25 December 2006

Holiday Cheer

... which, as the temperature drops, will become more useful.1

  • Mary Louise Parker will probably be taking Weeds to Bellevue for some on-location shooting, since Washington State is now among the top five weedy states. It sort of makes you ponder just what the tobacco-farmer lobby has managed to accomplish over the last century.
  • This item in a recent Grauniad2 is rather ironic, considering Northern Ireland. On the other hand, considering some of the bigotry around here, it might represent a nice change.
  • The old-line-warhorse-playing Philadelphia Orchestra — famed, or perhaps notorious, under its longtime director Eugene Ormandy for never being the first (or second, or third) to record or play anything — is jumping into the digital age. Sort of. The orchestra now has its own online store for buying orchestra recordings. This may demonstrate a potential model for certain kinds of musical artists. The real problem is that finding recordings requires that either one knows the exact English name of what one wants to find, so it can be entered into a search engine, or knows the exact source. Here's a disturbing example: Set a single search for finding that music that Lt Col Kilgore likes to play as he sends in the 1st of the 9th. (Hint: Just using the obvious keyword does not get a single reference to a recording on the first screen of Google, Yahoo, or Dogpile.) Perhaps finding a trusted intermediary is an alternate solution to a brick-and-mortar store;3 the only question is how those trusted intermediaries are, themselves, going to stay in business... and what a change of this nature will do to the editorial function (and its musical-recording equivalents).

  1. For my two non-US regular readers, Cheer is a midrange brand of laundry detergent, whose ad campaigns have long touted its cleaning power in cold water (hence, "All-tempa-Cheer").
  2. The paper was nicknamed "Grauniad" a couple of decades ago after a profusion of typographical errors. Can you spot the two in this article? (Hints: One is a missing hyphen, and one is a hyphen that doesn't belong... even under Queen's English standards.)
  3. In the long run, probably a better one, given the abyssmal ignorance of most music-store clerks of anything that hasn't been reviewed in Billboard, Spin, Rolling Stone, or the like — and that includes the classical-enthusiast clerks, who are usually more comfortable with stuff that was (or might have been) recorded by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Ormandy.