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Broadcast 09: Persists Into Winter

helm-the_hollow_organ

Below are two links to the WZBC Archives where you can listen to my Super Bowl Sunday (February 2nd) radio show, broadcast on WZBC 90.3 FM in Boston. Those links will remain active until the 16th of February 2014, at which point the show will disappear and be replaced by a new one.

Lots of new music on this program, including two new songs from one of Joseph Clayton Mills’s most recent projects, The Patient. It’s an incredible record paired with a fantastic book that serves as a loose score for the music. The book includes notes written by Franz Kafka to his friends while he was suffering from tuberculosis of the larynx. The notes include common questions and observations that you might expect from someone unable to talk, but they’re also filled with peculiar fragments that seem designed to confuse. Mills takes advantage of their intensity and ambiguity and uses them as inspiration for recommended musical (and maybe non-musical) actions. The performance of those actions in whatever combination constitutes The Patient.  I talk about it a little on the show, but you just have to see it in order to appreciate how amazingly well it’s put together. Anyone interested in Kafka should definitely pick this one up. I have a review of that in the works, but if you want some information now, go here.

I also played a new piece from Anne Guthrie’s latest, Codiaeum Variegatum, due out on Students of Decay the 18th of this month, along with a composition by Jacques Lejeune,  who has a new 3CD collection out on Robot Records. Both are excellent, but I’m particularly in love with that Guthrie record. It’s one of my favorite albums of new music so far this year.

There’s a new song from Helm tucked in there and a new one from Machinefabriek too, plus a superb, low-key piece from Philip Corner. Italian Air: Wind, Water & Metal, the album it’s from, might be a little hard to find, but is worth seeking out. If you can’t find one at a local shop, copies are still available from Forced Exposure.

Any questions, comments, or requests, please send me an email or just drop a message into the comments section below.

Thanks for listening.

Laughter: February 2nd, 2014 – Hour 1 and Hour 2

  1. The Shadow Ring, “The World Phone” from Remains Unchanged (2012) on KYE
  2. Anne Guthrie, “Rough Above with Uneven Base” from Codiaeum Variegatum (2014) on STUDENTS OF DECAY
  3. Philip Corner, “Ear Wave” from Italian Air: Wind, Water & Metal (2012) on RICERCA SONORA
  4. Joseph Clayton Mills, “Part III” from The Patient (2013) on ENTR’ACTE
  5. Helm, “Analogues” from The Hollow Organ (2013) on PAN
  6. Aaron Dilloway & C Spencer Yeh, “The Hydra” from The Squid (2008) on HANSON RECORDS
  7. Jacques Lejeune, “Cri (Bursts/The Earth is Telling the Dead What the Living are Saying)” from Parages and Other Electroacoustic Works 1971-1985 (2013) on ROBOT RECORDS
  8. Baudouin Oosterlynck, “Le Point et la Ligne” from 1975-1978 (2008) on METAPHON
  9. Machinefabriek, “Manipulation” from Attention, The Doors are Closing! (2014) SELF RELEASED
  10. Joseph Clayton Mills, “Part I” from The Patient (2013) on ENTR’ACTE
  11. Zeitkratzer, “Four6” from John Cage [Old School] (2010) on ZEITKRATZER
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Broadcast 08: The New York School in Boston

max_neuhaus_new_york

Detail from the cover of “The New York School” by Max Neuhaus. Released by Alga Marghen.

An embarrassingly late update for the last radio show I hosted on WZBC, which was broadcast on January the 19th. Below are two links to the audio for that show. They will be replaced this Sunday (February 2nd, Groundhog Day), when I will be back on the air featuring new music from Joseph Clayton Mills, among others. Mills has several new records out, including one inspired by notes that Franz Kafka wrote to his friends while on his death bed. It sounds fantastic and I’m excited to share. The program will start at 6 PM eastern and end at 8 PM, so for those of you not interested in the Super Bowl and looking for an alternative, tune in.

