At this point in time, everyone is in a band. Everyone has a side project. Everyone has a limited edition EP. Everyone has a MySpace page. Everyone has music pouring out of them. Only problem? No one has time to listen.
Why do people love email? Because they can write long, uninterrupted screeds without being interrupted. Talk on the phone and the person at the other end probably has something they want to say. What are you going to do?
Here are five performers who make too many albums. After awhile no matter how much you like them, you can't tell them apart. You wish they'd exercise some self-control and just give you the good bits. But then who's to say they'd know what the good bits are? Therefore, we exist with this endless, vicious cycle that is slowly killing us--and worse, killing the children!
Robert Pollard: Pollard takes the cake. He's released at least three albums this year--two as a solo act, one as Circus Devils - and he's put out boxed sets of outtakes. Hundreds of songs. They all sound exactly alike, except for the ones that are slightly better and the ones that are slightly worse.
John Frusciante: Once he stopped doing heroin he had to find another way to fill his time. So he decided to go back to his first love: music. And since the Red Hot Chili Peppers don't make enough music to make John happy (hey, we're all in that boat to different degrees), John records an album a week or something like that and then issues them as his very own "Album of the Month" club. Some of these--his Ataxia releases--are quite enjoyable. But then you run out of day to listen.
Ryan Adams: Here's a case where a guy figures if he writes enough songs one of them will eventually be a hit. Or at least that's what his management must be hoping for. Since going solo from Whiskeytown, Adams picked up the pace and recorded a whole slew of albums and a bunch of knock-off stuff for his website until it got to the point where he didn't put out an album for awhile and suddenly the buzz was that his new album, Easy Tiger, was more focused. It wasn't. And now the word is he has a five CD box set coming of more unreleased albums. Someone hit the "Stop" button.
The Fall: Mark E. Smith, the guy who runs this shifting group of vagrants, knows that in order to keep his career afloat he needs to make a certain amount of money. Since there is a finite amount of people willing to pay for his music, he must release records as often as he can. Since his songs don't require melody and can subsist on two chords rambling back and forth, he never runs out of material. Much like this blog.
Jandek: At one point he was making several albums a year, which was pretty remarkable. But if you listened to them, you discovered he couldn't actually play an instrument or sing on key. He gradually improved. Very gradually. His albums covers went from blurry to in focus and then a movie got made about him and then he started showing up at festivals in Europe and suddenly what seemed really eerie and odd became like some kind of Royal Scam. As if someone would press up dozens of unlistenable albums for twenty years just to make a point. Will he one day donate his brain to science?