bang…
If I had to choose, my favorite “gun” songs would be, in no particular order, Jimi Hendrix – Machine Gun; Beatles – Happiness is A Warm Gun; Pogues – A Pistol for Paddy Garcia; Leo Kottke – Vaseline Machine Gun; The Clash – Guns of Brixton; Warren Zevon – Lawyers, Guns And Money; Junior Walker – Shotgun; The Pixies – There Goes My Gun; and Felice Brothers – Frankie’s Gun! Of course, this could change by tomorrow.
Interesting discussion of the digital music industry, including this breakdown of what the artist gets from three of the largest digital options, iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify. Selling a single on iTunes is much, much more lucrative to the artist than streaming.
Here’s where we stand with iTunes, Pandora and Spotify royalties (because the numbers are dependent on individual contracts and licensing deals, these are estimations):
Per track, iTunes pays $0.105 in performance royalties (15 percent of what the record label keeps) and $0.09 in songwriter royalties, totalling $0.19 per download.
Pandora pays $0.0011 per play in performance royalties, of which approximately 45 percent goes to the artist, resulting in $0.000495 per play. The songwriter royalties are harder to estimate, but if we go by Lowery’s statement, it’s $42.25 for 1 million plays, or $0.000042 per play, resulting in a total of $0.000537 per play. A song would have to be streamed about 350 times to catch up to iTunes 19 cent per download rate.
Spotify’s negotiations are more opaque and variable so we’ll have to go with the best estimates we have. For paid listeners, the average is about $0.006 per stream. Let’s say half of that goes to the artist (that’s how Lowery says his contract works), which would amount to $0.003 per play. But only 6 million of its 24 million users pay for the service. For streams from non-paying users, the rate is estimated to be only one-tenth of that, or $0.0003 per play, which is actually worse than Pandora’s rate. That’d be over 600 plays to catch up to iTunes.
That’s why artists like Thom Yorke have removed their music from the platform. Yorke tweeted, “Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will no[t] get paid. Meanwhile shareholders will shortly [be] rolling in it. Simples.”
The whole discussion is worth reading if you are curious what happened to the heyday of musicians being able to fly in private jets. Hint, it wasn’t Napster’s fault…
Since 2000, the amount of revenue created from selling or streaming music in America has been cut in half, from $14.3 billion to $7 billion, according to that most despised trade organization, the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA. And yet listeners have more access to music than ever, and there’s nothing to suggest that demand for music is down.
So what or who is to blame?
Is it Apple’s fault for launching iTunes and forever severing songs from albums? Is it the record executives’ fault who, facing this shift from $17 albums to $0.99 singles, continued to rely on old, byzantine licensing and sales models, even as their industry hemorrhaged money before their eyes? Is Internet piracy to blame, with Napster forever changing the way we find and consume music, and BitTorrent bringing about the record industry’s worst nightmare? What about Internet radio stations? Are the rock-bottom royalty payments the result of corporate greed or government meddling? Do we blame Spotify and other music streaming services for striking opaque, unsustainable deals with record labels? And what about the unchecked proliferation of copyrighted material on YouTube and other platforms?
For this explainer, we looked to identify and unravel the complex network of industry stakeholders — the rightsholders, including performers, songwriters, record labels, publishers, and licensing agencies, all of whom play a part in the process of making music, and all of whom expect a cut of the proceeds. There are the digital music sellers like iTunes and Amazon, which have supplanted brick-and-mortar stores and play by a different set of rules. And finally, the webcasters and streaming services, which struggle to achieve profitability even though they only pay artists fractions of pennies per song per play.
Follow us on a trip through recent music history as we try and figure out how we got here, where we’re headed, and whether today’s industry slump is a disruptive dip or the new normal.
Today’s edition of Random iTunes Friday has been brought to you by the letters Y, H and F…
Baaba Maal– Souka Nayo (I Will Follow You)
• part of the charm of this track is Baaba Maal’s voice contrasted against his female chorus. I wouldn’t go as far as saying this is traditional Senegalese music, more of modern pop with Senegalese accents.
