Elvis Costello

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding

Elvis Costello – (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding

It’s November 1, the start of NaBloPoMo, and I haven’t written a post since July. I’m not sure I have the stamina for NaBloPoMo this month but the longer the gap gets, the harder it will be.

Mostly I have just been flattened by this election. I have read plenty of articles dissecting and analyzing how we ended up here and none of that makes me feel any better about anything. It is beyond my comprehension how there can be so much bigotry, vitriol, and hate. I had to step back for a while because it was all just so mean and even if I felt like I was fighting the good fight, my preaching to my tiny choir wasn’t going to be the thing that changed anyone’s mind.

But I find that I need to change my mindset or I’m going to have an ulcer. The only thing that has ever helped me through really hard and stressful times is music. A month of posting music every day might help me, at least, and it certainly can’t hurt. I’m sure there will be some political songs, because it’s November and it’s me, but I also might just post a song I heard that distracted me for three minutes. Apologies in advance for saying too much, or not enough.

Radio, Radio

Elvis Costello – Radio, Radio

I finally got the email I’ve been waiting for this evening, telling me that Rdio is folding. I’d read that they’d been bought by Pandora and would be filing for bankruptcy protection and that Pandora was going to take the parts of Rdio they liked and graft them on to Pandora but Rdio hadn’t said anything official to its users before now. Sigh.

It’s because I just admitted that I was at peace with my streaming music app. I am the kiss of death for online music services. Do you have one you want to go under? I’ll join it and become a regular user and then it is doomed to failure. I’ve lost count now how many music sites/apps I’ve been a fan of that have closed up shop.

I’ve got a Pandora account but I haven’t used it in years. I’ve got a Spotify account that I only use if I wanted to have a friend listen to a song and there was no other way to get them to hear it. I have the Amazon music and Google Play music apps on my phone, plus the Bandcamp app, TuneIn Radio, Soundcloud, not to mention the other ones that came pre-loaded on my phone that I never use. I’m not lacking in ways to listen to music online, I just don’t like any of them.

Here’s what I liked about Rdio. It was integrated with Shazam and Songkick. I am more of a Bandsintown user but just the fact that it would give me a heads up if the band I was listening to was going to playing nearby was a great feature. If I Shazamed a song, it would automatically add it to an Rdio playlist so I could check out the band more when I was at the computer. They had good, mostly accurate suggestions of other bands in the same vein as what you were listening to and they made it easy to find new music. They didn’t have everything but it was as close as a streaming music service could get to browsing through your local record store with your friends. And it was easy on the eyes.

When my car’s tape deck died I bit the bullet and paid the $10 a month so that I could have full functionality on the app instead of the web version only. I didn’t use it all the time but if I wanted to listen to particular things, it was the best solution.

Spotify is ugly and feels like the bully of the streaming services. I hate the free version, with its ads for itself constantly interrupting and the scroll bar forever shifting location so you are always clicking on the ad space when you’re just trying to move down the screen. I don’t like the way it always wants to load the app instead of just using a web version when I’m on the computer. It drives me nuts when I encounter a Spotify embed someplace while I’m surfing on my desktop because you can’t just click and have it play in place, it has to boot up the app and get you to login, blah, blah, blah.

The email made it sound like we have a couple more weeks before they shut the whole thing down. I’ll probably end up using Spotify but if anyone has a different music app they like (besides iTunes, this has to work on my Android phone), let me know.

Pump It Up

Elvis Costello – Pump It Up

Whew, what a day. Week, actually. Did you ever have one of those weeks where nothing particularly bad happened, no work crises, nothing horrible on the home front, just a series of frustrations and disappointments that pile on top of each other until you feel like you just can’t take anymore? Yeah. That’s when you need to blast this song as you go peeling out of the parking lot.

When we were teenagers, all the Elvis Costello records belonged to my older sister. I have a 7″ now, I’m not sure where or when I got it, but she owned all the LPs. I taped some of them way back when but I have a hole in my collection where all the Elvis should be.

Tomorrow is Record Store Day and I’ll be hitting my local record store, just down the street. Or as my son once called it, The Most Forgotten Place on Earth. He was only seven at the time and it is down a little pedestrian-only alleyway, but I’m sure it will be busy. Most Saturdays there is some regular traffic through there but it’s not crowded. Tomorrow will be bumping elbows, waiting your turn busy. I may not end up buying any of the special RSD releases but I might pick up an old Elvis Costello album. It’s going to be tough to top my great find from RSD last year.

It’s also Easter weekend and my kids have been off from school all week so I contemplated going up to Maine to visit my mother. We could spend Easter with her and I could go to an event at a branch of the record store where I had my first post-college job. I had too much going on at work though, and didn’t really want to spend that many hours driving up and back for what would end up being a day and a half there. It’s also just as well we stayed put because I’m close to securing a new (to me) car and I need to do some things to get that all lined up.

Have a fun Record Store Day!