Catching Up With Old Musical Friends

Our Lady Peace’s first record hit me like a bag of bricks. Unreal. Still a go to. Came out in1994?! Damn. I had a ‘relationship’ with this band before I was married. I’ve had a ‘relationship’ with this band longer than I’ve been married. Maybe this band influenced my decision to marry a Canadian. Them and Rush. There were, of course, other reasons I chose to marry my wife, but Canadian Rock seems almost as good as any of those.

OLP are touring this year with Matthew Good. Another Canadian man/band I have a long-time ‘relationship’ with. There’s a YouTube clip of a modern-day Raine Maida and Matthew Good visiting the archives of what used to be MuchMusic and watching videos of themselves from their first appearances on the network. It’s like visiting a house you used to share with 5 friends that’s now inhabited by someone else. It’s wistful, weird, nostalgic, sad, uncomfortable and creepy all at the same time.

I saw OLP at the 9:30 Club in DC on the Clumsy tour with my best friend at the time – a buddy that would later be my Best Man. I think maybe 250 people were there – 500 tops. Nuts. That’s my hipster ‘I liked ‘em before they were ‘uge – at least in the States’ – cred.

I dug subsequent records after the first one. Clumsy, Happiness is a Fish… We started to drift apart a bit with Spiritual Machines.

Then I completely lost them over the years. Chalk it up to the usual stupidity. I was ignorant. I still wanted ‘em to sound like Naveed. I completely refused to acknowledge that as I’ve grown as a person so has the band, we are now different people (in some respects, quite literally), but in some ways the same. Perhaps I didn’t want to acknowledge my ascent into adulthood. Even in musical terms.

Their new record popped up on Apple Music this week. I haven’t listened to anything since Spiritual Machines. Listening to Somethingness is like catching up with old friends. Neither one of us is the person we were for that first record anymore, and I’ve learned we shouldn’t expect that of each other. Further down this road we’re on, it’s been nice to run into ‘em again.

It really doesn’t matter if you think this record is any good or not. Or if I tell you that it is and you agree or disagree. At this point in our relationship, everything is between me and them.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Live/1975-85, 1986

All the redemption I can offer, girl, is beneath this dirty hood

I have to cop to being completely unaware of Bruce Springsteen prior to the advent of MTV. I was introduced via the ‘Born in the USA’ and ‘Dancing in the Dark’ videos. Being the self-proclaimed music geek I am now, I’m almost ashamed to admit this – it seems blasphemous. I grew up in the middle class, predominately white suburbs, mostly on pop-rock radio, new wave, and I dabbled in prog-rock. I remember digging the 2 aforementioned tunes enough that when I heard the buzz about this box set being released, I thought it seemed like something I should check out. 

I still remember the packaging – I got the cassette version, 3 cassettes in the box, the liner notes – even then I’d never really seen anything like that. It had weight. Substance. This must be some important shit. I’ll admit, it took me a few listens to get into it. It wasn’t at all what I was listening to, save the few Bruce tunes that made it onto pop/top40 radio. 

At the time, I didn’t have a full appreciation for live music, live musicians and the magic that is conjured during a live performance. This introduced me to that. 

More so, I was blown away by the songs. I had no idea you could tell stories like that through rock music. These characters and stories that Bruce sang about were fascinating to me. They might as well have been from another planet. I can’t think of another record right now (there may have been some others) that first introduced me to the notion of a singer/songwriter. The narrative voice in rock/popular music and songs that could make me feel a full range of emotions as opposed to just ‘joy’ or wanting to ‘rock out’. 

In the years since, I’ve loosely followed Bruce’s trajectory and future releases. Strangely enough, I’ve never bought another Bruce record. Though I’ve never considered myself a huge *fan’, whenever I catch a new tune, or hear one of the old ones, I’m always struck with that, “holy shit what a well-written song” thought. There are songwriters that can totally transport you to that moment they’re singing from – Bruce is one of em, a master storyteller.

Listening to this for the first time today in probably 20-25 years at least and the stories are still there, timeless, unfaded by the passing of the years in between.

