I’ve worked long and hard on so many playlists over the years and most of them are gone – deleted when I reformatted or my drive crashed or when my desktop was stolen, or altered by my nefarious capacity for editing old playlists and then realizing the changes weren’t half as good as the original, or mis- or not labeled such that I have no idea who or what did the song. Instead, I’m putting my playlists up and leaving them there so I can look back 5 years from now and say, that was dope once upon a time and now it’s only for neo-emopunk (whatever that is… I’m sure someone some day will do it) tools. Some of the music is amazingly free to get on the Web if you only look, some are on mixtapes you can’t even buy at most stores even if you wanted to, and some are just from foreign countries and a hell of an annoyance to get in the US without raping your piggy bank every time you want a $40 import. (EDIT: Ha, playlist area needs revamping already, so it’s down for now.)
Let’s start with the “indie” playlists. It’s hard to really pin down what indie is. For me, I just use the term to refer to all the dreampop/folk/newwave/neo-disco/bubblegumpop/acoustic/surfmuzik and various downtempo things. Includes lots of lower-energy pieces though sometimes it’s just weird music. There are some true indie artists on there that haven’t “sold out” or went “Idol”… Ellie Goulding, Feist, Stars, Fiona Apple, Ben Sollee… also a bunch of foreign artists and whatnot. If you can get the songs for yourselves, please do – they’re really awesome and are great for getting calmed down. I play them while I’m stressed and need some relaxation while I work.
The jazz playlists I use a little less often. It’s hard to find really good jazz that I don’t fall asleep too. I usually listen when I’m reading at home and relaxing. This is very, very rare… the latest playlist is mostly samba type stuff, but there’s a lot of straight jazz vocalists, big bands and soloists too. Two notable findings from the last month: Lily Frost from Canada and Melody Gardot from Philly. Lily does the theme song to Being Erica, and it’s a great song – I found a spliced version of the theme on a Yahoo Answers board and damn, it hits the spot. But it’s not jazz. Lily’s latest solo album is, and it’s freakin amazing. Same with Melody, her voice is perfect for jazz and it really does remind me of smoky rooms, cigarette smoke drifting, dames in fishnets and lots of brazen red lipstick, guys in fedoras. Ah.
Thank god for the pre-roll playlists put out for Canadian stations. I get a lot of the rock selections off of those releases, and man it’s good stuff. I also pull some stuff from the Warped tour, indie rock bands and random albums here and there. I like looking for good female rockers – it’s hard to find. Flyleaf needs to put out more material, Paramore needs to get some more adult-oriented rock songs (though their songs right now are great… it’s just attracting the teenyboppers in droves) and foreign countries need to put out better rock songs. I can find great foreign hiphop, pop, club music, etc. but rock… omg, you can’t count stuff like Rammstein.
Pop playlists are real easy to put together. There’s tons of great indie pop around, and of course there’s lots of stuff that subs as pop that I lovingly include. I don’t mind sellouts, as long as it sounds great. There’s some great bands that don’t get enough play here… stuff like Everybody Else, the Script, Jupter One, Two Door Cinema Club, The River, Tegan and Sara (Canadian!) and that KT Tunstall. She’s great live… if you haven’t seen her, you should. She’s great. Her songs are really geared for acoustic performance and they’re foot-stompin when done well. My fave “pop” song right now is HYPNTZ… I can’t stop listening to it! It’s the Umbrella riff with the lyrics of Biggie’s Hypnotize but with a new beat and a new melody that plays off of Hypnotize. It’s friggin awesome.
OK, well that’s enough for now. I still gotta worry about packing for Thursday, getting all my shit done so I can leave, getting in touch with a bunch of old friends (the Kristens, Rachel, Jessica, Assad, Rich), meeting some new possible business partners (thru Lexie, some guys from LAAS and Lime Projects), compiling taxes soon, dealing with my singers and instrumentalists, awaiting Olivia’s arrival here… I’m also trying to be more sociable with my curren cast so that I leave my imprint on them. It’s nice working with them to put on a great show, and it’s great making new friends and acquaintances (even though they get progressively younger or that I’m getting progressively older), but it’s the greatest to have somebody go on and remember your contribution to their lives. I guess it’s like those old people who really want to be remembered for something. I do too – it’s of no use being some sort of prodigy (which I’ve been considered to be several times, unfounded as it may be… since I gave up on the things I was supposed to be a prodigy at…) if you can’t make some sort of real impact. I want to have a real impact.
Not that it matters to anything, but I’ve grown a little more aggressive over the last few years. Maybe it’s increased confidence, but whatever it is, I really notice the difference. I’m much more forceful and willing to express my opinions, I’m more aggressive than I used to be and I push myself harder in social situations. I’m finding myself to be more “cool” than I used to be, even though I was always damn cool It’s not boasting – it’s just pointing out how I’ve changed and wondering what caused the change. Success at work (making great money even in an economic downturn, mastering the art of the sell, maintaining steady growth and innovation, lasting this long against competitors who’ve fallen by the wayside)? Extended successes in performance (continuously called back to do more shows, in demand by lots of groups, valued highly in turn by musicians that I valued aka Monty)? More value in the eyes of people because of my material successes? Ugh, being armchair psychologist to oneself is a study in egotism. Let’s just stop with the positives.
The negatives are kinda bad – I’ve stopped working out, I actually go out a lot less than I used to, I am REALLY bad about staying in touch with friends and I’ve always needed work on the followthru. What is a strength is also a weakness. For example, I do a real strong sell at marketing conferences but then it’s hard to follow through because of the amount of work. Yet, I promised a lot. The same with individual relationships. I promise a lot and then get lazy… in fact, that’s pretty much the arc of my past gf’s. I do amazing things the first couple dates and then I get lazy and become a no-call no-show NOT because I’m some player but because I don’t motivate myself to follow through. It’s how I’ve “lost” girls that I’ve really valued and really regret not doing more to keep. In my heart of hearts, I did want to keep them.
A lot of this is the creativity thing. I love creating stuff, I love doing stuff that’s new – keeping stuff going is a drag, as it’s not entirely new and requires lots of repetition. But you need to be able to deal with repetition and routine! I mean, I do force myself to deal with it since that’s what my work involves 90% of the time… I just have yet to apply that to my personal life. I’m getting together a mailing list, a Xmas card list, a birthday list and other things that I’ve been pretty shit about doing which normal people do all the time… I have to do a better job at retaining the people that are and were important in my life.
The last word? I need to follow Elliot’s advice (SCRUBS!!!).