Tuesday, April 26, 2005

More on All Killer, No Filler

Any real "death of the album" lament should focus on consumers who prefer to listen to singles rather than albums, who want to listen only to what they already know, who skip the "bad" songs to get to the songs they've heard on the radio, TV or in movies. Who don't give the "filler" a decent chance.

I don't really mean to knock this method of whittiling down the massive amount of music available - it has to be done somehow - but I don't understand it.

iTunes, Rhapsody - like radio before them - make it easier to focus upon scattered singles rather than cohesive albums... but... but they also make it easier to hear more music - more new (to you) songs.

At any rate, by my personal reckoning, good bands are the ones where the "filler" tracks are merely the ones that aren't as immediate, songs that are just as - though in the best cases, more - rewarding even though they don't hit you as entertaining right off. Hell, the best bands tend to put out CDs that are all "filler" by this definition.

Does this make me an indie snob? Ehh, probably... but it's fundamentally an opportunity cost issue; I ignore X - who are played on the radio all the time - because I hear enough of them while around folks who like this sort of thing, whereas I never hear band Y unless I make an active choice to do so. Well, that and the fact that I value variety, what is unique and innovative over what is tried and true and done to death.

[Disclaimer: I didn't actually mean X. Or Y.]


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