Unleash heaven? Unleash heaven!

Indeed, with the90sbuttondotcom.

The 90s were definitely my favourite decade. And – quite by chance – they remain my favourite bath temperature. But that’s not important right now.

What is important is that you use the link above, position your cursor on the tab with the words:

UNLEASH HEAVEN? 

and David Hasselhoff’s face on it, at which point the question mark will change to an exclamation mark, and left click.

At this point you will be served a music video from the 1990s.

Glorious.

I got some 2Unlimited, some Prodigy, some Take That, some Aqua (no, not that one), some Chemical Brothers and a bit of Mr Oizo. And loads, loads more.

And while you’re enduring enjoying the tunes, you can watch three animated gifs of MC Hammer dancing in unison at the bottom of your screen. And no matter the tune, they’re always in time with it. Incredible.

You can’t. Touch. This.

I’m wholly expecting the same team to make versions of this for the 2000s, the 1980s and the 1960s. There’s obviously nothing worth playing from the 1970s, so they can save time and money by simply not bothering with that decade at all. #Efficiency

80s music flashback

A couple of songs which have recently appeared on my metaprical musical radar, and which will therefore obviously be shared on the blog.

While there are a lot of famous 80s songs, I don’t think that these are/were amongst them. They’re not ones that you will hear at 80s-themed disco parties, although if you were looking for a archetypal early 80s analogue synth piece, this first one really does tick all the boxes. And (like Alphaville) the lyrics for John Foxx’s Underpass are… well… “basic”:

Click-click drone
Click-click drone
Click-click drone
Click-click drone
Click-click…
Underpass
Underpass
Underpass
Underpass
Underpass
Underpass
Underpass
Underpass

Wonderful.

And if that was a bit fast and loud for you, please now relax with This Mortal Coil’s version of Song To The Siren from 1984:

Wow. How beautiful is that?

Music posts on 6000 miles… don’t get as many hits as some of the other stuff I write about on here: perhaps because musical tastes are such a personal thing. Or perhaps because my musical tastes can be a bit odd. But I know that there is a hardcore set of readers who do like to give the stuff I share a spin.

Why not join them? You might just find something you like. And – if you want to delve a little more deeply – both these tracks make it onto my inspired by 6 Spotify playlist.

More Toto covers

We’ve heard this song covered on the harpejji and by an American choir.

Now here it is on an Otamatone (no, I’d never heard of one either).

And now I never want to hear one again.
Sweet Baby Cheeses. That’s awful.

And here’s a version on a rubber chicken.

And yes, despite not being an actual recognised musical instrument, the chicken one is much better.
Much, much better.

Right – that’s enough internet for today, I think.

You know me so well

I may have sorted out my music issues.

If I was looking for some sign or other to push in any given direction, it came with Spotify’s official entry into the SA music market earlier this week.

Of course, there have always been ways of enjoying Spotify on your devices in SA, but it’s so much easier now that it’s all street-legal. And Spotify was always going to be gold medal, given that a lot of the BBC 6 Music stuff is regularly uploaded onto playlists on the platform.

I’ve only subscribed to three playlists so far, but wow – the algorithm has got me all sussed out already.

I lobbed on a bit of Eels while I was writing yesterday’s blog post (probably just to chill out a bit) and when that had finished, Spotify followed it up with some stuff it thought I might like. And it got it right, time after time:

Eels – The Deconstruction [audio video]
Supergrass – Feel Alright [glastonbury 2004]
Beck – Dear Life [lyric video]
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth [live at google]
Belle and Sebastian – The Boy With The Arab Strap [video]
Elbow – One Day Like This [video]
PJ Harvey – Shame [video]
Richard Hawley – Heart Of Oak [video filmed near Sheffield]
The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots [glastonbury 2003 (I was there, front row)]
Dandy Warhols – Bohemian Like You [my blog post]

I could go on…  it did – admirably selecting suitable banger after suitable banger. And yes, I’ve added links so you can enjoy some quality music too.
This might even be a great start to my first Spotify playlist*.

