I just want to rant about something for a minute.
Spotify, I love that for a mere $10 USD a month I have unlimited access to millions of songs and entire CDs. But you have much to learn from Pandora (which no longer operates here in Oceania) when it comes to choosing music to play for me based upon artists or songs I have previously chosen. For example, if I’m listening to Nina Simone and I start the radio station based upon her, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that I am not in the mood to listen to Moby. Even if there is some algorithm which matches rhythms or melody structure or whatever the hell else in a song, I highly doubt there is any sort of similarity between a jazz and blues singer most active in the 60s and 70s to an ambient electronic DJ from the early 2000s. I don’t hate Moby, but I also haven’t made a conscious decision to listen to him since I was about twenty years old. Figure it out, Spotify.
Also, last night, Spotify, while cooking veggie enchiladas I started Tom Waits radio. I was somewhat hesitant as these days I have absolutely no faith in your ability to chose music that will be to my liking. But I figured I’d give you another try. I was pleasantly surprised when after playing Make It Rain, which I love ‘cuz Tom Waits just sings so dirty, you played a song by a singer I’d never heard of before. The singer was Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and the song was Portrait of a Man. The way Mr. Harvey wailed away in his haunting voice gave me chills. I was swaying my hips as I was chopping veggies, waving the knife in the air, sometimes I just had to stop and listen to the guitar. It was pretty awesome. And then…AND THEN, Spotify, you played a song called Vampire Girl next. I could have happily gone my entire life without knowing that GD song existed. It was terrible. Just when I thought you’d redeemed yourself, just when you lifted me up, you slammed me back down again. You are playing with my emotions, Spotify.
And let’s talk about Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift. I understand that some people like them, and that you have to put them on playlists, but a gym playlist? Who the HELL listens to Justin Beiber or Taylor Swift at the gym? Another Pump You Up mix had Jack Johnson on it, who I personally feel is miles ahead of the other two, but still belongs nowhere near a playlist designed to encourage a person to get pumped up at the gym rather than sit around and smoke joints while waxing their surfboards. And then there was the classic rock playlist with the tagline “catch up with these classics on your daily run”. Now Spotify, I am a big fan of everything from CCR to Led Zeppelin, but other than maaaybe Kashmir, I cannot think of a song from the 60s or 70s which would be good to run to. “Doo doo doo, lookin’ out my back door” just doesn’t get the adrenaline pumpin’.
You know those songs that when you hear them you just can’t help but nod your head up and down to the rhythm? The songs that when you’re driving in the car and look at the window it looks like the people walking down the sidewalk, like the entire world, is moving in time to the song you’re listening to? That, to me, is gym music. Now, I understand, Spotify, that not everyone shares my taste in music. But why, WHY, is there not a single exercise mix with LCD Soundsystem on it? Am I the only person over the age of 30 looking for pre-made gym mixes? Am I the only person who actually likes to get energized while exercising?! What is going on?!
You know what Spotify? With all this Justin Beiber, and Taylor Swift, and shit I haven’t ever heard of before super prevalent in almost all your playlists, you’re making me feel old and I don’t appreciate it.
But, I will say, thanks for introducing me to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. For that reason alone, we can stay friends for a little while longer. But I swear, if you catch me by surprise with another song like Vampire Girl, we are OVER. That song was echoing through my head all night. Tom’s too, since of course, I had to start singing the catch phrase to him to make sure I wasn’t the only one suffering.
The other night I had a dream that I was at a party with Tom and he went off to the bathroom and left me surrounded by strangers who were all talking about stocks and mutual funds and stuff and I felt so awkward that I went and stood by the bathroom door waiting for Tom. I stood there for what seemed like forever reading a menu pinned up on the wall for a restaurant that served only potato chips. It was a crummy dream. And I woke up thinking, I’ve felt that social awkwardness waaay to often in my life, why do I have to dream about it?! Why can’t I just be totally awesome in my dreams?
And then last night I dreamt that I was flying over the ocean on the back of a lion. I woke up thinking Now that’s more like it.