Our year in music.

It’s that time of the year, folks. Whether you’re proud or keeping yours locked in a safe, it’s always entertaining to get an overview of our listening habits on Spotify!

Head over to 2017wrapped.com for your own.

If you follow us, you know there are no surprised here on our side…

FUN FACT: Colbie Caillat was top of my iTunes most listened with “Bubbly” nearly 10 years ago!

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Winsconsin, a mixtape.

A few months ago the lovely Eric from the Nerdologues gang invited me to be a guest on his podcast, Blank Cassette. It may have taken way too long for the reciprocal invite to be actually sent out (especially since it had been in the pipes since before said pod went pretty public nearly 10 months ago!), but I finally got him to make you a playlist.

He didn’t exactly make it for you nor me, but Eric’s being kind enough to share the mix and inspiration behind it with us.

Read on for a High Fidelity-esque tale of break-up, travels and music. The basic trinity of pop culture!

*WARNING: do NOT look up “Door County” photos if you don’t have time to drop whatever you’re doing to plan a holiday.

Last summer my girlfriend and I had booked a weekend getaway to Wisconsin for the Fourth of July. For some reason, that’s a really common thing for people who live in Chicago to do – we live in one of the largest and most engaging cities in North America but, you know, the grass is always greener. So Wisconsin it was! Door County in particular – that’s an especially picturesque part of the state up north, near Green Bay (home of the Packers and cheese hats). It was going to be our first road trip together – always an exciting part of any relationship.

One of the things I did to prep for the trip was put together a playlist of artists that put me in the headspace of Wisconsin. The lady enjoyed listening to my playlists (one of my relationship Kryptonites) and it seemed like this was a great opportunity for one since we’d be in the car a whole lot. Usually I keep my playlists pretty tight – something that would fit on a blank CD if anybody still used those – but I made this bad boy open-ended to better accompany the long drive we were staring down.

By this point you’ve probably picked up on all the past tense here. That road trip never happened. A few days before we left, she broke up with me. We’d had a nonrefundable hotel room (booked via an insane deal on hotels.com**) though, so I was like “fuck it, I still want to go on this trip”. So I kept working on the playlist.

I didn’t end up going to Door County exactly – through the intervention of some very kind friends and the fact that I couldn’t bring my dog to the hotel we’d booked unless she was a service animal (you better believe I was bringing somebody to that hotel), I instead spent the weekend at my friend’s cabin in nearby Tomahawk, WI. The playlist was still in play. And you better believe I listened to it on the way up there and back.

The base of the playlist is a lot of power pop. There’re a couple reasons for that – the That ’70s Show aesthetic (check the first song) primarily, but it also just seems like Wisconsin needs a power pop soundtrack. All the heavy beer, cheese, and sausage of the state mixed with its beautiful airy scenery – the power meets the pop, right? That explains stuff like Big Star, Alice Cooper, and 1-800-Band.

Nestled alongside power pop what puts me in the mood of driving through an endless wash of Culvers are a bunch of artists I’ve seen perform in Wisconsin. Milwaukee and Madison are home to a number of beautiful theaters, and Milwaukee also hosts the annual Summerfest, giving me a bunch of tremendous musical memories – hence the appearance of acts like Rilo Kiley, Beatallica and Jakob Dylan.

Any time I visit some place, I make it a point to listen to local artists. Winsconsin includes a smattering of that as well; welcome the Violent Femmes, the Bodeans, the Chordettes and the like.

And finally, some songs appear because they’re tied to very specific Wisconsin memories – the time my friends and I were driving back from Milwaukee and spontaneously sang literally every word on Weird Al’s Bad Hair Day album, or the time we were heading to Minneapolis and, just past Madison, my friend Steve decided that if I really liked Van Halen, I should be able to listen to “Jump” nonstop for three hours without complaining (I made it maybe 20 minutes).

Memories of that particular weekend are, understandbly, still pretty bittersweet for me. But dang it, I really like this playlist. I think it’s a nice, varied collection from across my musical taste that puts you in the headspace of a pretty lovely state. I’m actually heading there this Friday for a work outing and you better believe this bad boy’s gonna be cued up on my Spotify.