Pavement– Angel Carver Blues/ Mellow Jazz Docent
Westing (By Musket And Sextant)
• and now for something completely different…can one write about Pavement without resorting to such cliches as angular guitar? Hmm. I’ve listened to this song hundreds of times over the years, and I still have no idea what it is about.
Conet Project, The– Phonetic Alphabet – NATO
The Conet Project: Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations
• If you like scratchy radio recordings of an accented woman repeating “Yankee, Hotel, Foxtrot” over and over, before switching to some other phrases equally as opaque, this is a great track for you. I’m guessing Jeff Tweedy is a fan…
Six Planes Over Marina City
Talking Heads– The Great Curve
The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads
• If you haven’t picked up a copy of this live album, and you like The Talking Heads, then what is wrong with you? Dense, unrelenting grooves, a band at the peak of their power, expanded touring lineup and all. Love it. Adrian Belew goes wild on the electric guitar.
Stills, Stephen– Song Of Love
• probably the last interesting Stephen Stills album, at least that I’ve heard. Catchy tune.
Camper Van Beethoven– Ambiguity Song
Telephone Free Landslide Victory
• agh, takes me back to my callow youth in Austin. “Everything seems to be up in the air at this time.”
• ooh, a double angular guitar cliche in one sitting! This great song is only 1:18 long though.
Williams, Lucinda– Changed The Locks
Live @ The Fillmore
• live, this song is a lot more powerful than the original version. Ms. Williams voice is on the verge of hoarseness, but she muscles through.
AC/DC– If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)
Highway To Hell
• Angus Young has some fun with Bon Scott…an update of The Doors song, Peace Frog. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure this is the very first album I ever purchased with my own money – on cassette tape no less. I was living in cultural wasteland of East Texas, going to middle school, but this album helped ameliorate some of the ennui.
Temptations, The– Don’t Let The Joneses Get You Down
• a good sentiment, and a great, funky track
Big Bill Broonzy– Glory Of Love
Uncut: Soul & Fire – Compiled By Paul Weller
• Paul Weller has good musical taste, this is a favorite song of mine as well. Great acoustic blues guitar too. Don’t confuse it with the pop tune by Peter Cetera.
Coup– 5 Million Ways To Kill A CEO
• a Proto-Occupy Wall Street song, though with a little more imagined violence against CEOs than Occupy would be comfortable with.
To amuse myself, I make iTunes playlists. Below the fold is a playlist honoring the rain. I tried to remove all the “train” songs, and “brain” songs, and “Lorraine” songs, and so on, but maybe a few linger despite my best intentions. On the other hand, I left “rainbow”, and “raincoat” because, you know, that’s close enough. Stay dry! or stay wet!
parenthetical note: my Applescript1 only allowed me to select 100 songs at a time, so I broke my massive playlist into 4 sections.
A randomized selection from my iTunes library for your amusement and or bemusement.
Electric Prunes– I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night Complete Reprise Singles I have a well documented fondness for garage rock. I know absolutely zero about this band, other than they were from the San Fernando Valley area, and this song was on the Lenny Kaye Nuggets series. Even after a thousand listens, still love that electric bee humming opening sound.
Cat Power– 3,6,9 Sun songs that rhyme “nine” with “wine” are suspect, but this isn’t a bad tune.
Willie Nelson & Asleep At The Wheel– I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None O’ This Jellyroll Willie & The Wheel Western Swing tune. Needs more beer, and maybe some peanut shells on the floor…
Anders Osborne & “Big Chief” Monk Boudreaux– Meet The Boyz On The Battlefront Doctors, Professors, Kings & Queens: The Big Ol’ Box Of New Orleans I know this song from the Wild Tchoupitoulas – any other version will probably be lesser. Still has a good dance rhythm, just not as funky as the Wild Tchoupitoulas.
Tom Tom Club– Downtown Rockers Downtown Rockers From their new EP, which isn’t bad, as far as these things go. Needs some angular David Byrne lyrics to really be good, and that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
Ron Sexsmith– This Is Where I Belong This Is Where I Belong (Songs Of Ray Davies) another song that is lesser compared to the original, in this case, by the Kinks, on Face to Face.
