May 19, 2006

May 19: Weekly Music (v1.n4)

Freedom never tasted so fresh and spendid. So let’s see - here’s what I’ve been spinning, in part.

1) Bon Voyage - United Future Organization. I first got hip to the groovy, upbeat acid/remix international jazz trio (1/3 or 2/3 french, and the other part japanese) when I picked up the Red Hot + Cool compilation many moons ago. The main impulse to pick up the Impulse! Records release (forgive me for plucking the lowest hanging fruit) was because I loved Red, Hot and Blue, the first collection in what would be a great series to raise money and consciousness about AIDS. Anyway, RH+C had a lot of great stuff on it, now that I think about it - it was my first contact with The Roots, Pharycyde, Michael Franti + Spearhead, “A Love Supreme” (through a Branford Marsalis interpretation on a bonus disk), Groove Collective, and U.F.O. The groups, for the most part, took jazz standards and other tracks and gave them an update or at least a modern spin. Groove Collective submitted a remix of one of their own tracks, “Rent Strike,” which struck a chord and I have 4 of their albums (another post). U.F.O. remixed and reimagined “Stolen Moments,“ which was the other name of the compilation. I liked their sensibility, and have since downloaded a few songs here and there, and really liked them. But I never got around to buying an album.

Until this week, in the throes of my newfound independence from books and the requisite cramming before exams, I visited Tower Records. Tower is much closer to the kind of record store I want to support - even though it’s a big chain, at least all it deals with is music (well, and movies, and books and magazines, but a lot of it is connected to music, okay?). The chains that only have music as a part of their bottom line, like Best Buy and Walmart, just don’t care about the obscure titles, and you can find 100 copies of the Mariah single, but forget an obscure or older disk from someone who’s not relevant to Billboard. And forget the staff knowing anything about it. I remember my ultimate frustration at the jazz section at a local Best Buy - it was all of 75 - 100 disks in total. I couldn’t even find a single disk by Sonny Rollins. PLEASE!

Anyway - so I went to Tower, and long story short, while perusing their clearance section, came across this disk, marked at $11.99, with a tan sticker. Which the handy chart told me meant 90% off. Wassup! That means I got this, plus an average State of Bengal single for ”Rama Communications” that was marked at $3.99 with my fave color of Tower sticker, for a whopping $1.66. Awwww yeah.

The disk is okay, but what the hell. It cost as much as one song on iTunes, which shut down on me somewhat permanently this week by the way. Anyways, so I’m playing this disk, as a tribute to good music shops, the freedom to closely inspect the clearance rack, and awesome deals. Guess this isn’t much of a music “review” but who cares. This is more interesting than anything else I have to say at this point. And the best part might be that I mentioned that I found a State of Bengal disk, in passing, rather than make that the point of the post, just because we all down on the brown side. Shiiit - we know that already, so why the hell we gotta beat the horse to the ground? You feel me?

Last week, I wrote in this section about a track by Dream Theater that pissed me off, so it made it to the “do not play” list. This week, it’s actually literally things that I cannot listen to.

A) Stadium Arcadium - Red Hot Chili Peppers - I ordered this jammy from the day before it was due to hit the shelves, expecting that I’d get it the day or so after finals were over. I have been excited to hear this follow-up to the outstanding By the Way, which was fabulous. But. It’s now more than 11 days, and nothing. No delivery, and it seems that the package is stuck in a USPS warehouse somewhere in a neighboring state. I called up customer service, and they could only confirm that it shipped out. But BB is now using some new UPS service that brings the package half-way, then slaps on bulk postage and puts it in the regular mail for the Post Office to bring to the point of destination. You’re killing me, USPS/UPS/BB. I can’t imagine what the incentive could be for the Postal Service to deliver the package in a timely fashion. delivers really fast. So do a lot of the other retailers. But BB sucks. I wouldn’t have ordered from them had it not been for a gift certificate, and a crazy low price. But I want my damn CD’s!!!

B) All my MP3’s. Yup. It finally happened. iTunes died on me. It stopped working altogether, and I couldn’t re-install because the installation program isn’t working either. I’m so pissed off about this because I had spent a long time creating playlists/ratings for tracks and songs. Now I have to go to the Apple Store, or somewhere else to solve this issue. Meanwhile, CD’s only, but that’s why my list is quite short this week. Wish me luck as I try to delve into the root of the problem...

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