Mixtape Archive 1

Back in another lifetime when I was living in a house with anywhere from 5-7, dare I say what would now be referred to as Dude Bros, my buddy and I made many mixtapes for the purposes of ‘rocking out.’ Parties. In the car on the way to hockey. Workouts. Whatevs. We hand a bent for what was then deemed ‘classic rock’ partly due to our access to both his Dad’s and his older brother’s CD collections. That combined with our complete Rush catalogue (our fave band, Prog Rock Dude Bro bonding at it’s finest), and some other CDs we were buying at the time was the bulk of what we had to pull from. Things like infinite Apple Music libraries were a pipe dream. I still have huge box of cassettes in the garage. I play them when wrenching. They work good in the cold. There’s many store bough albums or complete duped albums, but some mixes as well. Many are ambiguously labelled or with no label at all. Figured I’ll start sifting through the ‘unknowns’ and see what’s on em. First up, this one labelled simply, ‘MIX’. Track listing:

Side: First Side I Played

  • The Ocean – Led Zeppelin 
  • Dogs of War – Pink Floyd
  • Working Man – Rush
  • Carry on My Wayward Son – Kansas
  • The Punk and the Godfather – The Who
  • Life in the Fast Lane – The Eagles
  • La Villa Strangiato – Rush

Side: Other Side

  • White Room – Cream
  • Sister Disco – The Who
  • Rhythm Method (Live Drum Solo from ‘A Show of Hands’) – Rush
  • Feels So Good – Van Halen
  • Walking Towards Paradise – Robert Plant
  • Locomotive Breath – Jethro Tull
  • Emotion Detector – Rush
  • Run Like Hell [Live, Delicate Sound of Thunder] – Pink Floyd
  • Foxy Lady [Live at Winterland] – Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • Limelight – Rush 


So got an email in my inbox the other day announcing some new NIN live shows. Always a surprise to get an email from NIN. I joined the newsletter years ago and they only send out a note when there’s shows or new music. No spam. No 5 posts a week. That’s newslettering done right – but I digress, perhaps a separate post on that.

Although I regrettably can’t attend any of the live shows announced – they’re in Europe, and I’m far too old for these type of shenanigans – it did get me thinking about NIN live shows and a series of fantastic ‘from the stage’ videos shot some years back by band member and long-time art director* Rob Sheridan. These are great clips, and just as advertised, gives you the feel of standing right there on the stage. No gimmicks. No editing, just performance.

And that’s what’s striking. The intensity of the performance. Trent is intense. These cats are intense. Anyone who knows anything about Trent and NIN knows he’s a pretty intense guy. His performances and lyric matter are cathartic.

Then something occurred to me. When was last time I did something that intensely?

Don’t mistake intensity for anger, angst, rage. Intensity can apply to other emotions and situations. I think we most often associate it with violence or extremes of physicality or action, but it can manifest in other ways as well.

noun: intensity; plural noun: intensities
1. the quality of being intense.

adjective: intense; comparative adjective: intenser; superlative adjective: intensest
1. of extreme force, degree, or strength.
“the job demands intense concentration”
synonyms: extreme, great, acute, fierce, severe, high;
(of an action) highly concentrated.
“a phase of intense activity”
synonyms: extreme, great, acute, fierce, severe, high;
2. having or showing strong feelings or opinions; extremely earnest or serious.
“an intense young woman, passionate about her art”
synonyms: passionate, impassioned, ardent, fervent, zealous, vehement, fiery, emotional;

I started to think about when most average people (say, non-superstar musicians) could act or behave with Trent’s level of intensity. Is it even called for in daily life? Should we be more intense at times?

Can we think intensely – would that be considered meditation?

Can we parent intensely?

Can we apply a similar kind of intensity to our job? The daily grind?

I was thinking perhaps I exercise intensely. Sometimes though I’m still thinking about other things. Intensity seems to imply singular focus. Sometimes exercise seems passive. I’m riding the trainer or on a bike ride and I’m suffering. That seems more like it’s something being done to me, or I’m struggling through it vs. me directing intensity at something or acting with intensity.

Do we need more intensity in our lives? Does it make sense if you make your living pumping gas that if you tried to be more intense about it, you would be better at your job? Happier?

Or is it something that only applies more where we often see it – to creative activity or performance. Sports. Physical activities. Do we feel like only artists, musicians or athletes can be intense. Is this because primarily we see these activities as emotional, tied to or expressing emotion, or perhaps because they might be extremely difficult.

Can you be an intense garbage man? Would it matter? You career is in some ways your life – should you do it with more intensity?

