Deezer Hi-Def On Sonos


I can see you in the morning when you go to school

“Crime Of The Century.” That’s the album we used to take to the stereo store, to demo the products, to decide what we wanted to buy, that’s what I’m listening to right now on Sonos via Deezer Elite.

Actually, there’s that sound in “Bloody Well Right,” it’s why I bought my Nakamichi 582, because it replicated it perfectly, in a way the even more expensive, top-of-the-line, Aiwa could not.

The regular album was not enough, despite the exquisite Ken Scott sound what you really needed was the half-speed mastered edition. Yes, our goal was to get pristine sound from the systems we paid thousands for.

So you think your schooling’s phony

Yes, once upon a time our favorites questioned authority, they just didn’t lay down in the corporate trough. That’s what’s so great about “Crime Of The Century,” despite sounding so mellifluous, hooking us immediately, the message was just as strong…that the system made you an automaton and you had to be awake and aware and find your own path.

Via music, it was the only way.

Well, there was Kurt Vonnegut too, the Dead did call their publishing company Ice Nine, but the way our ears were opened was primarily via music. How far we’ve come, when today’s students just want to march in line through the Ivy League into the bank. Sure, there are some techies pushing the envelope, but isn’t it interesting so many dropped out of college.

Just like the musicians of yore, they didn’t fit in, college was not in their path.

Anyway, in a week where Thom Yorke is trying to reinvent the past, the future is here.

That’s right, there’s no longer a need to take the long way home. You don’t have to buy files and put ‘em in the Pono player that you still cannot buy, rather you can sign up to Deezer Elite via your Sonos system and live in the future RIGHT NOW!

So you think you’re a Romeo
Playing a part in a picture show

Yes, you want to take the metaphorical long way home, the one wherein you crank up the music and set your mind free, letting the tunes wash right over you.

That’s right, Supertramp eventually had some hits. And managed to do this without completely changing their sound and selling out.

So, maybe you don’t have a Sonos system. You can buy one for a song these days, I don’t need to do a commercial, either it’s on your radar or you’re so busy buying vinyl or refusing to pay at all that you can’t partake of the modern world.

And, if you’ve got Sonos, fire up the app on your phone and go to “Add Music Services” and slide down to Deezer, the first 30 days are free, check it out.

That’s right, the future is here. While you’re complaining about Spotify payments, trying to jet us back to a substandard past, we’re living in a fully-formed future.

Isn’t this what we were waiting for? All the music at our fingertips at one low price? And now it sounds just as good as what came out of the speakers before MP3s gave everybody a downgrade.

And Neil Young’s agitation had nothing to do with it, all those musicians bitching, yup, you had to leave the future to the techies, because they are the only ones who can deliver it. And we might go through fits and starts to get there, but now we’ve arrived.

Ditch those crappy speakers. Get ready to spend to hear the sound. Because you want to get closer. Because after all your complaining we’ve finally hit the HD era in music, AND IT SOUNDS SO GOOD!

Deezer Elite

Lena Dunham/Free Work

“Lena Dunham Does Not Pay”

“Why stars like Lena Dunham ask aspiring performers to work for free”

What stuns me here is Ms. Dunham and her publisher, Random House, and the writer for the “New York Times” were completely unaware of the Amanda Palmer kerfuffle.

Yes, Amanda too wanted her fans to perform for free. But the crushing blowback caused her to compensate them. How could the above entities be completely unaware of not only that blowback, but the whole situation?

That’s the world we live in. Where everybody’s in their narrow silo and the rest of us don’t only not care, we’re completely unaware.

Did you see Prince put out a couple of new albums? Did something on Yahoo I think. But he’s still living in 1984, he thinks MTV still rules and “Purple Rain” reigns when the truth is no one is paying attention. The youngsters have completely tuned out and the oldsters have been burned so many times and albums require so much dedication that we all just shrug and move along.

The diehard fans yell loudest. Kind of like those complaining to CBS over Nipplegate. Everybody’s so afraid of their shadow that they pay attention to the minor minions and change course when the truth is most of these people have nothing better to do than complain and should be ignored.

Were any of those bitching at Amanda Palmer fans? No, her fans were eager to play for free. But the system crashed down upon her, she was suddenly the poster girl for ungrateful ingrate.

But Amanda Palmer was marginal compared to Lena Dunham. How could it be no one in the food chain was aware of Amanda’s travails? And how come the press gives a pass to this woman although talented would have a hard time holding Roseanne Roseannadanna’s purse.

I watched “Tiny Furniture,” I read the “New Yorker” article. If you think that’s great filmmaking, you’ve never seen Francis Ford Coppola never mind Billy Wilder.

As for “Girls”… I don’t care that she’s parading her less than perfect body nude, I’ve yet to be hooked.

But I keep having her and her story jammed down my throat. She’s the voice of a generation! Are we that hard up for heroes that a neurotic twentysomething is exalted to the heavens?

