Friday, June 25, 2010

On the road (again)

I’ve had the pleasure of being a Spotify user for almost six months now. Since I spend most my days in front of a computer, trying to make some sense of the random bits of information that one day is supposed to turn into my master’s thesis, and since I do this in what can only be described as an office landscape with up to 100 other frustrated students (but fortunately many of them stay at home a lot), I tend to listen to plug in music to block out sounds. Thus I listen to music from Spotify almost on a daily basis.


The music library there is vast, though with a few notable emissions. For instance, you can’t find any Beatles songs on Spotify, due to copyright issues (I think). You can, however, find a massive collection of Beatles tribute bands (everything from bluegrass to classical piano. Not that you’d want to…) Because the music selection is so huge, however, it can be more than a little challenging to know where to look for new music. If you know what you’re looking for it is simple – you merely type the name of the artist/band, song, album or record label. Within seconds you have all the available tracks ready for listening (interrupted by the occasional commercial break). If you know you’d like something similar to, say, Cat Stevens, it is also quite simple. By searching for a specific artist you also get suggestions for other artists “you might like”. I love “you might like” functions, be it in books, movies, or music.

Lately, however, I have been experimenting on new tactics for finding random music. I have simply typed keywords I imagine are popular in song titles or albums. My first attempts, “rain” and “sunshine”, proved fruitful, though a lot of the music there I already knew. Plus, you can only listen to “Walking on Sunshine” so many times before you tire completely.

There are also certain keywords you’d want to avoid – “love” comes to mind – at the risk of blowing up the entire search function (well, not likely, but the number of hits make it almost redundant to search at all).

The other day, however, I found a good one by accident. In an attempt to find a song I remember I used to like when I was younger (which turned out to be “The Way” by Fastball, and which wasn’t on Spotify at all. Must admit I was disappointed), I typed “road”. While it didn’t get me the song I wanted (obviously), it did give me an interesting listening experience. I didn’t listen to all of the 30.393 tracks that came up, but I randomly ticked off a fair share of them and what I got was a collection of more or less listenable songs all pondering over the apparently mind-boggling stretch of road. They ranged the scale from “the road home”, “getting away”, “the freedom of the road”, “the road of dirt”, “the road to heaven/hell/love/hate/perdition(theme)/nowhere/Georgia” and not to forget, Weird Al’s “I love Rocky Road”.

From this long list of more or less interesting songs, I picked a playlist that I intend to find a way of taking with me on my annual road trip this summer (“find a way” because all the music on Spotify require an internet connection, and this might prove challenging while driving. But surely many of these might be downloadable?). For those of you still reading, you might be interested too. The songs I picked were:

On the road

Who Built the Road/Mark Lanegan, Isobel Ca..

On the Road to Find Out/Cat Stevens

Further Up the Road/Johnny Cash

The Rocky Road to Dublin/Damien Dempsey

The Long and Winding Road/Count Basie Orchestra, Ray Charles. As mentioned, the original Beatles is not on Spotify. However, I like this big band version so much that I am almost okay with it.

Hard Road/The Shore. This band reminds me slightly of Oasis (you know, if Oasis had been from the US) with a blend of such melodious rock/pop bands as Snowpatrol and perhaps even Kings of Leon. In short, I like the sound.

Cross the Road, Molina/Songs:Ohia

One For My Baby [And One More For The Road]/Frank Sinatra. I always come back to Sinatra, somehow. His life and personality fascinates me, and his songs make me want to sing along.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road/Elton John. Need I say more?

For those who have Spotify accounts, here is the link to the playlist.

I am actually going on a little roadtrip today. It’s got to do with a wedding, a cake and a historical museum (long story...). The wedding in question will probably have me occupied for most of the day and night tomorrow as well, though, so let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy weekend!

9 comments:

Jan Morrison said...

good take on the modern world! I like it...like googling songs.
have fun, I think, on your trip, I've been doing nothing but listening to audio books in the car in the desire to never hear the news again.

Clarissa Draper said...

I'm always googling songs and not always for me. My son, who is 15, is now trying to find songs he's heard on the radio. So, we type lyrics and a line or two from the song and go-a-hunting.

Great post and have a good weekend.

CD

Watery Tart said...

Mari-this is a fabulous meandering (dare I say, DIGRESSIONARY) approach to music--I love it! I was looking for Willy Nelson's 'On the Road Again' (which I like, though I am picky about country)--I do like how you always go about things sideways though...

Amanda Sablan said...

Who doesn't like Sinatra? I hear Scorsese may make a movie on him.

I've never been to a wedding, but I'd like to go at least once. I hope you have a happy weekend too! :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Loved the list and the songs I thoought were great.

Yvonne.

February Grace said...

You have a One Lovely Blog award over on my blog! :)

bru

Donna B said...

Hello...my ancestors are Norwegian and I am the same age as your Mother...good reasons for me to follow your blog.

Cruella Collett said...

Jan - we did have fun, though music-wise the trip was not exactly a highlight (we got stuck with only one CD we randomnly bought at a gas station. Not my best impulse buy...)

Clarissa - it's good that your son is interested in music. I can't understand people who have no interest in music whatsoever (and I always wonder if it just means that they haven't found their genre yet)

Tami - the only way I know ;) And I like "On the Road Again" too, though I'm not sure it's the Willy Nelson version I am the most familiar with. Country music , or music with country elements in it, has grown on me lately. I used to dislike it (which is rare for me, since I like almost any kind of music), but for several reasons (one of which is Spotify) I have begun to see that there is more to it than I first thought.

Amanda - ooo, a movie about Ol'Blue Eyes? Got to see that one! I've been a Sinatra fan since my dad bought a "Best of" CD when I was maybe seven? I even wrote a paper about him in school once...
And the wedding was great! You should definitely urge some friends and/or family members to get married so you can go to one (it's a great opportunity to dress up, eat good food, talk to lots of people and dance until dawn - which is what I did last night).

Yvonne - glad you liked it :)

Bru - WOW - thank you so much! Must go check it out! :)

Donna - that IS a good reason (or dare I say two)! It's always a pleasure to meet NorwAmericans :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Loved the blog , a good idea for a holiday, liked the choice of music , a good blog to start my day.

Yvonne,

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