First, let me say that the “improvements” WordPress made around the first of the year really kind of suck. As near as I can tell, the only way to link to a video so that the video actually shows up in your post rather than as a link only allows you to do so with one video in each post. Well, I’m sorry grand WordPress poobahs, this is a post where I want to link to more than one video. You’ve screwed the pooch. Sorry, my loyal readers, I wish there was a way to do this better, but it appears to not be possible (of course, if you know the solution to this problem, I’m all ears. Edited to add: Never mind and thank you to Theryn.).
But, on to the dead horse. I’ve written a couple of times already about Spotify. How it has revolutionized music and how we access it. Let me recap … for just $10 a month I have access to just about every recorded song there is. I never have to buy a CD again. Never have to download a song from ITunes. As long as I have a device that can get the Spotify App, I have access to EVERYTHING! So far, I have the app on my laptop and my Kindle. Perfect.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. On the way to work this morning, I heard the following four songs in order on satellite radio (The Spectrum was the station).
For the record, this is the one and only Talking Heads song I’ve ever liked, but I didn’t know it existed until this morning.
Back in the day when I was a kid and we had KZAP and KROY and KSFM on the FM dial and KFRC on the AM dial, we were limited to what those radio stations played and then going out and buying a single or a full album. Anybody else recognize the damage done by Seasons In the Sun and Spiders and Snakes??? Buying an album required a monumental leap of faith since you generally got to hear only one or two songs from it on the radio. But, I’ve always liked the full treatment. The album, the CD. Not downloading or buying a single. There are always these hidden nuggets. The songs that grow on you through repetitious playing that overwhelm the “hit” that propelled you to buy the album in the first place. I can’t imagine a world in which we just download single songs and don’t take a chance on the full body of work of an album or CD.
And that’s where Spotify comes in … for $10 a month I have access to everything. Not just the hits played by the traditional radio stations — I mean seriously, at the moment, I can guarantee you that Ho Hey by the Lumineers is going to be on the radio in our house every single morning. I love the song, I love the group, but really? Every single morning at 7:17 you have to play that song?
No, I have access to the entire catalogue. I knew after I heard those four songs this morning on my way to work that I would be able to come home tonight and plug in ZZ Ward, Talking Heads, Black Keys, and Nick Waterhouse into Spotify and find music I never imagined possible. And I don’t have to buy a CD to access that music. (Don’t worry. Spotify is entirely legal and supports musicians by paying royalties every time one of their songs is played by somebody using Spotify.)
Until Spotify there is absolutely no way I would have taken a chance on such acts as The Tallest Man on Earth (if you haven’t heard him yet, you really must …
Alabama Shakes …
Ryan Bingham …
and … the list could go on and on and on. These musicians I’ve described here are what is music to me these days. Singers. Songwriters. Making real and authentic music with soul and feeling.
In the olden days, I would have never heard of them. These are not the artists you hear on commercial radio. Now, I no longer have to worry about whether I’m going to spend $10 or $15 on a CD and be disappointed. Instead, I can explore everything they have and enjoy all of these artists. It’s pretty damn incredible and is at least one technological advance I’m thrilled about.