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Much like The Hobbit, the best part about the latest Bond movie, Skyfall, was a song — Adele’s title piece. Unlike The Hobbit, however, Skyfall was actually worth watching in it’s own right. Still, the best part is free:

Buck Twenty-Nine Fail

About a year ago, raised the prices on some of their MP3 offerings to $1.29. Previously, songs were offered in the $0.89 to $0.99price range individually, and less when buying entire albums.
This was a move mirrored by Apple and other online music sales due to price hikes and retail price demands from record labels

I was a big fan of Amazon MP3, and this price hike greatly saddened me. It also changed my music consumption habits, or rather reverted them. I’ll still buy a $0.99 song from Amazon, but if the offering isn’t available at that price point, I will break the law and download the song — often the entire album, because that’s just as easy — for free.

The music industry continues to slowly dig it’s own grave.


Right now I’m really digging a hip-hop group from New Zealand, called Smashproof, whose songs seem to not have made it here to the US yet, but I think they would do quite well if they do show up here. They have a few hits in New Zealand, including Brother, and Weekend, but my favorite song is Ordinary Life, which you can find on Songza (and precious few other places). Particular poignant to me is how the extended version of that song ends, partially transcribed here:

You don’t get nothing from nothing, meaning you have to put something into it to get something out and even though it may seem hard and you’re unsure what you need, you gotta look to your past. Look to your past, and if you don’t want your future to become a shadow of your past then you’ve got to do something at this present moment in time to change that…

Our ancestors weren’t followers. They weren’t followers. Mom and dad, our grandfathers, they weren’t followers. You think about it. They came here for a better future for you. A better future for you. They left their homeland.  They left their parents, their family to come here for a better life for you. Its your turn. It’s your turn to man up. Break the cycle…

You can make this work… Take a good look at yourself and ask the hard question: am I really willing to change?

The Return of Linkin Park?

Recently read:

IGN: Will we see any new material from Fort Minor?

Shinoda: I’m putting all my Fort Minor energy into the new Linkin Park album. You never know which tracks will make the final cut, but hopefully there will be more rapping, and some big beats on the new LP record!

Thank goodness — no more of this bland Minutes to Midnight nonsense!

Amazon MP3

I’m not sure if I’ve ever posted to the effect, but I was turned off to the iTunes music store as soon as they upgraded their DRM, breaking the tool I was using that allowed me to continue using my music player of preference, foobar2000.

In conversations since then, I have always maintained that I would become a music consumer once again as soon as I found a store that would sell me the music I wanted without the stupid (breakable) strings attached that came with other services. For example, it would have been easy enough to burn my iTunes music to a CD, and then rip it using EAC and encode it with LAME, but that required work that I didn’t have to do if I just typed a name into eMule and downloaded the song in a few minutes.

I am happy to announce that I have recently discovered the store that I was looking for, and to find it I didn’t have to go very far. Local retail powerhouse has introduced high-quality DRM-free MP3s at a reasonable price at the Amazon MP3 Store. I am once again a music consumer. See, music industry, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Silverfir Productions

Last night, in yet another sign that the music industry establishment is in its death throes, I went into the music production business. Local artist Daniel Moretti decided to cash in a four-year-old coupon to hold a studio session at Chez McElroy. The result of about five hours of work is a four-minute-long song that is a quite impressive piece of music, although I still need to do a little production work on it. Entitled “Over and Over,” download it below for a listen!

Daniel Moretti – Over and Over

Minutes to Midnight: Moments to Mediocrity

Linkin Park has been my favorite band every since I personally discovered them sometime in 2002. Just about everything they did over three and a half albums (I count Reanimation as a full offering; Live in Texas gets the 1/2 tag) was golden to me. Although I did enjoy songs such as Papercut and One Step Closer, it was the more varied and softer songs that retained edge that really did it for me — Crawling, Easier to Run, My December, Pushing Me Away (Remixed).

Then something happened; I’m not sure what. Linkin Park mashed with Jay-Z in Collision Course and produced a bunch of music that had no real substance despite a few offerings having some catch. But I’ve already complained about that offering, so I will move on. Mike Shinoda made it clear that he still has what it takes to make compelling music with his Fort Minor work. So, I thought maybe Linkin Park would be back on track when they finally got around to releasing their latest album, Minutes to Midnight.

In case you haven’t guessed by the title, the album sucks. It is serious, hard core complete drivel. The first song I heard from it, What I’ve Done is dull and hopelessly boring (though I will admit that it was just a bit catchy after I listened to it a few times). Still, I knew it was not going to be a song to ever infiltrate my favorites list, which is significant because 90% of Linkin Park’s tracks are in my favorites. What makes this all so much worse is that What I’ve Done, from what I’ve been able to hear, is in fact the best song on the entire album. Linkin Park has completely lost its way. This is terribly disappointing because they are capable of making music that works with me on so many levels — more so than any other band ever — and they were able to do this in so many ways, from haunting start of Crawling to the screaming end of Faint. I fear they will never make it back there. I hope I am wrong.