Music / Random

A digital spin on the music I crave

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The signs are everywhere. You know that looming project you attack head on for a few weeks, and suddenly you just…fall off the face of the Earth? Progress stops, and the guilt begins almost immediately.  That’s exactly what has happened here. My last song of the day was in August. I’ve been motivated. I’ve had ideas. They’re written on pale yellow post-its and bits of paper, which have scattered themselves across my desk and nightstand, or taken up residency in a dark corner of one of my bags. I carry bits of this blog with me everywhere I go. Literally.

Soon, signs from a higher power began infiltrating my life. Past songs of the day would be on the radio each time I hopped in the car, I’d get an email that a post from a year ago had been commented on, and I started hearing my own musical thoughts in the most bizarre places.  Allow me to explain.
Place 1: When reading my book club book on the train the other day (yes, I’m in a book club. Move on, please.) I came across the following quote in Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Good Squad:
“Bennie alternated between the Sleepers and the Dead Kennedys, San Francisco bands he’d grown up with.  He listened for muddiness, the sense of actual musicians playing actual instruments in an actual room. Nowadays that quality (if it existed at all) was usually an effect of analogue signaling rather than bona fide tape…”
My 1970s wild child-esque inner self melted at these words. “No more techno!” she shouted. “Screw dubstep!” she raved.  I totally had a moment with that character and wished I could turn the character description on the page into a living, breathing, person.  So, of course, in 21st century Facebook obsessed real-life, I flagged the quote with intentions of writing about it, and turned the page.
Place 2: Driving home from the train earlier this week (my life may or may not revolve around the Metra), Eric and Kathy of 101.9 The Mix (I also may or may not be middle aged) were talking about how music used to be a much more social experience.  Music fans would pick up a record at the record store and invite friends over to hear it.  Heads would bob and bodies would sway in hazy rooms across the world.  The only true socially engaging musical experience today is heading to a concert.  Sure, sometimes people get together and swap music, but it’s just not the same.  I dwelled on that for the rest of my drive home.
Place 3: If music is my first love, Facebook is the evil twin who tries to steal my heart, and sometimes succeeds.  Luckily for me, part of my job includes social media, so watching the f8 conference today, and being the only one besides Mark Zuckerberg to laugh at Mark Zuckerberg’s jokes, was penciled into my schedule. It was in this conference that good ol’ Zuck unveiled a social way to experience music with friends through Spotify.
Let’s come full circle.
During f8, Spotify’s CEO mentioned that Spotify users who connect their accounts to Facebook listen to more music. Well, that makes sense. You’re instantly tapped into your friends’ playlists and can listen, too. What if you just want to listen to a song, though? Not too many people have the patience to sit through the entirety of an album anymore. Facebook to the rescue. Play buttons will start showing up in your newsfeed.  When you click said button, the song your friend is listening to will fill your ears and you and your friend will be having a social musical experience. Together. You’ll be having it together. You won’t just be scurrying to your next destination, iPod in your pocket, earbuds in place, while feverishly texting your friend to tell him what you’re listening to.
While I’m still searching for a way to bring raw music and impressive instrumentals (not virtual sounds) into everyone’s lives (see: one woman revolution), having 2 of my recent music qualms solved in a week isn’t a bad way to go.  With the Facebook and Spotify integration, we’ll come across music easier because we all spend waaaayyyy too much time stalking high school classmates on Facebook and can now marry this with discovering new music. Not only that, but we’ll see what our friends are listening to and can listen to it at the same time.  Is this the same as getting together and making an event out of a record release? No, but it’s a start and I’m going to embrace it.
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