When Record Store Day first started I lauded it as a welcome way to get people away from iTunes and back into the record store. But every year since its inception I’ve grown more and more sour over the event. In 2011 when I posted some tracks from my RSD haul on my other blog Lost Turntable and got called out for it by one of the events founders, I used that chance to comment on what I thought were growing problems with the event. In 2012, I dedicated a whole blog post to the bullshit surrounding RSD (and other ways bands screw over fans) My problem with RSD is the same now that it was then: it’s no longer about music. More importantly, it’s no longer about record stores! It’s about making a quick buck, and it’s not even about making a quick buck by selling overpriced records to fans. It’s about making a quick buck to sell records to speculators, eBayers who will turn around and sell their finds at an even higher inflated price to turn a profit at the cost of some poor fan who loves a band so much that they have to own everything they put out no matter what the cost. Continue reading
As I write this, the Kickstarter for the Neil Young backed Pono music player is nearing completion, with the campaign raising close to 6 million dollars, well over their original goal of $800.000.
And that’s too bad. Because the Pono music player is a bunch of bullshit, a rip-off of mammoth proportions that is taking advantage of pretentious “audiophiles” with more dollars than sense, and naive tech geeks who believe everything the Internet tells them. Continue reading
It’s hard to explain to anyone who wasn’t there just how big a deal Cyndi Lauper was in the early 80s.
She seemed to have one hit single after another on the radio and on MTV; she contributed the theme song to one of the most beloved children’s films of the era; and even guested as a referee as the very first Wrestlemania. Before Madonna came to dominance, Cyndi was the diva for the 80s, and one of the very first artists to ride the MTV wave to epic mainstream success.
But Cyndi wasn’t an overnight sensation because of her wacky persona and out-there looks (although those helped). No, she made it big simply because her first album, She’s So Unusual, is a goddamn masterpiece. A masterfully produced slice of radio-friendly new wave, it was mainstream enough to appeal to the middle-aged baby boomers of the era; quirky enough to catch the eye of left-of-center teenagers; and fun enough to lure in the pre-teen youngsters who were just as enamored with Cyndi’s wild looks as they were her music.
Cyndi’s stay in the mainstream may have just been a fleeting moment, but She’s So Unusual remains a near-perfect piece of pop perfection. So it’s great to see that it’s getting the deluxe treatment to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
It’s just too bad that 30th anniversary edition is a big steaming pile of hot garbage. Continue reading
It seems that ever since I moved to Tokyo I’ve fallen into a cycle when it comes to my writing. I stop writing for some reason, come back to writing with a proclamation of “I’m back writing!” and then I immediately fall of the face of the earth again and stop writing for an indeterminate amount of time, only to see the cycle repeat once more.
Previous writing lapses were caused by a heavier than expected workflow, then a sudden dip in my mental health. While my mental state has been pretty okay for the most part/back to it’s normal level of complete insanity, this past month, my physical state decided to take a turn for the worse, causing me to come down with strep throat not once, but four fucking times. It’s really hard to write when you can’t keep your head up.
As you can imagine, a repeated sore throat and dangerously high fever is the kind of thing one might see the doctor for. So halfway through my third bought with the shockingly resilient infection known as streptococcal pharyngitis, I decided to bite the bullet and make my way to a Japanese hospital for some help.
It was an experience. Continue reading