Max Romeo– I Chase The Devil War Ina Babylon Not sure why Max Romeo wants to wear an iron shirt, seems heavy, no matter, this song is very catchy.
Beau Jocque– Pop That Coochie Roll Up The Rug Vol. 2 Uhh, slightly NSFW zydeco tune. Pop that coochie all night…
PJ Harvey– we float stories from the city, stories closing track from this odd PJ Harvey album, incarnation of her as a New York sophisticate, or something. Not her typical brash style, more understated.
Uncle Tupelo– New Madrid Anodyne Unfortunately, the final album from one of my favorite artists, Uncle Tupelo. Great song from a great album by a great band. Wilco is pretty good, but I’ll always have a special appreciation for Uncle Tupelo.
Jimi Hendrix Experience– May This Be Love Are You Experienced? a favorite ballad from Hendrix’s debut album. Delicate guitar work makes this genius.
Black Sabbath– Hole In The Sky Sabotage a guilty pleasure, I love this riff-heavy propulsive song with nonsense lyrics.
James, Skip– I’m So Glad The Rough Guide to Delta Blues Skip James is like no other blues singer, of his era at least. Odd guitar tuning, and falsetto voice. This is a song that is much better than the Cream cover version.
Foo Fighters– Rope Wasting Light Let me go on record as saying I like the acoustic version of Foo Fighters better that played at the recent Apple iPhone 5 announcement. And parenthetically, would Kurt Cobain have consented to playing at such a corporate event? Even for a corporation with indie cred like Apple?
Morrison, Van– (Straight To Your Heart) Like A Cannon Ball Tupelo Honey Today is Van Morrison’s birthday, in 1945, so I started with this quite decent track from Tupelo Honey, which to be honest is not in my top shelf of Van the Man albums. Love the R&B chorus chants of “toodle-ooddle-oooh” though…
Field, The– Silent From Here We Go Sublime instrumental, electronica track. Slightly repetitive. Wouldn’t be out of place as a soundtrack in a progressive sushi bar. I might have fallen asleep for a second there.
Beastie Boys– Gratitude [Live At Budokan 9-16-92] Check Your Head [Disc 2] Good times gone but you missed them What’s gone wrong in your system (original version better)
Jones, Rickie Lee– Tried To Be A Man The Sermon On Exposition Boulevard an interesting track on a weird and interesting album with an odd genesis.
Amalia Rodrigues– Ai Mouraria Amália Sings Traditional Fado Portuguese fado tune, circa 1951. Perfect for sitting alone, having a late afternoon cocktail in a smoky bar.
Group Doueh– Wazan Samat Guitar Music From the Western Sahara hypnotic desert blues song, you either love the genre – like me – or don’t.
Feist– So Sorry The Reminder melancholic Canadian singer/songwriter. I wanted to like it, but am too jaded and cynical I suppose…
Strummer, Joe– Tennessee Rain Soundtrack of “Walker” I got this album recently, while on a Joe Strummer kick. I should see the movie based on how much I like the soundtrack. Apparently, Strummer’s conceit was to only use instruments that would be available during the period the film is set (1840s). Nothing at all like The Clash, but quite delicious.
Jansch, Bert– Needle Of Death It Don’t Bother Me The most beautiful song about heroin addiction and death, ever. I doubt you could play it on guitar as well as guitar wizard Bert Jansch did, I know I can’t.
CAN– Mushroom (Live) Lost Tapes Box Set From this stellar boxed set. Original on Tago Mago. By the way, there was a video made for it, available here.
N.W.A.– Express Yourself Straight Outta Compton Probably the best song on this album, imo.