One of my favorite pieces from this show was Max Neuhaus’s rendition of Feldman’s “The King of Denmark.” It comes from The New York School: Nine Realizations of Cage, Feldman, Brown, a CD first released by Alga Marghen in 2004. Alga Marghen is an Italian label that specializes in 20th century music, Fluxus composers, sound poetry, and various other sound arts, and a big chunk of their catalog has recently been made available State-side thanks to Forced Exposure. I’d encourage anyone interested in what they hear on this show to check their releases out. That Neuhaus CD is an excellent place to begin.

Any questions, comments, or requests, please send me an email or just drop a message into the comments section below.

Thanks for listening.

Laughter: January 19th, 2014 – Hour 1 and Hour 2

  1. Sonic Youth “Edges” from SYR 4: Goodbye 20th Century (1999) on SYR — composed by Christian Wolff
  2. Olivia Block “Heave To (Part 2)” from Heave To (2006) on SEDIMENTAL
  3. KTL “Phill 1” from V (2012) on EDITIONS MEGO
  4. Max Neuhaus “The King Of Denmark” from The New York School (2004) on ALGA MARGHEN — composed by Morton Feldman
  5. Burkhard Stangl “Unfinished – Sailing” from Unfinished. For William Turner, Painter. (2013) on TOUCH — performed by Fennesz (first take, no edits, no cuts)
  6. Polwechsel “Hyogo” from Polwechsel 2 (1999) on HATART
  7. Gordon Mumma “Than Particle” from Live – Electronic Music (2002) on TZADIK — performed by William Winant and Gordon Mumma
  8. Noah Creshevsky “Drummer” from The Tape Music Of Noah Creshevsky 1971-1992 (2004) on EM RECORDS
  9. Francois Bayle “Eros Bleu” from Archives GRM (2004) on INA GRM
  10. Franco Evangelisti “Cinque Strutture, per piccola orchestra e nastro magnetico dalla ‘Die Schachtel’ 1962-63” from Franco Evangelisti (1998) on EDITION RZ


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Broadcast 06: “Opening Night”

feldman_laughBelow are two links to the WZBC Archives where you can listen to my December 8th radio show, broadcast on WZBC 90.3 FM in Boston. Those links will remain active until December 22nd, at which point the show will disappear and be replaced by a new one.

There’s a whole trio of new releases represented in this broadcast (plus a fragment of a new release at the end): one from Phill Niblock, one from Graham Lambkin and Jason Lescalleet, and one from Olivia Block, whose latest album, Karren, is receiving all kinds of positive responses. “Opening Night” definitely blew me away; just a gorgeous recording and a great concept behind it. Be sure to give that a shot if you have time for nothing else.

Anyone interested in the opening Michael Pisaro piece should check this link out. In it, Michael explains a bit about what’s happening compositionally in Hearing Metal 2—the section I played is actually quite different from the bulk of the recording—you can always check out my review of that album here, which includes samples. There’s lots of good information on the Wandelweiser website as well. Pisaro is a great writer and always manages to speak very clearly about his work, despite the inherent difficulty in the subject matter. My interview with him links to several articles he’s written, plus I think he clarifies a lot of difficult concepts over the course of the discussion. You can read that here.

During the course of the show, I also mentioned an interview with James Tenney that I thought was particularly helpful for understanding his music and the influence he’s had on people like Michael Pisaro and Michael Byron. You can read that interview at New Music Box.

My next show will continue with more new music, including releases on PAN and 23Five.

Any questions, comments, or requests, please send me an email.

Thanks for listening.

