I saw my friend Greg a.k.a. The Big Gun at a backyard barbeque during this past summer. We talked about old times, as people who have known each other since childhood tend to do, and at one point he mentioned one of those late-night, solve-the-world?s-problems conversations we had during our early twenties. Back then I had posed a question regarding a world without money, something The Big Gun still finds as hilarious now as he did thirty years ago.
The Big Gun has worked for IBM since 1977 or1978. Big Blue has been his only employer since he graduated from college. Since his hiring, the world has changed dramatically in some respects, particularly regarding computers and technology. Today the Internet is taken for granted, thanks to Al Gore having invented it, but when The Big Gun and I were considering a currency-free lifestyle, thematic variations on ?the Internet? were the stuff of science fiction novels read by guys with thick-lensed glasses held together with tape or paper clips.
Things have changed. Commerce rules the day online as it does everywhere else, but there are certain aspects of the Internet where money is truly not an issue. One of these aspects is [tag]Comfort Stand Recordings[/tag]. This label provides completely free music available for downloading, filesharing, and to burn onto CD-Rs at no cost except for the blank disc. It began in December 2003; on April 1, 2006, the label decided not to release any new music but to continue making their catalog available for anyone who wants it. Free.
What kind of music is it? Pretty good stuff. Their jewel in the crown is a series of annual pop concert recordings by the Dondero High School A Capella Choir. The compilation disc of performances from 1995-2005 features songs ranging from Peter Gabriel?s ?Shock The Monkey? to Aerosmith?s ?Love In An Elevator? to the Doobie Brothers? ?Black Water? to Weezer?s ?Holiday.? There is a collection of demos by the 1960s pop genius Joe Meek, perhaps best known for his production work on Top 40 hit singles like ?Telstar? by the Tornadoes and ?Have I The Right? by the Honeycombs, until his suicide in 1967. There is an anthology of outsider music recordings by R. Stevie Moore, the son of Elvis Presley?s former bassist and Monument Records founder Bob Moore, who grew up to record four hundred LPs in the DIY (?do it yourself?) genre.
And there is Different Mayonnaise by [tag]Fortyone[/tag]. This fifteen-minute EP is a seven-song collection of music created primarily by using recording software to cut-and-paste musical sections from children?s music records. Fortyone also used public domain drum patterns, Internet WAV sites for various effects, and excerpts from films and television programs. The result is imaginative, surreal, and hilarious.
[tag]Different Mayonnaise[/tag] is like a sonic version of the kind of dream where one awakens from a deep sleep, totally baffled, then immediately tries for more sleep and a return to the dream. My favorite moment is the voice of Popeye saying ?I suppose you?re hungry, huh?? Listen for it. Popeye rocks.
According to the Comfort Stand Recordings website, Fortyone left CD-R copies of Different Mayonnais in various parts of his town, with the hope that someone would find them, listen, and respond via e-mail or some other form of correspondence. The web page lists nine different responses, all extremely positive and appreciative. Perfect for a world without money.
To download Different Mayonnaise, visit www.comfortstand.com, click on the ?albums? link, and scroll down the list of titles.
[tags]free music, cd review[/tags]