CMJ

The new Miles Davis On The Corner set, which Sony says is the last metal boxed chunk of Miles they're gonna release, ever, is also the most beautiful, ever. Like the LP which reached its finest, most completely perfected form just before CDs came in, the boxed set is reaching its zenith with this one. The funky characters from the original cover are now stamped into the metal casing into which the set, book and CDs combined slip into. It's the same setup that Sony’s been using since the beginning of what has proved to be colossal reissue program.

CMJ week in NYC and the collective reaction I've heard from the local music writer rabble is a deafening, "Ho Hum." Most mystifying this year is who are all these acts no one's ever heard of? One theory is that these are all bands from the Midwest who don’t know that CMJ turned ripe and fell off the tree many years ago. The only act I’ve seen on this year's schedule that was worth schlepping downtown fir was UK angry young (now old) man Billy Bragg, who everyone who cares about music has already seen five times. Part of the problem is that New York is entirely too spread out to host a music conference. In Austin, SXSW works because everything, seminars, hotels, music, are all in a compact area. In Manhattan, there's too much going in just in the normal course of events for this festival to be able to foster any sense of community which is exactly what makes events like this go.

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