Monday, 16 July 2012

Do we need a keyboardist part II

RIP Jon Lord

I wrote about the argument in metal about keyboards here

But here is the finest moment in keyboard metal

Thanks Jon.

Here is an actual factual article . .

Sunday, 15 July 2012

A cool love

So, this is the first of the new Music Ruminations blogs

Please bear with me a little bit because I am working this out as I go along, I assure you that it will be worth it. I have refrained from doing a spoken commentary on this blog because I think it needs to be one step at a time. Let's see how it goes.

The reason I am doing this is because it is interactive. If you suggest songs that you like on the playlist, probably via the comments here, then I can add them and we can start to generate playlists together. Then everyone is better off.

I wanted to talk about Love. There are a lot of songs about love. In fact I did some research, and using advanced techniques (stole the idea from someone else's work from google) and the most scientific answer I was able to get was that it is a stupid question because most songs are about love.

It has always been the way hasn't it? I think it would make a fairly understandable and logical argument to suggest that song, or musical expression has actually evolved from this as the primary purpose. Everything that came after through song is perhaps a bi-product. A lucky bonus. or maybe, songs about lost love were the driver. That angst causing people to want to express it in a more eloquent fashion than just letting out a primal scream at the sky and walking away and kicking a dodo or something -I am sure this is perhaps why the Dodo is not with us, primary cause of extinction was kicking through unrequited love, rather than them just being tasty, they were in the wrong place any way.

The issue, which you cool music hipsters with your finger on some sort of pulse already know is that most of the songs are rubbish. They suck, they mean nothing in real terms to us. We are too cool for that. But then some cool people put out love songs don't they.

That is where I want to go today, cool people writing about cool love, in a cool way. Now cool is the word I use, perhaps you have a different word, groovy, awesome, I don't know, but substitute it in and you will get the idea.

 A cool love

Click on thelink for the playlist

The playlist starts with two mellow classics. The unique Stevie Wonder, and the peerless Roberta Flack. Stevie Wonder has such a complex and varied catalogue that it is taking years to appreciate it all. Sunshine of My Life is not a song I would usually search out and put on. But listening to it today, it has a joy and an energy that is infectious. Roberta Flack, is a different kind of cool. A very quiet mellow, but in the same way intense, song about another person. A bit mushy perhaps, I get that, but what a voice.

I then branch out into three upbeat songs about love, by very cool bands. Everlong by the Foo Fighters, one of my favourite songs, Ever Fallen in Love by the Buzzcocks, obvious, and Another World, Another Planet by The Only Ones which is more obscure, but a great song and for some reason I always put those last  two songs together in my mind. I know the last song isn' t really about long lasting love, but it is still cool. Because I said so.

I am not going to go through the entire playlist, mainly because I got into this a little more than I expected and there are going to be a lot of songs when I am finished.

I have tried to group the songs into some sort of order and general theme. There is some flow I hope.

Some of the songs you may agree with, some probably not, some may make you snicker and wonder what you are doing here . . Regardless, listen, suggest, let's get this done and then the next one is about unrequited love, the yang for the ying.. . .

Thanks guys

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Your cheating heart

So I have been away for a while, did you miss me?

I hope not because I didn't miss you. In fact I am not sure I even like you anymore. .

No no, I am only joking, but you could do a lot better than me, than this blog. There are lots of other blogs out there, really interesting ones

I guess what I am actually trying to say dear reader is that I have been seeing someone else. Yes, younger, yes, exciting. Yes I know them from work. Name,? I don't see why a name is important, but yes you have probably heard it.

OK it's Spotify.

Yes, I have been lost for the last month or more in Spotify. It is why I haven't written. Why I haven't been in touch at all, why I may have forgotten an important event or two. On that note I missed the death of Disco. Donna Summer and Andy Gibb have both passed away. A sad day for Disco.

I have always liked that track. Mainly because it is basically the first dance track as we know it.

The Bee Gee's. Never really got into them. As you can imagine, when I started getting into music in the early 80s Disco was properly dead. The Bee Gees never really got onto my radar at the time and as such, never really did. Condolences to those who loved them however.

What do you mean I am changing the subject? Oh Spotify? yes, OK.

I have got into Spotify in a massive way. Mainly because I got an app for it called ' share my playlists' and the Last FM app. Together these have opened up a world that I knew was there but never properly explored. Yes, this is the next generation of music listening.

As I wrote in this post, I have followed the musical trends in terms of formats. Records, tapes, CDs, digital music. So we evolved, in true Darwin style, from format to format, getting better sound quality (less scratchy, not warmer for those vinyl fans) , getting more compact and portable, until we get to the ability to have everything you have ever listened to on your PC and a bit of that on a portable music device.

So what does Spotify offer? What can it possibly have that I can't already have? It offers other peoples music. You do not have to buy it, but you can listen to it. So if you like it and then buy it if you want to.

So, you can search and it gives up results you can then explore. It doesn't have everything you ever heard of on it. Really it isn't wiki- music- pedia at all. I can stump it quite easily. I am sure you with your knowledge would be a bit disappointed.

However, and this is the why my head has been turned. With Share my playlist, other people put a selection of tracks together in a so called 'playlist' post it to the app and then you can subscribe to it. Listen to it. This is like having a friend come around and play you tracks by genre.

But, and this is where it becomes irresistible. . . you can play a song on one of the playlists, go to the last FM app and it will generate a playlist of similar songs that are in the Last FM song library. Ones you may not even have known existed.

So , So cool.

As you can imagine . . I have been there for a while and the romance is still and fresh and it makes me feel alive again . . Ok, bollocks aside. It is cool. it is free, and there is a world of music out there.

I have not got to the next stage yet, where you download the playlists to a portable music player as my Ipod is not configured and I do not want to lose everything, which I would if I let Spotify take that over. But i can't do that, because that is my music history for the past few years. Although I want to move on, I do not want to forget about the past. So I need to get another Music player.

I am very open to recommendations on this one. Ipod? or something else? Not a smartphone. Your help is appreciated.

So potentially, this is the last blog of this style. I am looking into how I can link in Playlists and songs on Spotify. I am even toying with the idea of becoming completely multi media and speaking to you directly. Save you the trouble of reading.

I will see, but big changes afoot, two reasons. One to keep you and me interested and two, to boost my pityful readership. Which is my own fault because I stopped advertising and stopped writing.

Anyway, this isn't the end , it is just the end of the beginning.

Love this song for some stupid reason.