Frog Eyes– Bushels Tears of the Valedictorian no idea about deeper meaning on this track, or album, but it’s still pretty good, in the right mood. The vocalist, Carey Mercer, is on the verge of being whiny, buyer beware… I was a singer and I sang in your home
Dead Kennedys– California Über Alles No Thanks! The ’70s Punk Rebellion bonus track. The version with Jerry Brown as governor of California…
one minute and thirty three seconds of punk-y bliss. The lyrics, in total:
I don’t care what you say, I don’t care what you’re drinking today. I don’t care what they say, I’ll be drinking today. I try not to drink anymore, I try not to drink anymore, and try not to think anymore.
Boozoo Chavis– Goin To The Zydeco Hey Do Right!
and now for something completely different…some dance music, with accordion.
McDowell, Fred– Gravel Road Blues Good Morning, Little School Girl
sometimes called “Mississippi Fred McDowell”, but since he allegedly hated that, I stripped Mississippi from his name. Bottle neck guitar master, with a harsh, country voice. Powerful, hypnotic stuff. Actually, this is dance music too, the insistent beat is there to be heard, and acted upon if you want.
Marley, Bob & The Wailers– Somewhere To Lay My Head One Love at Studio One
From a collection of ska and proto-reggae tracks recorded between 1964 and 1966, really a Wailers joint, not just Bob Marley. Dance music!
Monk, Thelonious– Ruby, My Dear Monk’s Music
A classic tune. Thelonious Monk liked to dance around in his idiosyncratic style during other musicians solos.
R.E.M.– Lightnin’ Hopkins Document
As far as my ears can tell, this song has absolutely nothing to do with the blues musician, Lightnin’ Hopkins. Still love it.
Kočani Orkestar– Goodbye Macedonia Alone At My Wedding
Balkan brass ensemble, with some Middle Eastern influences. I really like this album, but I don’t if it is representative of their other work or not.
Yo La Tengo– Demons Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo
Yo La Tengo used to be a favorite band of mine, but their later albums have not moved me. This album is a collection of singles, mostly cover versions, including this so-so swirling tune which was featured in the film I Shot Andy Warhol.
Paddy Beades– My Darlin’ Coleen Bawn From Galway To Dublin
Extremely traditional Irish music from an early era. Mournful vocal and mournful fiddle.
According to LastFM, these are my most played songs for 2011. The caveat is that these are just the songs that played on my desktop computer/stereo; in other words, not including statistics on what I listened to on my iPhone, iPod, iPad, in my car, and so on. Just what was played on my Mac Pro in my office. So these are not absolute numbers, nevertheless, I did listen to these songs a lot in 2011.
Annotations as necessary:
Solomon Burke – Cry to Me – I added three versions to my library this year, originally released in 1963, 1968, and 1983, guess when you add all the play counts…
Bukka White – Parchman farm blues – tried to learn to play this song on guitar, but eventually gave up. I’m just not that good, nor dedicated enough to become good.
Bob Dylan – Buckets of Rain – made, and played repeatedly, a playlist consisting of “rain” songs since there was so much precipitation this year.
Bob Dylan – It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
Willie Nelson – Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain – another rain song, and a great, favorite tune
Big Bill Broonzy – Key To The Highway – added a lot of Big Bill Broonzy songs to my library this year because he’s a genius, and an American institution
Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté – Sabu Yerkoy – Uncut Magazine featured this song twice on their ride-along disc, plus I already owned the album it was from. So, three versions in my library. Good song though, don’t get me wrong.
Dead Kennedys – California Über Alles – Jerry Brown is governor of California, of course. Again.
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Stop That Train
The Saints – Untitled – The Saints are a new to me band, so I bought several of their albums. Subsequently that means I have five versions of this track, including one called, Untitled (International Robot Session)
Beirut – O Leãozinho – Red Hot and Rio compilation.
Wanda Jackson – Thunder On The Mountain – Jack White,Bob Dylan, plus was also featured on an Uncut Magazine disk.
Joy Division – She’s Lost Control – including live versions, remixes, BBC versions, etc., I have 11 versions of this great tune.
The Stooges – Search and Destroy
Solomon Burke – Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
Blind Willie McTell – Broke Down Engine Blues – awesome song, impossible to play on guitar (for me at least)
Bert Jansch & John Renbourn – East Wind – unfortunately, Bert Jansch died this year. A stellar talent.
