It’s been a while since I talked about music here, outside of my year-end reviews. Since my music listening’s recently underwent a semi-significant change, perhaps it’s time a good time to chime in.
I’ve been an iPod/iTunes junkie for over a decade now, carrying music with me everywhere I go religiously. I got my first one as the “pickle” gift for Christmas and still, to this day, consider it one of the best presents I’ve ever received. That first iPod seemed to last forever, even though forever was actually only 5-6 years, before it finally died. In that time, Apple had released all kinds of newer, fancier iPods, so on my 30th birthday, my husband (fiancé at the time) bought me one of those fancy new ones. (You might remember me posting about it if you’ve been here long enough?) Well, to be the gift that keeps on giving (or doesn’t), literally a few days short of my 34th birthday that fancy new iPod committed suicide. It was a devastating thing to see it pass even faster than its predecessor. And despite it feeling like an appendage I’d lost, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop another $250 on a new one knowing that I’ll be lucky if I got another 4 years out of that one too.
SO… In my ongoing need for new music, I decided to just utilize my Amazon Prime account for more than just free two-day shipping and stream some music while I decided what to do with my music library from here on out. And, in doing so I found myself wondering why I wasn’t doing it all along. Why I’d fallen captive of the Apple platform for so many years when all this music was at my disposal already. I’d talked about spending more time exploring new music this year to keep my creative juices flowing, but I’d hardly even entertained the idea before being forced into another option than my iPod. In just the short time of using Amazon Prime, I’ve discovered SO MANY great artists or songs I would have likely missed out on had I just kept going on with my normal listening habits. Oh, how many musical wonders I could have found sooner had I not felt compelled to be loyal to Apple.
I’ve been so satisfied with my finds on Amazon Prime that I even bought the Amazon Echo for easier, higher quality listening when I’m at home doing things away from my PC. And while I haven’t started doing it yet, I can even add all the music and playlists I already had on iTunes to my Amazon account so I still get to enjoy the massive library of music I already own.
I feel like I should add that just because I’m enjoying streaming so much doesn’t mean I’m no longer buying music. That’s hardly the case. If anything I’m buying more, because I have the freedom to listen to and fall in-love with whole albums instead of singles before forking over the money. I will never NOT buy music, even when it’s at my disposal for free. Music artists, like so many other creative careers, cannot exist without compensation. They deserve to be paid for their hard work. Try to remember that if you are a streamer yourself.
Anyway, on tumblr tonight, I’m featuring a few of the gems I’ve found and played to death and probably I’ll keep up a sort of seasonal on repeat thing over there instead of every week (since finding time for Tumblr these days is super hard). To keep this post from becoming a short novel, I’ll just feature the bands I’ve fallen the hardest for here and if you’re interested in checking out anything else, head over to Tumblr and follow my Music Friday hashtag. Happy Listening!
The Joy Formidable
Oh, picking a song to share by this band was so, so freaking hard. The first song to spike my interest was “Whirring” and maybe I should have shared it for that reason alone, but Amazon Prime had two of their albums available for streaming and you know how much I love chick led rock music so I jumped straight from “Whirring” to everything else. It only took a half a day of listening to know that I had to own everything they’d ever made, so three albums purchased later and now I’m obsessed. They’re the kind of band you can listen to an album straight through, without ever feeling compelled to skip a track. They’ve got that grungy 90’s alternative sound and I’m so, so glad to have discovered them.
The thing about Amazon Prime that I don’t love is that it doesn’t keep play counts for you; iTunes did this and it helped me gauge what I listened to the most better. I bring this up here because I’m certain that I have listened to the album this track comes from a ridiculous amount already. Like for a solid week straight from wake to sleep. Thankfully my boss ended up liking the band too. I love the rawness of them – how they don’t feel over-produced. And just overall they give me a bit of a 90’s alternative feel, which is always, always a good nostalgic thing for me.
It’s funny because this wasn’t the first Foals song I added to my playlist and it sounds nothing like the other one, but it quickly became my favorite. It’s heady and sounds sort of sinister and I just can’t get enough of it. And while I wish that more of their music had this darker tone, I can’t pretend I don’t love all of their work regardless, because I’ve bought two albums and can easily listen to them straight through without skipping a song. Maybe their future will offer up a few more dark gems like this. 😉
I’m not sure obsessed is even a good enough descriptor for how much I am loving this band right now. They have that raw, not overly produced sound I’m loving about Royal Blood, the singers voice reminds me of Dustin Kensrue (of Thrice) only even hotter, and it’s just seriously good all-out jamming music. It’s like garage band meets blues and I hate to sound like a broken record with all these 90’s feels, but it’s seriously like the music scene of my youth is making a comeback and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. I really, really hope to see this band live someday. No doubt it’s gotta be one hell of a show with music this full of energy.
J. Roddy Walston & the Business
I woke up with The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” in my head last Friday and couldn’t stop listening to it on repeat for some reason. I tried to explain to my boss that part of the reason I loved the song so much was for how perfectly the piano stands out and that whenever I’m reunited with my own piano, I hope to learn to play it. We got to talking about other bands who do a good job at making the piano stand out and he said, “You listen to J. Roddy Walston & the Business?” My boss is one of those cool 50 year olds who figured out how to not let age actually age him. He’s been in a rock band since he can remember and while he doesn’t always love my music choices, appreciates our jam sessions at work. He had done a few gigs with J. Roddy when they first started out in the early 2000’s and they’d even lived here in Baltimore for a while. My interest was piqued immediately and Amazon had 2 of their albums available to stream so we listened to them all day and now I can’t stop listening to them because they’re like a new band with an old sound. They’re the soundtrack to the summer cookouts of my youth. They’re music my parents would have exposed me to if they’d been around when I was younger. They’re the kind of rock my parents would still listen to. I immediately went home and bought both albums and then promptly corrupted my dad with them too. 😉
What have you guys been jamming to lately?