jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Still listening to the Bamboos.
  • Happy - mmm, had to play this one through three times in a row
  • King of the Rodeo - strange video where the band plays the audience, and women play the part of the band. Singer is the right person, though.
The singer on that song also has a pretty severe stutter, but only when she talks. She gave a Ted talk about stuttering which is surprisingly entertaining.

Title explanation
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I went to see Joan Osborne. It was a somewhat unusual show. She's only appearing once in England, she's not promoting an album (because she's in the middle of recording one), and it was in a church (the Union Chapel in Islington - architecture!).

The album she's recording is Bob Dylan covers. Now I'm not a big fan of Bob Dylan, and covers can be a bit crap, but she did several excellent versions of songs by him. I particularly like Tangled Up in Blue (not a song I knew) and Highway 61 Revisited (which I did). A few times with the songs I knew I felt like she was making up the tune, then but Bob Dylan often isn't doing much more than speaking the words, so if you're a real singer you need to sing.

She did some of her own songs too. There was a (well deserved) big reception for Work on Me and when the clapping stopped she said "So you like the sexy ones, London. Mental note!"

The crowd was mostly older than me, so there was a lot of grey hair. We all sat politely in the chapel pews, although most people stood up to applaud at the end of the night.

Joan Osborne can sing like no one else I know and I had a great evening out. You should too if you get a chance.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I bought a t-shirt in Brighton, and it came with a free CD by The Bamboos. Lots of good funk choons, but Can't Help Myself jumped out.
And I can't help myself
Don't want to funk with no one else
Simple, but done well.

Oldies

Nov. 18th, 2015 07:35 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
This year I bought a new turntable, amp and speakers, so I can listen to vinyl again. Lots of old stuff I haven't heard for years has had another play. Two things jump out at me. The new equipment is a lot better than anything I had before, which surprised me - lots more detail in the sound. The other is that things I used to really like often don't sound as good as I remember (Parallel Lines was a surprisingly thin listen). My mind has a rose-tinted rear view mirror. A few things are much better. I had to listen to a live version of Red Barchetta several times (B-side of the single Subdivisions).

Words

Apr. 20th, 2015 11:20 am
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I just heard the Rolling Stones song, Tumbling Dice, on the radio. It occurred to me that I've heard this song many times, but I didn't know the words. I had a good listen, and was none the wiser, so I looked them up, expecting an "a-ha" moment when it clicked. Nope. Could have been the words to a song I'd never heard.

So, I suggest that the song actually goes like this.

Blah blah blah (x7)
You know the deuce is still wild
Blah blah blah
They call me the tumbling dice
(repeat several times)
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Led Zeppelin is appearing on Spotify, so I played some. I still like their second album, and I'm having a go with some of their later stuff that I never had on vinyl. I don't think the singing is much good, especially when it gets squeakily high. And the words can be a bit... adolescent.

Spotify pay out between $0.006 and $0.0084 per song. So a thousand plays generates (at least) $6 to share between record label, publishers, "collecting societies" and the artist. No one's getting rich unless they're enormously popular.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
You may be familiar with the song I'm My Own Grandpa but it can be hard to follow how the relationships work, so some people have made YouTube videos to "clarify" things: I'm sure there are others.

I was actually looking for Lydia the Tattooed Lady which turns out to be more risqué than the Muppet version I knew...
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I can't remember what put this in my head - must have been thinking about wishing the days away.
They're out there making history
In the Lenin Shipyards today
And here I am in the Hammersmith Hotel
Wishing the days away
Billy Bragg - Wishing The Days Away on YouTube
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Singing in the shower this morning, Ziggy Stardust popped into my head. Wow, the words are stupid!
Screwed up eyes and screwed down hairdo
Like some cat from Japan
WTF?

Spotify

Mar. 20th, 2013 03:12 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
A while ago I was trying to abandon Spotify. I pretty much failed. But today I see that the five play rule has been lifted. It's almost like Spotify is good again! To celebrate, I'm listening to my top tunes playlist, most of which was blocked because of too many plays.

Here are some top tunes you might not know.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I found this many years ago in a Goodies book. Still remember it.
Emma Dreaming
Arthur White
Chris Muss
Jess Like-Dee
Juan Swee
Hugh Sterno

Wendy Treetops-Glissen
Anne Chilled-Wren
Liz-Anne "two-ears" Laybelle
Cindy Snow

Emma Dreaming
Arthur White
Chris Musswit
Avery Crease
Miss Carr
Dai Wright

Mayor Dazeby
Mary-Anne Bright
Anne-May Hall-York-Rhys
Mrs. B. White
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
When I was a nipper only six months old
My mother and me father too
They didn't know what to wean me on
They were in a dreadful stew
They thought of tripe, they thought of steak
Or a little bit of old cod's roe
I said pop round to the old cook shop
And I'll tell you what'll make me grow

Boiled beef and carrots
Boiled beef and carrots
That's the stuff for your Derby Kell
Makes you fat and it keeps you well
Don't live like vegetarians
On food they give to parrots
Blow out your kite, from morn 'til night
On boiled beef and carrots

Read more... )

Derby Kelly is rhyming slang for belly. Kite also means belly.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I tried to link to a Scottish chap reading Burns, but it doesn't seem to be allowed. You'll have to go to the BBC page and then click the thing marked "Paul Higgins".

