Showing posts with label NPR. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NPR. Show all posts

Friday, June 22, 2012

She Doesn't Want to Pay for Music

Everybody, it seems, is commenting on Emily White's blog post on, titled, "I Never Owned Any Music To Begin With".

I'm not entirely sure what the big fuss is about, frankly.  In fact, her post really doesn't make much sense (I blame the public school system). 

It appears she's saying that she likes streaming music, she might buy a single song here and there, but no way is she actually going to pay for an album.  Not when she can "swap" music with her friends.  She admits that she stole a bunch of music in her younger days, but kids will be kids.  Of course, she doesn't call it "stealing"; just "ripping".  She also is keen to "support" her favorite bands, but she's not sure how to do that, other than to buy their T-shirts.

She's only purchased 15 CD's in her lifetime; yet her iTunes library exceeds 11,000 songs.

Emily is all about the "convenience".

Convenience is important in our all-too-harried world.  I, for instance, love my cup of coffee in the morning.  So, I stroll into my local Starbucks on the way to work and "rip" me a free cup.  It's just so much more convenient that way.  I don't have to dig into my purse, find some loose change, or a dollar bill or two.  I wish there was a way to "stream" a cup of coffee into my hand every day.  I would just love that.

Someday I might buy one of those Starbucks logo stickers and paste it up in the back windshield of my car.  That way, I can say that I truly support Starbucks, while I pilfer free cups of coffee.  If only there was a way to swap cups of coffee with my friends.  Maybe someday, some smart entrepreneur will invent something like that.  My friends and I would totally use that method.

Some days, after work, when I'm tired, I stop at the local McDonald's drive-through on my way home.  I shout my order into the speaker on the wall, and then I just whiz right on by that guy holding out his hand for money; right on to Window #2 to grab my food.  It's so much more convenient that way.  Oh, I do get some quizzical looks from the "help", but I feel that they just need to get with the times.  I'm busy! 

I found a cute top at Target the other day.  I was lucky to find it in my size!  I only stopped in to pick up some dental floss and a tub of hummus, when I happened to take a shortcut through the Isaac Mizrahi collection, and there it was!  I didn't even bother to try it on!  I just grabbed it, stuffed the container of hummus under my arm, and marched right on out of the store!  Time was short!  Some guy tried to follow me, but I just strode confidently and purposely to my car, slid into the driver's seat and pealed away.  I had stuff to do!  I want to say here and now that I absolutely support Target.  If there's ever something in a Target store that I feel justifies me paying money for it, you can bet I will do it!  If not, I will just swap clothes with my friends.  None of them paid for their clothes, either, because they are busy, just like me.

As you can imagine, I like my reality TV!  In fact, that's why I'm in such a hurry most days.  I need to get home to queue up my shows on the DVR.  Oh, I don't actually pay for cable.  My neighbor next door pays for it (he's from the old school), so one of my friends showed me how to tap into my neighbor's connection (I call it "ripping").  It sure saves me from having to pay a cable bill every month!  Talk about convenience!  I have tons of TV shows saved on my DVR, and I never paid a penny for any of them!

I don't know about you, but I get really irritated when I've just finished up a nice restaurant meal with a bunch of my friends, and some "wait person" walks over and slaps a tab down on my table!  People can be so rude!  My friends and I are having a really engrossing conversation, and we're interrupted like that!  Well, we just get up when we're ready to go, keep on talking and laughing, and stroll our way out of that fascist establishment.  Nobody dares stop us, because they can see that we have more important things to do than dawdle idly at a cash register and pay.

In essence, what I'm trying to say is, what's the big deal about stealing music?  I honestly don't get it. Times have changed.  Our generation is not one to fawn over Bob Dillan or whoever, and save up our pennies to buy his or her latest mp3.  Although we would totally support him or her by buying a sticker or a T-shirt, if we liked him or her, or knew who he/she was.

No, what we really want is free music everywhere, all the time.  And I've heard all the arguments about, oh, he spent a hundred hours making up a song, and then recording it and doing a whole bunch of takes, just to get it right.  Oh, boo hoo.  And I spend at least an hour at the nail salon every week, getting my pedicure!  Does anyone feel sorry for me? 

If it's fast and if it's convenient, and mostly, if it's free, I might give an artist a second glance.  Otherwise, he is just totally wasting my precious time.

And if it's good, and I really like the song, I will play it, oh, about a thousand times, and sing along in the car.  And I will feel really jubilant. 

But is that worth paying for?  Give me a break!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Golden Voices

NPR (one of my faves?) has an online article, titled, "50 Great Voices".

Lists such as these are always interesting, but are generally consensual ~ a group of individuals gets together and hashes out their mutual top 50; weeding and eliminating and ranking artists as they go.

Music, however, is personal, emotional, and, I believe, mostly biographical.  Perhaps most of us can agree that certain voices are technically superior.  That does not account, however, for each of our life stories, and the way certain singers have influenced our own lives.  It's not necessarily the vocal prowess; often it's the way they have laid their hand upon our shoulder.     

And who, really, can even think of their own top singers, without first hearing them and realizing, hey!  This is one of my top singers!  Truly, one cannot even narrow the list to 50.  Somebody else is inevitably going to pop up; someone we hadn't even thought about.

I do know who my ultimate favorite singer is, but, in fairness, I have had almost 60 years to ponder the question (although I don't think I actually ever pondered it.  Maybe I did, when I was around 13, but what did I know then?)

But, for fun tonight, I thought I would search out some video performances of singers I really like.  All of them may not be the world's greatest singers, but don't forget the emotional and biographical aspect of this exercise.

There is no order to this, so I'm not ranking anybody.  I will, however, save the best for last (at least my best).

Steve Perry

Burton Cummings (and the Guess Who)

Art Garfunkel

Sam Cooke

Gordon Lightfoot

Daryl Hall (Hall & Oates)

Al Green (yea, the real one)

John Lennon (and the Beatles)

Eddie Brigati (and the Rascals)

Brian Wilson (and the Beach Boys)

Bill Medley (and the Righteous Brothers)

Connie Smith

Gene Watson

Tammy Wynette

Patsy Cline

Merle Haggard

George Strait

Dwight Yoakam

Roy Orbison

I know I have left out a bunch.  Inevitably.  I'm one of those people who is all about the songs, more so than the singers, usually.  I mean, if I was just going to list songs, I'd include Sheena Easton here.  Seriously. And ABBA.

I did try, however, to include the singers whose bodies of work are, to me, indisputable.

And yes, Alex, ultimately, I will go with Roy Orbison for the win.  I've heard a bunch in my 57 years, but I have never, and will never, hear one better.

But the question remains....Who are your golden voices?  Let me know, please.   I would love to discover artists I've missed, or don't even know about.

What's better than sharing music?  Nothin'.