suddenly rudderless

Back from Hawaii, and today marks the t-minus one-week mark for my waning sabbatical. I gave up trying to post regularly last week, the draw of the beach and the pool and the nothing was just too strong. I wrote some here and there, but nothing good enough nor substantial enough to publish. Hawaii, though… Hawaii was great. Such a relaxing getaway, and a fitting “closer” for my nine week vacation. We all of us had a great time, and I look forward to going back one day. Anyway, I’m back, and the sense of dread about my return to the sawmill is welling within me. One week left means I need to start training my brain to think work again… to care again… to “turn on” again. I don’t think it’ll be hard to do, rather hard-fought to do. To be clear: If there was a way not to, I wouldn’t.

Well then, now that that’s out of the way, I’m going to bore you with a mostly music-related blog. But, before that stuff, I’d like to call your attention to a potentially equally ho-hum bit of news. Acting on a suggestion from one of my real-life readers, I’ve added a “view all comments by this person” feature to sounds familiar. Now, when you look at the comments on any post, you should see a link at the end of (nearly) each one which will allow you to view a page containing all the comments that user has ever made here on the blog. Unfortunately, the feature relies on a commenter’s e-mail address to pull the inclusive list – and we here at sounds familiar have never mandated that commenters include an e-mail address when commenting. But, I’ve worked to fix this retroactively by modifying the existing comments in the database to add e-mail addresses (where known) to existing posts from certain users.

Related: This also introduces another change for comments moving forward: the requirement of filling out the e-mail field. You can put a bogus address if you want, it’ll never be shown/shared anyway, even continue to use multiple usernames/aliases, but you do have to put something (and keep it consistent if you want to go back and re-read all your stuff someday). Anyway, it mostly-works now, and I’ll continue formatting and fixing it if I like it (I don’t like where the “View all…” link is butting right up against the comment end). Show me love if you enjoy. (Oh… and, if you’re curious, Pat has the most… at 98.)

Music. Let’s go.

The past few weeks sure have been an interesting few for online music-lovers. First, the Radiohead release, then, the OiNK takedown, and, finally, the leak of the Sgt. Pepper’s multitracks.

About Radiohead and In Rainbows, it looks like the band does plan to release official sales figures for their online album release – but not until sometime later this year. Estimates citing loose-lipped sources “close to the band” say that the average price paid was around ~$5 per download (including the $0 leechers, apparently), and that the band moved 1.2 million copies in the first 24 hours alone. It’s hard to actually guess at a take with such second-hand, not to mention dubious, data – but I bet the posted numbers will raise more than a few industry eyebrows in the end, especially since we’re talking about a much higher profit ratio than a “traditional” type record release. Should be interesting, stay tuned.

Next, I feel like I should write reams and reams about the takedown of the Pink Palace, but, having never, ever, been a member there, it’s hard for me to fathom the impact of the raid. I imagine that, for people who were unlucky enough to have been involved with the fabled music download site, the loss of such a resource must bring biting pain and a crushing sense of loss. I’d wager that those who illegally used the site to illegally download illegal music likely now feel suddenly rudderless, adrift in a sea of crappy P2P alternatives… with not a sound port to put into. I’m sure however, that something will rise to fill the void for those thieving types sooner or later – the internet is a dark world of crime and hate, afterall. Tsk, tsk, busted OiNKers… when will you learn that the only way to legally enjoy music is to trade money for physical product?

About the Sgt. Pepper’s multitracks, maybe you don’t care… but I do. Of course, for those born after 1967, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was the Beatles crowning achievement, their 8th LP, and, as some believe, the up-until-now pinnacle of rock ‘n’ roll altogether. While recording Pepper, the Beatles’ engineers “bounced down” their layered instrumentation into four separate recorded “tracks,” or tapes. These individual tracks, when played together, “make” the entire song. It’s the old-timey equivalent of today’s modern multi-track recording techniques. Well, somehow, some collector (not a Beatles collector, funnily enough) in England got ahold of the Sgt. Pepper’s four-track multis… and… of course, with the internet and all, they eventually wended their way into the tubes. So then, the isolated four-tracks for some of the songs are now floating around the leaky interweb, and people at home can easily load them into Garage Band or Audacity or CoolEdit and make their own true remixes of actual Beatles songs. It may seem boring, but, for me, being able to hear Ringo’s isolated drums and Paul’s isolated bass from “A Day In The Life” is amazing. I just hope the entire album’s worth of tracks leaks soon…

This week I’m a homebody, so I’ll try and get some pictures uploaded from our trip to Hawaii sooner rather than later, and the blogging should come at more or less its regular cadence again from now on. Thanks for hanging in there while I took my break, and I hope to see you around as we finish out another fine year of writing.


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2 Replies to “suddenly rudderless”

  1. The Sgt. Pepper multitracks are some of the most amazing tapes I have heard. You actually feel like you are in the studio with them. You hear some many extra vocals and sounds that have never been heard on these tracks. I hope there are more to come.

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