*band member and art director for NIN - I can think of a lot worse gigs one could get.

The Long, Lingering Death of the CD

The Grammy winning packaging for Tool’s album, 10,000 Days, art directed by band member Adam Jones. Photo by Josh Janicek

Best Buy to Pull CDs from Retail Stores

It’s been at least a year, maybe two since I bought a physical CD. As someone who’s library was at one point pushing the 1,000 unit mark, I find that fascinating.

I held on to my CDs for a long time, even after subscribing to Apple Music. I finally unloaded them all to a collector a few months ago for a painstakingly low sum when contrasted against the sentimental value they had for me. But the value was just that, sentimental.

At some point I bought in to the subscription music model. I still believe in supporting the artists in whatever way I can. Regrettably, the current music landscape has shifted so that artists no longer make the most of their money on sales – their money comes from touring and live shows – something I rarely take in anymore. Though I was – and continue to be -at odds with how artists are paid by streaming services, I had at some point to simply give up, and hope that somewhere, somehow, there were people working to make sure that artists were fairly paid for licensing their work to steaming services. History and a gut feeling about the industry tells me that the reality is, they probably aren’t.

I used to spend hours with new CDs. When I got a new CD from a favorite artist, I poured over photos, liner notes and detritus for clues about the artist and the music the album contained. I loved seeing new and innovative ways to package CDs – jewel cases, paper folios, gatefold packaging and the like. I believe there’s even a Grammy handed out for best packaging – what will become of that now?

I wonder if there will ever be a resurgence of CD interest in the same way there has been vinyl, but I doubt it. There simply isn’t the same attraction. I was a ‘middle’ kid – I discovered music in the age of the cassette and subsequently the CD, so vinyl never held the same nostalgic feel for me, but CDs do.

I wonder how my kids and future kids will develop their relationships with music and the artists in a world where physical product has become extinct and the emphasis has become more on ‘quick-hits’ vs. albums and artists are becoming increasingly more ‘flash in the pan’ and a disposable commodity.

When I dumped my CD collection, there were some I refused to get rid of. My Rush catalogue – simply because they’ve been my favorite band consistently over the years. Some CDs by friends or local artists that aren’t available online anywhere. Then there are bands like Tool, who’ve never licensed their albums to be on iTunes/Apple Music for example. I kept all my Tool CDs. With rumors of a new Tool album sometime in the future, one wonders if they will maintain that stance. If they’re committed, one wonders how they would release new material. Digital download direct sales? Will they actually produce physical product? An interesting question as they have consistently been a band who was at the forefront of design, packaging and presentation throughout the years.

Many artists are now releasing ‘pre-order’ packages for albums or digital downloads that still include physical copies of the album – either on CD or Vinyl, along with a download code, in addition to other select, sometimes exclusive, merchandise. Perhaps this will become the norm. One wonders at what point though, the production of physical product will become a financial liability to the point that it isn’t worth the expense and it will disappear all together.

It’s Friday, Mofos: Therefore, JAZZ.

So I’m bombing down the dark backroads of New Brunswick between the Hinterlands of Chipman and Fredericton last night and listening to jazz on CBC Radio2’s Tonic – you know – cause that’s how us New Brunswickers take the sting off an hour back and forth drive for a tough Atom Rec Hockey 8-0 pasting – and a few tracks stood out for me from the obligatory (though always excellent) John Coltrane and Ella Fitzgerald. Luckily the boy was too fully immersed in on the iPad in whatever ‘get your dude through to the next level’ game is hip right now to register a complaint with regards to my listening choice.

ton·ic [ˈtänik]

1. a medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigor or well-being.
synonyms: stimulant, restorative, refresher, medicine; More
2. short for tonic water.

1. giving a feeling of vigor or well-being; invigorating.

First off mellow out with The Bad Plus, doing an unexpectedly cool cover of Tears For Fears’ ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’. Yes, you read that right. A tasty cover for sure and Drummer David King’s delicious ride cymbal work merits a listen of this track alone.

Now that you’re chill, rocket to light speed with Dinah Washington grooving through ‘Destination Moon’. When this came on and Dinah kicked in the swagger, I was ready to jump on whatever vessel she wanted and teleport wherever she asked. Houston, I am smitten.

Get up, out, and blast off kids, it’s Friday!