-Eric Garneau
writer, editor, comic book retailer, Nerdologues member, alright guy I think?
www.nerdologues.com

 

**this post was in no way endorsed by hotels.com (although we’re totally open for that, guys!)

Mixtape | Walk Idiot Walk…

I’m not the only one making mixtapes around here, Adam’s made you one too and #wednesdayhumpday sounds like the best time to dive in this one.

Ladies, gents and binaries, here’s Adam:

I’ll cut to the chase, the moral of the story is that whilst you should totally go on a 20k walk exploring an new city with great company, be prepared to pay the price if you’re doing so in flip flops!

The day in question was almost two weeks ago on a trip to Portugal and having soldiered on things haven’t been healing as I might have hoped (don’t improvise surgery on blisters with nail scissors kids 😉). Having arrived home in the UK at 4am I was struggling for motivation to get up and out for a friend’s birthday in Tufnell Park. So whilst I was soaking away some aches and pains I started to fill a playlist with motivational tracks to get me back on my feet.

Some, like Walking on broken glass and Hole in my sole, have titles that perfectly captured the Pain I was feeling, whilst Walk idiot walk captured my general mood having only myself to blame. Walk This way takes me back to the van rides to the beach, in the Land Rover with no stereo, where I was the DJ singing along with so many new friends that I look forward to seeing in the waves again. Others catch me looking forward to when the recovery is over and I’ll Run back onto the Softball pitch on October 1st (hopefully 🤕). We round out with one of my all time favourites, a track I’ve heard live 20+ times, Look what happened indeed ‘we’ll walk in circles around this whole block/ walk on the cracks in the same old sidewalk/ then we’ll talk about leaving town…’

I’ll heal up soon and forget about the injury but the memories of catching waves, beautiful sunrises with beautiful people and nighttime ponderings of penguinologists will stay with me forever. 

Thanks to Liv for letting me play in her space for a bit and to you for reading this far. Enjoy the music.

Adam

Instagram: adamsmith3d
Twitter: adamsmith3d
Spotify: adsmith85

Mixtape | Summer Daze

I don’t know where you guys are but it was a holiday Monday here in the UK and there’s not much better than an extended weekend. Except for a hot and sunny extended weekend, which this one so happened to be.

As I was lying in the sun with two books to catch up on, I couldn’t carry on with either. Not because they weren’t interesting or because some dudes were playing ball way too close and I had to concentrate on not being hit. But because my Daily Mix of choice was so, OH SO chilled and the books were one about business, one about 90s grunge, so….as I found myself in a, well, summer daze!, with the soundtrack that was playing in my ears I figured I’d turn it into a playlist and share it with the world. Or at least with my 3 or 4 readers.

I don’t always make playlists – even though it’s what I set out to do here! – but, when I do, it’s usually summer-related…I swear I have completely different ones in the pipeline and I promise I’ll, er, try to post them in the very near future but, for the time being, as this may or may not have been the last we’ve felt/seen of hot sunshine, behold, Summer Daze.

Mixtape | 99 Luftballons

Du hast. Du hast mich. So goes one of Rammstein‘s classics. You’ve heard of them, right?! Or krautrockers Kraftwerk.

Well, these two – among others – are quite fitting to the German stereotype. So I’ve come to debunk this myth that they are cold, surly people and their language sounds ugly and hard (‘hard’ as in ‘not soft’ because ‘hard’ as in ‘not difficult’ is definitely true!).

Germans are, in fact, pretty loving AND loveable people! I lived with a local family in a little village near Frankfurt a few years ago and found myself missing that life these past couple of weeks and listening to all those tracks that helped me understand der, die, das and the difference between akkusativ and dativ cases (yeah right, a lifetime wouldn’t be long enough for that!).

Anyway, today’s mixtape brings you a bunch of German love songs (or Liebeslieder) so the world (cause I have SO many readers…) can also fall in love with that great nation of soppy folks.