Elvis Costello – Watch Your Step – still love this bass guitar line even after hearing it hundreds of times since I owned Trust on vinyl back in the stone ages.
King Sunny Ade – E Ba Mi Dupe
Gil Scott-Heron –The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – another stellar talent who died this year. There are more than one version of this song, released on different albums.
Fela Anikulapo Kuti – complete works
And while I’m living in the past, also per LastFM, these are the most played artists in 2011, as of right now, with the same caveats as above. And one more caveat, LastFM, by its very nature, skews towards artists with deep catalogs. In other words, since Bob Dylan has so damn many albums, covering so many moods, the Dylan play count is higher than say, Kurt Vile or The Decemberists. I own multiple albums by all of these artists listed below. Are these my favorite artists? No, some are, some aren’t, but obviously I like these artists more than I skip over them from playing.
Fela Kuti – newbox set, plus Fela is genius
R.E.M. – Their career announced as over, of course I listened to their entire catalog a couple times
Bob Marley & The Wailers
Led Zeppelin – picked up some good bootlegs this year
Glenn Gould – we watched a good documentary about Glenn Gould this year. Intriguing dude.
The Rolling Stones
Pink Floyd – played their entire catalog in date order sometime this summer.
Big Bill Broonzy
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – an unusual talent who died this year
The lucky recipient of a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card (and a wholelotofpress) is 71-year-old Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia —a retired real estate agent, onetime Navy radar operator, and grandfather of nine who just wanted Johnny Cash’s 1958 single “Guess Things Happen That Way” for his new Nano, a birthday gift from his children. And he bought it on a PC: “I do not own a Mac, no,” he chuckles. “I knew somebody was going to ask me that question.”
Sulcer has spent the last day fielding calls from, among others, Apple head Steve Jobs (“I thought it was my son, he’s always a joker. I kept saying, ‘Come on, Kevin, I know it’s you!”) and Cash’s daughter Rosanne (“she had her husband, who is her guitarist, play the song to me over the phone. That was real nice.”).
He has been a devoted Johnny Cash fan for most of his life, he says: “I went to Georgia Tech on a football scholarship, broke just about every bone in my body. All those boys on the team, we just loved country music… My whole life, I had never understood why people go see movies twice, but I’ve seen [Cash biopic] Walk the Line four times. My kids finally bought me the DVD. And I was pretty sure I had all of his music, but I was just checking iTunes, listening to those little 20 or 30 second clips, and I found this one. It has some good pickin’ in it!”
A sweet story, really. The song itself is pretty typical for a Sun Records Johnny Cash song; also there’s a version floating around the intertubes that is a duet with Bob Dylan, circa Nashville Skyline.
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jobs congratulated him, thanked him for using Apple products and chatted a bit.
“He was real nice,” Sulcer said. “I told him I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed iTunes and the iPod. I really enjoy country music.
“He asked me if I played the guitar, and I said, ‘Oh my goodness. That is my lifelong frustration.’ “
Sulcer has been trying to learn the picking style of Luther Perkins, Cash’s guitarist, but he has not had much luck.
“[Jobs] said he had been messing around a little with [the guitar], too,” Sulcer said.
Later Thursday, after his doctor appointment, Sulcer was expecting calls from near and far. Apple public relations people have been calling him to ask whether he would consent to an interview with Rolling Stone, the rock magazine, and other publications.
“I said, ‘Rolling Stone is going to be so disappointed with this old man.’ “
He did get a call he found a little more special. “Rosanne Cash also called this morning to thank me for listening to Johnny Cash,” Sulcer said. She told Sulcer her father would have turned 78 on Friday. Then she had one more surprise for him: Her husband, musician John Leventhal, played the song he bought over the phone for him.
I Love Stars | Potion Factory – ""I Love Stars" is my new freebie application that shows the rating of iTunes' currently playing song in the menu bar. Before I say anything else, here's the download link."
Me? I try to rate everything, but there a lot, and I mean, a lot of songs that never got rated. I Love Stars is perfectly unobtrusive, love it.