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Thursday, July 10, 2008


Howdy, Solid State.

I wish I was writing under better circumstances, but I thought I should inform everyone about the rather tragic misfortune which has befallen my little black (Mac)book.Yesterday my hard drive completely shit the bed. It has since been replaced and I am again up and running (sort of). However, my computer is now essentially an empty shell. In short, I lost everything.

The list includes, but is certainly not limited to:
- All files not backed up on the 7D server (this is mostly published work).
- Most e-mail contact info.
- All digital pics (band photos, CD covers, shots of my crazy half-pit bull Buckley, etc.).
- My ridiculous iTunes library (dating back to Ethan Covey's tenure: 60+ GB, somewhere in the neighborhood of 60,000 songs).
- My porn . . . totally kidding (I always back up my porn!).
- My coverage schedule (lineup for Soundbites, CD reviews, spotlights, etc.).
- My cool Fenway Park Desktop(s).
- A whole bunch of other stuff I probably won't miss until I really need it.

The point of sharing this with you is that I need your help rebuilding. Many Solid State denizens are also musicians, booking folks, promoters and others with whom I work in a professional capacity. If you've contacted me recently about coverage, please do so again because I no longer have the info. And if you haven't contacted me about your band before, now is the perfect time! In fact, you could even pretend that I promised you a cover story next week and I'd have no real way of denying it — please don't do that.

Anyway, I'm pretty much starting from scratch, trying to rebuild six years or so of resources. If you have high resolution pics, digital versions of albums you've submitted, pictures of my dog or anything else you think might be helpful, please send 'em my way. And feel free to spread the word to anyone you think might want/need to know. I mean, I know everyone reads Solid State, so the chances of folks missing this are pretty slim. But just in case . . .

I'm a Music Editor with no music. How sad is that?



hi dan! sorry to hear about the crash! do i have to remind you about the Smittens new album listening party at 6:30 at parima thai restaurant tonight?

we are pressing play on The Coolest Thing About Love at 7 p.m. sharp, so come early for chatting and getting drinks - we're doing the first listen in the acoustic lounge room - and David's making a slide show (plus it's the night before his birthday) - it will be good time hang out rock time after that in the big room - some friends are playing to celebrate - three of our favorite musical acts! - The Specific Heats, The 500s, and Missy Bly (solo) and they wil go on starting at 8:30 and finishing around 10:30 ish...

We're just happy to have the new album finally coming out! It's actual release date is July 29th, but we have our copies already and we can give you a review copy or get it to you some other way later - anyhow, it's a sunday night indiepop album listening and dance party rock show - everyone's invited, actually.

also, Eva finished the video for our song, "Gumdrops," which I can give you the link to.

hope that helps!


This won't help you right now,but what you need to do to spare yourself future agony is to get 7D to buy you a FireWire drive (they're fairly cheap) and then you need to download a free backup program called SuperDuper and run it at least once a week -- say, Friday afternoons. That way, if your Mac drive ever croaks, you'll have all your stuff.

Sorry to hear about this, though -- there good deal of musical wealth passed from ME to ME.


There's a few problems I have with this. First, I thought Macs were indestructible? Actually I knew they weren't, but the hubris exhibited by many Mac owners who feel that their machines are so good that the most basic computer safety procedures can be ignored is amazing. I mean, backup drives are ridiculously cheap, and software will automate it for you. There’s no excuse.
Second, 60,000 songs on a laptop drive? Maybe my math is off a bit, but my 250 GB drive at home is holding 10000 high-res FLAC files and 15000 mid- and low-res MP3’s (most are copies of the FLACS for car listening) and it's approaching full. That many songs on a single drive would require low bitrate files as a default. My problem with this? The city’s (state’s?) arguably highest-profile music editor doesn’t need to be an audiophile (a word he often uses in the completely wrong context), but the music samples he reviews and uses for reference should be of reasonable sound quality, and <160 kbps MP3 simply is not. On that note, it amazes me that this resource, that being the reference music library for the state's preeminent Arts rag, contains no physical media? I mean, what about liner notes, fidelity, and protecting oneself from this hard drive business?
I don't mean to be a dick, but I would expect more from 7D and their music man. But then again this is the guy who steered me towards buying that Tapes n' Tapes garbage...



Speaking of using words incorrectly, the correct way to open your rant would be "There are," not "There's." The latter is a contraction for "there is" — or "there has" — in this case referring to a singular problem. You have several problems it seems. Thus, "there are."

Not be a dick, of course.


And Tapes 'n Tapes is Awesome!


Okay, there's my grammatical got me. My point with word usage has been a pet peeve of mine since I saw the word 'audiophile' used in the same contextually wrong way for three issues in a row. Audiophile refers to 'sound lover', rather then 'music lover', although they sometimes but not always intermingle. I'm not the former, but the latter. I may be a bit prickly there, but they are two very different types of people.

As for Tapes n' Tapes, I plunked down my hard-earned $17 for the LP based on the 7D blip, as I sometimes do to check out new music. That record (or cd, or MP3) is without a doubt the worst recorded album I have ever heard, and David Fridmann is to blame. The way he smashed the hell out of that recording and maxed the levels to 'stun' for full rock effect is ridiculous. I respect Greg Calbi, who mastered that record, but Friddman has wrecked many an album from that one-trick-pony unlistenable trick of his (SK's The Woods, FL's Soft Bulletin, Mogwai's Come on Die Young, etc.) I'm sure the songs are nice, but that over-the-top digital distortion is just too frickin' much, and is not pleasant to listen to or even that unique any more.

I guess I'd like music critics to key us folks who listen to their suggestions in on when the sound of a recording is just plain awful, rather than passing along a blurb from the press packet after listening to a quick download and reading the review in Entertainment Weekly.

Say hi to my brother Michael. He's heard me rant on this a few times.

Respectfully yours,


Now start backing up that hard drive!



First, I'm genuinely glad you look to 7D for music suggestions and sincerely hope you will continue to do so. And I apologize if you feel I steered you wrong with Tapes N Tapes. What I write is just one man's opinion — and it's never influenced by what EW says,even if I mention that a band has been getting that kind of attention, thank you very much. As the saying goes, you can't please everyone and we're bound to disagree on matters of taste at some point.

As for the audiophile stuff, you're absolutely correct. Of course that's the literal definition. However, I'm neither the first nor the most accomplished writer to use the term loosely. But I take your point.

On that note, there's a line in this week's CD reviews, especially for you. Actually, it just sorta worked out that way. But still, I hope you'll approve.

And by the way, 7D's physical local music library is extensive and will actually be merged with the Vermont Music Archives in the very near future. What I lost was more of a national reference resource. I may have overestimated the exact number of songs it contained — and underestimated the number of GBs. But in any case, it was a massive, diverse and indispensable collection. It will be sorely missed. Lesson learned.

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