Discovering MySpace

I have to say, so far I haven’t really groked myspace. I may have an account there, but it looked like a teenager site to me.

Last week I was looking for Del Amitri videos on YouTube when I discovered a mention of Justin Currie’s myspace page (the band’s singer and writer) in one of the comments. On the site I found 4 new songs (unfortunately not downloadable) as well as links to the Del Amitri myspace page.
Within minutes of adding Justin’s profile I received invitations from similar bands.

Nice. I’m beginning to see how this works…

Billy Joel – Angry Old Man

Man, I hope I can still rock like this when I’m 57.

I was at the Billy Joel concert in Frankfurt on sunday, and I have to say I was hugely impressed. Matthew was there, too, and even the wives, who weren’t too eager to go (despite the EUR 100 ticket price…), said it was great.

Billy also played for more than two hours, and he really rocked his a** off this time. He even accompanied us germans shouting “Finale!” (instead of the usual “Encore”) on the piano.

If he had included “Just the way you are” and “Miami 2017”, it would have been too good to be true ;)

Picture taken by Christian Gerhardts, used with permission. More pictures on Christian’s page.

Intelligent playlists

Well, I haven’t been using playlists for music a lot so far, other than bundling a few favourites now and then.

I found some great inspiration in a comment on a post by Volker, though:

“I try to rate my songs when I listen to them because it plays into some of the filtering. A 1-star song is one that I don’t like but haven’t deleted. I have a pair of subtractive playlists that are in the main playlists to filter songs out at the beginning. There’s a “No Like” that is the 1-star songs, and there’s a “Holiday” one that filters the Holiday music out of the main mix (I have a lot of Christmas music but I don’t listen to it in May). All of the playlists below exclude the contents of these playlists.

“Highest Rated” is rated higher than 3-stars, not played in the last 2 months, random and limited to 20 songs.

“Forgotten Favorites” is a subset of “Highest Rated” of songs that have a LastPlayed older than 8 months ago, random and limited to 200 tracks. Gives my faves a second chance if they’re not getting in. […]”

Go read the full comment by Scott Gentzen here.

Douglas Adams plays Pink Floyd

It was Douglas Adams's 54th birthday (or it would have been, were he still alive..) on March 11th.

Reading Industrial Technology & Witchcraft (german), I found references to Douglas playing guitar during a Pink Floyd concert:

"Adams's official biography shares its name with the song "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd. Adams was friendly with their guitarist David Gilmour and, on the occasion of his 42nd birthday (the number 42 having especial significance, being The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything), was invited to make a guest appearance at one of their 1994 concerts in London, playing rhythm guitar on the songs "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse". Adams chose the name for Pink Floyd's 1994 album, The Division Bell by picking the words from the lyrics to one of its tracks. Gilmour also performed at Adams's Memorial Service."

You can find pictures on David Gilmour's site, and thanks to the readers of IT&W, now there are bootleg recordings of the two songs! Go to the article's comments to find the download links.

Ok guys, that's not bad. Now where are the videos?

20 tracks

Very very funny – I’ve been pondering all weekend about the different ways of how to appreciate music, and before I can get my thoughts up here, Matthew blogs something quite related.

It all started while I was ironing away a HUGE pile of clothes ths saturday – this is about the only time I can get away with playing my music DVDs sufficiently loud, something that is frowned upon in my family on other occasions. The reason for that is that my kids (2 and 4) prefer kids music (although I always try my luck with some good R’n’R with them now and then), and for my wife music is basically irrelevant – if it’s ‘nice’ she may hum along, but that’s about as far as her interest in music goes.

I myself, on the other hand, am deeply linked to music, especially 80s type stuff. There’s an insane amount of stuff I consider ‘good music’ that will directly go to my soul. Sentimental stuff can be physically felt in the heart and stomach area, and lots of songs will not only bring back memories but deliver the equivalent of mental time travel.

The first thought always is ‘why don’t they make music like this anymore?’ which is immediately followed by ‘man, I must *really* get old if I think that way’.

