A Short History of Music Devolution
Why have we been stuck with early 1980s technology when it comes to music? It's hard to imagine all the money Sony and Phillips put into the CD considering how much better vinyl records sound (pops and clicks aside). And then, the wheels of "progress" (i.e. speed and efficiency swallowing up quality and craftsmanship) turned once again as we were forced to figure out a way to squash lots of musical information into the small hard drives found in the first protable players. MP3! By the way, there is a very common joke in recording studios, when the engineer, producer, and musicians are all gathered around a row of snare drums, comparing the subtleties of different drum heads, their tension, different drumsticks, etc. There is usually one person who will remind the rest of us, "Well, all of it will end up squashed to mp3 anyhow..." Sad but true. But I am hopeful that we will crawl our way out of this digital malaise that we have been in for thirty years now. Hard drives have increased substantially in size. Music lovers now have the option to use up more space for better sounding audio files. And maybe we will even inch back to the 60s and 70s when the centerpiece of the living area was not a television but a hi-fi system! Don't you think a tower of woofers and tweeters is so much sexier than those crappy, Chinese earbuds we all have? Is Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On even audible on those things? Before the earbud (and equally crappy computer speakers), it was common to experience music in a way where the subtleties of a record’s studio production could be discovered. Listen to Dark Side of the Moon ten times on a good pair of speakers or cans and you will surely discover something new each time! The simple pleasures of life! It’s so cool to care.
WIth some reluctance, I have decided to offer digital downloads of my albums. It saddens me greatly that the "album" is being replaced by a lump of computer files. I have always really enjoyed the art of album covers. We had big, beautiful images on vinyl records. Then smaller ones on CDs. And now we have just a bunch of zeros and ones populating our robots. Nevertheless, the decent folks at Bandcamp at least offer the ability to purchase high-quality audio files (such as FLAC). Long live analog. For the digital downloads, you can visit the new Jon Simons store at jonsimons.bandcamp.com.
I added a ton of new quotes to the sparks section. Reading The Labyrinth of Solitude by Octavio Paz became almost an exercise in quote extracting. What an amazing poet and visionary! The quotes pool randomly but hopefully you will come across one or two from his book. Happy winter!
Sparks and More
I have added a bunch of films and other new items to the sparks section. I cannot recommend enough the film Bright Star, directed By Jane Campion, which has just been released on DVD. Fugitive Pieces is also one of my new favorite films. Also, this website will see some new features, hopefully soon, including a form for you to share your own discovery of sparks within film, music, books, and poetry. I look forward to that exchange. I am also in the process of compiling what will become my first collection of poetry.
Summer Tour Schedule
I am just beginning a summer tour, which includes a show tonight (Friday, July 10th) in Boulder, Colorado. There are still a bunch of tentative performance dates for Houston, North Carolina, Boston, New York City, Montreal, and more. So please check my website often in the next few weeks to see what new dates have been confirmed. I am excited to be back on the road, enjoying the American highway system to it's fullest, but especially meeting so many beautiful people along the way. David Goodheim, my guitarist, will join me for the two Boulder dates. For all the others, I will be playing my songs with just my voice and acoustic guitar. If you have any friends in any of the cities I'm playing who like mellow acoustic music, please encourage them to come to a show. "Click here":/news/tour.php for more details and most current tour dates.