Posts filed under 'Music'

An angsty atheist country music star? Is that even allowed?

I don’t like country music. I’m being up front and honest here but I can’t stand it, and my prejudiced ears ache whenever I hear those steel guitars sliding up and down and the southern drawl singing. To repeat something I heard years ago, everytime I hear country music I can feel myself become more stupid. It’s the musical equivalent of fingernails scraping down a blackboard.

If you asked me to sum up country music in words I’d say “god, america and apple pie”. Then while listening to podcasts of Penn Radio, a caller mentioned an atheist country star called Robbie Fulks.

I downloaded a few of his songs, including one called “God Isn’t Real” which is a heartfelt song about the evident non-existence of any god, a viewpoint I completely share.

But it’s country music, with steel guitars.

I could feel myself become more stupid the longer I listened – even though they lyrics were intelligent and I actually agree with them.

However, I am pleased that there’s an out-atheist in the country music scene, statistically there should be lots of them but like being an atheist politician, being an atheist country musician is probably seen as a bad career choice.

More power to him, I hope he does some good, but it’s really not for me.


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1 comment February 2nd, 2007

Here’s how to stop music piracy

How about this for a way to stop people downloading music illegally, give them value for money!

Frankly, most cds are over priced for what you get, a few decent tracks with some filler, which has done the job of annoying people to the point where they’ll just download the tracks they like and ignore the rest.

I don’t do this, however. I read a couple of music magazines, and if there’s a review that sounds like something I’d like then I download the whole album (illegally, natch) and listen to it. If I like it, I buy the album because I happen to like having physical media to hand instead of abstractions like mp3s. This solves two problems: firstly, I don’t end up with albums I hate and regret buying; and secondly I get to support the artists I truly enjoy.

Two examples:

Although it’s outside of my normal musical tastes, I really enjoyed the song “Hey Ya!”  by OutKast, so I downloaded the album “Speakerboxxx / The Love Below” and checked it out. It turned out that “Hey Ya!” was the only decent song on there, the rest I positively hated. Had I bought the album I would have been very annoyed indeed.

On the other hand, I’m a big “Weird Al” fan, I’ve got all of his albums that have made it to my side of the pond, and learning that he had a new one coming out I sought out ‘pre release’ copy that was floating around the web, which I enjoyed. When I found out that the album was being released as a DualDisc with a whole bunch of extras, including the whole album remixed in 5.1 DVD-A, plus music videos and karaoke versions, I knew I had to have it.

Finding the dualdisc in the UK proved to be something of a bind, so I ordered it from Amazon US and it arrived a healthy 7 days later for the princely sum of $25 including shipping; at the current exchange rate that is actually lower than the retail price for normal UK cds, which of I course I never pay as I buy online, but still.

So, by adding lots of content that would be annoying to download, and showing that he cares about his fans I bought the album. Conversely, had I hated it based upon the mp3s I downloaded I wouldn’t have bought it, and I wouldn’t be annoyed as a result. So, everyone wins.

Music labels, give people compelling reasons to buy a CD instead of just downloading it for free, and you will get sales, it’s hardly rocket science is it?

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October 4th, 2006


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