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Friday, September 25, 2009


subject: CD Baby loves you

"Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.
Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.
We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved "Bon Voyage!" to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, August 25, 2009.
We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. In commemoration, we have placed your picture on our wall as "Customer of the Year." We're all exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
We miss you already. We'll be right here at, patiently awaiting your return."

This is the standard confirmation mail of CD Baby when you order something there. One month later I send them mail, I thank them for all the love and ask where my cd is. - Nothing... no answer...
Money gone but no Strange Land CD for me, just a love letter....
Put my picture off the wall guys. You don't like the way I look at you and I hate staring at you while walking by and laughing in my face.


Day 35 --- an e-mail came in, almost a week late. They messed up the shipping adress. I wonder who's gonna pay for the second copy. Me or my Strange Land. I wouldn't have a problem with a second purchase, just for supporting Sean's band. (for any other purchase it would make me angry of course...)

note to self:
That's not fair, stringray. Every other band would have to give out another hardly produced copy! Treat them all equally and support any amateur band fully!!! grrrr...

Edit 2:

Day 39 --- another shipping has been confirmed by e-mail.
Sean has found out that they revamped their web site and some things still seem to operate improperly. Well, bugs happen....
The global 3 letter shipping company does not report non-delivered mail and seems to simply thrash it. That's a new no-service to me.

Edit 3:
Day 70 --- nothing arrived. I give up.
I'm going to do a second purchase once Sean has the cd available at the German independent distributor. They never annoyed me.
Sean was so kind to provide me with mp3s in the meantime, so I can at least listen to the music whenever I want.
Great cd Sean!

Edit 4:
Happy ending!

Guitarsean did send me another copy. And some extras, a magnet with the cover on it. You know those magnets you put on the fridge or something. They also managed to sign the booklet even though the cd was sealed. Those wizards!
I love reading the credits and Seans thanks - section. I'ts an ode to the progulus listeners...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teaching my kids some (musical) values

Da-da-Daa dada daDaa da-da-daa da-daaa

If you didn't already guess it...this is my 17 months old son mimicking a famous guitar sequence of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water". Apparently he picked it up while his older brother (9) was seeking out all versions of this song he could find on YouTube. I don't know how he got to hear this song, and I'm not much into this band, but it made me think...maybe this could be the start of something wonderful. Yeah, I know that statement is kind of cliche, but nevertheless I feel that I am on to something here.

Let me explain...My son has had a MP3 player for some time. Initially I put 15 good, somewhat popular songs on it, that he listened to for a while and then probably forgot about. Then he asked me if I could put 'Smoke' on it so that he could listen to it without the computer, cause his mother was getting a little enough of co-listening to it, and was thinking that his computer time was getting a little excessive. I told him "sure" and suggested that we also found some more material, since he was already bored of the 15 songs already on the device. What I didn't tell him was about my "evil" plan to slowly introduce him to "real music". This is something that has been in the back of my mind since I got kids; to "help" them discover music that is inspirational, entertaining and appreciated rather then just being the background noise of their lives.

Now, given the task of filling a MP3 player with music, what would you put on it? If the only requirement is that it should be good music, should you choose the things you like yourself or would it be fair to choose from all kinds of genres in order to give the potential listener more choice? Well, I'm not ashamed to say that I will try to instill in my son a taste for the music I prefer listening to, and I don't find that selfish in any way. You see, something that can bring people together more than anything music. And I can think of no better cause than cultive the relationship with my son. If his potential love for jazz or classical music is to suffer because of be it.

So I accidentally copied 2 songs onto the player with the names of Mystery Train and Sunrise on Mars (by Transatlantic and Threshold). Only 2 since I didn't want to scare him too much with unknown songs. You know the thing with kids, you just have to listen to the popular stuff to be cool. His reaction? Well he didn't care much about Threshold, but surprisingly he thought that Transatlantic was "way cool". Sad for the Thresholders, but great for my son. I like Threshold, but I still consider them to be only a few "measures and signatures" from mainstream. Transatlantic is on a completely different level. It is true that Mystery Train is not the most complex song made by the band, but it is a supreme display of greater musicianship compared to what "normal" people listen to these days.

To come back to the statement I made earlier about jazz and classical. It is actually a bit contradictory. I have found that prog can be the doorway leading to great discoveries in music. Before I got into prog I was completely anti jazz and classical (including opera), but now I'm open to both categories. Because there are no rules in prog, anything can be incorporated into it. Sometimes the result is bad, but a great many times the result is purely amazing. Just a side remark here: if you hate jazz and start liking The flower are doomed to eternal schizophrenia.

Before I end this, it is time for the million dollar question...

What should I put on the MP3 player next?