Tag: Spotify

Finally

Is it weird that I was really excited about the release of iOS 7 and iTunes Radio today? Because I was.

I’ve been waiting for what seems like years for Apple to release a music streaming service, so I’m glad they finally have. And iTunes Radio has a big advantage over Spotify in that iTunes Radio isn’t suggesting stuff to me based on what was popular when I was in high school. Seriously Spotify, what the hell? I don’t remember telling Spotify when I was in high school and it isn’t connected to my Facebook account, so how the hell does it know when I was in high school? It’s creepy.

I only updated my iPad to iOS 7 so far, but I like it. It’s so pretty. I can only imagine how much more I’ll like it on my iPhone. My favorite feature thus far (which I only just discovered) is that the Videos app is now aware of all the movies, TV shows, and music videos I own and not just the ones I’ve synced to the iPad. Even better, music videos I stream from iCloud play just as well as ones on my iPad, which I tested by streaming Silverchair’s “Straight Lines” and playing Brand New’s “Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades.” (The Silverchair video made me wonder what Daniel Johns was up to, but Wikipedia was inconclusive.)

The only issue I’ve had with iOS 7 so far is that a bunch of pictures that I’d deleted are suddenly back in the Photos app. This isn’t a big deal on my iPad, but is terrifying to contemplate on my iPhone. I’m afraid I’m going to have to do a lot of deleting (again).

Basically, though, I am happy with iOS 7 and iTunes Radio. They even made tonight’s Phillies loss easier to take.

Until tomorrow.

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There’s Light At The End Of This Tunnel

I only have to do one thing before the semester ends.  Woohoo!  Of course, it’s write a 10-12 page, single-spaced(!) paper for the class I completely loathe.  But whatever, it’s the only thing left to do.  I’m pretty excited about that.

In other news, I made my first ever Spotify playlist yesterday.

042412 playlist

It’s at about this time every year that I decide to make a playlist of the songs I am currently all about.  Of course, I normally do it in iTunes.  And that requires buying all of the songs I want.  But this year I went the Spotify route which is much cheaper 🙂  I was actually inspired to try making a Spotify playlist because of the news that WordPress now supports embedding stuff from Spotify.  And decided to do it yesterday to give myself a little respite from schoolwork.

The order of the tracks was kind of determined by Spotify’s Related Artists feature.  For some reason most of the artists I wanted to include were “related” to each other.  I don’t know that I necessarily buy that, but it made my life slightly easier, so that was cool.

Oh, one other thing to mention.  The Eve 6 song I included is actually called “Victoria,” but Spotify says it’s called “Curtain.”  I’ve run across albums that have incorrect track listings on Spotify before (Straylight Run’s Prepare to Be Wrong EP springs to mind), but it’s much funnier this time since it’s apparently some Spotify exclusive version of the new Eve 6 record.  You’d think they’d get the track listing correct on that, right?

What new song can you not stop listening to?

Until tomorrow.

Sometimes I Don’t Understand My Brain

Seriously.

Every time I open Spotify I eventually feel compelled to listen to two songs: Alexisonfire – “This Could Be Anywhere in the World” and Glassjaw – “Ape Dos Mil”.  Not that they’re not good songs, but they’re songs I barely heard when they came out (years ago).  And I have no idea why they hold magical Spotify powers over me now.  It’s only been in this past week that it’s started.

The Alexisonfire thing I can kind of understand.  After all, I’ve been listening to City and Colour’s new record, Little Hell, a lot (and City and Colour is the solo side project of Dallas Green from Alexisonfire).  But I’ve been listening to Little Hell all year.  Why the hell has my brain suddenly decided that I need to listen to “This Could Be Anywhere in the World” every day?

The Glassjaw thing is a complete mystery to me.  (Also, I’m not a big fan of the video because I don’t like clowns.)

Again, I like both of these songs, I just don’t know why my brain suddenly wants to hear them every day.  If you didn’t like them, at least check out City and Colour’s “The Girl.”  You’ll like it, I promise.

Until tomorrow.

Shooting The Moon

Have you ever gotten a new record and instantly fallen in love with it?  To the extent that it’s kinda all you want to listen to?  And in those moments when you’re not listening to it, one (or more) of the songs is playing in your head?

That’s how I feel about the debut album by Mona.  It’s not really that surprising, though.  I loved “Listen to Your Love” from the first time I heard it on Alt Nation last year.  I would occasionally look for the song and/or the band on iTunes (and later Spotify), but no dice.  Eventually the Mona EP and the digital single for “Lean Into the Fall” showed up on Spotify and I listened to them a lot, but I still couldn’t find them on iTunes.  Even after they showed up on iTunes I refrained from buying them because I’m broke and they were on Spotify.  But I got iTunes gift cards for Christmas (yay!), so the EP and the single were among my early January purchases.

As great as it was to finally have something by Mona on my iPod, I still wondered when they’d put out a full-length record.  If I had been thinking I suppose I would’ve googled them to find their Website, but I’ve become very myopic in my search for music online.  If it’s not on iTunes or Spotify, I give up.  Silly me.

Earlier this year I developed the habit of checking the homepage of the iTunes Store on Tuesdays to see what the Free Single of the Week is.  I checked last Tuesday and, lo and behold, it was “Shooting the Moon” by Mona.  Score!  I downloaded it immediately and loved it (shocking, I know).  The Single of the Week page also told me that their debut record, Mona, was finally out.  And what’s more, I could get it for the bargain price of $2.74 thanks to iTunes’ Complete My Album feature.  Double score!  I didn’t actually buy the record until Wednesday, though.  I refused to believe that MLB At Bat was free until I was able to see it with my own eyes.  Not that I wouldn’t have broken down and bought the Mona record for less than three bucks without a gift card eventually.

