Apple and EMI bring you “unrestricted” downloads…
Posted on May 31st, 2007 by Alan @ 2:17 pm

Bob Lefsetz sums it up perfectly, so perfectly in fact that I’ll leave it to him (other than a wee bit of censorship on my part!):

And they wonder why we hate them.

In case you’ve been out of the Net loop, when you buy an UNRESTRICTED track at the iTunes Store, it comes with your NAME and E-MAIL address EMBEDDED!

Why is it these BLEEPS think we won’t catch on, that we’re ignorant and won’t spread the word how BLEEPED up they are.  Don’t they understand this is how they got in trouble in the FIRST PLACE?  The INTERNET!

Just like Lindsay Lohan can’t cover up the fact that she crashed her car high on coke, Apple and EMI can’t cover up the fact that they’re BLEEPING with us.  This is WORSE than restricted/DRM/copy-protected music!

They’re trying to SCARE US back into the last century.  Trying to trip us up, trying to keep us playing on their terms.  EMI hasn’t given up on copy protection, they’ve just instituted a NEW ONE!  Wherein they can trace your track if you choose to do anything untoward with it.  Yup, if it’s your track that’s being traded P2P, you’re BLEEPED!  You’d better not open your music folder to P2P trading, your NAME might get out!

How BLEEPED up is THIS?  Why don’t you put a camera in my bedroom while you’re at it.  Why don’t you require a list of every girl I ever BLEEPED before I get into the gig.  What’s next, SAT SCORES?

I thought the music was supposed to be your friend.  But now it’s just part of the endless scamster scene populated by spammers and thieves looking to gain information, to strip us of our identities or beat us into submission.  Yup, this is exactly what John Lennon had in mind when he made his music, a private FBI, that could BLEEP with you just like the U.S. government BLEEPED with him, tried to get him deported.  Lennon fought for years.  There was an emotional cost.  As for the FINANCIAL COST?  He could afford it.  Can YOU?  If you’re sued by the RIAA can you even mount a DEFENSE?

In the future, the music will float freely, or be so abundant and cheap that you won’t need to trade/transfer/steal.  But YOU’RE gonna have to sacrifice your rights now, along the way.

Where do they come up with this BLEEP?  How could they think they could get away with it?  Are they really this afraid, this desperate, willing to do ANYTHING to protect their old business model?

As for 256kbps files…  I’ve got thousand dollar speakers and I can barely hear the difference between the version of McCartney’s “Letting Go” I downloaded from iTunes and the 160kbps MP3 rip I made from the original CD.  On cheaper speakers, on earbuds?  NO DISTINGUISHABLE DIFFERENCE!

In other words, EMI just wanted to find a way to charge thirty cents more while RETAINING the copy protection. BLEEPERS!

The Lefsetz Letter is one of my favourite blogs. Check it out.

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Filed under: Bloggin' All Over The World
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The Pineapple Thief – November
Posted on May 21st, 2007 by Alan @ 11:03 pm

The Pineapple Thief

I don’t really know too much about this band. Not even as much as about them as is on their website, which I visited for the first time about 15 minutes ago – and that’s not all that much. Every day’s a school day, eh? And it’s my favourite kind today – a short one.

So open your copy books, and do a bit of light reading! And while you’re doing that, wrap your ears around this – it’s from their latest album “Little Man”, and it’s lovely.

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And as always, I urge you to buy it – you can get it direct from the artist, or from Amazon through the following link:

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John Wesley – Your Round
Posted on May 17th, 2007 by Alan @ 12:10 pm

John Wesley

I first saw John Wesley playing live as the support act for Marillion in about 1992. He was previously their guitar tech, and as I understand it got the gig when the original support band pulled out at short notice. As Marillion were scratching around looking for another opener, their guitarist Steve Rothery said “What about John? I’ve heard some of the stuff he’s written and it’s pretty good” so they gave him the job. I think he was still doing his guitar tech duties on that tour so he must have been pretty knackered by the end of it! Anyway, I was really impressed with his performance that night, for a guy standing on stage on his own with an acoustic guitar he seemed to impress most of the people in the Barrowlands Ballroom. So I grabbed a copy of his CD (“Under A Red And White Sky”) from the merch stand – and was even more impressed when I listened to the studio versions of the songs.

And then I kinda forgot about the guy for about 10 years. The CD still made it into the player from time to time, but as I’d heard nothing about him other than his guitar work on Fish’s “Fellini Days” album, I never really thought to look for any more of his stuff.