The Return of Green Day?

Ok, so pursuant to a thread last week on my Google+ page about Green Day records, for the past week I’ve been checking out their latest ‘trilogy’ for lack of a better word, Uno! Dos! Tré!.

I remember being nonplussed when they started releasing these. I have to admit that my first reaction was, they’re releasing THREE records? WTF? Ok, they’ve finally jumped the shark.

The records were released to relatively little fanfare, especially after BJA’s on-stage blow up and subsequent rock star cliché ‘admission to a substance abuse program’ both overshadowed the records themselves and also caused the cancellation of the majority of the live shows that were in support their releases.

I remember joking with a buddy that maybe BJA’s tirade was ‘orchestrated’ to get press the day before one of the records (I think the first) dropped. If so, the plan backfired.

All that being what it is, now that I’ve given the records their chance, I think they’re solid. As often with double albums, I often wonder if they shouldn’t have just focused more and whittled it down to two records, but then, well, the novelty would be lost, I guess, since they’re three of ’em right? (Well actually there’s four now, these sessions were the first to include touring guitarist Jason White – the now ‘official’ 4th member of Green Day, so where’s his record?).

I don’t think that this material is as monumental as say American Idiot or 21st Century Breakdown, but then again, I don’t think it’s supposed to be. I think that’s maybe part of my hang up. After the grandiose expanse of the last two records, I’m actually having trouble adjusting back to two minute, 3 chord bashers. I think my inner prog – punk rock love child needed more.

Now that I’ve let the set grow on me though, I’m digging it. There’s a few tunes that I could do without and a few that are drop dead awesome – as would be expected in an artillery of 37 tracks, but I’m getting past my initial instinct to find the characters in the tunes (as I did with the last two records) and just listen to the songs themselves, and I’m finding as a whole, they’re pretty good.

It’s like going from standing against the back wall of the club, nodding your head in pensive reflection of the deeper meaning of it all, and getting back into the pit at the edge of the stage and throwing elbows again.

Storytime with Lynyrd Skynyrd

Jumped in the truck the other day and caught Skynyrd’s ‘Freebird’ on the radio. Very 80’s moment, I know.

It’s a shame that this has become the cliché/parody of itself that it is now, but maybe that’s precisely because it remains one of the baddest jams out there.

When I was working with a band in the mid-90’s we played some shows in Florida and happened to be staying at the same hotel as that era’s lineup of Skynyrd as they spent a week preparing to go on tour. We met a few of the guys by the pool and they were downright awesome. Shared all kinds of tales from the road, plane crash stories – the full nine.

I mean, these guys were rock legend at this point. We were just some young alt-rock wannabes – they didn’t even have to give us the time of day. But not at all. They were very humble, encouraging and I think even a bit proud (they’d every right to be) of the longevity they’d enjoyed, especially in light of all the ups and downs they’d experienced as a band of brothers.

It was a rather silly scene – I remember stepping away for a minute and coming back to see my friends all sitting on the ground, legs crossed, in a circle, around a lounge chair where Leon Wilkeson was perched, telling tales. It looked – for a minute – like storytime at school. Bizarre.

Then they took us to a local – ahem – ‘Gentlemen’s Establishment’.

What I remember of it was an amazing time, and what I’ve forgotten was probably even better.

Epilogue: In what was the most amazing move yet, they invited us to hang backstage during their show that was coming up in 2 days, but the agonizing truth is that we had a flight out booked before then. We scrambled to get it changed, but couldn’t and in vain tried to find some alternate method of getting home, but alas, couldn’t. The guitarist for the band hosting us down there had offered to drive us back to DC, but there was 6 of us and gear and all he had was a 2 door hatchback. So. Close.

The Sound of Sound City Studios

When it comes to music recording and studios I’m a total geek. Half the reason I read liner notes is to find out where, how and by whom something was recorded. I wanna know how things were miked. Where the instruments were set up. What gear was used. Who pushed the faders. All that. I wanna know what video games the band played in the lounge and what sub shop next door they ordered take out from. Over the years I’ve learned a lot about everything from legendary studios to personal artists’ basement setups. I still couldn’t record my way out a paper bag mind you – I have no actual technical skills – but I get off on reading about the process and am a huge believer in the notion that the character, physical characteristics, vibe – and the ghosts – that imbue a place can have a huge influence on the recording undertaken therein.

