Gems

Here’s the track list for the next Maida Vale disc (not in order)

  • Jordan!
  • Signs of Life
  • State Street Serenade
  • Is Your Heart Blue?
  • You Look Good
  • Broken on the Wheels of Love
  • Big Events in Loneliness
  • Tick Tock
  • Never Been Good

I’m excited to wrap this thing up and get it mixed. There are a few songs here that have never seen the light of day, so it will be nice to release some fresh music to folks. However, thoughts linger: does anyone still believe in the “disc/album” format? Singles dominate the horizon, and I understand why. It makes sense. But for me and the band, this whole recording was an effort to capture a very specific time in our lives, and also to try and weave that into a cohesive ethos and approach to a body of work. As much as I like singles and the constant flow of music it can produce, I’m just not sure that you can weave a narrative into 7 – 8 songs that are released over 12 months.

The songs become compartmentalized and fragmented, like our lives. I (and I think Maida Vale) believe in something holistic and big… very big and beautiful.

Hope someone out there can believe in it as well. We’ll see in June, maybe.

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The Disruptive Gospel

As the 20th century drew to a close, a German scientist named Karlheinz Brandenburg was working on a logarithm that would help reduce the size of certain types of computer files; specifically music files. Eventually, he landed on a formula that helped him shrink the size of a standard music composition by about a factor of 10.

Because the file format was designed for a group of scientists known as the Moving Picture Experts Group, it took on an abbreviated version of their name, “mp3.” Aided by the explosion of Napster and websites like mp3.com, the phenomenon of music-as-digital-files exploded.

Music would never be the same.

“Disruptive technology” is technology that enters a given market and, because of its price and or innovation, not only competes in that market, it actually redefines the market entirely. To be concise, it renders “competition” irrelevant, and redefines consumer behavior – it becomes the new standard, the new paradigm.

Whether you officially consider mp3 file compression disruptive technology or not, it’s difficult to argue that the innovation significantly changed the entire paradigm of music consumption. It changed forever our thinking about music (music should be portable, free, and easily shared), as well as our behavior (we either download our music illegally, or pay .99 for a single through iTunes, rather than buying a physical disc or tape from a store).

Mp3 technology had a major part in rendering irrelevant everything else in the “market” of music – CDs, cassette tapes, etc. – and eventually contributed to the entire dismantling of the record industry as we know it.

Now here’s the deal: The Gospel is disruptive technology.

Allow the Gospel to enter into your life, and it has the potential — if we let it — to  realign and redefine our values, thoughts, and behaviors. It renders our old ways of behaving — of our need to control, dominate, and/or manipulate — irrelevant. Hang around long enough, submit to it, and it becomes the new standard of our life, not just something that is an “add on” or a part.