There's a sung version here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFO2ldO3Ga0

I like Burns' explanation:
A charming Filette who lived next door to the school overset my Trigonometry, and set me off in a tangent from the sphere of my studies.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Here's a weird thing. I can play songs on a big playlist in a random order, and that can produce curious juxtapositions, but because they're random, so they're easy to ignore. But if I sort the songs by title that's not random, and the pairings seem more interesting.

Wow, that sounds peculiar now I've written it down...
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Have I mentioned this song before? I listened to Fareweel Regality this morning. I was in the bath struggling to remember the chorus, so when I was dry I put it on. I had to wipe the tears from my eyes. It's the perfect song if you're somewhere warm one evening this Christmas, but I challenge you not to blubber like a babe.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Not long ago I got fed up and went to look for alternatives to Spotify. I ended up with we7 because it wasn't perfect, but it let me listen to whatever I wanted. So now they've changed to focussing on "personalised radio stations", or in other words, they're going to choose the songs for me. WTF? They tended to do that anyway: if I'd queued up a few songs and they all finished then they would carry on with something they thought was similar. They weren't very good at guessing what I'd like.

So now there isn't much choice but their bad guesses. I am allowed to choose 50 songs a month, but that's not even two a day.

It's depressing. All I want is to be able to choose a song to listen to, and I'll happily listen to an advert to pay for that. No one seems to want to help me with this.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I'm listening to a Pretenders song now and I can see exactly where I heard it in 1982, and remember how I felt then. There are a lot of songs like that. This year I expect it will be Bass Down Low and Where Them Girls At that stay with me.

But just sometimes the words, the tune and the singer's voice combine to make a little bit of a good tune transcendently beautiful. This happens for me when Kirsty MacColl sings New England, but only when she gets to this bit
Once upon a time at home
I sat beside the telephone
Waiting for someone to pull me through
When at last it didn't ring I knew it wasn't you
It doesn't look much written down, does it? But she sings it like she's just telling you the story, and the balance between upset and bravado is prefect.

Here's another one: Squeeze singing Up the Junction.
And when the time was ready
We had to sell the telly
Late evenings by the fire
And little kicks inside her
That one nearly made me crash once on the M25 - probably helps if you've had a baby (or perhaps if you've had to sell your telly). Bit of emotional balance again, and suddenly the song is off to the birth - an unusual topic in popular song.

Don't want too many of those moments - never get anything else done.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
(Why am I doing this?)

I found the missing desktop app for mflow that I mentioned last time, but it didn't work. I was getting fed up with not being able to queue songs on mflow, then it wouldn't let me log in, so I went to try another music site.

But my next choice, Deezer is "not available" in my country, and Grooveshark's legality seems dubious, so I'm back it we7. I'm going to stick with it for a while.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
(Why am I doing this?)

So I've been using we7 on and off for over a week. It's not been bad. The adverts were less intrusive than I'd expected, and usually less annoyingly inserted than I first thought. But it's a bit cack having a music player inside a web browser tab - too much fiddling about to find the tab and do stuff with it. A native music app sitting in the background but is easier to interact with.

So I was quite hopeful to read that mflow has a downloadable app. Except that I can't find one, so not I have another music player in a browser tab.

It's completely blank if you have javascript switched off. Sigh.

They want you to think of a song like a facebook/twitter update, which is peculiar. This is called a "flow". The content seems to be reasonably broad, but that only means that they have the three things I've searched for so far.

They let you play without signing up, which is nice, but between songs you have to cancel a nag screen for signing up.

The business model seems to be to encourage you to buy some of the things you hear, so there are no adverts. If people buy things you have recommended, you get a percentage credited, but only to spend on buying songs. But no ads is good ads.

Edits:
  • There's no "similar artists" feature, which is somewhat sub-optimal.
  • You can't find out more about a song before you listen - when you click on it, it starts playing, which is somewhat sub-optimal.
  • You can't queue songs, which is somewhat sub-optimal.
  • When you chosen song finishes, it wants to play the next song by that artist (for some value of "next"), which is nice
  • When you've listened to a song once, you can't get more than 30 seconds of it for future plays. That makes the business model clearer - play once for free and then buy, which is somewhat sub-optimal.
  • But wait - the next day the 30 second restriction seems to have expired. Hmm...
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
The once nice people at Spotify are making it make it hard for me to listen to music. I'm nearly out of my listening time allocation for the month, and we're not half way through yet, and I'm avoiding listening to things I like because I'm going to hit the five-plays-per-track limit.

So I'm trying alternatives. First it's we7.

It's a Flash thing that sits in a browser tab. I had to fiddle with my browser settings to make it work, but I'm probably unusually paranoid about that sort of thing. One problem with this is that I have to find the browser tab if I need to pause, or even just see the title of the current track.

They seem to have lots of choice - the first few things I looked for were all there with plenty of similar alternatives suggested too.

It's ad-supported: they stick an advert into the beginning of every track. That's quite a lot of adverts, but they're short. Annoyingly, it's just after the start of the song, so you get a couple of seconds of music, then an advert, then the song resumes. Yuck!
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