Laughter: November 24th, 2013 – Hour 1 and Hour 2

  1. Michael Pisaro and Greg Stuart, “Hearing Metal 2 (Le table du silence) – I” from Hearing Metal 2 (Le table du silence) (2011) on GRAVITY WAVE
  2. Phill Niblock, “Two Lips (Dither Guitar Quartet)” from Touch Five (2013) on TOUCH
  3. Graham Lambkin/Jason Lescalleet, “Loss” from Photographs (2013) on ERSTWHILE
  4. Olivia Block, “Opening Night” from Karren (2013) on SEDIMENTAL
  5. Luc Ferrari, “Chicago, USA. October 2001. Rehearsal for a concert Harley Davidson. Texas.” from Les Anecdotiques (2004) on SUB ROSA
  6. Robin Rimbaud, “Experience” from The Garden is Full of Metal: Homage to Derek Jarman (1997) on SUB ROSA
  7. James Tenney, “Swell Piece (1967)” from Postal Pieces (2004) on NEW WORLD RECORDS — performed by The Barton Workshop
  8. Morton Feldman, “For Franz Kline” from Only – Works for Voices and Instruments (1996) on NEW ALBION — composed in 1962 – vocals by Joan La Barbara
  9. John Cage, “String Quartet in Four Parts (Quietly Flowing Along/Slowly Rocking)” from The Complete String Quartets Vol. 2 (1992) on MODE — composed 1949-50, performed by The Arditti Quartet – these are just the first two movements
  10. Burkhard Stangl, “Unfinished – Sailing (fragment)” from Unfinished. For William Turner, Painter. (2013) on TOUCH — performed by Fennesz


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Broadcast 05: “Listen, the Snow is Falling”

lescalleet_lambkin_glassBelow are two links to the WZBC Archives where you can listen to my November 24th radio show, broadcast on WZBC 90.3 FM in Boston. Those links will remain active until December 8th (I’m posting this a touch late due to the holiday), at which point the show will disappear and be replaced by a new one.

One caller compared this show to a taking warm bath. That’s a first for me. The sounds are gentler than the last couple weeks (there’s nary a jazz recording in sight), and a couple of them border on the ambient. The centerpiece is a beautiful collaboration between Graham Lambkin and Jason Lescalleet, released on Erstwhile in 2008. If you listen to just one thing from this show, make it that. And then go get their new double disc, Photographs.

Anyone put off by harsher sounds will likely appreciate the cooler colors at play throughout the entire second hour. That William Winant recording is another beautiful and hypnotizing piece of music worth seeking out. The LP is sold out at the source, but certain online retailers may still have copies. Poke around your favorite sites and maybe something will turn up. It’s also available digitally on iTunes.

For those who want a little more action and some rougher edges in their lives, the first 25 minutes or so contain some very thrilling noise from Autechre and Bernard Parmegiani, who, if you somehow missed it, passed away on November 21st. Much of his music has been reissued in the last couple of years and I encourage anyone with even an inkling of interest to go and find it. Recollection GRM provides two great starting points.

My show on the 8th will probably follow a similar format, with the second hour sticking to somewhat more accessible music. If you like what you hear here, I hope you’ll tune in then.

Any questions or requests, send me an email.

Thanks for listening.

Laughter: November 24th, 2013 – Hour 1 and Hour 2

  1. Bernard Parmegiani, “Lumiere Noire: Moins l’infini/Instant O/Premieres forces – Premieres formes” from La création du monde (1993) on INA GRM
  2. Autechre, ‎”irlite (get 0)” from Exai (2013) on WARP RECORDS
  3. Bruce Gilbert and BAW, “Beasts of the Earth” from Diluvial (2013) on TOUCH
  4. Jacob Kirkegaard, “Church” from 4 Rooms (2006) on TOUCH
  5. Graham Lambkin/Jason Lescalleet, “Listen, the Snow is Falling” from The Breadwinner (2008) on ERSTWHILE
  6. William Winant, “Trackings I” from Five American Percussion Pieces (2013) on POON VILLAGE – written by Michael Byron, 1976
  7. Luciano Cilio, “Primo Quadro “Della Conoscenza da Dialoghi dal presente” from Dell’Universo Assente (2013) on DIE SCHACHTEL
  8. Franca Sacchi, “Arpa Eolia” from EN (2011) on DIE SCHACHTEL – piece written and performed 1970
  9. Labradford, “Twenty” from fixed::context (2000) on KRANKY


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Broadcast 04: The Jazz Thing, Part 2

sun_ra-sun_raysBelow are three links to the WZBC Archives where you can listen to my November 10th radio show, broadcast on WZBC 90.3 FM in Boston. Those links will remain active until November 24th, at which point the show will disappear and be replaced by a new one.