But who cares about Lena Dunham. And that’s exactly my point. The entire media business seems unaware the internet happened. They think it’s solely a publicity tool, a way to hammer their message in a million forums. And they keep blaming theft and all kinds of bogeymen for their reduced sales while failing to realize we’re interested in other stuff and don’t care about what they’re talking about.

Yes, media has become an echo chamber.

Furthermore, the publishing business is now taking a page out of the music business’s book. I’m surprised Lena’s tour/show isn’t booked by Live Nation, the promotion giant would have done a much better job. Because providing tickets and security and putting on a gig is much more complicated than those living in front of the camera realize.

So I hate the new world. Because I just can’t figure it out. Nothing seems to matter. Yet everybody who could be asking hard questions refuses to, for fear of being left out of the circus.

The truth is to go mainstream you must whittle your message down narrowly or wait until your broad message is slowly picked up by the masses. You can be in the “New York Times” and no one can care.

And you wonder why YouTube stars generate all this heat.

Lena Dunham could have done something really different, she could have had a day long YouTube extravaganza, it’s nothing new, One Direction did it last Thanksgiving. But no one at Random House, never mind Lena, seems to know that either.

Is anybody paying attention?

Does anybody realize we know “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother” and don’t care about the rest of Avicii’s album? And that other than “Get Lucky,” few have time to delve into Daft Punk’s?

And the wannabes are even worse. They don’t want anything to change for fear of being left out, because they’re dummies who refuse to enter the uncharted future. But that’s what artists do, take risks.

And artists have influences.

Turns out Lena Dunham’s been living in her own echo chamber for so long she’s got no idea what’s going on.

“Turning a Book Tour Into a Literary Circus (and a Hot Ticket)”

Garth’s Store

I’m just one or two years and a couple of changes behind you

“Fountain Of Sorrow”
Jackson Browne

Apple discontinues the iPod and Garth Brooks puts up an MP3 selling site, believing it’s about the deal, unaware that no one wants gasoline in an electric world.

Well, we haven’t quite hit that point in automobiles, and maybe hydrogen wins, but haven’t we had enough of Garth’s self-satisfied, aw shucks demeanor wherein he lectures us whilst saying it’s all about his family and his fans?

Come on Garth, it’s all about you, always has been.

And I hear he’s doing half the shows he wants to, but what intrigues me is the deafening silence re his download store. This is a guy who holds a press conference for a fart, who weighs in on the minutiae of his career, why no victory lap delineating the sales of his music?

Because the numbers are bad.

Can I prove that?

No, but neither can you.

That’s the world today, you whip out a falsehood and hope it sticks, believing everybody’s too busy to fact check. Kind of like the Miss America pageant. Watch John Oliver’s takedown of the organizations proclamation of its delivery of $45 million in scholarship money here:

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Miss America Pageant

In other words, even when Garth Brooks comes out and tells us how many files he’s sold, don’t believe him.

But the truth is files are dead.

But what stuns me is the people who are now defending files over streams, who once upon a time defended CDs over files. They too are living in the past.

And then there’s Garth’s single. What a piss-poor effort. So treacly upbeat as to make one go into sugar shock. Garth couldn’t see the game had changed? People loving people? In the land of Ferguson? He’d be better off hooking up with Dallas Davidson and the usual suspects since country radio is a game and either you’ve got to play it or live outside it, unlike at Burger King you cannot have it your way.

So what we’ve learned here is it’s about the game, not the player.

And that stunts work once, like Garth’s CD sale at Wal-Mart, and then they die. Yup, seen any superstar selling exclusive product at the reviled discounter recently? Not to the point anybody knows about it.

Turns out country fans are streaming too, which is not hard to believe when the hits contain rap and electronic elements.

Your job as a musician is to make music.

Race car drivers don’t build automobiles.

Baseball players don’t make bats.

And they’re called Sony and Canon, not “Spielberg.”

Garth, you’re a has-been. Who’s been so busy making lunch and driving your kids to school that you seem to have missed the entire internet era.

You could catch up.

But U2 couldn’t.

P.S. You won’t watch the above John Oliver clip, because it’s fifteen minutes long, but his fans did. Furthermore, notice that HBO has not issued a takedown notice, knowing that when you’re building your enemy is obscurity. But John Oliver is so good that he’s developed a cadre of fans. And in today’s world, where it’s so difficult to gain critical mass, those who do have power. Yes, while Garth and the rest of those left in the last century play to the media, the youngsters play to their fans, they go down. Knowing that what’s in the media can be easily ignored, it’s seen for what it is, hype, and you establish fans one by one and if you’re truly excellent they convert others and build an army. But John Oliver is on fire, Garth Brooks is a smoldering ember at best.

Jamestown Revival At Way Over Yonder

They were playing “Born On The Bayou.”

I’ve been in a funk, trying to figure this crazy, messed up world out, or rather my place in it. You grow up too young to participate and then suddenly you’re too old to matter, held back by not only others’ judgment of you but the knowledge that the end is near. And it is.

I’ve got no idea what to do with my time. Whether to stay home and read, watch television, or is it really just all about hanging with friends? I feel like I’m in the pinball machine of life, without my hands on the flippers, afraid I’m gonna fall in the hole and it will all be over, knowing if I don’t pay attention I’ll tilt and suddenly I’ll be done without warning.

