Walking Videos

Friday's JWZ mixtape post got me thinking about compiling my own list of favorite music videos. As I'm trying to figure out which ones make the short list I'm surprised at how much I like walking videos. You know, where the protagonist just takes a bit of a stroll. Be it down the street, across a field, wherever.

The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence
Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
Bruce Springsteen – Streets Of Philadelphia

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jwz's Mixtapes

For as long as I can remember I've been a fan of Jamie Zawinski's mixtapes. He initially started with streaming mp3s and in recent years switched to compiling videos on YouTube. I've discovered a lot of new bands this way over the years.

This week marked a milestone as he hit the 200th mixtape. This one a little different as it's a 3 hour ride of what he considers the best videos ever made. There is some good stuff here.

I wanted to do something to commemorate the bicentennial (bicentapial?) so here's a double-length mixtape (a pair of C90s) comprising The Greatest Music Videos Of All Time.

Ok, it's not really that, because there are two fundamental problems with that concept:

• First: How is a mixtape of The Greatest Music Videos Of All Time not merely Duran Duran's "The Wild Boys" playing on infinite repeat?

Because really, that's it, you can stop there, that's the one.

There's a rule about recording a cover song: "Never remind the audience that they could be listening to a better band than yours." So let's say you sit down to make a music video. How do you even do that, knowing that The Wild Boys exists, out there, in the world? How do you top that?

• But Second: I am paralysed by choice. My first draft of this mixtape was seven hours long, and it still felt woefully incomplete.

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If You Ever Plan To Motor West


If You Ever Plan To Motor West

Flagstaff, 2018. 

It was cool driving down an iconic piece of Americana.  The kicks I got on this particular route was an awfully nice IPA in a Mexican restaurant.  Yum.  Of course I had Depeche's version of the song in my head while taking this shot.

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The Same Deep Water As You

Quite possibly my favorite Cure song of all time. Atmospheric, moving, depressing, dreamy, dark, and otherworldly all at once. It's the kind of song that gets into your soul. Listening with headphones with your eyes closed the best experience and you can really get lost in it. First listened 29 years ago (what?) and still listen to it today.

If I had to choose a song to die to it would be this one. I don't know what scenario I'd ever be in where I'd need to pick a song to die to? But if I did, and I had to pick, this would be it.

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My Ultimate Cure Setlist

The Cure are one of my favorite bands of all time. Had all their albums on vinyl, posters on the wall of my bedroom as a teenager, you name it. For one reason or another I didn't get around to seeing them until 2008 when they played in Phoenix. I'll never forget that night.

The Cure

(yeah, cameras weren't the best in 2008)

Fast forward to this weekend, and they played their 40th anniversary show at Hyde Park in London. By all accounts a great gig to be at. The setlist was actually pretty good, albeit a "safe" greatest hits endeavor.

If I were picking the setlist it would consist of gems they rarely play live anymore. Depending on mood this would likely change but it would resemble something like this.

Plainsong
Shake Dog Shake
One Hundred Years
Disintegration
Dressing Up
This Twilight Garden
Push
From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea
The Big Hand
Sinking
The Perfect Girl
Faith
Killing An Arab
Primary
Pornography
All Cats Are Grey
Harold And Joe
The Same Deep Water As You
Just Like Heaven
A Forest
All I Want
Short Term Effect
Wendy Time
Want
A Night Like This

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Choons

I've listened to some really rather decent music this week. Hopefully you did too, but if not, consider this your Friday playlist.

The Dears – Lost In The Plot
The Cure – A Strange Day (Live In Orange)
CHVRCHES – Down Side Of Me
Joy Division – Disorder
Ssleeping desiresS – We Need
Boy Harsher – Lust
Nine Inch Nails – With Teeth
Nine Inch Nails – Not Anymore
Fad Gadget – Love Parasite
Visage – Fade To Grey
The Soft Moon – We Are We
Depeche Mode – New Dress
Skinny Puppy – Rodent
Whitey – Saturday Night Ate Our Lives

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Classics

I've been listening to a lot of albums from my youth this week. Each one of these I originally owned on vinyl or cassette. There's some good stuff in here, consider this your playlist. You're welcome.

Adam And The Ants – Kings Of The Wild Frontier
The Cure – Disintegration
The Cure – The Head On The Door
Depeche Mode – Music For The Masses
Depeche Mode – Violator
The Human League – Dare
INXS – Shabooh Shoobah
The Mission – God's Own Medicine
Simple Minds – Live In The City Of Light
The Sisters Of Mercy – Floodland
Soft Cell – The Art Of Falling Apart
Tears For Fears – The Hurting
Thomas Dolby – The Golden Age Of Wireless

I still have my vinyl, but where are my cassettes? They did not survive one of the many moves over the years. That's a bit of a shame.

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last.fm Allowing Track Level Corrections

One of my peeves that you don't care about, is how Spotify 'helpfully' changes the track title on songs.

In my old age there's apparently no limit to my OCD when it comes to my music library. When I did "files in iTunes" like an animal, I carefully curated all the metadata and it was a music library of fucking amazement. My last.fm listening history stats bore that out.

Then I started streaming music like all the kids and it's been mostly fantastic. Trying to explain to Kevin Spencer aged 18 that this little black piece of glass in my hand has access to the entire world's music collection would result in utter disbelief.

But I digress.

So yeah, Spotify like to mostly add things like "Remastered 2014 Version" to song titles. Which I detest. Or as is the case with Tears For Fears' The Hurting album, rename Pale Shelter to "Pale Shelter – 2nd Single Version". Because reasons.

Good lord man, why do you even care?

Any last.fm'er will tell you that because the song title is different, it will be counted as a completely different song. And lo over the course of my streaming life, no end of tracks have been miscounted. And I has a sad. And other last.fm'ers on the forums also have sads about this. We've been teased about "fixes" forthcoming and when I asked again about that plan, got an answer I liked.

last.fm will implement a fix

This will be best fixed with adding new track-level scrobble corrections, once that's implemented later in the year. It looks bad now because we can't make changes the corrections dataset until the new scrobble db is deployed, but once we're able to add new track corrections / redirections to the site, this problem should be greatly reduced.

And I has a happy. I like happy.

Living In A Flyover State

Let's talk about concerts in Arizona. Or lack thereof. As the fifth largest city in America, Phoenix does get visited very often by bands. But usually they're the super popular ones, with lots of resources and backing. So what seems to happen more often than not is a band I love announce "a US tour" when really it's nothing of the sort. They'll play in New York, Boston, and then in LA and San Fransisco.

The rest of us get to watch as they flyover on their way to California.

Waves to the plane carrying the band I love.

In the last few weeks two bands from my youth that I never had the chance to see live announced US "tours". And have a guess what States are being visited? There's no way you'll guess New York and California..

Killing Joke are playing their 40th anniversary gigs. And for the first time in *mumble* years The The are playing live. But they're not visiting any of the flyover states. Which is a real bummer as I would love to see both of them.

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400,000

It only took a little over 12 years, and almost slipped by me. But a couple weeks back I crossed the 400,000 scrobble count over at last.fm. There aren't many of the old guard still scrobbling every day and I must admit I don't spend anywhere near as much time there as I used to. But I do still love me some music listening stats. And I'm glad Spotify still has last.fm support baked in now that I'm fully immersed in streaming.

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