It consists of mostly mainstream pop music such as Wir Sind Helden (they played at the old London Astoria back in 2006!), Juli*RevolverheldSilbermondPhilipp Poisel (the German Ed Sheeran) and German Idol alumni Yvonne Catterfeld among a few others.

*Fun fact: Juli‘s “Tränenschwer” holds a special place in my heart as it was the first song I heard and understood in full what it was saying! That’s not the fun fact for you though as you probably couldn’t care less. This song also caught my attention for sounding A LOT like another one I had heard before in English performed by an American popstar in 2004…can you guess which?! I might actually send you a prize (even if you get it wrong, really. Basically just because I’ll be really happy I have at least ONE reader so, please, don’t be shy!). The German one was released 3 months after the American. I’m not quite sure who made a version of who though.

I won’t translate every lyric of every song because who has time for that?! (me. I do. But I’m job hunting at the moment and gotta get back to writing all those exciting cover letters) so let’s pick a few and check out how romantic these guys can get…

I think about 99.7% of Juli‘s songs are about love.

One of my favourites is “Regen und Meer” (Rain and Sea). I love the sound of it, the rhythm and I can still picture a friend of mine dancing around pretending to look for something as they sang “[ich] lauf blindings durch die Straße. Hier bin ich, doch wo bist du?” (“[I] walk blindly through the streets. Here I am, now where are you?”). My guess is the dude ran away right after the first verse where she sings about watching him sleep…er, psycho alert! (“und ich zuseh wie du schläfst“)

Soll das alles sein? Should that be all?
Ich war so lang allein, I was alone for so long
Es war alles ganz in Ordnung, It was all in order 
Ganz okay, und dann kamst du. All ok, and then you came along (I mean, c’mon! #sorelatable)

Und jetzt verlass’ ich deine Stadt, And now I leave your city
Ich seh’ zurück und fühl’ mich schwer, I look back and feel full of sorrows (“feel shit”, that’s what she meant)
Weil g’rade angefangen hat, because it has just begun
Was du nicht willst und ich zu sehr. the thing you don’t want and I want too much (told ya, the signs are all there…psychooo)

Ich bin der Regen I am the rain
Und du bist das Meer. and you are the sea

But I think that’s the only Juli song we should slightly worry about the subject’s mental health. Some others are sweet like most Germans are (Hitler was AUSTRIAN!) and they can also get a little raunchy! I mean, Elektrisches Gefühl, Electric Feeling, wooooah.

Let’s move on to…Xavier Naidoo. I’m not quite sure who the equivalent would be in the UK, but he’s a pretty big deal in Germany. Legend has it that he was snubbed for the World Cup 2006 opening ceremony in favour of Herbert Grönemeyer because he isn’t the stereotypical German (he’s of Indian decent). Organisers claimed it was because Grönie was more like a German institution in music but who knows?!

He’s a bit of a nutter though. He claims the Federal Republic of Germany doesn’t exist and that the country is occupied by foreign, enemy forces. He was also up for representing Germany in the Eurovision 2015 but was vetoed because apparently he’s had some homophobic songs recently…I mean, the last place homophobes belong in is an Eurovision stage!

Naidoo’s career started out in the 90s but really only solidified about a decade later when he also collaborated with many other musicians such as the all male vocal group Söhne Mannheims.

One of his biggest hits when I was there was Dieser Weg, which is a pretty good explanation about how life works:

Also ging ich diese Straße lang, und die Straße führte zu mir. 
So I walked along this street, and the street led to me
Das Lied, das du am letzten Abend sangst, spielt nun in mir.
The song that you sang last night, is now playing in my mind
Noch ein paar Schritte, und dann war ich da, mit dem Schlüssel zu dieser Tür.
A few more paces and then there I was with the key to this door
 
Dieser Weg wird kein leichter sein, dieser Weg wird steinig und schwer.
This path will not be easy, this path will be stony and hard
Nicht mit vielen wirst du dir einig sein, doch dieses Leben bietet so viel mehr.
You won’t agree with many, but this life has so much more to give
 
