The Pleasure-Enhancing Music Experiment: Day Two

Or “How I Plan to Discover New Songs on the Internet + Not Let it Kill My Love of Music”……

On Friday, I wrote about how the internet’s been messing with my pleasure in discovering new music. While the 24-7 availability of the world’s music catalogue should in theory please the hell out of a music obsessive like me, it’s actually done the opposite. It’s killed the thrill of the chase, the mystery, the intrigue, the anticipation that builds from reading/ hearing about a song and finally getting to listen to it. Every time I log onto facebook, twitter, e-mail, I get bombarded with so much music that I don’t even know where to begin. It’s all just a click away, yet I have little desire to listen. Judging by many of the comments and e-mails I’ve received in response to my piece (thank you kindly!), I’m not alone in my inability to manage such mind-boggling access. So rather than let it lead to total paralysis, I’ve decided to follow a strict musical diet in hopes of the “less is more” approach reviving my zest for discovery. The plan is five new songs (no more, no less), five days a week, for 30 days. At the moment, I am aching to hear more Icona Pop, but I’ve already reached my daily limit, and thus must wait until tomorrow. Voila….automatic anticipation created! There’s a ton of articles published about the myth of immediacy, and I think I’m finally getting the hang of the ol’ adage, good things come to those who wait! 

 Songs are chosen from the following five categories.

1. The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (1955-2009)
2. Lost in the Grooves: Scram’s Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed by Kim Cooper and David Smay (published in 2005)
I bought this brrrrrilliant book when it was first published, read every single mouth-watering recommendation, made lists of everything I wanted to listen to, and then left it on the bookshelf and forgot all about. it. Glad to have found a reason to include it in my pleasure-seeking expedition.
3. My own curiosity
I get to choose this one. Or you can choose for me (recommendations are encouraged so please feel free to post in the comments section or send me an e-mail). 
4. Record of the Day newsletter
I subscribe to this UK-based music biz newsletter, which features a daily clip of up-and-coming artists. Normally I never really bothered listening to the clips, but I shall for the next 30 days.
5. The current Top 40 charts 
I’ve been around long enough to know that most of what makes up the American Top 40 is awful, manufactured, soul-less drivel. But I am ALWAYS hoping to be wrong.

Monday June 10th

1. From The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits…….
Bobbi Martin: For the Love of Him (United Artists, 1970)
It’s hard to be moved by a voice so devoid of emotion, no matter how beautiful the brass or string arrangements. I don’t hate it quite as much as I did on the first listen, but these are the kind of songs that give easy listening a bad name. 

2. From Lost in the Grooves….
Los Machucambos: Perfidia (London Phase 4, 1962)
My knowledge of ’60s Latin music is shockingly poor, and I am reminded listening to this oft-covered Mexican beauty just how much there is to explore. Perhaps, as writer Sean Carrillo suggests, Los Machucambos’ Percussive Latin Trio LP would be a good place to start.

3. My own curiosity….
Eros and the Eschaton: Lately (I’ve Been Wondering) (Bar/None, 2013)
Thanks to my friend Mark Lipsitz for sending this my way. It’s a curious clash of ’60s-inspired melodies with what sounds like the music swiped from an amusement park ride. I’ve already listened to it six times, yet still haven’t quite gotten my head around it. 

4. From Record of the Day……
Icona Pop: I Love It (Ten, 2012)
Swedish girl-duo Icona Pop topped the charts worldwide with “I Love It” last year, but apparently it was never released in the UK and is due out this July (hence its inclusion in today’s Record of the Day newsletter). I’ve got lots of love for shouty pop anthems, especially from a group that appears to be genuinely enjoying themselves and not trying too hard. 

5. From the Billboard charts…..
Selena Gomez: Come and Get It (Hollywood, 2013)
Hit-makers Stargate give Disney pop star a world music makeover, blending Bollywood and bongos with manufactured electro-pop that makes for a mildly interesting listen. 


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