New King’s X

King’s X released a new record for the first time in 14 years today. I’m afraid to listen to it. Their music has never let me down (well… Manic Moonlight and Black Like Sunday and parts of Faith Hope Love just plain suck, but for the most part the statement holds) but lyrically… oh brother. I can handle the christianity, but when the christianity leans into conservative politics well… puke. There was a solo album that came out not long ago that had one song that made me so mad I never listened to the album again. I pretend it doesn’t exist. There’s also that one fucking song on Faith Hope Love… you know the one. I wanted to smack the three of them for that one. Right in their faces.

Now… given the current climate… if they go political on this record it’s going to color everything and I may never give them another listen again. This is one of my all time favorite bands, and I fear I am going to get so pissed off at them that I’ll never listen to them again. That’s how nervous I am about listening to this record.

And yet I am compelled to listen. The three of them together… they are just too insanely good to ignore. I have to at least give them the chance to let me down.

Okay… I’m listening. I have to admit that I am doing my best not to focus on the lyrics. My first listen is just for the killer playing and the insanely good melodies and harmonies. Fingers crossed.

Hey, can I embed an Apple Music album into

I guess not. Maybe I’ll try again later with Tidal. Not spotify though. Fuck those assholes.

ADDENDUM: I’ve listened through it twice. It’s good. I still haven’t let myself dig into the lyrics, but the grooves on a few songs are sick like you’ve always dreamed of.

My one surprise: Three Jerry songs? There have only been three Jerry songs in the entire catalog, I think, and here we have three more? The first Jerry song is on Faith Hope Love and it’s the worst song on a not very good album, by far. The second is on Ear Candy and it’s the worst song they had recorded to date. Hell, it might still be the worst song they’ve done. The third was on… XV? I think? Or was it on Ogre Tones? It’s a great song. It’s an absolute killer. He did a solo album too, and that album is pretty good. Now we have three more Jerry songs. Two of them are pretty good. The third isn’t bad, it’s just kinda forgettable.

Also, one song has some old fashioned Dug screaming. I think it’s been a long time since Dug just let it rip like that. I bet it hurt. I bet he couldn’t speak for a week after recording that track.

Also, also, there are only a couple of guitar solos that grabbed me. Ty might be backing off a smidge on this one. His playing is great though, as always. His voice… now this is not a criticism, it is only a comment and it’s not meant to be good or bad it’s just something I noticed… I think he’s starting to sound… old? You know how a lot of vocalists hit a certain age and you can kind of hear it? Jerry’s like that. Dug is 150 years old (approximately) and he still sounds like he’s 25. Prior to this I would have said the same about Ty (except maybe he’s 90 years old instead of 150… something like that) but not really anymore. Also, is his accent thicker? Weird. He’s a friggin’ god though, so if he wants to sound his age then more power to him.

And that is my very dumb review on the new King’s X album. Go listen to it… or maybe I should say Go Tell Somebody*.

*Yes, you’ve guessed it. King’s X once recorded a song called Go Tell Somebody. You see what I did there?

The Bruins Win

The Bruins beat the Coyotes 2-1. Hard to believe it was that close against a team that bad. I’ll take it though.

The question now is, why am I still awake? The game is over. Go to bed.

My Apple Watch is charged. I was waiting for that but it’s done so go to bed.

I’m listening to music, but I can do that in the morning. Go to sleep.

I’ve got a little cut on the inside of my upper lip. Now that’s a good reason to still be awake, but it’s not that good a reason. Go to sleep.

Okay already. I’ll go to sleep. Sheesh, lay off, you jerk.

Good night.

Music Streaming Guilt

I have been sharing stuff from Twitter and Instagram pretty regularly lately and I feel kinda icky about it. It feels like cheating. I should stop, but it’s a safe way to share something someone else creates while giving credit where credit is due, you know?

Anyway, this was trending on Twitter earlier. It is probably the only time you will ever see me reference T-Pain, but there you go.

If you subscribe to a music streaming service, prepare to feel guilty…

Q: How much is a stream actually worth to the artist?