This represents the second part of my free jazz/avant jazz/jazz show. I had the chance to start a little early this week, so the first few songs are a little different from what comes after. But they follow the improvisational character of the show just as well. You’ll have to fast forward to about the half-way point of the first link to hear those songs, as I came on right after a Boston College basketball game.

Any questions or requests, send me an email (see the about page).

Thanks for listening.

Laughter: November 10th, 2013 – Hour -.5, Hour 1, and Hour 2

  1. Dickie Landry, “Fifteen Saxophones” from Fifteen Saxophones (2011) on UNSEEN WORLDS
  2. Eli Keszler, “Cold Pin 1” from Catching Net (2012) on PAN
  3. Greg Kelley/Olivia Block, “Some Old Slapstick Routine” from Resolution (2011) on ERSTWHILE
  4. John Coltrane Quartet, “The Drum Thing” from Crescent (1996) on Impulse/MCA — originally released in 1964
  5. Archie Shepp, “Yasmina, a Black Woman” from Yasmina, a Black Woman/Poem for Malcom (2013) on CHARLY — originally released in 1969 on BYG Actuel
  6. Roland Kirk “The Inflated Tear” from The Inflated Tear (1968) on ATLANTIC
  7. Sun Ra, “Outer Nothingness” from The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Volume One (2010) on ESP-DISK — originally released in 1965
  8. Peter Brötzmann/Han Bennink, “NR. 7” from Schwarzwaldfahrt (2005) on ATAVISTIC — originally released in 1977 on FMP
  9. Roscoe Mitchell Sextet, “The Little Suite” from Sound (1996) on DELMARK — originally released in 1966 – song was titled “One Little Suite”
  10. Albert Ayler, “Holy Family” from Nuits de la Fondation Maeght 1970 (2002) on WATER — originally released in 1970 on Shandar Records, in two volumes
  11. Eric Dolphy, “God Bless the Child” from In Europe Vol. 1 (1989) on PRESTIGE — recorded in Copenhagen, 1961 – released by Prestigue in 1964
  12. Evan Parker & Joe McPhee “They Both Could Fly” from What/If/They Both Could Fly (2013) on RUNE GRAMMOFON
  13. Eric Dolphy “Oleo” from In Europe Vol. 1 (1989) on PRESTIGE — “Oleo” written by Sonny Rollins in 1954
  14. Ornette Coleman “Doughnut” from Town Hall 1962 (2008) on ESP — originally released in 1965

 


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Broadcast 03: Four for Lou/Free Jazz

dolphy_in_studioBelow are two links to the WZBC Archives where you can listen to my October 27th radio show, broadcast on WZBC 90.3 FM in Boston. Those links will remain active until November 10th, at which point the show will disappear and be replaced by a new one. I will not be uploading permanent MP3 links.

I intended to play two solid hours of jazz on Sunday night, from musicians like John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, and Joe McPhee. But after reading about Lou Reed’s death before heading into the studio, I grabbed three Velvet Underground records and played a few of my favorites from those. Many great words have been written about Lou Reed in the last day and half, all of them by people who have spent much longer with his music than I have. I encourage you to read the obituaries from Sasha Frere-Jones and Punk magazine co-founder Legs McNeil.

Here’s an excerpt from McNeil’s piece:

Lou Reed articulated things that were never supposed to be clarified, like those “rushing” sounds on “Heroin.” I actually get goose bumps listening to those sustained notes of the different drugs flowing from my bloodstream and magically walloping my brain that the song mimics. I mean, that’s a real fucking achievement—to audibly duplicate the experience of a drug hitting the brain. It’s so ludicrous, so exact, and so wonderfully transcendent that I can’t help loving Lou Reed for dedicating his life to making songs of the depraved. Not just for the hopeless, but music that spits back that private experience—just in case you’ve never had the pleasure—and makes it sound so beautiful.