Then I started comparing how music was appreciated back in the 80s: we used to talk musicians trivia, stuff like ‘my bands guitar player can play better solos than yours’, or analyse song lyrics. There even were magazines that specialised in printed lyrics of the current top 30 hits.

Anyway, that post stuck like lead in my drafts folder until I found the “20 tracks meme” on a german blog, so I decided to translate it. Here goes:

1. A track from your early childhood

That would probably be “Song of Joy” by Miguel Rios, a rendition of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

2. A track that you associate with your first love

I could name so many songs here, I guess that’s probably true for everyone. I’d still nominate “Come sail away” by Styx, which was the background for the first meaningful kiss.
Honorable mention: “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits which came later but meant so much more.

3. A track that reminds you of a holiday trip

That was difficult at first, but then it occured to me: “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc. We were on a camping ground in France, opposite of a Circus that played that track about 50 times per evening.

4. A track that you like but wouldn’t want to be associated with in public

Hmmm… “Between the lines” by Debbie Gibson.

5. A track that accompanied you when you were lovesick

Again, probably too many to mention. The one that still hits hardest is “The Price” by The Lightning Seeds.

6. A track that you have probably listened to most often

Tough one. I have an album that Ihave been continuously listening to since 1978, so it’s most likely one of that. The album is “An evening with John Denver” by John Denver, and the song is (maybe that one needs to go into No. 4) probably the infamous “Take me home, country roads”

7. A track that is your favourite instrumental

I’m trying hard not to go for “Going home” by Dire Straits, so I’m nominating “Tricycle” by Flim and the BB’s.

8. A track that represents one of your favourite bands

“Lord is it mine” by Supertramp.

9. A track which represents yourself best

That’s would mean I’m capable of judging that correctly ;)
Still – “I am a patriot” by Jackson Browne

10. A track that reminds you of a special occasion (which one?)

Music is a constant part of my life, so that could easily be a 100 track list. Let’s pick “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits, which Iused to play REALLY REALLY loud in my car after each exam I passed.

11. A track that you can relax to

That’s tough again, because I’m usually really listening to the songs. So it needs to be something with bad lyrics (just kidding).
How about “Tequila Sunrise” by The Eagles (I just saw that there’s nothing by The Eagles in the iTunes Music Store)

12. A track that stands for a really good time in your life

“Love at first light” by Joe Jackson which I played immediately after my daughter Fiona was born.

13. A track that is currently your favourite

I am completely hooked to ‘podsafe’ music nowadays, so I can only recommend “What to do with Michael” by The Candy Butchers (available on iTunes)

14. A track that you’d dedicate to your best friend

“You’re a friend of mine”, by Clarence Clemons and Jackson Browne.

15. A track that you think nobody but you likes

Is that even possible? I really don’t know what to pick here. Let’s take “C’est le bon” by Supertramp as a filler.

16. A track that you like especially for its lyrics

I’m a lyrics guy, so again, hundreds of possible names here. My favourite writers are Billy Joel, Sting and Joe Jackson, so let’s take “Stranger than fiction” by Joe Jackson.

17. A track that you like that’s neither english nor german

“Chanson francaise” by James Taylor.

18. A track that lets you release tension best

That used to be “Easy Lover” by Philip Bailey and Phil Collins. Pulled me to the dance floor like no other song.

19. A track that you want to be played on your funeral

The obvious ones would probably be “Always look at the bright side of live” by Monty Python or “Only the good die young” by Billy Joel. I’ll go for “Those are the days of our lives” by Queen instead.

20. A track that you’d nominate for the ‘best of all times’ category

“Hometown” by Joe Jackson .

(Is there an english origin of this meme??)

OK, who’s next: Matthew? Ewan? Karl? Armin? Scott?

Wil Wheaton, the modren man

You know, even before I started reading Wil’s post I already had the song in my head. Styx’s concept albums ‘Paradise Theatre’ and ‘Kilroy was here’ have ruled my musical world in the 80s, in fact, they still belong to my favourite records of all times.

You really need to read Wil’s own trip back to the 80s to appreciate what a great writer – and obviously also a great dad – Wil is.

Thank you so much, Wil – that made my day.