I awaken every morning to the sound of soothing music triggered by Sonos. It's one of the great features of the whole house audio system. Then I open up the Sonos app and listen to a half hour of Morning Edition on WNYC while reading the New York Times on my iPad. But at 5:30 I switch to BBC Radio 2 to play Pop Master.
The long running radio game show hosted by Ken Bruce airs weekdays at 11:30am in the U.K. It's a great way to get my mind in gear and being a music freak I enjoy the challenge.
Actually I'm stumped quite a bit on the show. Mostly because many of the questions have to do with music that doesn't make a dent here in the United States. Still, I do fairly well, often times better than the call-in contestants.
You can actually play an online version of the game on the BBC website I linked to up top.
The other day someone asked me why I'd stopped listening to vinyl records. Anyone who follows me on social media, be it Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr knows that I post photos of records that are playing on my turntable. I can't say as I invented this concept but I started taking photos of album covers and posting them to a music message board back in 2006. This was before the smart phone so I would sit at my desk and use the computer camera and take a photo while holding up the album to cover my face. I even did this as a joke back in 2008 after I bought the new Coldplay album in Paris.
Back to the question though. The reason I haven't been posting vinyl session photos is because I don't listen to records much in the summer. That's an indoor pastime. I spend as much of my days and nights as possible outside. And my music listening experience is through Sonos and speakers on my gazebo.
I just can't get enough of that bossa nova sound these days. This musical genre, with its roots in Brazil, first came to the United States in the 1960s. Antonio Carlos Jobim, one of the founders of bossa nova, was a musical genius who worked with American musicians like Frank Sinatra and Stan Getz. This melding of American jazz and the exotic bossa nova sound became a fixture in bachelor pad music libraries. Here Mrs. Robinson first tries to seduce Benjamin by putting on some bossa nova.
Summertime is perfect for enjoying bossa nova. It's light and breezy with a seductive syncopation. Here's a list of important artists and albums in the genre.
Or how about this 5 and a half hour playlist for your perfect
I've contended that the 80s were the worst decade for music. Mostly that's because recording techniques used back then. But looking at this list I've made of the best of 1985 I guess there's really never a bad time for music, is there?
I've been creating daily Radio Hannibal Spotify sessions for a few years now. And on special occasions, commemorative playlists in conjunction with whatever event it might be. Some listeners have asked me where they can find old sets as they won't be found on my Spotify page of playlists which mostly consist of best of the years. Keeping these daily playlists on there would be overwhelming for me.
A few years ago I started using a site called Playlists.net. I post my daily playlist there while also posting to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. The beauty of it is a simple search of "radio hannibal" will bring up the lot. I'm talking 28 pages of playlists of mine. Happy listening.
Being a music geek I'm forever making lists. Have you not seen the movie High Fidelity?
I belong to message boards full of others who are musically afflicted and it's there that we create and share our lists, then combining them into one consensus statement for all others to behold.
Anyway, I just had to compile a list of my favorite Grateful Dead songs. I'm sometimes asked, "who do you listen to more than anyone else?". I was kind of shocked when it first struck me that, hands down, it's the Grateful Dead. I listen to at least one live show every week. This, from a guy who really couldn't tolerate them, or at least didn't get them even back in college.
It occurred to me what an awesome and large catalog of songs to choose from when I pieced this top 20 together. As with all lists, keep in mind that there is a fluidity to them. That means I can change my mind from one day to the next. Ha.
1. New Speedway Boogie 2. Sugaree 3. Franklin's Tower 4. Dire Wolf 5. Ripple 6. Friend Of The Devil 7. Fire On The Mountain 8. The Wheel 9. Brown-Eyed Women 10. Eyes Of The World 11. Touch Of Grey 12. Sugar Magnolia 13. Deal 14. Scarlet Begonias 15. Me & My Uncle 16. Bertha 17. Box Of Rain 18. Truckin' 19. Playing In The Band 20. Don't Ease Me In
Spotify is working fast and furious on adding new features to its streaming music service in preparation for battle against Apple Music which debuts on June 30. The latest is something called Rewind. Here's the story from Venture Beat, Spotify’s new Rewind feature builds playlists from the past.
The way it works is you choose three artists you love. Then an algorithm goes to work coming up with playlists across five separate decades that are based on those three artists.
I'd love to try it but for the life of me I can't find the darn thing on either my iOS app or desktop app. I'll let you know when I do or someone please guide me to it.