May 232013

iTunes and Amazon MP3 have been dominating music sales for years now, but there is plenty of evidence that providers have wildly different strategies when it comes to pricing. This is made all the more absurd by Amazon’s AutoRip functionality, where the lines between a digital & physical purchase are even more blurry.

Exhibit A is Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City album. As one might expect given the lower productions costs the digital version is dramatically cheaper than the physical CD:
Vampire Weekend prices on Amazon

Exhibit B is Daft Punk’s new Random Access Memories album. The incredible thing is this example is that you can get a digital copy of the album cheaper by buying the physical CD – Amazon gives you instant access to the digital versions as well via AutoRip:
Daft Punk RAM on Amazon

Both of these are new albums from popular acts, released a week apart. There are those that argue that the digital instances should be priced at the same or higher than physical, since the user gets the benefit of instant gratification. However, in the case of Amazon purchases this logic no longer applies. One could certainly argue that the Daft Punk offering has much more drive given their advertising blitz, but I find it curious that these two examples are so different.

Dec 302007

While suing a guy for illegal downloads, they also are trying to push that the CD’s he owns and ripped to MP3 for personal use are also illegal:

In legal documents in its federal case against a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

Sep 252007

Today I did my first all digital purchase of music. I know, I’m behind the times, and a picky old man. Though itunes is a slick store, I’ve never bought anything from them. I really didn’t see the point of buying less than CD quality, in a less than standard format, with controls on how I use the files. CD’s seem like a hell of a deal by comparison. But Amazon MP3 opened up today, and all that changed. The files they sell are MP3s encoded at 256 variable bit rate. This means that the files will play on pretty much any hardware, are very good quality (almost lossless), and contain no restrictions on usage.

I picked up The New Pornographers, some older Calexico, and Regina Spektor. The purchase was pretty easy, and delivery was pretty painless as well – the files sound great, and downloaded quickly. It could use a face lift, but I’m a fan of the service so far.

Sep 052007

Sessions Fest 2007

It is that time of year again. Who doesn’t love some free music in the park? Crazy people, that’s who. This year, Sessions Fest is September 15th from noon until 10 PM. Food will be available from Influx, Pizzeria Luigi, popcorn, cotton candy, and beer from Karl Strauss.

The lineup this year is: The Prayers, Fifty On Their Heels, Atoms, MC Flow, Pizza! (aka The New Motherfuckers), Red Pony Clock, Kite Flying Society, Habitat Sound System, Wild Weekend, The Corvinas, and dj sets by Skull Kontrol DJ’s.

via Cat Dirt

Feb 132007

I was a big fan of Danger Doom, the very strange combination of MF Doom, Danger Mouse, and Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. So I was pleasantly surprised to find Occult Hymn. Adult Swim digitally released some remixes and skits on their website for free, way back in May. Niiice.

The always fantastic Sabadabada has some new tunes posted as well (Brazilian records of the 60’s and 70’s).

Oct 312006

(All photos for this post can be found here)
golden hill block party golden hill block party golden hill block party golden hill block party

Scott, Sophie, and the rest of the Cat Dirt Records folks put on another great party last Saturday night – The Golden Hill Block Party featuring ¡Society!, Fifty On Their Heels, The New MotherF*s, Qu’est-ce Que C’est, Gasoline Chicken, DJ Edgartronic and DJ P$. As expected, the concert started off a bit slow because of the early start time. Once it started to get dark, the crowd started to really grow. San Diego needs to get it together and let them have an event past 10 PM, most people don’t show up until 7 or 8.

All the bands did a great job, and there was a good community feel to the event. I was really impressed by the final act, ¡Society!. They were the perfect finish to the evening. They had a lot of energy, the crowd was dancing and loving the performance. Someone uploaded a recording of ¡Society! at the Casbah if you want to get a sample of their sound.

Thanks again to Scott and Sophie!