This is a summary of what has recently come to light regarding a Universal Music Group fire in 2008 when a LOT of music master tapes were lost. This is the music equivalent of the fire at the library at Alexandria.

A longer discussion about this was was posted by Rick Beato (about a week later) talking about what this might mean for music fans, foe Universal, and also for artists. A fair point made is that Universal seem to be more active ‘protecting’ their music by issuing ‘take downs’ against people on YouTube than in actually protecting the original music tapes.

If you’ve ever watched Rick Beato’s ‘What Makes This Song Great’ videos you’ll see the advantage in being able to access original tapes where you can isolate particular instruments or vocal performances. Consequently, I think there is going to be a big impact on scholarly activity, particularly in relation to 20th century black music in America as well as the golden age of rock and pop.

You can watch the longer discussion here…

@matthewlang recently posted a link to a tweet referring to the closure of the Microsoft ebook store and the fact that it meant that DRM’d books would no longer work. A book working
 that in itself is a sentence that causes a double take.

Personally, I never got in to the whole ebook thing. I will read PDFs if that’s all I can get but I don’t have a Kindle, don’t use iBooks, or any other technology of this type. It’s not a philosophical stance, just a preference. I like a physical book or magazine, it’s as simple as that.

BUT
 there is another aspect that is important and that is the control over the content that you have purchased. I have plenty of books and they don’t rely on someone else continuing to grant me access so that I can enjoy them. That, to me, is worth the price.

The same applies to music. Continue reading

There are no certainties and no absolutes in life, so I would be going out on a limb to say mainstream western popular music is dull and uninteresting. It’s a fair generalisation but just occasionally my teenage daughters introduce me to new music that I find exciting and engaging.

When I look at my favourite music from 2019 — I see English hip-hop, Sudanese and Scandinavian jazz, re-imagined folk music, love songs by a Syrian-American, classical music from Poland and music inspired by Orkney. I really enjoy just how much easier it is to discover new music now.

Just as a sample, here is the video for the song Everybody by Sinkane.

To Be Clear … Originally written by my friend in 2003 … ‘JP – the other one’. Still true today … no?


Lately I haven’t derived the same pleasure from my music collection, or even music in general, that I’ve been accustomed to my whole life. I’m trying to figure this out.

It used to be simpler, I think. You would reach an age – let’s say 30 on average – and pretty much drop out of the current music scene. Your record collection would begin to age like fine wine. You’d stop going to gigs and reading Rolling Stone and Down Beat, and the station presets in your car were no longer college stations playing the wide range of emerging new stuff, but the major commercial channels playing bands who are all 6 months away from being featured in a Lexus commercial. There was a clear dividing line between the stuff the kids and the grown-ups listened to that has faded, blurred and, finally, today, disappeared.

Continue reading