Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Always Synthdriven, Never Outpoped

I had the chance to pick up the new Prodigy album yesterday even though I’ve been having car (battery) problems this week. Well, it’s a bit early to make a final judgment, but on my first couple of listens through “Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned” doesn’t impress me that much. I’m actually a fairly big fan, even though I dismissed them after hearing “Charley” too many times back on Steve Masters’ mixes on Live 105 back in the day. I rediscovered them when I saw the “Voodoo People” as part of some record store sponsored late-night tv ad-thing, picked up that single and got hooked into their amazing album “Music For Jilted Generation.” I picked up the “Firestarter” single the first day it was out when the band was still on Mute, which was months before they were picked up by Maverick and I’m the first person I know to play it on the radio back on my college radio show. So it’s not like I don’t want to like this new Prodigy album, but it just hasn’t grabbed me. Hopefully that will change as I get to know the album a little better.
In the music download world, I mentioned that I recently tried out Rhapsody, and since then I went through on an additional free trial offered by my ISP. Maybe that was a mistake. While they let you sign up online, they want you to call their costumer service number to unsubscribe, and on the 13th day of the 14-day trial I called up when I got home from work. Apparently they close at 6pm Eastern Time, and when I called back the next day to cancel they informed me that I had been billed at midnight the night before (they must use a different definition of 14 days than I do). Fortunately they were able to unsubscribe me, and after my protesting they even refunded my monthly charge. The guy I talked to on the phone was nice, but their policy is damned near fraudulent. Very frustrating.
I also recently ended up getting a whopper, which currently will get you download from aol’s download service by-way-of-burger king’s site. Um, I put in the code and it told me that the song I wanted downloaded, but the song never appeared on my hard drive. I have this long running theory, dating back to the first time my parents got sent a disc in the late 80’s, that aol only succeeds because it preys on the computer illiterate. Take for example the aol for broadband, that does nothing other than make it look like you’re using aol for $20 a month. It does nothing! Why give aol your money? Are you that stupid? No, you’re probably just old, and don’t understand “internet” or computers that well. So, this is a first for me with not actually getting a download that I “paid” for. If I actually spent any money I would be furious, but since I wasn’t trying to do anything other than send a few cents towards the band (Cosmicity since you’re asking), I’m not too upset.
I was reading on one of the synthpop mailing lists today that Claudio from Moonlife is putting together a regular electro pop night featuring live bands in San Francisco and on the first night he’s got his own band booked along with Subimage. It has plenty of potential, so I’m very excited. Besides it gave me a reason to re-listen to Subimage’s debut “Etoc” tonight. Very good album, and they’ve got another one due out in October.
The Pet Shop Boys premiered their score to Eisenstein’s “Battleship Potemkin” in London this past Saturday. At some point their score should be released on cd, but I’m not expecting a US release (take for example the nearly year old “PopArt” greatest hits still has no release date because of fighting between different record companies the Boys have been on over the years). The odd thing is that there was rain at this London performance that was caused by the tail end of Hurricane Ivan which is just reaching the US shore as I type. Sometimes even nature reminds us what a small world we live in.

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