Michael Nesmith on the Return of the LP

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Michael Nesmith just posted this to his Facebook page.

I have been busy finishing up the collector’s edition CD’s of my Movies of the Mind concert live album. It’s been a long time since I have worked on releasing a CD. It seems odd. Weirdly old fashioned. Things have changed so much.

I think the three Editions are coming along well and they look nice. They are signed and numbered like an artist’s run of prints, beautifully packaged with collector’s goodies and they are priced like first editions are – which is to say expensive — but there are only a few hundred of each.

The landscape of recorded music is such unusual territory these days it is hard to know what to do. For instance part of the Super Deluxe Edition – sold out, thank you for that – has a vinyl LP in the set.

I put it there because of the advice I was getting from Andrew Sandoval, the producer of the Editions, as well as collectors and fans who said it would be a good addition.

It’s a puzzle to me.

I remember how happy I was when the CD came along and made the LP obsolete. No more pops and scratches – no more hiss – no more distorted highs and muddy lows. I was thrilled.

Then software started popping up to reintroduce all those things digitally and finally the LP itself knocked at my back door.

“Who’s there?” I wondered.  “You!!?? I thought you left.”

“No” said the LP, “I have been hanging out in the back yard with the compost pile until I saw the light from your computer inviting me back in. It really smells out there. I don’t belong with all that garbage. Can I come in?”

What could I say? I let him in. (The LP is male – figures)

So there is a 12” inch LP in the Super Deluxe Edition of 200. I put songs on the LP that I have been sketching for a while and some performances from the Spring Tour.

The “new” songs have been around for awhile. They are part of a section of my music garden I have been working on and are still fragile buds – tiny – I’m not even sure what species – maybe a fruit – maybe a vegetable – some kind of plant, in any case. They are pretty little things and have a good aroma and they are attractive.

The first song-bulbs are split and now repotted in the LP but still in the download section of Videoranch. The Videoranch files are digital of course – they don’t sound like the LP. Nothing does, actually.

As I say there are three collectors’ Editions and the Super Deluxe and Deluxe are sold out. There are around 200 of the Standard Edition still available.

I will bring those last 200 with me to the Monkees convention. They don’t have the vinyl LP but they are a lot cheaper than the other two.

I worry, too, about bringing my solo merch to the Convention. I figure Monkees fans want Monkees stuff and not my solo work. My Monkees fan friends assure me this is not the case so I am bringing Nez stuff — but I have real trepidations about it.

Those same trepidations apply to my solo show and the Q&A Session that are set up for the Convention. I’ll do the Movies of the Mind show like I wrote it but I decided at the last minute to throw in an extra Monkees song.

The Q&A session was a bit of a problem to solve. I didn’t know quite what the Convention hosts wanted but they gave me pretty much free reign to set it up however I wanted so I took it.

I thought a long time and finally decided to invite Rachel Rosenfelt Publisher and Editor of The New Inquiry magazine to ask the questions. She is bringing another editor from TNI with her; Rob Horning. I gave Rachel and Rob the permission to ask me anything.

The three of us will be talking about all things Monkees from what I hope is a high and interesting perspective. Both Rachel and Rob are wicked smart, both are young – Rachel is 28 and just recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the brightest and best “30 under-30’s in the U.S.” – both are deep thinkers and avid Monkees fans. I think it will be a good session.

I hope they don’t ask me about LP’s though. I am clueless as to the appeal. If they do maybe I will just bust into a crazy non-sequitur song like “Shrimp Boats are A’Comin”. That makes as much sense to me as a vinyl LP.

Still, overall I am happy to be working hard on this Editions release and the Convention. I am getting more and more excited to be going – the LP mystery notwithstanding. See you there.

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