Wow, a week has gone by without my posting anything about music. I actually put off music for a few weeks until I faced several important tasks: figuring out the best way to rip CDs on my new computer (done with dbpoweramp), figuring out podcast subject (done) and dealing with the mess which is bandcamp (more below). Actually I went ahead and bought a final $200 credit (really only $75) for emusic. Practically speaking though, I’m more focused now on Bandcamp.
Articles and Interviews
WORK SONGS PLAYLIST: Here’s a nice YouTube playlist created by music critic Ted Gioia. He has written 12+ books about music — including one called “Work Songs” which presumably provided the songs for this playlist. Here’s an article he wrote about why pop songs are 3 minutes long … and why they shouldn’t be.
I put my account on hold last month, but at the end of the month I bought a big shack of credits.
- Flames to Ashes by Elissa Pernu. 4.99, 41 minutes. Australian country singer.
- Pendulum by Originalii. 99 cents, 24 minutes.
- Best of Valerie Dore. 1980s Italo Disco group. I wrote an article about this band’s origins which showcases mainly works by Monica Stucchi but at first was fronted by Dora Carofiglio.
Here is what I have learned about bandcamp from the last occasion.
First, if you contribute something (any amount) to a NAME YOUR PRICE (NYP) album, that gives you the right to stream it through the bandcamp app.
Second, you have the ability to follow FANS, not just musicians. Following fans can be a great way to discover low-cost albums from a variety of places and styles. Also, you can follow fans of other fans.
Third, significantly, whenever you pay for some bandcamp thing, you have the right to write a short review/praise. This praise will appear on the album page. That’s interesting, but more importantly, it will appear on your collection, so if other people are browsing through your collection, they can see these annotations as well. For example my Bandcamp fan profile is here, but there’s another fan I follow, Oddiooverplay, who annotates her favorite purchases — which immediately makes me want to hear them.
Fourth, when scrolling through people’s collections, you can see how many other fans have the same album in their collection. I hesitate to make a general rule here, but the more fans who have an album in a collection, the more likely the price is to be less.
Fifth you can browse through albums by following tags — which refer to styles, locations or even price. When you land on a tag page, you can choose to view HIGHLIGHTS or ALL RELEASES. Obviously All Releases is a way to turn on the firehose, which usually what you don’t want. The Highlights view is obviously more limiting to maybe 12 titles, but sometimes that’s the way to get started.
Ultimately though, surfing music through collections of other fans can be more satisfying and allows for more serendipity.
I haven’t really found a way to find a way to filter out picks to include under $3 or $5 and for the album/EP to be substantial (like over 30 minutes). Bandcamp has feature articles about albums, except that they are some of the pricier titles. Everything is about the $10 range, something I buy very rarely.
Bandcamp lets you sign up for mailing lists, but that is pretty arduous. Suppose you signed up for 500 mailing lists. I suspect most of these announcements are about single tracks or overpriced albums, so I don’t need to hear about it. On the other hand, I really want to hear about name your price deals.
I would think that blogs or social media could come up with a new way to track Name Your Prices. How about setting a twitter search result to capture the latest NYP
Thank god I didn’t see this 70s performance of Parton-Rondstandt-Harris, or I would have developed massive crushes on all 3 people.
Biff Gore vs. Sisaundra Lewis: “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” on the Voice.
Here’s a nice environmental song:
Freegal & Library CDs
- Cosmic Psychos. Australian punk band I found out about by watching the Australian Dramedy Five Rooms.
- Social Distortion. s/t
- Elza Soares. Brazilian.