Saturday, October 29, 2005

Where have all the liner notes gone?

I miss those days. Unfolding the notes. Finding who played on what. And learning why this recording would or should be relevant.

I'm making a prediction.

Artists will soon start offering audio liner notes. iTunes will pave the way and brand them PodNotes. They will appear as the last downloadable track and be free with purchase of the album.


Richard Buckner, a morose, Yoakam-like twanger who pours unexpected words together, put out his two best albums, Devotion+Doubt and Since, back-to-back in the late '90s. These recordings share at least two common threads. Both were released on MCA and both were produced by JD Foster (Marc Ribot, Richmond Fontaine, Dwight Yoakam).

I just came across a promotional CD that was recorded around the time of Since. It contains a Buckner interview with KCRW and could easily serve as the album's liner notes (soon-to-be-called PodNotes).

It is 16 minutes long, and a must for anyone who's had the pleasure of listening to Since all the way through.

Some highlights from that interview:
  • At 32, Buckner took up smoking for this album for the effect it would have on his voice.
  • "Lucky Buzz" ends with the line "As Congress falls/With Ego's down/I cannot keep/This buzz around." Said Ego's is a live music venue hidden in an underground parking structure in Austin, TX.
  • The title of the song "10-Day Room" on Since is a reference to Buckner's stay at the phallic-signed Austin Motel during the recording sessions for Devotion+Doubt.
  • Songstress Syd Straw faintly harmonizes on "Faithful Shooter."


Downloads from Since:

"10-Day Room"

"Lucky Buzz"

"Faithful Shooter"

"Hand at The Hem"


A favorite, oh-so-typical Buckner lyric from Since:

"Did you mean/What it meant" - "Hand at The Hem"


At 2:52 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

I actually spent Christmas night--not Eve, but night--at Ego's one year, drinking with two friends. Half the crowd consisted of young hipster-wannabes, and the other of sad, lonely middle-aged people.

We had parked 20 feet from the front door, and when we left we discovered some Christmas elf had broken into my friend's car and stolen his car stereo as well as his favorite CD. He was actually more upset by the loss of the latter. To make matters worse it appeared I'd neglected to lock the door on my side when we went in.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger JMH said...

Well done. I too, miss liner notes. You better patent that PodNotes idea, before Steve Jobs (or myself) steals it from you. Brilliant.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

Cool idea. I know that some iTunes releases now do come with Album art and sleeve notes, but not a a last track.

Again, I am loving this Buckner guy since I read about him on your blog a couple of months ago. Serious badass.

At 1:01 PM, Blogger CHW said...

Yeah, I agree with S75, I think they already do this. I know it's available on iTunes when you buy an entire album. I think it may come in as a PDF file. But no clue if this translates over the iPod.

At 6:30 PM, Blogger JMH said...

Given the choice, I will always go for the real deal (CD purchased at my local record shop vs. downloaded), maybe I'm just a sucker for the packaging and artwork that you lose when you purchase an album from iTunes. The last couple of albums I bought from iTunes came with the art, but no sleeve notes.

At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also like to have the CD in my hands. I enjoy going to Tower Records etc... I will download singles on iTunes if I don't want to purchase the whole CD of a particular artist.

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Martin McFriend said...

Nothing beats buying a CD, realizing it isn't worth a shit and then throwing it out the window of your car like a razor-edged discus. iPods have totally destroyed that tradition...

At 9:23 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

I love CDs (and DVDs), but I wish it wasn't so damn hard to open them, get all the protective tape off, and then get the disk out without breaking either the disk or the case.

As an anal-retentive, OCD-suffering freak, I wish there was some format for movies that would be both permanent and unscratchable.

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At 7:02 PM, Blogger princessmalin said...

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At 4:53 AM, Blogger Hoodia said...

Help me Dude, I think I'm lost..... I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw him in a car lot yesterday, which is really strange because the last time I saw him was in the supermarket. No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender". He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a San Diego cosmetic surgery doctor ,to fit into those blue suede shoes of yours. But Elvis said in the Ghetto nobody can afford a San Diego plastic surgery doctor. Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger. Then I'm gonna go round and see Michael Jackson and we're gonna watch a waaaay cool make-over show featuring some Tijuana dentists on the TV in the back of my Hummer. And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . . "You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on " Strange day or what? :-)

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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