Sunday, April 14, 2013

TO SALEM AND BACK WITH SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT SPOTIFY AND SLOW-JOGGING TO AFRO POP





Did a little solo opener last night with The My Oh My's at Venti's Cafe and Taphouse in Salem, Tracy and Pablo riding shotgun.  Venti's is a converted Carrow's restaurant, given kind of a cool mid-century makeover.  The food was really good and the beer list is mind-blowing, really deep.  If a taphouse with six different kinds of sour beers is up your alley, Venti's is the place.  (I have been abstaining from such things of late, which is why I'm up at 8:30 writing about it.)  We tried the mezzo plate, the falafel plate, and the tofu in peanut sauce.  The crowd was friendly and I saw a few familiar faces, had a good time singing and playing.  

Here's the set list I played, conveyed in Bandcamp form, as near as I can recall.  Some in demo form, minus "Lazy Larry on The Lowdown."  (Pia Robbins is in the process of overdubbing some keys and whatnot on Golden Motors ramp-ups of the songs in demo format here.  Obviously I am not keeping these things secret until the record appears at your record store.  It's all one big 8-bean salad, for me.  Don't forget to write.)  Bandcamp has been given a makeover lately and it is better than ever.


 
Earlier in the day I finally knuckled under--as did the Royals against Mr. Dickey at The K--and signed up for a trial run of Spotify Premium. My considered and ethical plan of snagging torrents of vinyl I own broke down when I discovered alot of the vinyl I own isn't really out there in torrent land. I assumed my plum wore out Die Kreuzen records would be readily available. Not so. My tastes aren't super obscuro so I was kind of surprised at that. 

Anyhow, I did a test run of Spotify at the track, giving Tony Allen's Secret Agent a spin. (Brian Eno called Tony Allen, Fela's drummer and musical director, the greatest drummer in the world.) This afro-pop record was a perfect running soundtrack. Afro-pop is soothing and full of joy at the same time. (The thought of Tony Allen living in Paris and jamming on drums with all that cosmopolitan action outside his window is a beautiful picture indeed. I wonder if he ever goes that record store near L'Arene de Lutece?).  Now I can go out and buy this record on vinyl while it lives in the cloud, available on my phone. 

On the way up to Salem we listened to old soul on Spotify (Temptations, Sam and Dave, O Jays) and on the way back, Paul Westerberg. I like Spotify. As a musician I wish the micro payments were in dollars, rather than fractions of pennies, but I like the tracking aspect, knowing someone is listening. And as a consumer I  know the artist is getting some remuneration as well. Or their label, or whatever byzantine pathway applies.
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