Missing in iTunes

I know that there would be many people out there who may have some disdain for iPods and iTunes, but for some dude like me who is not totally into the downloadable music caper it is an easy system.

I am also an old fashion guy that is happy to pay for his music downloads (maybe because being a librarian and knowing about copyright and all that stuff).

I must admit I am amazed about people having iPods that can hold 10,000 songs or more. How anyone can place that much music on an iPod, where that massive musical knowledge comes from? I got a iPods shuffle, the tiny one without the display that holds only 250 songs or so and I am struggling to fill that.

Maybe because I come from the days of the audiotape where your favourite songs could only be accomodated within 60 or 90 minutes (or 120, but many audiophiles would tell you that the tape would stretch if it was that long) and that is the mentality of the best compilation. Maybe those who grew up with the abundance on MP3 are happy to just throw as much as they can in their players.

In the book High Fidelity by Nick Hornsby the main character makes lists of music to fit a particular occasion and makes a tape of it. For me that is what the iPod is about. Its like a huge C650 tape that I would listen once in a while, not as a constant background in my life.

I must admit that iTunes has been pretty good in finding most of what I wanted. However there are some tracks or artists that I haven’t been able to find.

Jane Clifton/Stiletto

Most people would remember Jane Clifton as an inmate in ;Prisoneror as a broadcaster on ABC 774, but she was a singer in a new wave band called Stiletto in the late 70s. I am not sure about the song titles but one I think was called license to rage while the other was the name of a girl.

I would also love to hear the stations ID Jane did for 3RRR at that time.

Portsmouth Sinfonia

Brian Eno features in many forms on my playlist. Either as the artists himself in the songs Backwater and Kings Lead Hat; from his album Before and After Science, as a producer of songs from Talking Heads’s More Songs About Buildings and Food right to his latest output, again with David Byrne in the album ;Everything That Happens Will Happen Today;. However there is one of Brian Eno;s enterprises that I can;t get anywhere, and that is the Portsmouth Sinfonia. The Portsmouth Sinfonia was a real orchestra founded by a group of students at Portsmouth School of Art in Portsmouth, England, in 1970—however, the Sinfonia had an unusual entrance requirement. Players had to be either non-musicians, or if a musician, play an instrument that was entirely new to them.

While the result was hilarious, it had a strange fascination, because while the music was played badly it still has a sense of structure and rhythm. This was probably because while anyone could join, regardless of talent, ability and experience, everyone had to come for rehearsals and that people should try their best to get it right and not intentionally try to play badly. You can see an example on youtube here.

Unfortunately as their albums haven;t been re-issued on CD, and the only way I could get their music id by paying a princely sum by purchasing the original LP on e-bay from England.

I;m in Love with a German Film Star – The Passions

Apparently the Foo Fighters covered this song which was from an English band called ;The Passions; in 1981. It was a big hit in the UK but not in Australia. The frustrating thing is that it is available in the UK and the US iStore but not in Australia. I have sent a request for that to be changed.

Confrontation – The Aliens

There have been and there are plenty of bands called ;The Aliens;, but this was an Australian band from Melbourne. The important thing about this song was that it was played on 3RRR around January-February of 1979 and they came to play at Orientation Week at Monash in my first year at Monash that year, so it is quite evocative. I knew the song but I didn;t know the band name and lo and behold I was twiddling the dial few nights ago and I came across a music program on 3CR where this band and song was mentioned.

It is even on Youtube and you can see it here playing the song on Countdown.

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