Thursday, October 18, 2007

Naming Songs

I'm just going through the latest Richmond Record Pool DVD, and I'm getting a bit annoyed at the way some record companies promote themselves. Let me cut right to the chase. If you're going to name a song, use the following format:

        Artist - Song Name (Specific Remix).mp3

It is not that hard. Now I can understand someone coming up with a somewhat unconventional naming protocol if you're maybe playing around with something, or naming stuff in a hurry, or drunk. But if you're a Record Company, you need to pay attention to a simple concept. It's called MARKETING.

Let me give you an example of a "bad" job of naming a track. This is an actual example from the DVD that I'm reviewing this evening:


WTF? This is just ridiculous. Who is the artist? What is the track called? Why is "download" in capital letters, and what does it mean, since it's from a physical DVD? Now to assauge your curiousity, I spent a few minutes trying to puzzle it out, and the only thing I can figure out so far is that it is probably the 54th release on the Drop Records label, side B1, and the song is probably called "Be-Bop." But to be honest, after I got that far, and couldn't assign any degree of certainty to that guess, I dragged that puppy right over to the Recycle Bin (where it will not be recycled).

I'm sure there are DJ's out there who like to spend their time checking out mysterious, nebulous tracks. There is certainly a subtle appeal to a "white label" track for some DJ's. However, if I'm personally trying to quickly sort through and review 250 songs in an evening, you've just lost all hope of getting any air time from me if you don't name the song properly.

On a positive note, I'm glad to see more people starting to trade and distribute WAV files instead of 320 kbps mp3's. With the way hard drives are growing these days, it's worth the extra storage space to improve the audio quality.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cambridge Punk Rock Show

I flew out to Vancouver last night. I’m here to do some work on “When I Grow Old,” a track I’m recording with Mike Allison, at FaderMaster Studios. One of the sound engineers and owners at FaderMaster is Shawn Cole, an old friend and roommate, who is now teaching at the Pacific Audio Visual Institute in Vancouver, helping to run FaderMaster, and doing work at a number of other studios in his spare time.

When I got into town, Shawn immediately thrust a couple beers into my hands, and said that we were going to a punk show that evening. That kind of took me by surprise, but he said he wanted to go to the “Pub 340” to see an album release show by Cambridge. It sounded good to me, so we had a few more drinks and went to the bar.

Upon getting to the bar, we had a few more rounds of drinks, and Shawn gave me some background on Vancouver’s punk rock scene. Shawn actually produced the Cambridge album, so he knew a lot of the people in the bar. Shots of Jagermeister were only $3 each (ridiculously cheap for Vancouver), so before long, I knew a lot of people too.

There were actually four bands playing, although I only saw two of them. I think Loose Tooth was on stage when we got there, and they were singing a song that went something like, “America can suck my dick, Canada’s gonna make you her bitch.” I’m not entirely sure about the lyrics – things were already getting a bit hazy by that point. And for any Americans reading this, you shouldn’t worry that this was a sign of anti-American sentiment in your northern neighbours – I think this was actually a song of affection (after all, it was a punk rock show).

I was outside while the third band played, so I missed them entirely, but we got back inside when Cambridge was about to start. Shawn got right up into the mosh pit, while I tried to stay a bit more restrained, and took photos. The band was tight, and the crowd was into the music (and seemed to know the songs very well). It was pretty amusing seeing people getting thrown onto the stage, then back off the stage into the crowd, and dancing and smashing into each other. One of the highlights was when it looked like the head of the bass player’s instrument swung around and smashed into a bottle of beer that someone was taking a drink from. I wonder if it was a member of Loose Tooth? As Monty Python once said, “Now you see the violence inherent in the system.”

The rest of the night was fairly chaotic. We ran into two guys who were getting into a fist-fight on Hastings Street, and one of them had dropped a box of pizza on the ground just before they started fighting, so I went up and asked them if I could have the pizza. I also seem to remember Shawn trying to climb onto the roof of the Price Waterhouse building, so I could get a photo of him up there, although that memory is kind of vague. Anyway, it was an interesting start to the weekend.