Archived News for September 26, 2007
Save by Spending
I don't mean to shill for somebody else but as a
self-acknowledged music addict I thought I couldn't keep quiet about
this once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity. (Sheesh, and alreday I sound like
e-mail spam.) Disclaimer: I have no commercial interest in the success
of the website I'm about to mention.
The website AnywhereCD
is closing its doors after September
30, 2007. Sad thing, but with a significant benefit: They have lowered
the prices for all their MP3/CD offers to 7 US-$ per
AnywhereCD offers an interesting service: Instead of
purchasing audio tracks with restricted usage [*]
possibilities, you buy a
MP3/CD package. The MP3s you can download and listen to immediately.
The CD you get in the mail. The best of two worlds: Instant
gratification, but also the CD with liner notes and everything. The company was founded by Michael Robertson (the man behind mp3.com) and is legit.
Needless to say, the service is being discontinued. It
may be what customers want, but the music industry apparently
doesn't. From its launch in April, the service has been embroiled in
a legal battle with Warner Music, the only major label which
initially supported AnywhereCD. In June, the lawsuit ended
in a settlement which means Warner Music will pull its entire
catalogue by September 30, effectively forcing AnywhereCD out of
business. Yay for free enterprise.
I can heartily recommend the following albums from their
selection, since I own them:
- Rob Dougan: Furious
Angels (2 CD set). Orchestral Electronica. Mr. Dougan is the
one who composed "Clubbed To Death", the one really good track on The
Matrix Soundtrack. This double album has a vocal and an instrumental
disc. The lyrics are rather dramatic and there is a general feeling of
melancholy. If you just want to listen to the percussive beats and
sweeping orchestral arrangements, listen to CD2. (Mood: depressed with
a measure of self-pity.)
- Various Artists: Future
Retro. 80's "alternative" hits remixed – with the twist being
that these remakes don't suck. There's a brilliant remix of Devo's
"Girl You Want" by Black Light Odyssey, a pounding remake of
INXS' "Need You Tonight" by Static Revenger and a Depeche
Mode remix by Tiga. (Mood: nostalgic yet contemporary.)
- Digital Underground: Sex Packets.
Hip Hop. This group never took itself too seriously; having a
good time was always part of the appeal. "The Humpty Dance" has been
sampled by so many people, even the Spice Girls stole its bassline.
"Doowutchyalike" remains a milestone of its genre. (Mood: upbeat.)
- Steve Martin: Let's Get
Small. Stand-up comedy from a true master. His take on
smokers is extremely funny, but the whole album is a gem. (Mood: in
- MC Lyte: Lyte As A
Rock. Hip Hop. This is one angry woman, but deservedly so.
"10% Dis" set a standard for female rappers many of them still don't
live up to. "I Cram to Understand U" remains touching after all these
- Bill Hicks: Well, any
of them, really. Stand-up comedy with heartfelt anger and
energy. I own "Arizona Bay", "Dangerous", "Rant In E Minor"
and "Relentless". Relentless
Bay are probably his best; the latter containing the infamous
rant against marketing people sampled by Fila Brazillia. (Mood: bemused
- Juno Reactor: Shango
Percussion-driven Electronica with an ethnic touch. Mostly instrumental
music. As much as Ben Watkins' group has changed since its beginnings
in 1993, the last two albums are still unmistakeably from the same
source. The sweeping synthscapes of yesteryear have been upgraded with
live Japanese drumming and atmospheric vocals. (Mood: euphoric.)
(Loud Electronic Ferocious). Beat-driven
European Electronica. Music for driving fast or working out (neither of
which I do nearly often enough). Can become irritating after a while,
but great fun while it lasts. (Mood: modern and aggressive.)
- Various Artists: The Sugar
Hill Records Story (5 CD Set). Hip Hop, Funk. Grandmaster
Flash, Sugarhill Gang, Treacherous Three, it's all here, including "It's
Nasty". Well, almost
all of it is here (go here
for a complete tracklisting). Note: As this is a 5 CD box set, it
obviously costs more than just 7 US-$. Still a good deal.
Of course, the "Rock" Category has a lot of stuff, too...
including essential albums by INXS,
Heads, Tom Tom
Club, Yes and
among many many others. But I don't mean to bore you with an endless list.
As luck would have it: As I am currently not an US resident, I
can't take advantage of the 7 US-$ offer.
(Stuff I'd buy if I could:
[*] (What does
"restricted usage" mean? For
instance, Itunes purchases will work only on
an Ipod, but not on a Creative Zen MP3 player. Conversely, Rhapsody
purchases will play on a Creative Zen Player, but will not
work on an Ipod. It's like buying a Sony CD player which will
only play CDs made by Sony.)