But in 2003 I heard Porcupine Tree for the first time. I’d heard of them for a few years, but my preconception (mainly from their name, but also from the fact they were pretty popular among Marillion fans who tend to have pretty dodgy tastes!) was that they would be beardie weirdie prog rockers, which really isn’t my scene. But then I heard that amazon.ca had made a booboo with their pricing of “In Absentia” and were offering the DVD-A version for 99 cents. About the price of a Mars bar. With postage, about the price of a pint. So I ordered it. When it arrived I stuck it in the DVD player and almost flew back into the wall when the guitars from “Blackest Eyes” kicked in! I loved the whole album, and now own everything by them that isn’t out of print and trading for silly money on eBay. But back to that day – as I picked my jaw back off the floor and leafed through the inlay booklet, I spotted that some of the guitars on “Blackest Eyes” and the backing vocals on several tracks were by Mr Wesley. I found out later that he had first met Steven Wilson while working with Fish, so maybe I should have read the inlay booklet for Fish’s “Sunsets On Empire” CD a little closer – a lot of it is co-written by Steven Wilson, and he contributes guitars and keyboards to it as well. If I’d known that my preconceptions of Porcupine Tree might have been a bit different!

Anyway, I’ve seen a lot more of John Wesley since then, as he’s a regular member of Porcupine Tree’s tour line-up, who I would crawl over broken glass to watch. Thankfully I haven’t had to do that yet, although if it was an option I’d maybe choose it over lining Ticketmaster’s pockets.

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You can check out more of John Wesley’s back catalogue here

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Steven Wilson – BBC 6 Music Interview
Posted on May 10th, 2007 by Alan @ 6:29 pm

Steven Wilson

A half-hour interview including three tracks from the new Porcupine Tree album “Fear of a Blank Planet”. I’ve deliberately set this as a low bitrate file – get your hand in your pocket and buy the CD, you tight bampots.

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Okay, you don’t have to spend real money, click here, get your credit card out and put it on the never-never.

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It Bites – I Got You
Posted on May 10th, 2007 by Alan @ 6:19 pm

It Bites

Here’s a wee taster for the gig of the summer – the re-formed It Bites are headlining The Gig In The Glen at Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline on Saturday June 16th. Three of the original four members will be there – Francis Dunnery is busy reading the palms of horses in Philadelphia (or something) and he’s now been replaced on guitar and vocals by John Mitchell (of Arena, The Urbane, Kino, Frost* and very possibly many other bands)

This track is from the live CD they released after their comeback tour at the end of the year. “I Got You” was never my favourite It Bites track back in the day, but they really nail this live. The CD is well worth getting – especially if you’re one of those people who think that It Bites were Francis Dunnery. Mitchell is a very adequate replacement – I suspect he used to play along to It Bites records in his bedroom as a teenager, and he knows their stuff inside out. He’s also a better singer than Dunnery (in my opinion – obviously – who else’s did you expect?) and he’s a great frontman. As anyone who was at their King Tut’s show in December will tell you, his jokes are piss-poor, but I’ll let him off with that one I think.

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You can buy the live CD here – and their new album some time later this year I understand.

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Sufjan Stevens vs Christina Aguilera – The Upper Peninsula
Posted on May 2nd, 2007 by Alan @ 7:20 pm

sufjanstevens.jpg

Another bootleg from Aggro1 – this time from another of my favourite artists, Sufjan Stevens, mashed up with Christina Aguilera.

Lovely!

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Filed under: Bootlegs & Mashups andSufjan Stevens
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Porcupine Tree vs MIA – .3
Posted on May 2nd, 2007 by Alan @ 6:42 am

Welcome to one of my favourite things – the mashup. To quote Barry Cryer on “I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue” it’s one old song to the tune of another (as opposed to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest musical, which is another old song to the tune of several million).

Sorry about not posting for a few days – I was away at The Wallaces’ (as opposed to The Wallace’s!) wedding at the weekend and I’m just catching up now. At that wedding, in fact, the DJ played the non Porcupine Tree portion of this song at one point… a real floor emptier!!! It’s “Galang” by M.I.A. – and I’m not ashamed to say I’m way too uncool to have ever heard of them in my puff. This creation was put together by someone called Aggro1, and is a real beauty.

I’ll let the music do the talking. I’ve got a bunch more mashups on the Mac at home so I’ll post some more of them over the next few days.

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This blog is intended as a way to spread the word about music I really like, and encourage others to support artists who are making great music. "Try before you buy", if you like. If you hear something you like here, go and buy it - I'll post links to online shops where you can buy each track I blog about.

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