I’d also like to point everyone to this obituary for Ronald Shannon Jackson, drummer for Last Exit, The Decoding Society, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, and many others. It’s from Jeffrey Taylor’s excellent Jazz Diaspora column, part of the Line Out blog at The Stranger. That piece is the reason I picked up Köln last week and played it on the show. It’s definitely worth digging through previous entries in the Diaspora series, and Köln is an album that anyone interested in Peter Brötzmann, Bill Laswell, or Sonny Sharrock should check it out.

Almost no label links this time, as most of them wouldn’t help very much. You can find many of these records very easily  from the stores, shops, and distributors listed at the bottom of this page. Any questions or requests, send me an email (see the about page).

Thanks for listening.

Laughter: October 27th, 2013 – Hour 1 and Hour 2

  1. The Velvet Underground, “White Light/White Heat” from White Light/White Heat (1996) on POLYDOR – originally released in 1968 on Verve
  2. The Velvet Underground, “What Goes On” from The Velvet Underground (1996) on POLYDOR – originally released in 1969 on MGM
  3. The Velvet Underground, “Venus In Furs” from The Velvet Underground & Nico (1996) on POLYDOR – released in 1967 on Verve
  4. The Velvet Underground, “The Murder Mystery” from The Velvet Underground (1996) on POLYDOR — originally released in 1969 on MGM
  5. John Coltrane, “Mars” from Interstellar Space (2000) on IMPULSE — originally released in 1974 on Impulse, recorded in 1967
  6. Eddie Gale, “A Walk with Thee” from Eddie Gale’s Ghetto Music (2003) on WATER MUSIC — originally released in 1968 by Blue Note
  7. Joe McPhee, “Nation Time” from Nation Time (2000) on ATAVISTIC — originally released in 1971 on CJ Records
  8. Bill Dixon, “Pellucity” from Vade Mecum (1994) on SOUL NOTE — included in the Black Saint/Soul Note 9CD set
  9. Eric Dolphy, “Straight Up And Down” from Out to Lunch (1964) on BLUE NOTE
  10. Noah Howard, “Ole Negro” from The Black Ark (2007) on BO’WEAVIL — recorded and released in 1969, on Freedom Records
  11. Last Exit, “Hard School” from Köln (2005) on ATAVISTIC — recorded in 1986, Discogs shows the first release as 1990 on ITM Records
  12. Miles Davis, “Miles Runs The Voodoo Down (fragment)” from Bitches Brew (2010) on COLUMBIA/LEGACY — originally released in 1970 on Columbia


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Broadcast 02: September 29th, 2013

amethyst_deceivers_reverseBelow are two links to the WZBC Archives where you can listen to my September 29th radio show, broadcast on WZBC 90.3 FM in Boston. Those links will remain active until October the 13th, at which point the show will disappear and be replaced by a new one. I will not be uploading permanent MP3 links.

I thought this show sounded much better. Playing complete pieces, even when they’re 26 minutes long, makes for much better radio. And I love listening to Coil’s seasonal EPs at the start of each season, especially when I can turn it up nice and loud in the studio. Unfortunately, all of the EPs and the Moon’s Milk collection are harder to find than I thought, unless you feel like spending 90 bucks. Hopefully their scarcity is rectified soon.

I lied at the end of the program and said that I would be back in two weeks, but that’s actually not the case. I won’t be back on the air until the end of October, on the 27th. I will probably focus more on free jazz and free improv for that show. I’ve been itching to play Roscoe Mitchell and John Coltrane on the air for a long time.

Links to labels are provided in the playlist.  Any questions or requests, send me an email (see the about page). Some of this music is still in print and available from the stores, shops, and distributors listed at the bottom of this page. Be sure to check the label pages as well. Intransitive and Hanson both offer digital versions of their records directly from their sites.

Thanks for listening.

