Archive: December 2008

On the playlist, or I wish the eMusic account hold were a bit more flexible

I’ve complained a few times already that the eMusic "use ’em or lose ’em" policy forces users to think quantitatively about their download quota, rather than qualitatively. Some months, I just don’t want to get anything, and they’re usually interspersed with other months where I know an anticipated new release is going to appear on the service soon.

A few days ago, I logged into my account information to see when the next expiration date of my quota would be, when I saw an option for "Account Hold". It’s what I wanted from eMusic — a chance to put my account on hold without having to cancel it outright. But it comes with a few strings.

First, you can only put your account on hold twice a year, but you can put it on hold for up to 90 days (three months) each time. If I had the will power, I could put my account on hold for six months, then go hog wild afterward. I can end the hold anytime by logging in, but it’s unclear whether the act itself deactivates the hold or if I have to disable it from the options. If I were evil, I would make it the former. (And I am evil.)

eMusic developers must read my blog, or they know enough about user behavior to craft this feature in that way. I want to be able to spread this deactivation throughout the year at any time. But it would really fly in the face of a subscription model. In that case, I should move over to Lala completely.

So I doubt I’ll be using it, since there’s a few centuries worth of repertoire — and still much music from the 20th Century — to explore. I can imagine at some point, my eMusic will be my exclusive conduit to classical music. As such, I used up December’s quota two weeks ago. January is waiting.

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I should have covered Do As Infinity’s ‘We Are’

I keep blaming Eponymous 4 for why I never update this site. Well, I offer this cover of Utada Hikaru’s “Be My Last” as a Christmas offering to Musicwhore.org readers. I really should have covered Do As Infinity’s “We are”, since that’s an actualy Christmas song.

Tomorrow, I might post a Shiina Ringo cover.

On Holidailies

For some reason, I decided to sign up for Holidailies this year. It’s a month-long writing challenge to update a blog every day for the month of December, and it’s hosted by some friends of mine. I didn’t sign up Musicwhore.org, though — I signed up my Vox site instead.

Yeah, I know. I’ve got a backlog that I keep complaining about, and a month-long writing challenge should have caught me up. But my Vox blog is incredibly neglected, and I ought to show it some attention.

I’m still working in the studio, and I’m still busy at work, which means I’m pretty much taking a vacation from Musicwhore.org this month. Newsworthy items will always spur me to post, but for the time being, let’s say see you in the New Year.

… Trail of Dead album arrives Feb. 17, Wendy & Lisa album out now

Billboard.com lists Feb. 17 as the release date for … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead’s next album, titled The Century of Self. It will be the first release on the band’s own label, Richter Scale Records. Conrad Keely says this time, the band took a less meticulous approach, getting rid of click tracks and recording live. The Billboard article describes a few tracks from the album, and it sounds like the more prog-rock leanings of the last two albums haven’t been totally abandoned.

A while back, an item on Pause & Play led me to believe a new Wendy & Lisa album would be out in September. That is clearly not the case, since the duo relaunched their website yesterday (Dec. 9, 2008) with their new album, White Flags of Winter Chimneys, on sale. The album is available now as a digital download, with a CD release following in March 2009.

STRAIGHTENER releases new album in February

STRAIGHTENER is set to release their new album in February, reports Bounce.com. The title hasn’t been announced, but the sound of the album has been "scaled up", according to the article. Not sure what that really means. New member Ooyama Jun, who was a former member of ART-SCHOOL, was featured on the band’s most recent single "Little Miss Weekend".

I haven’t really been paying too much attention to STRAIGHTENER for the past two albums, but with one half of ART-SCHOOL playing in a band that’s quite similar, I think I might check this next album out.

Favorite edition 2008: Quarter final

November is done, and December isn’t big on releases. So I’m calling it — my Favorite Edition list for 2008.

A number of titles got bumped around — or bumped off — the list for this final draft, but I have to say 2008 has been a near embarrassment of riches. Competition for this list was really stiff, with a lot of albums getting heavy play time on my media player. I even like the ones I didn’t absolutely love.

If there was an overall theme to this year, it was the number of releases by gay artists I actually liked. Most of the time I run across someone name-dropped in the Advocate or Out, they tend to fall into two genres: wispy folk music or club music. This year, I’ve run across musicians either pushing the boundaries of those constraints or working outside them altogether.

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VOLA & THE ORIENTAL MACHINE announce new guitarist

Guitarist Narahara Eisuke has joined VOLA & THE ORIENTAL MACHINE as a full-time member, reports Bounce.com. Narahara performed with VOLA as a support player after original guitarist Aoki Yutaka left the band to concentrate on unkie. According to the band’s official site, Narahara plays a Fender Jazzmaster and is influenced by Thurston Moore, Kevin Shields and Nels Cline. He also plays violin and keyboards.