So today I went to the Santa Monica Pier for the Way Over Yonder festival. To hear Jackson Browne. To see friends. To check out some new acts. Because I felt like that old cliche a change of scenery would do me good. If I sat inside just a moment longer I’d spontaneously combust.

And if you asked me at 8:20 PM what this was gonna be about, I’d have said Jackson Browne’s “Barricades Of Heaven”.

Running down around the towns along the shore
When I was sixteen and on my own

Back before we were cataloging our lives via Instagram, when no one was paying attention, not even our parents. We left home and we called collect every week or two but the truth was we were on our own adventure and there was only one constant, music. We may not have had iPods, but it was everywhere, it was the glue that kept us together. And it was all about the mind-meld as opposed to financial shenanigans. No one wanted to get rich, we didn’t even know what that was until the eighties. Other than players, nobody we knew had a Mercedes-Benz, you could hear someone calling from one end of the house to the other and our dream was to play music and go on the road, or to work with those who did.

But now the world has gotten smaller, but something has been obliterated, there is no glue, nothing holding us together, because money never kept anybody warm at night, for that we need others.

Standing in the ocean with the sun burning low in the west
At the edge of my country, my back to the sea, looking east

That’s exactly where we were, according to Jackson’s kids, the center of the universe, that’s right Santa Monica by the sea. We were literally standing at the edge of our country, looking east. And it’s a good place to be. It means we’ve gone as far as we can go, we’ve shed not only family and friends, but inhibitions. At this distance, three hours behind New York, it matters not a whit where you went to college, what you got on your SATs, life in California is all about your own personal experience.

Or to put it Jackson’s way, he likes Newport, but he loves Santa Monica.

What can I say?

Standing in the audience with no VIP all in it together it was the same as it ever was. You remember music, right? Something that’s played on real instruments that is melodic that you can sing along to, that touches your soul. And that’s not what’s being sold in commercials, it’s not what’s getting endorsements, but it’s what we need.

And got at today’s Way Over Yonder festival.

And I’d be lying if I told you every act was spectacular. It seems today people can sing, but they seem to have lost the ability to write. Listening to Jackson for just a moment illustrates the difference.

Which is why Jamestown Revival was such a revelation.

I couldn’t leave to go to the carousel to see the act I came early to see, I was riveted by the notes that were just right, the way the band played in harmony, the way my body was set free.

And I’d never heard them before.

But now it’s after midnight and I’m playing their album “Utah” on Spotify and I’m having that same experience, you know, the one where I don’t want to push fast-forward, where I don’t want to go back to the classics, where I just want to go to the next show.

I don’t know why these people do it. It certainly couldn’t be fame and riches, because this music is not on that path, it features no synths, no beats, no aggressiveness, it’s more like life, just in the pocket.

So play me that old time music
Play that familiar song

Those are the lines in the song “Golden Age” I’m listening to now.

And I’m not telling you it’s going straight to number one, I’m not telling you Jamestown Revival is going to replace Lady Gaga, I’m just telling you the music is setting my mind free and giving me hope.

I’m never gonna have an app, I’m never gonna make it big in tech.

Because I don’t want to. I want to use the tools, but I don’t want to throw my life away in pursuit of riches. I’m not a 1’s and 0’s guy, I want to color outside the lines, I’m looking for something messier, like love.

You remember love? Not the porn-infused one you experience on the internet, but the one between two real people? Who have imperfections, who don’t always get along, whose experience is enriched as time goes by.

We’re on a train to nowhere. We’ve sacrificed culture in the name of influence. Money is all that matters.

But it doesn’t matter to me.

I don’t want to hear you bitch about Spotify payments, about all the ways you’re getting screwed, I want you to stop wasting that breath and practice and play or get out of the way. I want you to study the game of notes and changes, not html and tweets, I want you to reach out across the aisle, from across the stage, and touch my soul.

Jamestown Revival is not groundbreaking, there’s nothing you haven’t heard before, but to hear it once again resonates. Because once you take the sheen off the popsters all you’re left with is aluminum, the bones of the productions which are here today and gone tomorrow. What we need is food, that keeps delivering to the plate again and again.

So what I’m saying is when Jackson was singing “Barricades Of Heaven” I was the only one singing along, but it bothered me not in the least.

But I didn’t see anybody singing to “Take It Easy” either. Because the audience is too young and everyone’s burnishing their image on their mobile phone. In touch with air.

I’m right here.

You’re right here.

We can’t let the tools trump our identities, we can’t let them become the story. We can’t let money get in the way of fulfillment.

I’m missing the music
I’m longing for you

I’m gonna make a playlist. I’m gonna tell you if you think you’ve got the answers, you’re wrong. I’m gonna tell you that life will mess you up. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you’re gonna get fired, you’re gonna get sick, and the only thing you’re gonna be able to rely on is music.

I know that again tonight.

Jamestown Revival – Spotify playlist

Way Over Yonder – Lineup