Musical influence

I don't watch tv as the executives that be wish me to; that is, in arbitrary chunks of time padded by advertisements. But I do watch a lot of shows. I only listen to radio in short bursts of car sharing, and I just hunt for a local NPR affiliate. These facts combine to form how I discover new music.

There are roughly four categories of exposure (with primary examples):

I always forget to set up scrobbling, but if I had there would a noticeable uptake in music listened to as it is broadcast (or when I finally get to it, such as with all my vintage dance pop 90's anime soundtracks...).

Artists (and favorite tracks) that I appreciate having found in the last year include Rizzle Kicks (Lost Generation), Mayumi Morinaga (Glitter), Of Monsters and Men (Little Talks), and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (Same Love). Oh, and just now I learned about M.I.A., and having listened to it once, Clover is singing Y.A.L.A. ^_^

Anything else I should be aware of? ^_^

I learned about M.I.A. relatively recently too (I’d heard Paper Planes, of course, but hadn’t followed her). I love Bad Girls, especially the truly epic official behind-the-scenes mini-documentary. “She’s actually crazy.”

She’s out there, and graceful, and she’s got this fire in her eyes, and she is so so so feminine without ever begging for anything. It’s totally different from so many of the (especially female) musicians out there, whose only mode of interaction with the rest of the world is in a pleading manner. She’s fascinating to me. I think she blew my mind so much because she represents an alternative way to be feminine, or something.

You made me think about what tracks made a dent in my brain this year, too.

On San Francisco:

  • Google Google Apps Apps, which makes everyone profoundly uncomfortable. Especially me. I live in the mission. I cannot even talk about this ironically. Or u
  • Bucket Betch by Double Duchess, somehow irresistible in its joyful insistence. “We’re poppin’ up and takin’ over the place.” Something about the noise and the clapping and the jingle and distorted vocals and the San Francisco sunshine is happy and expressive and free and summery: “wait for it wait for it: HOORAY!”

What Spotify showed me:

  • Amon Tobin – Kitchen Sink (Clark Remix) – I like the soundscape of this. Magic and faeries in a warehouse with cogs and gears, machining grotesque forms of twisted metal, pixie dust detritus scattered across the floor. I don’t even know what kind of music this is or how I can find more.

  • We’ll Begin Tomorrow by Release The Sunbird. My friend Lisa made me a playlist of all the music SHE had run into when she started using Spotify (“I haven’t listened to new music for like ten years because that’s how long it’s been since I’ve walked into music stores and looked at CDs! It turns out all these artists are still making music, and look at all these new artists!”)

  • Jolie Coquine by Caravan Palace. Turns out there is a wealth of artists doing old-timey-sounding blendy new music.

From friends:

Atish at robot heart on friday night this year. Atish also does monthly mixes.
Major Lazer – ‘Get Free’ feat. Amber. First heard in a yoga class at work, started hearing it everywhere after that.
The album Far Away Trains Passing By, by Ulrich Schnauss. Here’s knuddelmaus. I’ve been having trouble sleeping, so I put this and Lullatone on.

I guess this comment is really more for me than for you. In that case, I might as well list the other things that particularly dented my brain, especially earlier this year: End of Time by Beyonce, Sail by AWOLnation, Dream Catcher by Unicorn Kid ………