Dave Grohl is in the process of making a documentary about the legendary but unsung Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA. Tucked away in an unassuming warehouse park, Sound City has hosted Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Nirvana (yes, for THAT record), Metallica, Tom Petty, Elton John, Cheap Trick, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Crowes, Tool, and even more artists that will have you saying, “No way, THEM too?”

I’m eager to see this movie. VERY eager.

From what I’ve seen and heard via press, promotion and teaser clips of the movie, the one resonating thread that runs through what all the artists have said is that there was a special combination of The Room at Sound City and The Board that made the magic.

The Room is the A Room. The stories go that even derelict floor tiles have never been replaced for fear that the overall sound would be effected. From the Sound City Website:

World Famous Drum Sound. Many stories in our archives revolve around the drummers. Wrecking Crew studio drummer, Hal Blaine, drove his Rolls Royce into the studio through the roll-up doors. Studio drummer and Toto member, Jeff Pocaro, insisted that you only had to set up the drums in order to get a good drum sound. When asked to guest drum on a Nine Inch Nails recording, Dave Grohl’s replied: “I’ll do it if you record at Sound City.” Recording engineer (and Sound City Alum), Greg Fidelman, recorded kick drum sounds at each of the large recording studios in Los Angeles. Based on a side-by-side, blind taste test of the drum samples, the members of Metallica chose Sound City to record their 2007 Death Magnetic album.

The Board is a custom Neve 8028 Console – considered to be one of the finest recording consoles ever constructed, by anyone, anywhere. From

…Tom Petty, Mick Fleetwood, Butch Vig and Trent Reznor discuss the studio, which was built 1972, and its pièce de résistance: the Neve 8028, one of the best analog recording consoles on the market.

“It’s tube driven, it’s analog,” explains John Fogerty. “The bass sounds better, the human voice sounds better.”

Adds producer and Garbage drummer Butch Vig, “The Neve has incredible character, probably too much character.”

Dave was obviously taken with his experiences at Sound City as well as it’s storied lineage to such extent that he’s embarked on an ambitious project to – in essence – pay tribute – to this veritable ‘Church of Rock’ via his documentary. He was so taken in fact that some years back, he bought the hallowed Neve console.

And moved it to his Studio 606.

Does that make sense?

I don’t know the whole story of the sale and the studio (perhaps it will be in the movie, perhaps there is a reason for the sale happening the way it did) but isn’t that only half the piece to the puzzle? Isn’t that like peanut butter with no jelly? Tater with no tots? Captain with no Tennille?

I’ve got nothing but respect for Dave, but I just gotta wonder. Breaking up those two elements – doesn’t that just run sort of counter to everything that the movie project is about?

Kill Your Music Collection – The Reformation of A Music Pirate.

If you follow the music industry/world at all, you may have heard about the NPR/David Lowery back and forth, if not, here’s a quick lowdown.

An NPR DJ, Emily White posted a blog entry about her large – and relatively unpaid for – music library which sparked a lot of discussion. Dave Lowery (someone I have tremendous respect for as a songwriter and musician) heightened my respect for him by penning a very eloquent and well thought out response. It’s long, but if you’re a fan of music at all I suggest you take in the whole thing.

In response to that, another musician I’m a fan of, Matthew Good,  wrote this, which is also very thought provoking.

All of that reading – which I suggest you do, got me thinking.

There was a time period – when I was young and single and had the metabolism to eat a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – that I spent what most would probably consider an obscene amount of money buying music.

I’d get my weekly paycheck and troll the used CD stores (I mostly bought used, but some new too) and spend hours ‘clicking’ (such a wonderful sound) through the racks of CDs looking for treasure.

I had an anywhere from 10 to 20 CD a week habit. I’d keep some of them, sell others back that I didn’t like – to feed the monkey.

When the technology started to become available, I’d burn copies of CDs from friends if they had something I liked. Sometimes it was only until I could get a hold of the actual release, sometimes not. I was always an ‘album’ guy, digging the packaging and liner notes as much as the tunes almost.

I rationalized that – though it was piracy – it was the 90’s equivalent of making cassette copies back in the day, either from other cassettes or vinyl. To me it wasn’t a very big deal and the recording industry seemed to have survived that.

