the cost of free things part two: initial guilt audit

January 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Posted in musings, new music, no audience underground | 2 Comments
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So what have been the consequences of my New Year’s resolution to lay off the indiscriminate net-based consumption and pay for/think about my cultural intake instead?  Well, the most entertaining bit has been the charming response by Simon of the mighty DDDD but I will deal with that in its own post following this one (I just want to note in passing that his coining of the phrase ‘mechanically recovered guitar slurry’ in the latest issue had me snorting with laughter).  What we have here are the results of my first stock take…

Words: spoken mainly, some written

The greatest difference my decision has made is to my guzzling of audiobooks and podcasts.  I cut the latter in half just by being stern about whether they were worth my time.  A lot of whimsy went by the wayside.  The remaining list was split into two camps.  Those podcasts supported by sponsorship or advertising or paid for by the license fee could remain guilt free.  For the rest I had to make my first payment decisions: donate or ditch.  A couple more went to the wall.  I was left using the birthday money my dear ol’ Gran sent me to subscribe to Left Business Observer, thus allowing me to listen to Behind the News, to donate to The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast and to Skeptoid, and to buy a couple of DVDs at Go Faster Stripe thus excusing my inexplicable addiction to the Collings and Herrin Podcasts.  I’m sure Nan would be proud of my principled stand.

Rather wonderfully, I’ve discovered that Librivox will not take donations even if you want to make ‘em.  Thus this amazing resource is a truly guilt-free treat.  As such I have been spanking it hard and have listened to D.H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow (all 20 hours of it), Joyce’s Dubliners and lots of proto-SF by H.G. Wells.  And to think, before Xmas I was listening to endless podcasts where a stoned Kevin Smith laughs at his own jokes.  Life has been ratcheted up a notch.

The written word, mainly in the form of blogs, is something I’ve yet to get under control and may be the subject of further musings later.

Music, TV and Film

Well, obviously I’ve done no illegal downloading from blogs and I haven’t touched any peer-to-peer gubbins.  Following my mentioning OFF! in my end of 2010 review I felt compelled to buy the mp3s and, at 7quid for a 19 minute album this felt like a proper test of my resolve.  It’s great, of course, but I am still in pre-Xmas lurching from one new thing to the next mode and so haven’t given it the time to grow on me yet.  I’m keeping it handy – more on this in my next post responding to Simon.

I’m continuing to make the most of FACT magazine’s regular mixes.  Given that my main musical interest for twenty years has been electronic dance music, the prospect of one or two hours a week of free hipness cannot be passed up.  As this is supported by advertising I have no qualms about downloading, though it does feed my unfortunate craving for newness so will have to be monitored.

My talented friends have provided a couple of highlights.  John Tuffen has pointed me at another new 20 minute namke track, bass-exp, which takes a while to get rolling but is a proper head-down chug once it hits a stride.

Regarding TV and film, as I’ve never really downloaded either in the past, this one is easy.  Nowadays if I want a film I’ll buy it or go see it at the cinema or borrow it from the great library I’m blessed with at the Uni where I work.  TV is boring.

So that’s where it’s at.  More to come.  Yes, I know it is massively self-indulgent but enuff with the eye-rolling: I’m having fun.


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  1. It may not be entirely your thing, but put out a podcast each month which I’ve found mostly interesting; there are different presenters, so the style does vary – but some have annoying ‘radio voices’, hopefully that will settle down. Anyway it might be worth a (free) listen over at

    (Oh, and thank you for the mention!)

    • Hey John, don’t mention it, man – keep pointing me at yr new stuff and I’ll keep punting it! Cheers for the steer re: bleep’s podcast. I’ve subscribed ‘cos it looks like just the ticket. Rob x

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