I sent around emails to alert people about my latest mix, The Future. Some folks listened to it and liked it, some didn't like it, and some didn't listen to it at all. I spent three days putting the "liner notes" on the mix together. The reactions to the liner notes were all negative. One reader described it as boring. Another described it as being too long. Most people avoided it in general.
Let me wax philosphical if I may...
Most humans, Americans in particular, have a tendency to try to categorize things. Here's an example. Lets say that you go to a museum in order to take in art with a friend or lover. Instead of looking at the object and taking in its beauty, your partner may ask you questions like, "Who painted this?" "When is this from?" Your partner may make the statement, "This reminds me of..." and refer to another work of art. Kind of like when you see a trailer for a movie on TV, which says if you liked X and Y, then you're gonna love Z. People like to categorize things. This need for organization, compartmentalization and classification can often interfere with a natural sense of wonder, or a sense of, "Wow! Just look at that! It's so nice." It would be far too much to ask of an American to say nothing at all.
The same is true when I play new music for people. The first question is usually, "Who is this?" Followed by, "Where did you hear about them?" And sometimes I get, "What language is that? Do you understand what they're saying? How can you listen to it if you don't understand it?"
So I tried to be thorough and answer the first two questions in the liner notes. It was an effort to preempt the quesions that invariably flow out of the listener.
I guess my conclusion is that people don't really want to know more information about the music, they just want to make conversation, or perhaps they just like to hear themselves speak.
posted by mennu
(Who is presently listening to Stereolab sing in French as they are remixed by Theivery Corporation who reside in Washington, D.C.)