Jeremy Felt

Thoughts for the week’s end

Local H’s new album, Lifers, came out last week and I’m having a lot of fun with it. Sometimes you just need some heavy rock and roll.

Their 1998 album, Pack up the Cats, has one of the closest-to-perfect track combinations ever put together. The way that tracks 4, 5, and 6 flow into each other is beautiful and still brings me so much joy every time I listen.

Tracks 8, 9, and 10 on the new album bleed together in a very similar way, just darker. So happy with this album.

More music. I’ve decided to get an electric guitar again. In hind sight, selling my guitar and corresponding gear back in 2011 was one of my least favorite decisions. It’d be so nice right now to have the half stack, a full array of pedals, and a guitar to just jam out on.

And in 2020! All of the tools available for recording music that surpass the creative ways we mangled things into a 4 track tape deck. I’m pretty excited.

Om’s post on rethinking how we support music really struck a chord (hahaha) with me this week.

In the Napster era, I downloaded a lot of MP3s. It was my way of researching music and opening doors I wouldn’t have known existed otherwise. We spent the weekends hopping between a handful of places to get used CDs and I filled in the research with actual purchases.

If I didn’t have Napster, there’s at least some chance that I wouldn’t have purchased as much music as I did. I also have no idea how the resale of used CDs works, so maybe I wasn’t really supporting anyone.

Now that I use Spotify—and previously, Rdio—for almost every second of music in my life, I don’t purchase music anymore. There’s no need because everything is at my fingertips and I “pay” for it with a subscription.

Really, I’m listening to the radio all day. But it’s a radio I have full control over and will play just about anything I tell it. This is fine for larger, more established artists that either have enough streams or have a more diverse income stream, but probably doesn’t do any favors to new artists. Even though it acts as a way for those artists to “easily” reach wider audiences.

Anyhow. I’m sure I need to complete some more thoughts there, but I do like the idea of buying albums again where it makes sense. And I joined Bandcamp finally, so I guess Om’s post worked. 😂

An example. I enjoy a lot of Spotify’s genre based playlists. Every once and a while I’ll go to something like “The Pulse of Icelandic Experimental” to try and find something that fits with focused work. This week, one of the first few songs on the playlist was “Changes“, a track from Jason Singh’s Water Songs. As soon as the trumpet started I stopped working and went to find out who it was. Luckily, Yazz Ahmed was listed as a feature musician on the track. I then looked up her stuff and ended up listening to all 3 of her albums in a row.

Then! I made my first purchase on Bandcamp. I bought the digital version of Ahmed’s album, La Saboteuse, and downloaded the FLAC files. When I streamed them to the Sonos the first time, I could immediately pick up on the difference in audio quality.

So. I guess that’s a decent example of how “radio” led to discovery led to supporting an artist in a more direct way.

The trumpet really is a great instrument. It ends up being a common denominator in much of the music I enjoy writing or working to.

I’m not done with music yet. Another album I have a lot of fun working to now is Kælan Mikla‘s Nótt eftir nótt. It’s dark and haunting in a strangely peaceful way. I don’t know how to really explain it, though I do know the vocals first reminded me of something like Le Tigre or Bikini Kill when I first ran into it.

Today I listened to it and started staring at the second track, Nornalagið and got interested in the ð character. If Google Translate is correct, Nornalagið means “witch song” in Icelandic. The ð itself is an eth and, from my quick I’m not a linguist reading, is pronounced like the th in this, except never happens at the beginning of a word.

Any ways. It better come up as a crossword clue now because I’m not forgetting that one.

I’ve had Twitter blocked on my laptop (again) for over a week now. Once every couple days I come soooooo very close to removing the firewall rules. I then recover and just get myself to close the tab I was trying to use Twitter in and go about my day.

I finally broke down so that I could post an amazing photo of my 20-year-old self in blue hair from Cycle Pinsetter’s 1999 Halloween show. That was a good time.

I came across the word antinomianism while reading Orwell’s essay on Charles Dickens.

The next morning I woke up and read how CREC churches (overall, a relatively small group, but one with a couple local congregations) have announced that they will soon start ignoring states’ isolation orders.

What’s the opposite of serendipity?

I couldn’t help but end on a non-musical note.

Sorry. 🙈

Enjoy your weekend, your coffee, your tea, your beer!

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