I don’t know if you can see the whole image, but Spotify is on the list under YouTubeMusic, and it is 315 streams for one dollar.

How is Napster paying the highest rate? How did that happen. Napster, of all companies. Tidal, I can see. That company was started by recording artists, but Napster? The company that almost single handedly ended the recording industry?

I really wish Apple was paying out at more than a penny a stream. Feel that guilt, kids. Feel it just piling on. Gross. I suppose being third best is better than being YouTube Music. Here’s hoping this post leads to YouTube Music making some massive changes. What the hell, Google? Pay the damn artists.

This makes me want to go and buy some merch. That’s pretty much the only way artists can make money off of me in Covid-Land where concerts don’t exist.

12/30 Random

Tomorrow is New Years Eve. I have to work. We never get NYE off. We get Christmas Eve off, but never NYE. Why don’t I ever put in for that day? I don’t know… I guess I’m just responsible. Idiot.

Speaking of work, late next week I am going to be issued a new computer. A laptop this time. 16+ years as a desktop user and I’m making the switch. Actually, we’re all making the switch. At least that’s the rumor. The company is going laptop across the board. I’m actually the last of my group to get one. No more trying to find an open desk when I travel between buildings.

Traveling between buildings is actually the issue here. I actually have to do it in order to pick up the lappy. I have to go to the building in Canton. I don’t want to. Not even a little bit. I haven’t been in a work building since March 13th and I was really hoping to stay out until I got that second dose of one of the vaccines. I have to do all sorts of health checks before I can walk into the building, and I have to wear a mask the whole time. It’s safe, I just don’t like it. I’ll only be in there for 15 minutes or so. Still… I’m freaking a little. Just a little.

Speaking of work things that don’t have anything to do with work, I’m sitting at my desk finishing up lunch, typing this little postie and listening to music. My iPad is streaming to our new pair of HomePod Minis. It’s a really sweet little setup. I set my entire iTunes library to shuffle. It’s been running since a bit before 9:00. If I leave it on for a few days it still won’t have repeated a file. It just played a song from a Boston music compilation CD (Pipeline!) by a great band called Christmas. I thought to myself, I wonder if they are on Apple Music. I brought it up and searched and… yeah, shoulda known better. Naming your band Christmas back in the ’80’s might have been a cool move. Naming your band Christmas in the ’20’s when no one goes to record stores anymore and everyone finds your music by searching in one app or another… not a good move.

The kids are coming over tonight. That makes me happy. The kids are spending New Years Eve at their dad’s. That makes me sad. It’s the price we pay for having them at our house Christmas morning, but it still makes me sad.

Okay, it’s 2:00 so I need to get back to work. Lunch time is over. Back to it, red head.

The Upside of Streaming Music Services

I keep looking for the upside to streaming music services.  Apple music is nice because I can add tracks that I don’t physically own to playlists made up of tracks I do own.  That’s cool.  Also not having to buy individual records is okay, I guess, but for bands I really care about I still do.  So that’s a wash I guess.

The real upside though is browsing.  Assuming the service you are using has a wide enough catalog, you can dig into things that years ago you wouldn’t have exposed yourself too for whatever reason.  Personal case in point, Peter Green.  I knew him by reputation and a small handful of Fleetwood Mac songs, but that was it.  A couple of nights ago I was poking around on Spotify and stumbled on a multi-disc compilation of his music.  I gave it a spin and really liked it.  So what other British blues guitarists did I over look when I was a kid that I can give a chance today?  Rory Gallagher came to mind.  Good stuff.  Maybe not quite as good as his contemporaries, but I liked what I heard a lot.  Gary Moore?  Sure.  I remember back in 1990 holding the Still Got the Blues record in my hand and wondering whether or not I should just buy it.  I never did.  I’ve listened to a lot of it now.  I should have bought it back then.

So I’m thinking… blues guitarists… 1980’s-ish… who can I check on?  I know, Robert Cray.  I liked him back then, but I never came to really like him.  You know what I mean?  I found a compilation record and started listening.  Holy Shit!  This is SO much better than I remembered!  Even the songs I knew, “Smoking Gun” and “Phonebooth” and a couple others are way better than I remembered.  Why wasn’t “Smoking Gun” the biggest hit ever?  This song rules!  Is it possible that my tastes changed between the ages of 15 and 45?