Initially, when it became pretty easy to download anything you wanted for free on the internet, I shunned it. I was a bit of a purist. I had a lot of friends who were musicians and it didn’t seem right. But gradually, economic reality seeped in and I cheated here and there for stuff I really wanted, but maybe couldn’t afford or didn’t want to wait for.

Eventually, like any junkie, I fell into the full-fledged habit. It became ridiculously easy to download entire back-catalogues or discographies of artists I was interested in. I sometimes justified it in the case of some artists I’d never heard of by telling myself I just wanted to ‘try ’em out’ and make sure I liked the stuff before I bought it. At some point, even if I liked it, I just stopped getting around to buying.

I’m somewhat ashamed to say I amassed a huge collection of music. Silly part is, some of it, I’d never even get around to listening to. I’d download volumes of stuff just ’cause it was available with an ‘I’ll check that out later’ attitude, and many times forget I’d even downloaded it. New releases too. I’d grab stuff before it was out – leaked prior to release dates (how infuriating that must be to an artist, I’d think) – and sometimes feel a pang of remorse, but the monkey didn’t.

Reading Dave’s article something struck me:

The fundamental shift in principals and morality is about who gets to control and exploit the work of an artist. The accepted norm for hudreds of years of western civilization is the artist exclusively has the right to exploit and control his/her work for a period of time. (Since the works that are are almost invariably the subject of these discussions are popular culture of one type or another, the duration of the copyright term is pretty much irrelevant for an ethical discussion.) By allowing the artist to treat his/her work as actual property, the artist can decide how to monetize his or her work. This system has worked very well for fans and artists. Now we are being asked to undo this not because we think this is a bad or unfair way to compensate artists but simply because it is technologically possible for corporations or individuals to exploit artists work without their permission on a massive scale and globally. We are being asked to continue to let these companies violate the law without being punished or prosecuted. We are being asked to change our morality and principals to match what I think are immoral and unethical business models.

What the corporate backed Free Culture movement is asking us to do is analogous to changing our morality and principles to allow the equivalent of looting. Say there is a neighborhood in your local big city. Let’s call it The ‘Net. In this neighborhood there are record stores. Because of some antiquated laws, The ‘Net was never assigned a police force. So in this neighborhood people simply loot all the products from the shelves of the record store. People know it’s wrong, but they do it because they know they will rarely be punished for doing so. What the commercial Free Culture movement (see the “hybrid economy”) is saying is that instead of putting a police force in this neighborhood we should simply change our values and morality to accept this behavior. We should change our morality and ethics to accept looting because it is simply possible to get away with it.  And nothing says freedom like getting away with it, right?

I’ll in no way lay the blame on corporations or ‘Free Culture’. I accept full blame myself. Reading the article, what I realized is that it really isn’t an economic or intellectual rights issue (well, it is sorta both as well), but for me, it’s an ethics issue.

Over time, I’d changed my own definition of what was morally right with regards to this issue. I’d sorta adapted it to suit my own situation. Sure, I felt enriched and expanded because I felt worlds of new artistry was available to me that I didn’t readily have access to before, but I realized I’d compromised my own ethics. That made me feel kind of sick.

I still count amongst my friends many musicians garnering various levels of success. How could I support their work, while directly undermining the livelihood of others? Had I become that hypocritical just for the sake of saving a buck?

One of the more candid artists out there, Matthew Good, routinely discusses the realities of his life in his blog, trying to juggle the economics of touring and recording budgets while raising a family and running a household – just like I am. His music, in addition to being his art, is his livelihood, just like my job is for me. How would I feel if one day he could no longer make music commercially because it simply wouldn’t pay the bills? Would that be partly my fault? How sadly ironic would that be?

After a couple of days of introspection, I went home the other day and deleted everything I’d downloaded illegally or hadn’t paid for. I know that this won’t ‘undo’ anything and I’m not looking for any sort of ‘pat on the back’. I just wanted to start with a clean slate.

I wanted to get back to where I started in music – supporting and valuing it vs. ‘collecting’ it. I felt bad about devaluing what these artists produce by stealing it. I realized the  hypocrisy I was engendering by trying to promote right and the higher road in so many other aspects of life and not this.

The value has to be restored in what these artists give us. We have to reshift our thinking back. I’m starting now. It really is a simple matter of choice.

Like many other things in life, just because we can get away with it, doesn’t mean we should.