Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Music- When More Is Less

The powers that be in the recording industry have found a new way to make money while exercising minimum effort. They are releasing CD's containing various remixes of a single song and calling it an album.

R. Kelly's recent song, "Trapped In The Closet", is repeated in countless versions on no less than FOUR entire CD's! But at least it's a new song.

"Looking For A New Love" by Jody Watley is one of a long line of disposable, long forgotten, late 80's dance tracks. It came and went as most hits do. Or so we thought.

Only those who see value in beating a dead horse will appreciate this new release, featuring eleven remixes of this decrepit, nearly twenty year old, pop dance track. It's called "pop" music for a reason.

One of these "songs" is a total of 31 seconds. Another is 36 seconds. One is simply a short vocal track with echo added to it.

This regurgitation is a crass attempt to generate new profits from an old product, nothing more. Bring in some "DJs", pay them a couple of bucks to do "remixes" and release an album!

Watley herself may never see a dime from this. Unfortunately, the record companies may discover this is a great profit generating idea and it will only encourage them.

Let's hope this disturbing trend doesn't continue. Otherwise we may soon have to put up with Billy Ray Cyrus's "Achy Breaky Heart- The Remix Album" or Kajagoogoo's "Too Shy" Versions 1-13 Remixed".

The original "Looking For A New Love" was fun while it lasted. Jody had her 15 minutes of fame. But time's up.

I can't blame the record companies for trying to make a buck. But shame on us if we fall for this. And shame on the recording industry for not offering something better.

- DJ Craig

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Stones Roll- OC Gets Banged!

The Rolling Stones brought their 'A Bigger Bang' world tour to Edison Field in Anaheim last night. Jagger, Richards, Wood and Watts rocked the house with the aid of a stunning stage show. While the Stones rifled through their 40 year catalogue of hits, outrageous lighting, fireworks and a huge video screen emphasized every anthem.

The multi-tiered stage featured several stories of scaffolding behind it. Inside this towering structure were innumerable stage lights, an area where fans could view the band from just feet away and on top, two huge flame throwers that erupted like dual volcanoes.

An energetic Jagger was in constant motion, at one point running end to end across the 60 yard wide stage like a teenager. Mick, who seemingly has more costume changes than Madonna, demonstrated a powerful and ageless voice throughout the show. Keith Richards seemed in good spirits, churning out tortured guitar licks and assuming lead vocals on a couple of tunes. The backing band included a four piece horn section, two keyboard players and a trio of back up singers.

The Stones played a few newer songs but the audience reserved it's highest praise for classics such as "Sympathy For The Devil", "Brown Sugar", "Paint It Black" and "Satisfaction". Between Stones originals, Mick dedicated the soulful, "Night Time Is the Right Time", to the man who made it great, the late Ray Charles.

During the middle of the show a large section of the stage, drum kit and all, rolled across the entire field as The Stones continued jamming atop it. For a few songs some of the worst seats in the stadium became the best, a treat for those who purchased seemingly geographically undesirable tickets.

The concert finale included the four original Stones taking a bow followed by the kind of celebratory fireworks show usually reserved for Independence Day. Not bad for a band whose demise was prematurely announced by many, more than two decades ago.

The Stones could easily rest on their laurels and still sell out every venue they care to play in. But their performance and elaborate production is proof that they still care about giving fans their money's worth.

- DJ Craig