Es war nur ein kleiner Augenblick, einen Moment war ich nicht da.
It was only a little blink of an eye, one moment I wasn’t there
Danach ging ich einen kleinen Schritt, und dann wurde es mir klar.
Afterwards I took a step and then it was all clear to me
 
Manche treten dich, manche lieben dich, manche geben sich für dich auf,
Some kick you, some love you, some surrender themselves for you
Manche segnen dich. Setz dein Segel nicht, wenn der Wind das Meer aufbraust!
Some bless you. Don’t set your sail when the wind flares up the sea

…which is all true and poetic but not a love song (super catchy though!), so we’ll go for his hit ballad “Ich Kenne Nichts (Das So Schön Ist Wie Du)” I Don’t Know Anything (as Beautiful as You)

I thought I’d share a different version of it though…the 2006 season of Deutschland Sucht den Superstar (German Idol!) had the half Italian, half German, Nevio Passaro covering it and it was a big deal at the time as all the contestants were always singing Anglo-American songs and, although this one starts out in English, it ends in German and everyone went apeshit (in a good way) because he was singing in German! I mean…it WAS the German Idol after all, but ok…I do like his version a lot more but watching the performance now, just over a decade later, is kind of funny.

 

Anyway…I just laughed my head off while googling Nevio because I just saw he’s half wearing a mask on an album cover and remembered the producers/judges/whoever at the time thought people were voting for him because he was handsome so he wore a mask for his following performance. Seriously, you can’t make this shit up!

Speaking of German Idol…one of the winners of contests past was Yvonne Catterfeld. For her I can definitely find an equivalent: Kelly Clarkson. Only, while Clarkson sings about how her life’s a billion times better after getting rid of the asshole, the German popstar channels her inner Juliet in Eine Welt One Dich:

Ich will nicht fühlen, was ich fühle, I don’t want to feel what I’m feeling
Nicht glauben, was man mir erzählt. Not believe in what somebody says
Ich will nicht hassen, wen ich liebe, I don’t want to hate whom I love
Wenn mir deine Liebe so fehlt. If your love is missing from me
 
Diese Bilder von dir rauben mir den Verstand, These photos of you rob me from what I learnt
Sind wie Schüsse ins Herz, ins Gedächtnis gebrannt. Are like shots to the heart burnt in my mind
 
 Ich will nicht geh’n in eine Welt ohne dich. I don’t want to carry on in a world without you
Nichts ist so leer wie eine Welt ohne dich. Nothing is so empty as a world without you
Nichts ist so leer wie eine Welt ohne dich. Nothing is so empty as a world without you
 
Nur mit Tränen im Blick denk’ ich an dich zurück. Only with tears in my eyes I think back at you
Wenn ich geh’, wird der Abschied sehr schwer. When I leave, partying will be very hard
Nichts ist so leer wie eine Welt ohne dich. Nothing is as empty as a world without you

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Sounds like she was about to pull a Hannah Baker and leave a song trail instead of audiobooks on tapes…but I’m happy to report that, a decade later, Yvonne is alive and well. The person who wrote that song, however, I’m not quite sure…

To be honest, going back to Rammstein, “Du Hast” is somewhat of a love song too…at least for their standards. It’s a bit of a wedding vows parody and full of double meanings as explained by someone around the internet.

If the line is read as “Tod der Scheide” it would be “until the death of the vagina” and not “until death, which would seperate” (“Tod, der scheide”). The whole song is a play on German wedding vows (Wollen Sie einander lieben und achten und die Treue halten bis dass der Tod euch scheidet? – Do you want to love and respect each other and to remain faithful, until death seperates you?). Instead of answering with “Ja,” Till says “Nein,” finally answering the question he said nothing to in the beginning.

So you see?! Germans are not only romantic (sometimes too much!!) but they DO have a sense of humour as well!

And it’s with the most beautiful song in all of the Deutschland that we end this thread.

Behold, legendary punks, Die Ärzte*:

Apologies for a shitty playlist, actually. Spotify UK doesn’t offer much in the Deutsch department…and vielen Dank to my dear Freundin Dani Mysterio for contributing to the playlist with the latest German heartthrobs!

