I basically put everything I could think of that I was listening to in high-school into a playlist. Why? Because why not.
I know I probably missed quite a bit of stuff, but trying to think of stuff from that far back is hard, and makes me feel old. Soo, um, here's a walk down memory lane. Hit up the replies and give me some other suggestions of stuff I probably was listening to -- or you were.
For Rdio's one year anniversary -- we were asked to put together a playlist of our favorite songs we "discovered" this past year. The staff and I had a whole lot of fun with this one. I'm putting it here first, and then I'll make a news post about it next week. Some great stuff to check out.
Really enjoying this album at the moment ... it's just got something about it that's speaking to me. Not my usual recommendation, but if I only gave you the usual, what good would I be? Rdio is premiering it, which means even without an account you should be able to stream it below. Give it a spin.
I put together a playlist of some songs from the albums I think are definitely worth checking out today. Anything else you think is definitely worth giving a listen to? Leave me a comment and let me know.
While people debate what Apple is going to announce tomorrow - I've seen a lot of web articles saying that iTunes in the cloud is going to "kill the mp3" and completely shift the fabric of the music listening experience. Now, Apple definitely brings this hyperbole on themselves. They say that tomorrow will be a day "no one forgets" - and in turn all the tech writers need to make statements that live up to that hype. Or blow past it.
It sure does sell a lot of iDevices. For the mainstream user, some of these things might even come true. For the kid that is listening to music via youtube videos (seriously, what the hell) this might be true. But there's one glaring reason that this will not completely alter the musical landscape (in my opinion). And this is coming from watching the AP.net community over the past 10 years. And this is something that remains an issue for record labels until they start being proactive in the release cycle.
If the new Kanye West album is available for download - but not available to buy OR available in a cloud based service - there is a large portion of the music loving community that will still be "stealing" music. Why would you wait? Kids want to be first. They want to be talking about the new songs before their friends. This probably isn't going to play a huge role for the mainstream people. Cloud based solutions, available anywhere (hello car), that are easy to use ... will be the future of music for the mainstream. I firmly believe this - and within 10 years this will be reality. However, any declarations that the mp3 will die; I can't buy until the release schedule is tightened up. Until an album is available for stream/purchase when it's ready -- and there isn't a huge lag between the recording and the release date. That lag leads to leaks. And as long as their are album leaks ... the mp3 will live on.
If the rumors I've seen online are right and we're going to see an iTunes in the cloud come September: The music industry is about to be very, very interesting. I, personally, hope it happens. It'll make the space much more competitive - which is only good for the user ... and websites like us that tell you who you should go check out.
What am I up to today? I'm working on the new AP.net stuff (like always). Wanna see? Pssssh, like I'm gonna do that. Ok well, maybe ... here's a taste of technically what I'm doing right this moment.
I remember back when Napster first hit the internet ... it was like finding a goldmine wrapped in bacon ... smothered in Christmas. I would spend hours looking for new music. I would find users that liked stuff I liked (Blink 182, The Ataris, MxPx) and then view their collections and see what other bands they had. I'd download one or two songs - if I liked it - I'd go buy the album (this was back in the dial-up era - downloading an album was an all night affair). It was a rush of checking out / trying new music that I haven't experienced in a long time ...
I was lucky enough to be able to get Spotify working. And it's all it's been hyped up to be. While places like myspace or purevolume work well for quick musical discovery - I haven't seen an interface quite like Spotify and what it means. It's iTunes meets Pandora on steroids. There are always a huge number of bands people recommend to me - but I never have time to check out. I usually write them down, and then try once or twice a week to go find their myspace profiles to listen to a song and decide if I like it and it's worth checking out - if it's worth an immediate purchase - or if I write it off. This is definitely not the ideal way of listening to music/discovering something new. I just hadn't figured out a better way.
Within seconds I added a bunch of bands to my queue - hit play. Went to work. No running around myspace, no switching pages, switching players, downloading ... just listening. Just discovering. It was like the first time I saw Napster or iTunes ... when I thought "woah, someone got it right." This is what music sharing/discovery/listening SHOULD be ... this is a game changer. And if the music industry is smart ... they'll get on board right now. They play their cards right - this could be what saves them from themselves. And if Apple is smart - they'll turn iTunes into something very similar. This is the future ... and it's looking bright. This is the first service I would not even think twice about paying for each month. Put a blackberry app in the mix - and I'm a lifer.
So, while I work today (new user profiles are really exciting) - I'm going to be checking out a whole bunch of bands I just never had the time to devote to ... first up? Little Man Tate. I like it.
Ok, I've answered close to 300 emails today ... I can't handle any more gmail. I took a look at my to-do list, and I think one of the best ways to motivate myself is to pick the hardest project on the list and just do it. So, I am picking the re-writing of our music player system on the artist profiles. Currently it's a pretty convoluted system that only Garett and myself really know how to use. I think I can re-write this to be something every single staff member can use. But it's going to mean I'm doing it, personally, from scratch ... I'll post updates in here while working on it.
I got a lot of reactions from people for the "industry" blog I posted yesterday. Quite a few emails, quite a few comments here, twitter, and facebook. I am glad people are at least thinking about it. And that it's on your minds. I think one of the problems with the industry nowadays is that everyone waits for someone else to make a move. No one wants to take the risk. So everyone sits and wants to see success from the other guy before adopting a new strategy.
Where's the innovation? Where's the competition? Where's the capitalistic spirit!
I am well aware that I'm going to be in the minority of my profession when I say this ... but I am starting to think all advances and promo copies should be abolished. Let's all get the music at the same time. Put the "professional" back on par with the "fan." The music industry is changing so slowly I feel like I'll be 60 before anything drastic (and real) happens.
I updated my song on the AP.net homepage music player .. I posted a rare demo from Acceptance called "Juliana." The song was recorded on a shoe-string budget a long time ago, and after talking to both Jason and Christian I was told I could post it for stream. So ... here it is (for the first time I know of in the wild). There's just something about Jason's voice and delivery that does it for me.
What someone needs to do is compile a service like Spotify, allow paying members to download songs (for use on MP3 players), and then also incorporate Facebook Connect/Last.fm - so you can recommend music to your friends through the program, share with certain users, etc. Share musical tastes with a friend? Tell them about the new Band X album you're listening to. Update your status with links to playlists, songs, albums - people can immediately listen and buy. In your car? Have your entire music collection on hand.
Or wait, don't do that -- you may hurt AP.net's tastemaker status.
#musicmonday As much as I have been absolutely loving the new Thrice album -- it seems that the MUTEMATH album dominated me this weekend. There's just something about that CD that is hitting me right at the right time. It's got a little of everything in it. It's pretty much the epitome of the kind of music I am into right now. Or what I am looking for in music I guess.
I think at this point the four albums that will be competing in the top "tier" for album of the year are: Manchester Orchestra, Brand New, Thrice, and MUTEMATH. We'll have second tier being Cary Brothers, Morrissey, POS, Say Anything, and Paper Route. Third will probably include Fun and Anchor and Braille.
This week looks like a good week for AP.net. There is a chance (again, just a chance) we'll get to launch the new website this week. So, to prep for that possibility - I am going to be working my ass off today to get through more stuff on my to-do list. Hope everyone had a great weekend -- I know I did.
Motion City Soundtrack are one of my favorite pop bands currently making music. I love the lyrics, melodies ... everything about them. I love all of their albums in different ways. I can't wait for a new one. Definitely feeling this band today.