Sunday, December 16, 2012

five ways to enjoy new music in an oldschool way.

In our digital-20teen-era, we often forget to sit down and truly let our music wash over us in the way that we did back in our more analog childhoods/adolescencies (is that the plural of adolescence? is now!). As the end of the year approaches, you might find yourself worn down by all the Christmas music and extra food-intake. Can’t think! Yams in the brain! What to listen to besides Bing Crosby (honey-voiced-perfection though he is) and that terrible Paul McCartney Christmas song? Thou shalt not fear; I’m here to help.

  1. Five “disc” shuffle: Remember when you were a teenager settling in for an evening playing MarioKart after school and you didn’t want to listen to the annoying MarioKart noises, so you put five CDs in your boombox and changed the setting to “5-disc shuffle”? No? So often in our digital age, we shuffle our entire libraries--gigabytes of music, and while this can be a formidable way to rediscover your music collection, sometimes what you REALLY need is to shuffle your five current favorite albums. For this task, create a playlist with five albums in their entirety and then shuffle it. Takes you right back to 1996, doesn’t it?
  2. Listen to a record: There’s something so deliciously chill about setting a needle on a record. From your comfy chair, read the lyrics in real time to the warm sound of the grooves on your LP. It truly is a divine experience and can feel like meditating to concentrate your entire brainspace to an album one side at a time. A really cool thing about LPs these days is that they often come with a code to download the mp3-version on your computer so you can have a warm and crackly record without sacrificing the ability to take it with you on your phone or iPod. Acquiring records is a great way to collect music you really love in a tangible form that’s still very relevant. As it’s often said by audiophiles, an LP delivers a truly singular sound, so invest in a record player if you don’t already have one.
  3. Go for a drive: I know, I shouldn’t suggest wasting gas, but this is still a way that I like to enjoy my latest mixes. If your car gets great gas mileage, jump in it and drive, baby! Amble mindlessly via feet with music in your ears if you don’t have access to an Earth-friendly car. I find this is a great way to clear your head on a stressful day...just you and the music.
  4. Block party playlist: Remember back in the days of radio (What, it still exists? Ok, fine.) when DJs used to play “Block Parties” consisting of three songs each of an artist? Create a playlist by choosing three songs randomly of your top five artists or use the “Three of a Kind” feature in the iOS app “Groove”. 
  5. “Radio”: I put this word in quotes because I must confess I haven’t listened to the real-live radio in YEARS. I fear that it’s all Pitbull and Taylor Swift, so I steer clear all judgmental-like. Please correct me (mixtressrae@yahoo.com) if I’m wrong. That said, how I’m defining “radio” here is any playlist not compiled specifically by you such as Songza (app or songza.com), soma.fm (app or somafm.com), any other internet radio app/site, or even the ACTUAL radio, if there’s a station you enjoy in our area (seriously, if there’s something good on the radio and I’m missing it, email me). Letting a DJ pick out the tunes for you can be very enjoyable as long as you get to pick the genre you’re in the mood for at any given time. I’ve mentioned it before, but if you haven’t tried Songza, do it right now! You won’t regret it!

I hope everyone is enjoying our last days on Earth (just kidding--I don’t believe in Apocalypses unless they’re on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) with some great tunes.

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