I Own About 700 CD Albums.

Yep, it’s true.  I do.  I started buying cds at about 14.  I have never stopped.  I am now 33.  That’s almost 20 years of cd buying.  If you divide 700 by 20 it works out at 35 a year and, if we say about £10 for a cd that’s about £350 a year.  Obviously, we all know that not all cds cost that so it’s probably a good bit less but based on that figure it comes out at about £7000 for the 20 years (I think!)…make’s it seem quite scary.

Anyways, I started thinking about this having read this article by former Cracker front man David Lowery.  It is a response to a recent piece featured on NPR’s web blog written by one of their interns.  You should read her piece first then David’s response for a more interesting read, but something that struck me was the fact she only owns 15 cds and has no desire to ever own anything than digital files.(Obviously the article has a much wider and more pressing focus but I’ll leave that to the pair of them)  For me, as somebody who has grown up with the joy of buying physical product I find her views soulless and depressing.   As a person who believes in giving people something they want to buy it does feel quite sad to think that all the new generation of music fans wants is a simple link to click on rather than the joy of going to the bank, withdrawing some cash and going to their local music store.  Or indeed just going online and surfing the net for some quality vinyl or hand made music or something they can keep and display.  I know that more than ever we are living in a digital age but I cannot help but want to hold my music, books and art.  I mean what’s next?  Art that comes only in downloadable form for your lap top?  Ipads on the wall?  I don’t know.  I know I am may be being a little obtuse here but I cannot help but feel, not even sad,  sorry for the new generation who fail to appreciate the importance of the senses other than hearing.  Good music will always exist but it seems, if the new generation of music fans have their say, good packaging/art won’t.    Which kind of sucks.

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The Antlers – Undersea Trailer

News that The Antlers are back with an EP to be released on Anti is always welcome.  Check out the trailer below.  Due for release on July 30 in UK and Europe.  The band describe it as:

“It begins in the dream of a peaceful flood. Water covers everything and rises. We take a deep breath in and a slow breath out. Everything is changed.

Time slows and stretches as a connectedness washes over everything. We’re left treading water, backstroking into the future.

Undersea is the feeling of suspension- memories suspended in time and space, energy suspended in the air around us. It’s the serenity of drifting off to sleep or of sinking to the bottom of the ocean. It’s both the comfort of knowing that some questions have no answers, and the torment that we’re never meant to know the truth.

We’ve searched for patient, colorful sounds and found a meditative calm, a persistent pulse that leaves room for everything to breathe and expand as a new world takes shape.

There is no hurry.”

Let’s See Who Goes Down First

1999.  I was living in theNetherlandsduring my second year at University.  Like all good students I was careless, possibly to the point of wreckless, with my money spending way too much on my one true love – music.   Some of my favourite albums were bought in the little alternative music shop in Nijmegen, the city where I spent my 4 months studying.   In 4 months I more than trebled the number of cds that I arrived in theNetherlandswith incurring the wrath of my parents along the way.  It was my first time living away from home and looking after my finances was not really a strong point.  It still isn’t if I’m honest although for very different reasons than when I was 19.

Amongst those records purchased were ‘Come On Die Young’ by Mogwai, ‘Figure 8’ by Elliott Smith and ‘Mule Variations’ by Tom Waits.   The one that sticks in my mind the most though is ‘The Ideal Crash’ by Belgian art rockers dEUS.  My first steps in to the world of dEUS came through their debut record ‘Worst Case Scenario’.  Picking up a copy of this record back inBritainand trying to decide whether to give it a go I was sold by one of the press comments attached to the front.  It stated ‘this is art wank – but since I like art and I like wanking I like this’…or something to that effect.  I was sold there and then.  So different was this record to anything I’d encountered to this point that I think my initial reaction was one of confusion.  I liked it, yet I feared it.  It was challenging, to say the least but moments like ‘Hotel Lounge’ served to suggest that there was a masterpiece within these Belgians, just waiting to get out.  ‘In A Bar, Under the Sea’ did much to suggest they were getting closer to it.  And in 1999 they achieved it, in the form of ‘The Ideal Crash’.

Strange thing to be talking about in 2012, a record that was released in 1999, I know.  But ever since that record I really have struggled with dEUS.  Each album since that record has failed to deliver the same level of quality.  Each album has brought with it anticipation, hope and belief that this time they would recreate what made them so special on their first 3 records.  And each time they fail.  And I really cannot put my finger on why.  Every album since has had some real quality tracks on it.  But the albums as a whole have never delivered, for me.  It’s weird but I think with the first 3 records they had freedom to be dEUS and to develop who they were.  After the success of ‘The Ideal Crash’ though I think they have spent too much time thinking about what makes them dEUS and not just doing what they want to do.  The results have been patchy at best.  I have seen them twice live in this time and they remain an amazing band with energy, attitude and creativity in abundance.  But I doubt that they will ever reach the level of that stunning third record that made me fall in love with them in 1999.

This has all formed in my mind because their new record ‘FollowingSea’ is out on 8 June.  I have heard the opening track and once again my hopes, expectations and anticipation have been raised.  I sincerely hope that this time I am not disappointed like the times before.  Regardless, I know I will keep buying their records and hoping that they will one day rediscover what it was that made them so special all those years ago.  For me they remain one of the most challenging and interesting bands of their time.  Perhaps now is no their time.  But I’ll still keep going back to those first 3 records when I need to remember what alternative, challenging, original music is all about.

The Steinberg Principle on Facebook

So I have finally embraced facebook.  It’s odd because I have used this online media source for all my musical ventures but never really to promote this blog.  So now I have a facebook page which, if you want to, you can find here and follow.  It will be slightly different to what happens on the blog.  The blog will focus primarily on writing from now on I think along with some other ideas I am working on developing.  Facebook will cater more for the little things I find every day and want to share.  I might share them both there and here if I like them enough.  Not sure yet.  We shall see.  Anyways, do visit the facebook page and like it if you have your own account.  Thanks.

What’s next?  Twitter??  Maybe next year.