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Labor Fruit - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Labor Fruit
My feature on the independent-label band Enon -- highly recommended, BTW -- is out today.

When I write one of these things, I listen to the record over and over. You can really tell how much you like something when you have to listen to it obsessively for work. I went in to Borders late the other night to look for something to review for Punk Planet and they were playing Hocus-Pocus. I wasn't just professionally pleased. I was excited to hear the record in a new context.

Then again, the band's driving force John Schmersal was in Brainiac, responsible for my absolute favorite song I discovered by downloading -- legally, of course, from Epitonic -- "Flash Ram".

It's funny. When you do an interview for a feature, in which you're only going to end up selecting a few quotes from a great many, you never know what's going to be most valuable until you start writing. The comment about video games seemed like the one least related to the record when I was conducting the interview. I regarded as one of those necessary icebreakers. But by the time I was done, it proved to be the key to everything.

Mode: phlegmatic
Muse: Starlings Of The Slipstream - Pavement - Brighten the Corners

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Comments
cpratt From: cpratt Date: September 25th, 2003 12:30 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Interesting article there Charlie. You also touched on something I've been thinking a lot about today - a modern tendency to just... how to put this... never try too hard at any one draft or take, because after all technology exists to help you splice it all together later on. Given that anything you produce can more or less easily and cheaply be replaced by a later version, why try hard at really nailing it during the recording? [This came up because, well, in the software industry, there's kind of a mantra that goes something like "well, we'll just patch it later or do a service release" - instead of really trying to get it right the first time, which seems less possible now that it ever has been... but I digress.]

Similarly, I think it's fascinating that you touch on what it's like to not have to think too much about what you're buying [or downloading], which seems also to lead to people collecting a lot of music they don't really listen to. God knows there have been plenty of times I've bought a record without really listening to it - when you're spoiled for choice, it's hard to just hunker down and pay attention to the recording you just bought. The first time I heard Kid 606's The Illness, I thought it sucked. Eventually I forced myself to listen to it on the CD player in my car a few times, and now I'm enthralled with its density. But, again, I digress.

Thanks for a good read.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 25th, 2003 03:19 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
OK, that makes sense to me: that we don't actually pay attention to what we buy, because we buy so much and there's always more. I can see that this would lead us to a lesser appreciation of individual works, ones to which we don't give proper attention.

But I think we can still appreciate the totality of music in our lives. Charlie mentioned in an email to me that I grew up in a particular era that impacts on my relationship to downloading music, but one area where I ALWAYS feel even older than my age/era is that I am a constant radio listener. And one of my favorite parts of the digital age is all the radio I get to listen to, sans commercials. There's all those channels on the digital cable teevee, and all the ones on MusicMatch, including channels I create myself. In all of them, as in all radio that I love, I'm not hearing music as individual works of art, but hearing songs as parts of ongoing setlists. Oftentimes I don't even know what song I'm listening to, although digital stuff helps there because the songtitle is usually somewhere on a screen.

Anyway, I get enjoyment wafting over my being, with the special buzz when a song I'm not expecting comes on, but it's true, I don't get obsessively involved with any artist/album. Which may be why I love Sleater-Kinney beyond their apparent worth: they're the band I actually pay attention to.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 25th, 2005 10:34 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Funny to read this now, when there's a new album out.
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