Remember when the Parents Music Resource Center said CDs should have stickers warning of “Explicit Content”? Well, they had the right idea—but the wrong direction. What we really needed were warning stickers like these.
1: “Contains music where client told the mastering engineer to make the CD ‘as loud as possible.''” This just in: Modern music playback devices have an innovative human interface device called a “volume control” that allows the consumer to make music as loud as they want! Isn''t technology wonderful?
2: “Contains human-played drum parts quantized to a grid.” I''m with Dave Grohl (“Grohl''s Garage,” Electronic Musician, May 201) on this one. Drum machines are exempt, of course, because they''re machines—their souls are quantized. (Just ask Kraftwerk.)
3: “Contains music created by one person, with no outside input whatsoever.” Projects like this generally do not end well. Even Prince, who really can play everything himself, listens to other people.
4: “Contains the one song you bought this for; the rest is filler.” Translation: Go to iTunes and download the single.
5: “Contains music made by someone a record label executive wanted to sleep with.” These never work out—I played on some of their sessions.