I might be starting to come around on the whole streaming music thing, even though I know in my soul that they are screwing artists left and right.  Call me conflicted.

Apple Music Bug

Has anyone else seen this bug in Apple Music?

I am an album guy.  I generally listen to music in album format.  I don’t just pick a few songs to listen to, I pick full albums and listen to the whole thing.  That’s how I learned to love music, and that’s how I listen to it today.

The last three times I’ve picked an album to listen to via Apple Music it has screwed up the track listing.  It gets the correct songs, but the wrong recordings.  When Trevor Rabin announced he and Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman might be touring soon I brought up Yes’ 90125 album.  The first song, Owner of a Lonely Heart, was the wrong version.  It was a live version from one of the not-so-great late 90’s live albums.  When I heard Paul Kantner had died I pulled up Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers album.  The song The Farm, which is a throw away anyway, was not the album version.  It was a live version from a recent live record that had a near bootleg quality to it.  It wasn’t good.  Tonight on the ride home I used Siri to bring up Batten the Hatches by Jenny Owen Youngs.  The version of Fuck was I was actually a b-side instead of the album version.

How about we fix this little issue, oh Apple.  Soon.  Because it’s seriously pissing me off.  Stop screwing with my favorite albums, damn it!  I’m going to have to go back to effin’ spoitfy, and I don’t want to go back to effin’ spotify.

Apple Music

Apple Music is missing something. I haven’t noticed until just now. Spotify lets you embed playlists into other social platforms. I can show playlists and albums here, or on Facebook, or wherever. Apple Music does not give you that option. There is a little share menu but it only sends links to a couple of places. Email, Messages, Twitter, Facebook. The usual. I just tested drove it with Facebook and the link didn’t even work. Also, in reference to my previous post, I referred to Apple Music as iTunes Music because I am dumb, dumb, dumb and have the memory of a twig. Urgh.

Anyway, just for fun lets test the link here too. Does this bring you to the latest Robin Trower record? I bet it doesn’t…

Apple Music Fail

It was just a matter of time, but this iTunes Match user (who generally sings the service’s praises) just found an instance of the Apple Music bug where Match users are finding that songs have been removed from their My Music libraries.  Tracks 1-3 of the Rush Vapor Trails remix are gone, gone gone.

Hey Apple… I want my missing files back.

I sure hope the last backup I did has everything that Apple removed.

Addendum: The bug is dumber than I thought.  I organize my iTunes library in playlists.  Every song I have exists in at least one playlist, and when I use iTunes, the playlist view is the only one I ever use.  When I’m using my iPhone or iPad it sometimes feels faster to find what I want to listen to by pulling up the artist, and then drilling down to the album.  That’s what I did when I noticed the Apple Music bug.  The full album exists in Apple Music, just not under the artist/album in My Music.

Those three songs appear in about 1000000000 different versions in My Music (ah bootlegs), so I thought I’d search for one of them and see if any others disappeared.  Imagine my surprise when not only did I not notice any other versions of “One Little Victory” missing from the search results, but the remix album version actually appeared and I could click it and play it.  Well, that’s dumb.  It’s still labeled correctly, but it shows up in search but not in the album itself.  Right.  Dumb.

I then thought, I made a playlist for Vapor Trails that included the album, the remixed album, and the couple of additional remixed songs from a compilation album.  I went to my playlists… and the missing songs were all there (“Ceiling Unlimited – Remix” is playing in my ear buds as I type this).

Well… that’s just… Dumb.

Fix this please, Apple.  Fix it soon.

Apple Music

I was messing around with AppleMusic today.  I was running it on an iPad Air 2 and streaming through an Apple TV.  Verdict?  Crashtastic!  Almost every time I viewed a large artist page (meaning it had a scroll bar) and tried to scroll to the bottom it would hang for a few moments and then crash.  Let’s get on that bug, Apple!