Music

I have listened to Pandora for a couple years now, but the time has come to change to better things. I have switched to Grooveshark. It has everything Pandora offers and so much more with no restrictions (like the number of song skips). I use it on my phone and pc all day long; at home, on my way to work, work, etc. If you like a song, just download it. The inventory of songs (seemingly endless) is far greater than what Pandora streams. I highly recommend the change.


Levels: AVICII (9/12/13)
This song came out three years ago, but it wasn’t until I saw the video that I enjoyed it as much. Now when I hear the song, it reminds me of the video. And the video reminds me of my former employment. But the misery of that life has a happy ending in the video. I love it.

The Man Comes Around: Johnny Cash (9/12/13)
I haven’t updated this list in ages. I have been listening to a lot of Grooveshark these days, particularly since other sites are banned in Mexico (like Pandora). And on Grooveshark, I’ve been listening to a number of covers Johnny Cash did many years ago. I love most of Cash, but especially his late songs. The Man Comes Around is one of my favorites.

One Republic: Secrets (10/8/11)
I’ve liked a few songs coming from this band in the last year, particularly this one and Good Life. The attraction to this song is probably the stringed instruments – they seem to go really well with the rock genre.

Jens Lekman: Your Arms Around Me (8/15/11)
Jens is a Swedish musician. He sounds a little like David Byrne (see the song Home below). I was listening to some Camera Obscura radio today and this song came up. It was a very work-appropriate tune (calming in a not-so-calm environment).

Julieta Venegas: Revolución (8/14/11)
We listen to a LOT of Julieta in this house. Mostly from her older stuff. This song is from her 2010 Otra Cosa which is quickly becoming my favorite. Julieta is a Mexican singer from Tijuana. Of all the Mexican music my wife has introduced me to over the years, she remains my favorite.

Camera Obscura: Country Mile (7/10/11)
According to wikipedia, “The camera obscura (Latin; “camera” is a “vaulted chamber/room” + “obscura” means “dark”= “darkened chamber/room”) is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen. It is used in drawing and for entertainment, and was one of the inventions that led to photography…”. I came across the band by the same name listening to the indie station on Grooveshark. Camera Obscura is an indie-pop band from Scotland. They’ve been around since 1996. I love this song and in particular, the voice of Tracyanne Campbell who sings it. It’s very mellow and a good song to relax with.

Kid Cudi: Cudderisback Ottoman Remix (6/24/11)
Super cool VW remix. Ottoman is one of my favorites and this remix is right up there with the original. I like a few of Kid Cudi songs and this has certainly been added to that list.

Foster the People: Pumped up the Kicks (6/24/11)
This is really a great song. So great that before long, it will be overplayed and horrible to listen to. I’ll give it less than a month. Until then, I enjoy it every time I hear it.

Vampire Weekend: Giant (6/24/11)
I have missed this song because I was listening to Pandora. I found this my first day using Grooveshark. I was very pleased. It’s a great song. How it took this long to find it is beyond me.

Vampire Weekend: Everywhere (Fleetwood Mac cover) (6/24/11)
I love Fleetwood Mac. I love Vampire Weekend. This song is an awesome cover of a classic song. It has never played on my Pandora VW station. Lame. Pandora has become increasingly less appealing in the last few months. Too many ads, too many restrictions. So I have switched to Grooveshark, both on my phone and my pc. Light years ahead and better than Pandora. There is no going back. I found some awesome new songs never before heard.
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I stream Pandora all day long – on my way to work in the car, in my office at work, and then again on the way home. I listen to a lot of Pandora (roughly 5gb of streaming a month).

Lately I’ve been making a list of songs that I like more than others. On Pandora I give them a thumbs up. Below is my list of songs I’ve checked as favorites.

Big Audio Dynamite 2: The Tea Party (5/26/11)
This is a group from my college years, early 90s. I had listened to their music over-and-over, so I have a Pandora station for them. I enjoy them. They’re a British group that broke up in the late 90s, but just announced a few months ago that they were getting back together. Some of their music is just bizarre – like this song The Tea Party and much unlike their other songs. This is my favorite BAD2 song.

Paul Simon: Late in the Evening (4/27/11)
I have this 80s mix Pandora station which I’ve listened to quite a bit lately. I’ve always liked Paul Simon, but this song is a favorite. Much like the last song, there is some sort of memory association which I cannot quite place which makes this song special.

