Whilst enjoying the wonderfulness that is Spotify one can come across the occasional cataloguing anomaly. Clicking on an artist’s name offers a brief biography and a list of Similar Artists. Normally this is a great way to explore but….
Clicking the minimalist composer [W:Steve Reich] gives you the New Orleans jazz band leader [W:George Lewis (clarinetist)] as a Similar Artist. Perhaps I am missing something but I do not really see the connection. That George Lewis should not be confused with this [W:George Lewis (trombonist)] who can be found on the Nine To Get Ready album but clicking his name linked with the album takes you back to the other George Lewis :-\

The Leaves were a 1960’s band who recorded “Hey Joe”

The Leaves – Hey Joe

which [W:Frank Zappa] parodied in Flower Punk and [W:Jimi Hendrix] later reworked.

Hendrix – Hey Joe

Spotify has the right biography….

The Leaves - Hey Joe
The Leaves - Hey Joe

But the wrong [W:Leaves (Icelandic band)] music. Or vice versa.
:-\

The Spotify blog keeps you well informed and a recent listing of new additions (yes I am the kind of person who scrolls through them all 😉 ) included the [W:Sun Ra] Second Star To The Right album (a favourite of mine). Searching Sun Ra fails to find it. But searching for the album’s title does find it. Apparently it is by Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Arkestra which is obviously why searching for Sun Ra fails to find it :-\

Wowie Zowie! OK – we are talking kid in a sweet shop here 🙂 but Wow! Spotify is a free music streaming service that changes everything. Imagine your own personal radio station. You select the playlist without the inane disc jockey and (so far) minimal advertising. The music is presented in an [W:iTunes] like interface with a wonderfully eclectic selection. There are a few glaring holes… of course [W:Gail Zappa] has missed yet another boat so there is no Frank Zappa although there is a little Dweezil (pass along nothing of interest here 😉 ). There is no Beatles (but there is an interview with their hairdresser!) nor Pink Floyd. In general you can find what you are looking for. Sometimes you are spoilt for choice. With over one hundred versions of [W:It Don’t Mean a Thing] which do you select? Let’s listen to them all – It’s free!

Spotify
Spotify

How they are going to make this pay remains a mystery. There is an option to upgrade to an enhanced (advertising free) Premium service for £9.99 a month. Hmmm… 120 quid a year to listen to the radio (even a personalised one – did I mention [W:Escalator over the Hill]) seems a bit steep. Right clicking on a title does reveal a Buy From… option but this is always greyed out; perhaps I am clicking on the wrong tracks (no commercial potential 😉 ) or this is a feature to be added later. But with such an extensive library available would you bother to buy anything anyway? I guess only if you needed to stick it in your [W:iPod] and take it away with you.

Right clicking also allows you to add a track to your Playing Queue or you can copy the address of the track and send the link to someone else with a Spotify account to enjoy.

Fun things to do…. Type random words into the search box and listen to everything that comes up. Cabbage = 86 tracks. Browser = 1 track.

Explore. Enjoy.

The joys of the Interweb continue to delight… So you grab a copy of the BBC Radio Widget thingy and replace Real Player 11 with version 10 as the newer version will not play when you leave the Dashboard. Then you can listen to Late Junction, which being an early shift working kind of guy I do not usually get to hear, and discover the wonderful Tokyo Boogie-Woogie from the CD The Rough Guide to the Music of Japan. Wikipedia tells us a little but YouTube reveals all…

and Babel Fish assures me that the title refers to the young Shizuko Kasagi and her Tokyo bugi ugi.