Category Archives: Ramble On

Apple Music: The Death Knell for Downloadable Music


Once fat and healthy, the internet in the 21st century has thrown the music industry for a loop time and time again, putting musicians and the industry that produces them in a serious identity crisis as to where the money comes from. With the invention of the iPod and eventually the iPhone, downloadable music in MP3 format became the new form, and CDs went the way of the cassette tape. Vinyl strangely came back into vogue as a counter-cultural music fan move

Songs of Summer ’15 Walk-Off


Every year, a song defines the summer: it’s at every wedding, every beach party, and every festival you attend. You simply can’t escape it, but usually its such a perfect song you don’t mind hearing it again and again. Pharrell owned the last two summers, with last year’s giddy-gospel “Happy”, and in 2013, singing the hook on Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and producing Robin Thicke’s rapey yet infectious “Blurred Lines”. In 2012, it was the sneaky great “Call Me Maybe” by

U2 Vs. Thom Yorke: The Surprise Album Shakedown

U2 vs. Thom Yorke: The Surprise Album Shakedown

The last month has brought two high-profile surprise albums in U2’s Songs of Innocence and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s second solo album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. As we all know, there can only be one surprise album champion, so I thought I would go through five rounds of criteria (announcement, distribution, price, reach, and ultimately, the music) to decide who won the September Surprise Shakedown. Two men enter the ring, only one can leave. Round #1: Announcement U2: The Irish lads

Lamenting a Fallen Artist and Other Thoughts on Robert Randolph: Part 2

rob randolph

Editor’s Note:  Check out Part 1 of Austin’s piece here Between 2004 and 2010 I got to see Robert Randolph gain a lot of notoriety and success.  I got to see him steal the show on the Grammy’s.  Unclassified (2003) and Colorblind (2006) were really solid records for an artist known mostly for his live performances.  But, slowly, starting in maybe 2007 or so, I was subjected to seeing Randolph lose a little bit of flavor just about every time.  I

Lamenting a Fallen Artist and Other Thoughts on Robert Randolph: Part 1

Robert Randolph

Nope, Robert Randolph isn’t dead.  He also didn’t retire or do some horrible thing essentially ending his career.  It’s just been a really long time since Randolph did anything to catch my attention, and believe me, I would really like Robert Randolph to catch my attention again.  So, why am I writing about him right now, you ask?  Randolph has been brought to my consciousness twice in the past several weeks pretty randomly. First, Wes wrote his Public Service announcement

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