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark: (Forever) Live And Die (4/15/11)
Pandora has a ‘mix’ option – it pulls songs randomly from your various stations. I’m not exactly sure which station OMD stems from, but this song is awesome. I can’t quite place it historically in my life, but when I hear it, it reminds me of something in the past.

The Big Pink: Velvet (4/2/11)
This is the second The Big Pink song I have on the list (see 11/10/10 below). A good song that I heard on my Vampire Weekend station.

Penguin Cafe Orchestra – Perpetuum Mobile (3/24/11)
This is a cool instrumental song. I first heard a PCO song, unknowingly, from a She’s Having a Baby, trailer in the late 80s. The song was Music for a Found Harmonium and was never actually played in the movie (only the trailer). I searched for this song for over a decade after the advent of the internet with no success. It wasn’t until watching Napoleon Dynamite during the credits that I heard the song and was able to find the group that produced it. Crazy how things stick in your head for so long. I love this group.

Dario G – Sunchyme (03/19/11)
Dario G is the name of a trio from England. I came across this song on my Moodswings station. It’s a new age’esque remix of an old The Dream Academy song (Life in a Northern Town). The reggae drums are great. The video is a bit bizarre. Dario G has two other songs I like; Voices (which I first heard on The Beach soundtrack), and Dream to Me (Cranberries remix),

Explosions in the Sky – Your Hand in Mine (02/17/11)
This has been a rough few weeks at work. Sometimes music helps. This song helped today. This is the second song of Explosions in the Sky I have on my list (see December of last year). They’re similar to Sigur Ros minus the lyrics. Very relaxing tunes.

Sigur Ros – Inni Mer Syngur Vitleysingur (02/12/11)
Sigur Ros has been coming up a lot on my VW station. I heard this song for the first time the other day while at work. It has a great beat and as always, I love the Icelandic.

Yolanda Be Cool – We No Speak Americano (1/25/11)
I love this song. Its a remix from the original Pa-Pa Amerikano. I first began hearing this song for a cell phone ad on the television in Mexico. Good stuff.

The Mae Shi – Run to Your Grave (12/05/10)
This is an awesome song and equally awesome video. The Mae Shi are a lot like the Flaming Lips and this video reminds me a lot of Vampire Weekends A-Punk video.

Explosions in the Sky: So Long Lonesome (12/05/10)
Explosions in the Sky is an American instrumental post-rock band from Texas. This is a relaxing song that seems to match the music to the mood. The video too is pretty neat.

Noah and the Whale: Five Years Time (12/05/10)
British indie/folk band from England that has been around since 2006. The song opens up with some great whistling and ukulele.

Kyle Andrews: Sushi (12/05/10)
Indie/pop from Nashville – Kyle Andrews began producing music in 2006. I like this song and in particular the retroesque keyboard notes. He comes up on my Airborne Toxic Event station. He has another song I like titled You Always Make Me Smile which has a pretty cool video.

The Western States Motel: Powerlines (12/04/10)
Folk/Indie band from California. This is a good mellow song.  The genre is similar to the Shins and perhaps a few songs by Belle and Sebastian. This is the only song I know of the band, but from doing a web search found they’ve done music for the old tv show The OC which actually had a lot of good soundtracks.

Sigur Rós: Fljótavík (11/15/10)
This is a sweet band from Iceland. This song is very classical and I think would make an excellent soundtrack for the right movie. It’s a beautiful song. Also played on my Vampire Radio station today. A bit different from what I normally hear there, but I do occasionally get some treasures like this.

Fleet Foxes: White Winter Hymnal (11/15/10)
Fleet Foxes is a folk band from Seattle and have been around only for a few years. They are awesome and this song is my favorite (so far). This song came up on my Vampire Weekend station today. They have a 70s feel to them, but very nicely done.

The Smiths: Golden Lights (11/10/10)
The last song made me think of this song. It plays on my Smiths station from time-to-time. As previously mentioned, I know all Smith songs and I’ve always loved this one. It is a total deviation from anything else they’ve done. It is actually an old ’60s song by Twinkle, but much, much better.

Belle and Sebastian: Fiction (11/10/10)
I hear a lot of Belle and Sebastian on various stations. They are an indie band from Glasgow, Scotland which some have compared to the Smiths. I know every Smiths song and have listened to them for over 20 years, so I’m not sure I’d make that comparison. Anyway, this song is radically different than most of their songs. It is just piano, but I like it a lot.

