I made a playlist today for midwinter. It’s a good one for admiring the rain, drinking coffee, and thinking about crawling back into bed.
If you don’t have Apple Music to open that playlist and want to use your streaming service of choice, here’s the list:
Bon Iver, “Blindsided”
Slime, “My Company”
Sufjan Stevens, “Chicago”
Steve Reich, “Electric Counterpoint: III. Fast” (performed by Pat Metheny)
Balo, “All the Idiots”
Jamie xx, “Sleep Sound”
Etta James, “Fool That I Am”
Radiohead, “Weird Fishes / Arpeggi”
Björk, “Hidden Place”
Sigur Rós, “Untitled 3”
FKA Twigs, “Two Weeks”
Sylvan Esso, “Coffee”
Here are a few good articles from last week:
The Verge: How Spotify’s Discover Weekly Cracked Human Curation at Internet Scale
I’ve been following advances in music “curation” technology with interest. Ben Popper’s interview offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the industry’s current wunderkind, The Echo Nest.
The New Yorker: What Kind of Genius Is Max Martin?
I had a passing familiarity with Max Martin’s influence, but John Seabrook’s bio piece is well worth a read. Martin’s songwriting forTaylor Swift adds a layer of complexity to the discussion about Swift, Ryan Adams, and gender bias in music reviews.
Grantland: How Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’ Kicked Off the Streaming Revolution
Steven Hyden’s piece on Radiohead’s Kid A as a milestone in album-length streaming is interesting, though it doesn’t match my own experience of streaming music’s history. Despite Hyden’s assertion that Kid A blazed a trail of leaked albums, it wasn’t hard in 2000 to find streaming music online. I don’t know if Hyden is being revisionist here, or if he simply means this was one of the first albums (if not the first) to be leaked by a record label itself, but leaks were common all through the ’90s (Stephen Witt’s book shares a fascinating history of music availability online – a history that meshes better with my own memory of the ’90s).
Radiohead did shift the paradigm with a later album, In Rainbows, which was released online as pay-what-you-want after their dispute with EMI.