Music Walking Videos

I love music videos that are just cool walkabouts, don't you? A few of my favorites then.

VNV Nation – When Is The Future?

Bruce Springsteen – Streets Of Philadelphia

The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony

And Of course. Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy

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German Sequencing

Alex Ball is the brains behind one of my favorite YouTube channels. If you're into vintage synths as much as I am, his videos are a must watch.

His most recent video is a delight as he recreates the sequencer sounds used on Der Mussolini by DAF, and Los Niños Del Parque by Liasons Dangereuses.

Of course this then took me down a DAF rabbit hole on Spotify as I went through their back catalogue. The are worse places to be.

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On Finding New Music

I was really happy to learn about the Search Engine podcast. It's hosted by P. J. Vogt – one of the guys behind the also quite good and yet defunct Reply All. Each week he attempts to answer a question. And they're a lot of fun.

In catching up with episodes from last year the "how am I supposed to find new music now that I'm old and irrelevant?" one caught my eye.

Interesting hearing how you form an emotional attachment to music in your teens and early twenties. By the time you hit your thirties it's harder for new things to stick, and you gravitate more to the things that made up the soundtrack to your youth. And it's true, I find myself still listening to those formative years a lot.

I didn't agree 100% with the narrative that it's hard to discover new music these days. In many ways I think it's a lot easier than it ever was. That's probably worthy of a post in and of itself actually. The kids these days have no idea how easy they've got it.

In 2006 I discovered last.fm. Keeping track of everything I listen to was immediately appealing to me and something I continue to this day. But it was so much more than that. It was one of the early social sites. You had neighbors. Like minded individuals who shared the same taste in music. Being nosy about what they had listened to was all part of the fun. last.fm also had one of the first recommendation engines giving users their first introduction to a lot of new bands. It changed the game somewhat.

Fast forward to 2024 and I've been fully invested in the music streaming lifestyle for a number of years now. Spotify is actually pretty good with recommendations. The 'Discover Weekly' playlist comes out every Monday which I've found to be a goldmine. Also if you're listening to a band there will be an insta-playlist generated called, say, 'Depeche Mode Radio' made up of bands that are similar. Taking what last.fm pioneered and raising it a level.

So I'd say we've got it pretty good if you know where to look. It sure beats taping Radio One in my bedroom on a Sunday Evening as a 14 year old. Good heavens, remember when the radio actually played good music?

As a closing side note, PJ thinks he's old. He's 37. Oh you Millennials.

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Blancmange Electric Sound Live Sessions

I've loved Blancmange since I first heard Living On The Ceiling when I was a kid. Neil still records and his recent albums have been a delight. I'd completely missed this Electric Sound live session when it came out at the end of 2022.

The extended seven song set can be found here. If you're a fan of electronic music in any way, you'll be in for a treat.

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last.fm Year In Review

last.fm have their own year in review called last.year. Not only is it far more comprehensive than Spotify Wrapped, but they do it right by acknowledging that December is a month that exists.

So here's mine. I listened to more music in 2023 compared to the previous year. 24,053 listens. Comprised of 2,552 artists, 4705 albums, and 9,644 unique tracks.

I was going to come up with a "my favorite albums of 2023" but I must admit I haven't really paid attention to new releases and have a lot of catching up to do.

That said, albums from 2023 that I did listen to and recommend are:

Ladytron – Time's Arrow
Depeche Mode – Memento Mori
Blur – The Ballad Of Darren
Sleaford Mods – UK Grimm

Looking forward to all the songs in my ears 2024 edition.

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Home By The Sea

Genesis. Often unjustly maligned in the British press over the years. They've sold eleventy billion albums, and yet remain the most uncool of bands. But I like them, no I love them.

Their evolution from the Peter Gabriel led progressive rock band of the late 60s to the Phil Collins hit singles era is well documented. With Collins taking over vocal duties in 1976, they underwent a transformation, embracing a more streamlined and accessible sound. The 1980s saw Genesis reach new heights of commercial success with albums like "Abacab" and "Invisible Touch." Collins' distinct voice and the band's knack for catchy melodies resulted in chart-topping singles and sold-out stadium tours.

Their self-titled album from 1983 is often overlooked, which is a shame, because it contains quite possibly the best song they ever wrote. Home By The Sea is, quite frankly, a masterpiece. I love the atmosphere, the delivery, the production, and even the subject matter. A burglar breaks into a house, only to find it haunted, he's captured by the spirits who force him to sit and listen to their stories for the rest of his life.

I can't think of a better vocal performance by Collins in his career. I could listen to this song every day for the rest of my life and it would never fail to make the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

'Cause you won't get away
No, with us you will stay
For the rest of your days

SIT DOWN

As we relive our lives in what we tell you
Let us relive our lives in what we tell you

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The Things In My Ears…Less?

Last year I wrote about my new Sony headphones. Nice they were. Incredible sound quality, long lasting battery. Let's fast forward 15 months to right about now shall we. The right earbud will only charge to 90%. Never 100%, because why would it?

And today dear reader, I listen to a podcast for 35 minutes, the right earbud is at 11% and the left at 74%. I'm currently suffering through the chatbot troubleshooting steps so they can see if my "product requires servicing".

So that's fun.

UPDATE: well, a reset to factory defaults seems to have fixed it? Turns out we can have nice things!

UPDATE: well now, that aged poorly.

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