The Big Pink: Dominoes (11/10/10)
The Big Pink is considered ‘electro-rock’ by genre. This duo from London have only been around for about three years. This is probably their most popular song. I hear it occasionally on various stations, but heard it yesterday on my Mumford and Sons station and I thought it would be a good song to add to this list.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: Home (11/3/10)
It was the David Byrne song below that reminded me of this song. It comes all the time on various Pandora stations and it is one of my favorites. The group has only been around for a few years and has two albums. For the most part, this is the only song of theirs that I like. The lead singer’s name is Alex Ebert and is a bit of a nut. Check out the biography below:

After breaking up with his girlfriend, moving out of his house with his lifelong friend Nicholas Raymond Kellen, and leaving a 12-step program for addiction (he left, as he has said, to live in a more honest reaction to the truth of the moment, not be bound to certain behaviors by fear-based dogma), Ebert began work on a book about a messianic figure named Edward Sharpe. According to Ebert, Sharpe “was sent down to Earth to kinda heal and save mankind…but he kept getting distracted by girls and falling in love.” Ebert later met singer Jade Castrinos outside a downtown Los Angeles cafe. In the summer of 2009, as Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Ebert and Castrinos toured the country with a group of fellow musicians in a big white bus. Their first show in 2009 was Marfa Texas at the Marfa Film Festival.[5] The band recorded their debut album, Up From Below in Laurel Canyon produced by Aaron Older and Nico Aglietti. It was released on July 14, 2009.

David Byrne and Eno: Home (11/3/10)
I am not a David Byrne fan and I did not hear this song on Pandora. I came across it from watching Wall Street II, it starts and ends the movie. It has a great tune and nice lyrics. It reminds, to some degree, of the folky music of Edward Sharpe and the Magentic Zeros, who coincidentally also have an awesome song entitled the same.

Yelle: Ce Jeu (10/28/10)
This song doesn’t really match the genre of any of the stations I listen to, but I hear it with some frequency and I love it – the lyrics mostly (it’s in French and I understand nothing). Yelle has been around since the mid-2000s. It’s a French band where the name comes from You Enjoy Life and was later switched to Yelle.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Let Me Know (10/28/10)
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are an indie band from New York which has been around since 2000. I like the melody and the drums in this song. It comes up on occasion on my Band of Horses station and I like it quite a lot.

James Yuill: No Surprise (10/28/10)
James Yuill’s music is folktronica. I like the electronic part of the song accompanied to the folk-type music. This is a great song.

Vampire Weekend: Ottoman
Vampire Weekend is an indie band from NYC which has only been around since 2006. They’ve been my favorite group for about a year now (10/09/10) and I listen to their station on Pandora more than any other. They only have two albums (Vampire Weekend and Contra) and the song Ottoman is not found on either. It was made for a movie which I have not seen called Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

Kris Allen: Falling Slowly
This is a Glen Hansard song which was made popular by the movie Once. The movie was great, especially the soundtrack. Kris Allen became popular through his success on American Idol. I don’t have any interest in the show and have never watched an episode, but have found Allen’s cover of this song was really well done. It comes up from time-to-time on my Edward Sharpe and the Magentic Zeros station.

Pinback: Good to Sea You
Pinback is an indie group from San Diego which I occasionally listen to. Most of their music is pretty mellow, but Good to Sea You is a bit more lively. The song comes up frequently on my Vampire Weekend station. I like it quite a lot.

Kings of Leon: Notion
I’ve been listening to a lot of Kings of Leon lately. They’re not one of my Pandora stations, but they slip in nearly every other station I do have. They’re pretty distinctive – the harder rocker voice and lyrics to contemporary beats. The style reminds me a lot of Lenny Krevitz. Notion is a great song and one of my favorites from this band.

Muse: Supermassive Blackhole
I’m not a huge fan of Muse. I’ve given them plenty of opportunity with their own station, but they just don’t deliver. Even so, they do have one song I like a lot and that is Supermassive Blackhole. Sadly, the song was used in the first Twilight movie and therefore the song loses respect via association.

Kings of Leon: I Want You
Superb use of the cow bell! Reminds me of a SNL skit with Will Farrell and Christopher Walkin. Hilarious stuff. The song though is great and ranks right up there with my other favorite; Notion.