Thing is, there’s not a huge amount of information that I have (knowingly) given Spotify in order for it to have got things so right so often in such a short time. So I’m not sure what it’s been looking at and listening to to get my tastes bang on.

But hey, if completely forgoing my privacy and opening my digital soul to scrutiny and subsequent analysis results in this sort of musical perfection, I’m all for it.

 

UPDATE: Obviously, I made a playlist. See here

Moving music

…or “GoodbyePod”?

I read this Pitchfork article today, all about the excitement of owning a Discman back in the 1990s. And they’re right – it really was something special. Compared to its predecessor, the Walkman, it was a massive step forward. Bigger and more ungainly, yes, but then it had to be because compact discs aren’t very… well… compact. But it was worth it for the ability to skip tracks without the guesswork of holding down the fast forward key for twenty or thirty seconds, like you’d have to do with a tape.

Aside from the size (and consequently, the weight as well), there were other drawbacks. The motor would use up the three or four AA batteries in a disturbingly short time and if you bumped, knocked it, the sound would skip would skip skip. But these things were worth the hassle for the sheer joy of digital music pumping into your head.

Of course, I couldn’t afford a Sony Discman. Not the official one. It didn’t bother me too much though because I’d never been able to afford the official Sony Walkman either.

“You’re only paying for the name,” I would argue. And although the sound quality on the real thing was surely far better than on my no-name-brand equivalent, the £1.99 headphones I was probably using would have been a great leveller, anyway.

I enjoyed tolerated my faux-Discman for a couple of years before I moved on to a Minidisc player (a top of the range Panasonic, no less). This was a step forward, but was also a bit of a pain because you couldn’t buy pre-recorded Minidiscs, so I had to buy them blank and copy my CDs across to them. But there were so many advantages: the size was the big one – this would literally fit into your pocket – as would the spare discs. The battery life was better (and it only took one battery), and it was much better at handling bumps without interrupting the music. Best of all though, you could add track names to the music and they would scroll across the screen while the song played.

This then was the future.

And then along came the mp3. I had a couple of small mp3 players before I got my first iPod in 2005. There wasn’t much difference in size beween my sexy Panasonic and my (white) second generation iPod, and while the battery life was a massive improvement, I’d never struggled with that on my Minidisc player anyway, so that didn’t make much difference either.
But while I could have 15 tracks on any given Minidisc, my iPod could hold 1500 or more. Amazing – sure – but I never did manage to listen to them all in one day.

Fast forward (no pun intended) to the present day, and I’m ready to move on again. My current iPod is full and while (as with many Apple things) it is a design classic, it also (as with many Apple things) isn’t the most user-friendly device. Add the disaster that is iTunes to the mix, and I’m actually done with Steve’s nonsense now. It’s time for another change – and I haven’t made that decision lightly, given that I like to listen to a lot of music while I’m on the go. This must work.

The choice, were I living in the UK (for example), would be clear: streaming. And yes, I do have some streaming service accounts and they work quite nicely, just as long as I am sitting next to a big wifi, as you might often find yourself doing overseas. But data in SA is ridiculously expensive and limiting, and instantly destroys any idea of wandering around listening to music over the net. And so while I like to have these things as a back up, the more obvious answer for me is a 128GB micro SD card in my phone: instant access, effortless movement and choice of tracks, virtually zero battery usage and all on something which I was inevitably carrying on my person anyway.

Apparently there’s not much of a market for single-purpose music players anymore. But I suspect that’s partly a matter of amnesia. We didn’t know it in 1998, but we were lucky that our portable listening devices did not badger us with news alerts and text messages. If they had, the euphoria of the Walkman experience would not have been so pure.

OK, so that is one drawback, and it’s true that pretty much nothing would interrupt my Discman experience back in the day (even though I had a mobile phone back then), but times have changed and if I’m honest, I quite like to have the option to keep in touch – just as long as I can choose to switch it off for the duration of any given album.

I’m open to other suggestions if you have any. I need space for about 12,000 tracks (because you never know when you’re going to need to hear Babylon Zoo’s Spaceman or White Town’s Your Woman) and I’m not willing to go back to CDs. (Oh, and I need a solution for my Windows PC as well, please.)