Laughter: September 29th, 2013 – Hour 1 and Hour 2

  1. Coil, “The Auto-Asphyxiating Hierophant” from Autumn Equinox: Amethyst Deceivers (1998) on ESKATON
  2. Aaron Dilloway, “Look Over Your Shoulder” from Modern Jester (2013) on HANSON RECORDS
  3. Moniek Darge, “Turkish Square” from Sounds of Sacred Places (2011) on KYE
  4. Jason Lescalleet, “Euphoric Sting/Beauty is a Bowtie (HTDW)” from Songs About Nothing (2012) on ERSTWHILE
  5. Elklink, “Tension Tec” from The Rise of Elklink (2011) on KYE
  6. Lionel Marchetti, “La Quête Des Pouvoirs/Résidu Idolâtre/Pointe Extrême Et Guérison Inverse” from Knud un Nom de Serpent (Le Cercle des Entrailles) (2008) on INTRANSITIVE
  7. David Tudor, “Variations II” from Music for Piano (2007) on EDITION RZ — score by John Cage, more info here: http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/guides_bibliographies/david_tudor/av/variations.html
  8. Iannis Xenakis, “Orient-Occident” from GRM Works 1957-1962 (2013) on RECOLLECTION GRM — learn more here: http://asymmetrymusicmagazine.com/editorials/intuition-and-order-in-xenakiss-orient-occident/
  9. Bernard Parmegiani, “L’oeil ecoute” from L’oeuvre Musicale (2008) on INA/GRM — composed in 1970, liner notes from the RE:GRM reissue can be found here: http://editionsmego.com/release/REGRM-003


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Broadcast 01: September 15th, 2013

from a photograph by Clifton Church - the top of Gasson Hall at Boston College

from a photograph by Clifton Church – the top of Gasson Hall at Boston College

Below is a link to the WZBC Archives where you can listen to my September 15th radio show broadcast on WZBC 90.3 FM. This link will remain active until September 29th, at which point the audio will disappear and a new show with new music will take its place. I will not be uploading MP3s.

Besides a few technical goofs on my part, everything went smoothly. Finding a way to present some of the longer pieces of music in a two hour slot is one of the challenges I’ll have to think more about, because using short excerpts just wasn’t good enough, especially with recordings like Asleep, Street, Pipes, Tones. I’ll either have to plan exactly which segments I want to use in advance (and stick to them, no matter the duration), or I’ll have to select shorter pieces better suited to radio programming. The show will be a little better organized next time.

Links to labels are provided in the playlist.  Any questions or requests, send me an email. Much of this music is still in print and available from the stores, shops, and distributors listed at the bottom of this page.

Thanks for listening.

Laughter: September 15th, 2013 – Hour 1 and Hour 2

  1. Autechre ‎, “Pen Expers” from Confield (2001) on WARP
  2. Helm, “Silencer” from Silencer EP (2013) on PAN
  3. Bruce Gilbert and BAW, “Rest/Reflection” from Diluvial (2013) on TOUCH
  4. David Sylvian, “Manafon” from Manafon (2009) on SAMADHI SOUND
  5. Tod Dockstader, “Water Music” from Dockstader: Quatermass (1992) on STARKLAND
  6. Philippe Lamy, “Une Autre Couche” from Drop Diary (2013) on MYSTERY SEA
  7. Kevin Drumm, “Earrach A (excerpt)” from Earrach (2013) on RECREATIONAL PANICK/BANDCAMP
  8. Bellows “Untitled 6” from Reelin’ (2013) on HOLIDAYS RECORDS
  9. Nmperign/Jason Lescalleet, “The Mystery Disease That Haunts My Town” from Love Me Two Times (2006) on INTRANSITIVE
  10. Howard Stelzer, “Bond Inlets 2 (excerpt)” from Bond Inlets (2008) on INTRANSITIVE
  11. Graham Lambkin, “The Currency of Dreams” from Salmon Run (2007) on KYE
  12. Michael Pisaro “Asleep, Street, Pipes, Tones (excerpt)” from Asleep, Street, Pipes, Tones (2011) on GRAVITY WAVE
  13. Keith Rowe/Günter Müller/Taku Sugimoto “Phase Two (excerpt)” from The World Turned Upside Down (2000) on ERSTWHILE


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The Rise and Fall of Physical Media, or the Music Industry in 40 Seconds

40-years-of-music-industry-change

From Digital Music News, an animated GIF showing how people have purchased and listened to music over the last 40 years. The numbers are based on RIAA revenue figures starting in 1973 and continuing through 2012.

