2016.01.06 – Technology Day
Featuring Ambientasia by DJ Trackstyle
Today is National Technology Day. Personally, I have a serious love-hate relationship with technology. I love to try to use it but I hate fighting with my old PCs to make them work.
I also love applied technology when it comes to music. I am not one of those who feel that synth music is soulless. I have been around synthesizers since the days of monophonic patch cord Moogs. I still have a DX7 sitting my studio and love electronic music.
It seemed appropriate to go with a synth song today. I found this artist way back in the day at the now non-existent Podsafe Music Network. I am going to spin Ambientasia by DJ Trackstyle
While most of the links in my notes are now useless, a few Google searches showed me that the DJ is still out there. You can find DJ Trackstyle at the links below.
Thanks for listening and downloading. Please remember to support the indie musicians.
The Music Vault – An Amazingly Impressive Archive of Live Concerts
If you are a Grateful Dead fan, you will love this YouTube channel. As Open Culture notes, The Grateful Dead have the most dominant presence on the site but, considering how many shows they did, shouldn’t that just follow as reasonable?
The abundance of the dead can make it a bit tough to find other bands. However, try searching YouTube using “Music Vault + [insert band name here]” to filter out some of the Grateful Dead.
I spent about a half hour browsing the site. It is not that difficult to find artists other than The Dead. In my opinion, the site is well worth the browsing time. You may also wish to explore the link to Open Culture as they have many links to many artists. I picked one they didn’t mention to share after the break.
2016.01.05 – POD – National Bird Day
Featuring We Are Birds by Chris Ayer
Today, 5 January 2016, is National Bird Day. A day to honor our feathered friends. I don’t have much to say about this day “for the birds”. You can find out more about this day at the National Bird Day Website.
It seems appropiate to play We Are Birds from a singer, songwriter and actor, Chris Ayer. You can find, friend and follow Chris at the links below.
Remember to support the independent artists by buying thier music and merchandise. Additionally, you can help them by simpley spreading the word about their music.
2016.01.04 – POD – Blue Monday, The Most Depressing Day of the Year
Featureing I Don’t Want to Work Today Music of Beatnik Turtle
Today is the first Monday of 2016 and it is, allegedly, the most depressing day of the year. This unofficial holiday is called Blue Monday. This day is celebrated annually on the first Monday of each year unless New Year’s Day happens to fall on a Monday.
However, one should note that there is no evidence that it actually the most depressing day. In fact, there is debate as to whether it should be the second or third Monday of January.
2016.01.03 – A Day to Toast the Birthday of J. R. R. Tolkien
Featuring Music from Marc Gunn
On this date in 1892 John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born. Most know him as, J.R.R Tolkien, the creator of Middle Earth, Gollum, and Bilbo Baggins. An alternate world fabulously crafted, spinning tales, an adventure that has entertained generation. The Hobbit has been selling books since 1937. The legendary works have become movies, inspired games and music.
Today, those who wish to honor Professor Tolkien, as asked by The Tolkien Society, will stand and offer a toast by saying “The professor!” at 9 o’clock today. The society also has a page where you can find out where others are toasting and to let others know where you will toast.
Since today is a day to toast the creator of hobbits, I thought Don’t Go Drinking with Hobbits by Marc Gunn would be a fitting song to close with. You can find Marc at the links below.
- His Website
- @marcgunnmusic on Twitter
- Brobdingnagian Bards
- The Irish and Celtic Music Podcast
- The Celtic Geek Podcast
- The Bards Crier Ezine
- Marc also does small group intimate tours through Celtic Invasion Vacations
Also of note, there is another day associated with J.R.R. Tolkien. That is “Tolkien Reading Day“, annually on March 25th. Fans are encouraged to get together and read their favorite Tolkien passages.
National Science Fiction Day – Jeff Ronay – Open the Pod Door HAL
Happy 2016 listeners and welcome to the first “Pick of the Day” for 2016. Today is National Science Fiction Day. The second of January has been because it also the birthdate of Isaac Asimov. I will let you know more about today’s artist, Jeff Ronay, after the break and some trivia fact about today.
Star Wars Music and More from the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
I love music and enjoy many genres. One of my favorites is soundtracks. If you are a regular reader here, you also know I am a huge fan of Open Culture. Some movie franchises, James Bond for example, are known for their excellent scores. Some composers are, more or less, known only as film composers. Can you name one work by John Williams that is not a soundtrack?
If you are a Star Wars fan, check out the video below. Vader and some troopers even showed up for the event!