*Männer Sind Schweine Men Are Pigs

Hello, darling, I love you.
You’re the only one for me.
It think the others are all dumb.
That’s why I’m courting you.
You’re so different, totally special.
I always notice such a thing quickly.
Now undress and lie down.
Soon it’ll be dark, soon it’ll be nighttime.
A word of warning is advisable:
Men are pigs,
Don’t trust them, my child,
They all want just one thing,
‘Cuz that’s just how men are.
A man doesn’t feel like a man until
he can take care of you.
He lies like a trooper,
just to get you in bed.
And then in the morning,
he has no idea what your name is.
Reckless and unihibited,
Feelings are alien to him,
For him, love is the same as a loss of semen.
Girl, that’s why you need to be aware:
Men are pigs,
Don’t ask for sunlight,
Sadly, there are no exceptions.
There’s a pig hidden in every man.
Men are sows,
don’t belief a single word they say.
They swear they will always be true,
Then are gone the next morning [yeah, yeah, yeah]
[“What did I do to make you distress me and say, you don’t love me anymore?”
“You don’t have the slightest idea what love is. We don’t even know each other.”]
And, in case you make a mistake,
And catch a husband,
your noble suitor mutates
into an animal right after the wedding.
He then shows you his true self,
completely unshaven and rank,
drinks beer, watches TV and quickly becomes fat.
And burps and farts in the marriage bed.
Then you’ve got King Kong as your husband.
That’s why I’m telling you, please always think about:
Men are pigs,
Don’t trust them, my child,
They all want just one thing,
They are blind to true love.
Men are rats,
Approach them only with cunning,
They want to copulate with everything.
That with three it’s not in the trees.
Men are pigs,
Don’t ask for sunlight,
Sadly, there are no exceptions.
There’s a pig hidden in every man.
Men are cars,
Only without a spare tire. [yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah]
Leftist pigs, horrible pigs,
Disgusting pigs, horrible pigs,
Dumb pigs, dumb pigs,
Horny pigs
Leftist pigs, horrible pigs,
Disgusting pigs, horrible pigs,
Stinking pigs, leftist pigs,
Horny pigs
Leftist pigs, horrible pigs,
Disgusting pigs, horrible pigs,
Dumb pigs, Nazi pigs,
Horny pigs
We don’t want any cops*
horrible pigs, horrible pigs
Molitav-Cocktails and Stones against the cops.

Mixtape: roadtrippin’

It’s SuperBowl Sunday, but one team beat my Seahawks out of the playoffs and the other is a Trump-supporter, soooooo…it’ll be Playlist Sunday instead!

I mean, this is pretty self-explanatory, I don’t need to say it’s a playlist filled with driving tunes and that most of it lays around classic rock, right?! Sadly it only has around 3 or 4 tracks by a lady or female-fronted band so, if anyone wants to send some suggestions to add to it, please, by all my means!

Send nudes!

You heard right, we want to see your naked…well, playlist! This a music website! What were you thinking??!!!

Global advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy challenges you to bare all in new Spotify campaign. It’s really easy to look cool on the internet but let’s see who you are in real life…

Ok, ok, it’s not exactly a challenge. We here are not really keen on the “guilty pleasure” terminology. After all, why guilt in listening to music that makes you happy? And also, what exactly constitutes a “guilty pleasure”?! Judging artists by genre, looks or whatever it is that gets you worked up is only keeping you from finding what could be your new favourite song.

It’s this unfounded prejudice from pseudo-music snobs that has people in 2017 still saying things like “wow, I didn’t know Lady Gaga could actually sing!” – no shit, Sherlock! If only you hadn’t judged her for the fact she makes pop music. (as if pop music was Satan’s invention or something…and I’m saying all this while drafting a post condemning shit lyrics…oh, sweet hypocrisy!)

The finest music snob in the galaxy!

The finest music snob in the galaxy!

This thing reminded me of a friend who once told me she watches “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” but, when I brought it up in front of other people, she denied like she feared for her life as if anybody actually gave a rat’s ass that she liked it!

