Music to soothe the savage beast

Hey-dee how-dee.

I’m here to pimp a couple of my fave websites that stream music. I listen to music pretty much constantly, especially when I’m writing, and each project I work on requires a different kind of soundtrack, though I’ve found that trance music is providing a soundtrack for virtually anything I’m working on, much to my delight in some ways.

With that in mind, one of the best-kept secrets, I think, is Digitally Imported (electronica and everything like it). I’ve been listening to this site for at least three years now. I upgraded to the paid premium (about $5 a month and it’s well worth it), and turn that pup on and away it goes pretty much all day.

Another is Pandora, and I know some of you already listen to that and have created your own radio stations. One of the down sides — and I haven’t upgraded to a paying customer over there — is that the playlist on any particular station repeats after a while. Another pain in the butt is that in order to create a varied playlist, you have to constantly click that you “like” a particular song so Pandora remembers it and plays stuff like it. If you don’t click “like” for a while, Pandora will basically stop, because “it’s not sure you’re still listening.”

Another site I’ll use is 365Live, which offers virtually every genre under the sun. The site’s a little difficult to navigate, and because it basically just serves as kind of a clearinghouse, you have to click the station link to see if your player is compatible. But there are some truly great stations there, including world music, which is another of my faves.

AOL Music is offering free world music, speaking of. I haven’t really explored this site, but some of the genres are super cool.

And if you’re feeling totally new-agey or yoga-ish, has a New Age music stream. Super mellow.

One more tip–if you find a station you just love to death and you listen to it quite a bit, think about upgrading if it offers that option. No commercials, better sound, and you’re contributing to great music.

Happy listening!

Mellow Music tip

Hi, folks! Yeah, Sunday I usually do a reading tip, but today I’m working on some editing projects and I like to have some music going for that. Because I’m on a nostalgia kick, I’m here to recommend Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. Specifically, their debut album Rattlesnakes.

LC&C formed in 1982 in Glasgow. Between 1984 and 1989, they scored 4 top 20 albums and 5 top 40 singles in the UK. The band broke up in 1989 and Lloyd has been doing some solo stuff. In 2004, they re-formed briefly to do a mini-tour. I had the good fortune to catch LC&C live at a teeny-ass venue in Denver in the fall of 1985. GREAT show. What’s their music like? Think if Chris Isaak went into a pub in a small English village and hung out with John Mellencamp and they got the guitarist from early Wolfgang Press totally stoned and then had a jam session with the Dream Academy.

Rattlesnakes included the hits “Perfect Skin”, “Forest Fire”, and the title track. One of my all-time fave numbers by LC&C is “Forest Fire.” Here it is (not the video! Just listen and feel groovy!):