A Few More Odds and Ends from 2011

A couple last random thoughts that didn’t make it into my last post:

  • Following up on my mini-rant about Spotify, I did have a little back and forth with customer support on email that resulted in a suggestion to try downloading their new Beta version.  Not exactly fixing the existing problem, but for now it seems to have done the trick.  The new beta seems to be functioning well; still puzzled what happened with the production version I was running.  As I said before, I like the huge library they have and the ease of use, but I’m worried about the long-term viability of their service.
  • This week I started my Google Music account and downloaded a few free songs from their for sale collection on the Android Marketplace.  There’s some decent songs for free download that you might not have in your library.  It moved out of a beta version in November, I just hadn’t had the time to check it out until now.  The interface was easy to jump into and the ability to store up to 20K songs is intriguing.  I haven’t yet uploaded my music library, but probably will at some point, if for no other reason than to have it stored somewhere else than on my computer.  A good introductory how-to guide is on CNET.
  • In my thoughts on best of, I probably should have put another album that has gotten a lot of rotation in our house since it came out, the Civil Wars’ Barton Hollow.  It’s become a go-to album when you just want to relax and be soothed by some great voices accompanied by spare but beautiful guitar.  And the Cults self-titled debut is top-to-bottom filled with some really good tunes, try Bad Things for a track you probably haven’t heard from that album.
  • I’m just finishing up another Rough Trade music book, this one was called The Best Music You’ve Never Heard.  I really enjoyed this; while there are quite a few names that I recognized (though hadn’t necessarily listened to a great deal), there were also quite a few new singers and bands that were covered that I had never heard of.  Skewing a bit heavy on 60s era bands, there is still a lot to find for lovers of most music genres in here (section titles range from “I Write the Songs” about singer-songwriters to “Not for Export” covering reggae and world music).  I found enough stuff in here that I would at least like to check out to cover all of 2012.
  • I haven’t written much at all about soundtracks in this blog, but I recently bought my first full soundtrack in awhile.  I grew up with the Muppets: the TV show, the first Muppets Movie is the first movie I recollect seeing in the theaters, and I distinctly remember collecting the souvenir glasses from McDonald’s that were a tie-in to the Great Muppet Caper, I even dressed up as Animal for Halloween this year.  I recently went and saw the movie, and it was very good, suprisingly so.  Part of why it was so good was the music, which has always been an integral part of the Muppet experience.  Jason Segal and Amy Adams both have some good numbers and we’ve definitely been singing Man or a Muppet around our house.  My personal favorite is Fozzie’s bastardization of Rainbow Connection for a Reno casino lounge act.    Waka waka!
  • Leave you for the year with a track from the new Roots album (still digesting this one, not sure if it measures up to Things Fall Apart as a whole, but definitely some good grooves):
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