Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Spotify the dog

I am and forever will be an anti-establishment kind of bean even at the expense of my own happiness and convenience. I hate chain stores, I hate supermarkets, I hate online dating and hate large corporate monopolies.
I hate monopolies so much that if I play monopoly I just head straight to jail, wait it out. Safe in the knowledge that I am not engaging in a system that tries to place a monetary value on the basic human right of housing, and where 2nd prize in a beauty contest will only win you £10. That’s probably why no one plays with me.
Saying that, I do love Spotify.
I get that some people hate it, ‘It’s killing music, they pay musicians a pittance’ stick it to the man, fight the power, Corbyn for PM’, but even with all that righteous anger brimming in my ears I still think it’s great.

It’s not that I’m opposed to buying music. I spent all my formative years buying CDS. When others spent their money on more practical things like driving lessons and drugs I bought CDs.
I had lots, all the greats and I very much defended the position of buying music. Before Spotify, when folk had to download music from the internet illegally I recoiled in horror. How very dare they. The swines, purloining from the pockets of those poor hard working musicians, and why when I try to do the same is my computer smothered in a stable full of malicious trojan horses?
I didn’t want any knock off Nigels, or Hooky henrys I wanted to real Mccoy, the physical artefact in my hand with a coloured booklet to peruse at my leisure.

However, by the age of 26 I figured that I had heard everything and owned every CD I needed to own and I was bored of music.
Trying to discover new music before Spotify was like looking in a wool factory
for cotton buds.
Once you found a band you liked, mainly through happen-stance. You then researched what bands they liked or other more tenuous links like finding out who the bassoonist was that played on the final track of their coveted D-side album. Then you trawled the markets and record shops. Breadcrumbing your way in search of these hallowed new bands, return home, play the CD, feel disappointed, return to the shop and swap your Clash ‘London Calling’ CD for the best of the Cranberries. In hindsight this wasn’t a good swap but we didn’t have hindsight back then we had the best of the Cranberries.
Sometimes this process was sped up by a compilation CD. Many new bands discovered through the glory of the Shine Indie CDs but it was all so time consuming and ball breaking and by my mid twenties I couldn’t care less any more. Happy to play the same albums on a loop until that final karaoke gig in the sky.
Spotify rescued me from this Sisyphus drama. It really is a dream for those that wish to devour the fruits of new music. Their weekly compilations based on tracks you already like is a marvel. I pick and choose my faves, usually only one or two but then by the end of the month I’ve discovered 10 new acts without even exerting any effort whatsoever.
There’s also the Spotify trail where you start with a band you like, it then suggests 20 other similar bands, you follow them and build it into your own playlist and hey presto. Suddenly you are in a position where you know what classical composers are not shite and you know all their greatest hits.
‘Do you like Debussey’s Clare de lune oh you should try Christian Sindig’s Symphony no3 III movement: Allegro’.

That’s some solid smarty pants party repartee you’ve just learned to guff out of your mouth. That’s the brown triangle of trivial pursuit covered all because of Spotify.
And it doesn’t stop me purchasing music. It’s just now, music has to be exceptionally good. I don’t just settle for any old average tosh. I’ve already had to listen to each track a 100 times before I can then unequivocally say it’s the bee testicles and I need it in several different formats including on a key ring.
The only irritating thing is the adverts but when have the Mcdonalds, Tesco, Greggs Sports direct, adverts ever ruined anything really?

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