Mona is a straight-up rock’n’roll band, and that’s awesome.  There’s a retro-ness to them that I really like.  There’s a bit of Kings of Leon (fitting since Mona is apparently already huge in the UK) in there, too.  And iTunes makes a reference to Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” on the Single of the Week page and since they pointed it out I can hear it in “Shooting the Moon,” but it doesn’t detract from the song (which is a huge thing for me to say because I hate, loathe, despise, and abominate Rush – you have no idea).  I must like this band because I don’t even hold a song called “I Seen” against them.  (One of my big grammar pet peeves is people who think that “seen” is the only past tense form of “to see.”  In my defense, though, have you ever heard someone say, “I seen him this morning?”  They pretty much sound like an idiot.)

For further proof that I like Mona, I voluntarily watched Jay Leno to see them play “Lean Into the Fall” on Wednesday (and my feelings for Jay Leno are pretty similar to my feelings for Rush).  Turns out they played it on Conan the next night but I didn’t hear about it until after it aired.  But good old Team Coco put it up online.

Y’know the best part of the 600 words I’ve written so far?  The point of this post was not supposed to be my love for Mona, but my abject terror at the thought of listening to them too much too soon.  And I realize how bizarre that sounds, but I have a history of falling madly in love with a record, listening to it ad infinitum, and then getting sick of it and never listening to it again.  (For example, I listened to Cartel’s Chroma over a hundred times in the summer of ’06, but I haven’t listened to it since.  And sure, now I think that Mona is a better record than Chroma, but once upon a time I thought Chroma was the best thing ever.)  I’ve listened to Mona at least a dozen times since Wednesday.  A dozen times!  I keep trying to force myself to listen to something else each time the record ends, but Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and Bayside have been unable to hold my attention.  It’s right back to Mona.  And then yesterday I brought my iPod in the car with me so I could listen to Mona on my way to and from The Artist.  And I really never listen to anything other than SiriusXM in the car (after all, I’m paying for satellite radio, I really ought to listen to it).

It’ll be interesting to see if I’m still listening to Mona’s record in a couple of months.  I hope I am, because I really think it’s phenomenal.  But at the same time, it’s probably a good thing that my personal austerity measures will make it impossible for me to run out and buy the record on vinyl right now.

Until tomorrow.

Checking In

Wow, it’s been almost a month since I last posted. I have been remiss. I fully intended to blog while I was home on vacation (hello, WordPress iPad app) but, then, I didn’t. Then I came back to Tampa and I was still in vacation-mode. (An unexpected perk AND consequence of being unemployed.)

So here’s a quick recap. First and foremost, I went home on vacation! Woohoo! (I realize that the concept of going home on vacation doesn’t necessarily make sense, so let me explain. I’ve lived in Tampa for over three years, but I refuse to call Tampa “home.” “Home,” for me, means Philly, and that’s where I was in late July and early August.) While home I saw NKOTBSB in AC with Amy (such a fun show – I loved it!), spent a day down the shore in North Wildwood with Amy, Aunt Debbie & Uncle Kent, and saw Bobby & Clair’s new place that features retro kitchen appliances that reminded me of Mum & Poppop’s house and a retro bathroom that reminded me of Grandma & Grandpa’s house. (Features may not be the right word, but the nostalgia was very real.)

Since I got back to Tampa I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing. I am still amazed by just how much time I can waste in the wilds of the Internet (while listening to Spotify, natch). I recently started taking baby steps towards actually doing stuff by registering for classes, paying my bill for the semester, and ordering my textbooks online. Semester #2 starts on Monday. So I think I will make the most of the time until then by doing absolutely nothing. Laziness isn’t so much a habit as a way of life with me.

Spotify, Spotify, Spotify!

After signing up for a Spotify invite the day it was made available in the States, I received my invite on Wednesday. And I am in love! In the short time that I’ve had Spotify I’ve listened to entire records by The Decemberists, The National, and Matt Nathanson (yes, my taste is a little eclectic). That wouldn’t really be worth mentioning, except I don’t own any of the records I was listening to (just two songs from The National’s latest). And Spotify is free! That’s the part that really boggles my mind. I have no idea how Spotify was able to swing licensing deals that allow users to play pretty much anything they want. Pandora’s restrictive licensing deals (a user can only hear a given artist four times in a set time, a user can only skip six songs in a set time, and a user can’t make Pandora play a given song), though annoying, make sense to me. I have a Pandora station based on the song “Hit Or Miss” by New Found Glory, but I have yet to hear that song on that station. It’s frustrating. A couple of months ago I heard about Rdio, which sounded promising (it’s like Pandora, but you can control what songs you hear!), but it costs $5/month, and I’m broke, so I gave up on Rdio after my free trial ended and went back to Pandora. But now there’s Spotify, which is like Rdio, but free and with a more intuitive interface. It’s inconceivable! And amazing.

Not that Spotify is perfect. It occasionally lists the same album multiple times on an artist page and I don’t understand why. And I have discovered that it’s missing some albums entirely. Dustin Kensrue perfectly illustrates both of these issues: Spotify has four (4!) copies of his Christmas album, but zero (0!) copies of his first solo record. And the Related Artists feature has left me at a loss at times. In what universe is Straylight Run not related to Taking Back Sunday and Brand New?!?! (Confusing thing is confusing.)

Still, the positives far outweigh the negatives here. And the biggest positive is that it’s free! (Have I mentioned that yet?) That’s kind of a big deal for broke me. It lets me check out a record (such as the new Matt Nathanson record, which I had heard good things about) before I buy it. Even better, it means I can save my money for more important things, like the three or four trips I have to make because of Bobby’s wedding. I very much believe in paying for music, but right now it has to be far down on the list of things I spend money on. Thank you, Spotify, for letting me find new music without resorting to music piracy!