Trimming Songs

Memo to rock bands: don’t put annoying filler in your songs. Thankfully, now I can simply cut such nonsense out with my audio editing software (mostly Amadeus, though I have to use other stuff to get around irritating “protection” encoding. I hasten to note that I buy all my music and alter the encoding only of songs I have purchased for my personal use).

I almost didn’t buy the new Depeche Mode album because of the bizarre and off-putting (and long) introduction to the first song, which is otherwise great. With a judicious snip, the song is now a minute, twenty-three seconds shorter — and much better.

I love U2’s “Wanderer,” sung by Johnny Cash — except that they recorded these horrible clanging noises at the end. Now I can enjoy the song without rushing to fast-forward through the completely unnecessary noise.

I also got a song from Ghostland Observatory that includes this grating buzzing sequence about three-fourths of the way through. Now the song is about a fourth shorter — and I can listen to it.

Listen, rock bands: none of you is so great that you can just put annoying noise in your songs and expect us to listen. Knock it off. You’re not being avant garde, you’re not being edgy, you’re not being clever. You’re being annoying. And there are too many good bands in the world for listeners to put up with your annoying crap. That goes for you, too, U2. At least now I can fight back and do your editing work for you.

There is a broader point here: with the digitization of music, listeners can now adjust their play lists, not just to include the songs they want, but to include the sections of songs they want. In general, the digital revolution puts consumers in charge of their media in remarkable new ways.