The Praugue Philharmanic Performs The Imperial March
The article at Open Culture includes links to even more soundtracks including, one of my all time favorites, 2001:A Space Odyssey. The article has both links and playlists. Some of the works mentioned go all the way back to silent movies… yeah, somewhat of an oxymoron eh?
- Star Wars The Force Awakens Soundtrack Lands On iTunes (geeky-gadgets.com)
- ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Soundtrack – Stream the Score! (justjared.com)
Brian Eno on Music
In the video below, electronic music pioneer, Brian Eno gives his opinion on music. In particular, he discusses how technology has changed music… in today’s era, he states that it “.. with software-based instruments we have a revolution equivelent to the grand piano every day”. It is an excellent perspective from someone who has not only witnessed the changes in music but lived them as well. It is an interview about the John Peel Lecture by Brian Eno on music on culture.
Leon Theremin Plays the Theremin
The Theremin is a unique instrument. You don’t touch it to play it. Invented by Profesor Lev Sergeyvich Termen, later known as Leon Theremin, in 1919, it is one of the first electronic instruments.
It works by capacitance and heterodyning. Most have two antennas, waving your hand in front of one controls the amplitude (volume) and the other the pitch. The closer you move the volume hand, the quieter it gets and the closer your pitch hand is, the higher the pitch. It is also fairly difficult to play. You need much practice and a good ear for pitch.
Due to its ethereal-spacey sound, it has been used in many science fiction works including Dr. Who. It has a sound that lends itself well to the genre. It also gained recognition when Jimmy Page used it in some of Led Zeppelin’s music.
Check out the inventor performing on his instrument in the video below.
Leon Theremin and His Wonderful Theremin
If you wish to watch more Theremin videos, you can check some out at Open Culture which is where I found the above video. If you would really like to find more about the instrument itself, I would suggest Theremin World. Also of note, the professor did not stop with just the Theremin, he also created a Theremin Cello.
Radiohead – Spectre
While I am not a fanatical James Bond fan, I confess I have most of the 007 films except for a few of recent ones. I am also certain, I will get around to the more recent releases when I happen on them this winter at my local library. (A quick stop at Wikipedia list 24 titles, of which I have seen 21.)
One can not deny that the character is timeless. Mr. Bond has entertained at least four generations of fans. One could also say the same about the soundtracks. I don’t own any James Bond movies, but I still have a few cassette tapes of James Bond movie soundtracks. Seriously, what musician wouldn’t want to do music for a Bond film?
Furthermore, I am not a huge fan of Radiohead. I respect their work and it is obvious they have much talent, but I rarely listen to works such as Magic Beans except when I am occasionally in the mood for such. I am more of a blues, jazz or hard rock listener. However, after hearing Spectre work by Radiohead, I am amazed that it was not actually included in the film. They put it up as a Christmas gift to their fans at their SoundCloud Page. They had the following to say:
Last year we were asked to write a theme tune for the Bond movie Spectre. Yes we were. It didn’t work out, but became something of our own, which we love very much. As the year closes we thought you might like to hear it. Merry Christmas. May the force be with you.
In my humble opinion, they nailed it. It is perfect music for a Bond film. Especially since I went and listened to some of the material from the soundtrack. It is a shame that “It didn’t work out”. The track below is many times better than many of the tracks that are in the soundtrack.
The Beatles on HD and Streaming Services
I am a Beatles fan. I have been since I was a small child. I actually remember the day Abbey Road was released. I was six years old. What was big news then is now history.
In case you missed it, they made what I believe will be, perhaps not historic, but at the least a milestone release on Christmas Eve. In the video below, a short 35-second mix of various Fab Four hits, announces that The Beatles are now available on nine streaming music services. (Source)
The Beatles are now streamable at:
- Apple Music
- Google Play
- Amazon Prime Music
- Microsoft Groove
- Slacker Radio
In case you noticed that Pandora and iHeart are not on the list, it is because The Beatles have always been available on those services. Tech Times has more details about why.
I think this is pretty awesome news. I also discovered that they have released many HD videos as well. I am going to share one of my favorites below and there will be a link to the Open Culture article which has many more videos at the bottom of this post.
The article at Open Culture also goes into how John, Paul, George and Ringo were ahead of their time. Obviously, these videos were not made any time recent. While a few other bands in that era did movies and videos, The Beatles and The Monkees were likely the most progressive regarding what we now call “music videos”. Most other videos of the time were more like documentaries or simply concert videos. Hopefully, more and more “main-stream” artist will get with the new media order and embrace what the listeners want and not treat new technology like a mobster.