If you look at the original post, you can view each slide one at a time. It’s hard to believe that in 2002 CDs represented 95% of all music sales—records barely even registered then. And though we read that vinyl sales are ever increasing, in 2012 LPs and EPs accounted for only 2.3% of the industry’s revenue. One thing these pie charts don’t show us is how much the entire pie has shrank since 1973. If you want info on total dollars, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

I do wonder how these numbers fit into overall music sales and listening habits. I don’t know, for instance, how the RIAA collects this data, nor do I know who contributes the information. I’m guessing some of my favorite labels aren’t represented, and so whether or not they’ve benefited from apparently positive growth within the industry is unclear. This data only gives us an idea of how certain labels and artists might be making money. The numbers won’t line up with everyone’s listening habits, in part because they don’t account for illegal downloads, but also because they don’t show just how much the industry has shrank in the last 40 years. Record sales might be up, but are artists actually making more money? Can they afford to be musicians full time or do they need another job? Do they have health insurance? The numbers are all raw as is, and need to be filled in.

Months ago I went to the record store, bought a handful of CDs and took them to a bar where I could look over the liner notes. The bartender remarked about the CDs, saying that she never saw anyone buy them anymore. When I asked her how she got her music, she said she used iTunes most of the time, but that she also downloaded music and listened to streaming radio.

At Boston College I often got the same response: students downloaded music, listened on their iPods, and generally avoided records and CDs. There were students who wanted to DJ at the college radio station but who had never touched a turntable. Many of them didn’t understand why the record player had to be grounded; some couldn’t even operate it properly and chose to shun the record library because the spinning platter presented too many queuing difficulties.

Revenue numbers clearly show more people are buying records—at least, records of a certain kind—but who are they?

I can find articles documenting the LP’s small resurgence, but I can’t find anything that breaks those consumers up into age groups. Many of my friends, between 28 and 40-something, still buy albums from to time to time, even if they are using other services like iTunes. The people I know who are younger, many of them in college, have an almost completely digital collection. How much of it was purchased is another question.

I wonder if the supposed hip, young new audiences I read about aren’t just a fiction sold by an industry hungry for good news. But I’d love for it to be true. Anyone with some solid information about who is buying music should leave a comment.

Looking at that 2012 data, I see that the CD still brings in close to 36% of the industry’s revenue—that’s almost as much as downloaded singles and downloaded albums combined—but I also notice that, as CD sales shrink, revenue from streaming and subscription services continues to grow; up 3% from 2011.

I’m inclined to think these services will continue to grow and become more popular, especially with companies like Apple and Twitter investing a lot of money into new streaming platforms. But I have almost zero faith in them because, even if they help the industry make money, they’re not very likely to help artists. I’ve posted about those services before, but I still think Damon Krukowski’s article for Pitchfork is one of the best places to go for a reality check. According to him, the sale of 1,000 7″ singles made his band more money than over 13,000 plays on Pandora and Spotify. How are these services supposed to save the industry if they can’t help an artist buy groceries for the week?

Until I see downloads and streams generating as much profit for an artist as a limited edition 7″ single, I’ll be skeptical of their ability to help anyone but CEOs and investors make a living. Compact discs, vinyl records, and generally material media are still the best way to support songwriters and performers. And while it’s exciting that so much great music has become more readily and easily available, it’s discouraging to see that same availability eating away at the income of touring, hard-working musicians who actually give all their time—some of them their entire lives—to a craft that they love.

Despite increased sales and a generally hopeful attitude, I think we still have to ask the questions David Lowery asked NPR’s Emily White:

“Why are we willing to pay for computers, iPods, smartphones, data plans, and high speed internet access but not the music itself? Why do we gladly give our money to some of the largest richest corporations in the world but not the companies and individuals who create and sell music?”