Why am I sleeping when I should be listening?

March 30, 2010

I started writing this a couple of weeks ago then forgot about it so I will finish this post now!

So Pink Floyd have won their case and EMI  can’t sell their tracks individually or as ringtones. Do I care? I don’t know, it’s certainly made me think, though not necessarily about the issue.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/mar/11/pink-floyd-court-victory-emi-downloads-ringtones 
 
Thought one: I’m not really much of a Pink Floyd fan although the recent articles about Syd Barrett in Mojo really made me feel sad. I especially liked the story about the photo shoot for The Madcap Laughs. Iggy the Eskimo: mysterious! Also, the story of Barrett showing up unannounced while the band rehearsed Shine On You Crazy Diamond and nobody recognising him straight away was particularly upsetting. I looked at his wikipedia page afterwards and almost burst into tears when I scrolled down from the first image of him in ’69 to the next of him in ’75 looking almost unrecognisable with no hair or eyebrows.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syd_barrett 
 
To counteract that sadness, here’s a happy Pink Floyd memory: My school was taking part in some kind of International Business….thing. All these students came over from all around the world and we had to make groups, pick a country and ‘look after’ the students from that country. I’m pretty sure me and my group did nothing of the sort but I do remember there being a big party at some bar before everyone left. They had a karaoke setup on one floor and even though I was terminally shy I decided to go and sing and I decided to sing Another Brick in The Wall. I’m not really sure why, I think it was because I knew I stood a chance of singing it all the way through without making any mistakes. So I did. They had a mic stand which made me feel extra cool. Anyway, I so rarely felt cool at the time that it was a nice little burst of rockstar for me.
 
Thought two: Albums listened to all the way through can be amazing and fulfilling but isn’t it sort of silly to try to control how people listen to music? Even if you release an album where all the songs are melded into one long song without gaps and you can’t skip, people can still turn the sound down for the bits they don’t like, or lift the stylus up on a record and put it down somewhere else, or buy a cassette and tape it and fast forward or rewind bits. OK, maybe it’s unlikely that people are going to bother to do these things but they could. Just like anyone could buy a book and read the last chapter first. Or read some of the middle chapters and never read the rest. So yes, you can control how people buy music but never how they listen to it. You can’t control how they interpret it either so why drive yourself crazy trying?
 
Thought three: I don’t want anyone to think I’m against listening to whole albums, I’m really not. Actually, this whole issue made me feel a little sad because I almost miss the days when I would sit in my room and listen to albums all the way through. I mean, I don’t reeeeaaally miss those days (I was a miserable little gothy teenager who cried a lot) but I miss that sense of having time to lie around on my bed or on the floor or in an armchair and just give in to whole albums. I did the same thing at uni but there tended to be more alcohol involved. The reason I bought a discman recently was because I kind of miss putting albums on and listening to them while I look at the booklet and then then lie down and drift off.
 
Here is my list of albums that are great to listen to all the way through/or that I at least USED to think were great to listen to all the way through (bit of a teenagery bias!):
 
Cocteau Twins-Treasure/Heaven or Las Vegas
The Cardigans-First Band On The Moon
Radiohead-Kid A
Blur-Parklife (No, really!! If you don’t you could miss Badhead and Clover over Dover, aaaahhhh!!!!)
JJ72-JJ72
Belle and Sebastian-Tigermilk
Karen Dalton-In My Own Time
Kate Bush-The Kick Inside/Lionheart
Four Tet-Pause
Tindersticks-Curtains
Low-Trust
This Mortal Coil-It’ll End in Tears
The Triffids-In The Pines
Iggy and The Stooges-Raw Power
Band of Horses-Everything All The Time
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds-The Boatman’s Call
Bjork-Homogenic
Grizzly Bear-Friend (EP)
The Cure-Faith/Disintegration
David Bowie-Hunky Dory
Billie Holiday-Lady in Satin
Massive Attack-Blue Lines
My Bloody Valentine-Isn’t Anything
Roxy Music-Roxy Music
Love is All-Nine Times That Same Song
Nina Simone-Little Girl Blue (or Jazz As Played In An Exclusive Side Street Club)
Röyksopp-Junior
The Smashing Pumpkins-Adore
The Postal Service-Give Up
The Twilight Sad-Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters
Weezer-Pinkerton/Weezer
Jimmy Eat World-Bleed American
Erlend Øye-DJ Kicks
The Avalanches-Since I Left You
Camera Obscura-Let’s Get Out of This Country
A Silver Mt. Zion-He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms…
Daft Punk-Discovery
Interpol-Turn on the Bright Lights
Jeff Buckley-Grace
Spiritualized-Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space
Kings of Convenience-Quiet is the New Loud
 
 
This isn’t a list of my favourite ever albums (although a lot of these would be on that list too).They aren’t even necessarily my favourite albums by these artists, just ones I enjoy, or have enjoyed putting on and listening to all the way through! 
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