Just love what you love and consume whatever entertainment makes you happy! As long as it’s not hurting anybody…sometimes music is art, sometimes it is what it is: entertainment. It’s true it makes me sad that something like the Chainsmokers are chart toppers while so many super talented people struggle, but hey, it’s a big world andryanadams1989 there’s space for everyone. We should be glad to have such diversity catering for everyone.

I mean, if Ryan Adams can cover a whole Taylor Swift album, who are you to judge anybody’s taste?

Anyway, my “naked playlist” is pretty much on par with everything I’m always posting: lots of Pearl Jam, Brian Fallon, Wolf Alice, Lissie and Ryan Adams. The two surprises were: the lack of Backstreet Boys – not even ONE track! – and the presence of an Usher song I had on idea existed! If anything, I’d say I’ve listened to “You Remind Me”, “Confessions” and “U Got It Bad” more than any other song by him, but oh  well!

What’s in yours? Get it here. Play it loud and share it proud!

We’re on iTunes!

Nope, I haven’t taken the shower singing up to the next level just yet – and never will, rest assured.

The very first day of the year started out for me with a really exciting email from Eric Garneau, host of Chicago-based The Nerdologues’ podcast Blank Cassette – every week he asks a guest to put a mixtape together and talk about it. And, on that day, he asked me!

He asked me for about 20-24 tracks so I couldn’t really use any of the existing mixes as they’re all about an eternity-long and, at the time, I’d been listening to a lot of my favourite female rockers and thinking that old “Badass Chicks” playlist needed a bit of updating…so I ended up making vol.2 (with a few repeats because…classics.).

You can listen to my goober self right here but you can also check out much superior episodes in the Nerdologues’ Blank Cassette archive.

 

 

 

 

Music Subscriptions Passed 100 Million In December. Has The World Changed?

Happy New Year, guys!

Music Industry Blog

In streaming’s earlier years, when doubts prevailed across the artist, songwriter and label communities, one of the arguments put forward by enthusiasts was that when streaming reached scale everything would make sense. When asked what ‘scale’ meant, the common reply was ‘100 million subscribers’. In December, the streaming market finally hit and passed that milestone, notching up 100.4 million subscribers by the stroke of midnight on the 31st December. It was an impressive end to an impressive year for streaming, but does it mark a change in the music industry, a fundamental change in the way in which streaming works for the music industry’s numerous stakeholders?

Streaming Has Piqued Investors’ Interest

The streaming market was always going to hit the 100 million subscriber mark sometime around now, but by closing out the year with the milestone it was ahead of schedule. This was not however entirely surprising as the…

View original post 617 more words

Mixtape | Wicked jams 👻

I don’t know about you guys, but Halloween is my favourite celebration of the year – it really should be a holiday!

It’s a shame London doesn’t celebrate it properly but fortunately not too far, about 4:30hrs by train from us, Edinburgh does an incredible parade of the yearly battle between summer and winter. If you ever get a chance to see it, I HIGHLY recommend it!

img_0016Anyway, Halloween is not just a time to dress up in spooky costumes, scare your friends without guilt (as if I felt guilty any other time of the year!), work on your pumpkin art and stuff your face with chocolate. It’s also a time to binge-watch classics such as Hocus Pocus and The Craft. I mean, it’s also an excellent excuse for a playlist!

Obviously, we’ve got all of those anyone expects in a respectable Halloween mix: Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Ramones, Black Sabbath…even “I Put a Spell On You” (I know, so predictable!) with its million covers makes an appearance and of course we chose the Marilyn Manson version. I mean, only because Spotify doesn’t have the Bette Middler one from Hocus Pocus…now THAT is a true Halloween classic.

weirdos

But anyway, besides covering the pre-requisite and adding half of The Craft soundtrack, we also added a shitload more tracks from, as usual with a playlist like this, a mix of genre but, funnily enough, with a majority of 80s sounds…what happened to the chilling, dark music of the past?! Maybe people should take a break from making wrist-slitting music and get back to the haunting themes.