Category Archives: Davie Bowie

Are long songs a dying art?

With the release of Blackstar and the death of David Bowie shortly thereafter I found myself doing some research into the title track of Bowie’s 25th and final studio album. It was through this research that I came across and interesting fact.

The length of the song originally was over  11 minutes however David Bowie & Tony Visconti learnt that iTunes do not post singles over 10 minutes in length. This lead two men to shorten the track down to it’s final length of 9 minutes and 57 seconds. When I discovered this piece of information it made me ponder the question are long songs a dying art form into todays world.

Longer songs are nothing new to the world of popular music or to the airwaves of our radios. The catalogue of music over the past 40 years are littered with examples of longer songs. Here are some examples…

The full version of Don McLean’s American Pie is 8 minutes and 33 seconds, Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven comes in at 8 minutes and 3 seconds, Money by Pink Floyd is 6 minutes and 22 seconds and finally Queen Bohemian Rhapsody is 5 minutes. Most of those have been played extensively in lifetimes and are timeless classics of music.

By contrast through my research I have compiled the following facts about albums released in 2015. The longest track of Meghan Trainor album Title is Like I’m Gonna Lose You  which runs for 3 minutes and 45 minutes. Mark Ronson’s 4th album Uptown Special has general longer tracks than Meghan Trainor’s album with the 6th track being the longest Daffodils at 4 minutes and 58 seconds. Finally perhaps the biggest album release of the year 25 by Adele comes closest to the epic long tracks of old with I miss you coming in at 5 minutes and 49 seconds.

I think perhaps our quick fast paced life is a contributing factor to the change in the length songs and the way we consume them. With our lives becoming so hectic and busy everything is grabbing at our attention. As an example of which we can now get a customisable news feed on our tablet devices. It appears that we are wanting things quick convenient and easy to digest which is reflected in our consumption of music and therefor how music is made.

I believe there is still a place for longer tracks on modern albums to add to the diversity of the releases. Hopefully generations to come can enjoy sitting down to listen to an epic track which runs for a good length and can take the listener on a journey of a lifetime.

Finally before I finish I thought I would add that I quite enjoyed Blackstar by David Bowie. It is an elegant tapestry of music which infuses several genres and is made by a man who was a musical genius who was taken from this world before his time.

 

 

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GenghisCon 2016

Genghis Con 2016 hit the convention scene from January 15th until the 17th at the usual venue it is held at which is  Trinity College in Crawley in Western Australia. Here are my thoughts and views on it.

Genghis Con holds a rather special place in the Perth convention scene as it is always the first convention on the calendar therefor for me there is always a strong level of excitement when Genghis Con time comes around.

This year the committee restructured the way the convention was organised with fewer people on the committee and instead turning to the community and asking for there help and support with running things like the program items. This idea worked very well it allowed the community greater input into building their convention and also allowed the committee to be more efficient in organising the other things that needed to be done.

Just to note for the reader I was part of this new process as myself and a friend of mine were the tabletop gaming team for Genghis Con 2016. Which basically involves going away and working out the board gaming schedule for the convention and giving it to the committee. Mostly we worked independently  from the committee and we just kept in general contact with them informing them of our progress.

As a whole I found the program at the convention to be very diverse and interesting with quite a number of different items on it from what has been done in the past. This could be partially put down to the new structure of organising the con that I mentioned above.

In addition to being part of the gaming team for Genghis Con 2016 I was also on several other panel items as well. This gave me some further insights.

Firstly the confirmation of the panel items I was on was sent only 6 days before the convention which is not enough time for preparations to be made for panel content. Also I was to be on three panels Anime 101, Peter Capaldi: Return to Old Who & Board Games: What’s New.

On receiving my confirmation e-mail I was only on two panels Peter Capaldi: Return to Old Who and Cool Games/kickstarters (which I did not put myself down at all). However I was then rather confused when I received an e-mail about the Anime 101 panel from Genghis Con which I was not confirmed to be on by their programme coordinator.

The other main point was the neither the panels or programme coordinator contacted myself to see if I would need any special equipment or connections for my panels <fortunately I did not>. Also no one contacted me to see if I had a preferred time for any of my items. Normally I finish work at 4pm which means I would not get into the convention until about 4:40pm. This would have been a problem given the first panel I was listed to be on at 4pm and the second one was at 5pm. This normally would have been a problem however fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your perspective) I was off work in the week up to the convention because of my knee acting up. So this turned out to be a non issue but some communication from the programming team would have been appreciated.

As readers may be aware David Bowie passed away on the Monday before Genghis Con. I contacted the committee to inquire if it would be possible to do a music tribute to him celebrating his collection of songs. The committee were more than accommodating in this request which they are to be commended for.

The convention it self went rather well. The only real issue we had was we were given a room with two twin beds instead of a double bed. However this was put down as a venue issue. Other than that the only thing I would raise is that the board gaming area should have it’s own dedicated room and not combined with the common room. Some of the rooms were under utilised however this did give room for last minute program items to be added <like my David Bowie item>.

The AGM went very smoothly as normal even with the added item of the constitution changes which the committee handled very well and professionally.

All in all it was a good convention and with a combination of some new faces and some old guard on the next committee 2017 looks like being another exciting convention.