. . . is discouraging. Sunshine is welcome, of course, but bright sunshine over a fresh blanket of snow means only one thing: it is very, very cold outside.
I’ll force myself out later. If something brilliant occurs to me, I’ll come back and share. In the meantime, here are some links to material that’s been rattling around my brain-pan.
“The player is not what this is about. It’s about the files” -- Neil Young being Neil Young.
I am a reluctant iPod user, not a fan. But even so, Neil’s lost me on this particular venture, because his claims are baffling.
It is about the files, yes. There are bajillions of inferior-sounding mp3s in circulation, and the m4a files Apple sells on iTunes are of varying quality. Neil is selling FLAC files, and those can indeed sound pleasantly fat.
But c’mon: Neil’s 20 years older than I am, and he’s been playing rock concerts since before I was born. His ears must be in worse shape. Give me the CD and I daresay I could rip an mp3 that is indistinguishable from the FLAC.
The problem for audiophiles of a certain age is not the file format, it is the mastering or remastering that went into the file. And there is a tonne of older material, including Neil’s, that could stand remastering. The big bad record companies all know this, btw. Hence the recent, spanky offerings of old Beatles and Led Zeppelin discs. RUSH is putting a little spit and polish on their back catalog. Say, where’s the shined-up Steely Dan?
Neil Young, RUSH . . . Canadian-bred acts that have stubbornly followed their own muses and stuck to their own unique creative code.
|"Record? With Nickelback? Do I have to wear pants?"|
“I went to LA and I wrote with a team that produced all the Nickleback stuff . . . And I hate it in such a way that it is hard for me to quantify.” Hm. Seems Devin Townsend is cut of similar cloth. Here is his account of what went down.
Speaking of RUSH, drummer Neal Peart doesn’t give many interviews, but he sat down with CBC’s Shelagh Rogers to discuss his latest book, over here. It is a short, reliably erudite and lovely exchange.
And speaking of Led Zeppelin, I recently posted this passage from Stephen Davis’ LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicle of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour. The entire book, like this passage, is terrifically evocative of that particular time. Also, not a little eerie -- as befits the subject, and the era.
Finally: if forced to choose between pulling a tooth or reading yet another “Here’s how I wrote my latest novel -- in bookstores now” article, I might just opt for the pliers. Jeff VanderMeer’s account of writing three novels in a year is different. If a writer can make something like that entertaining, the books themselves might be worth a look.