Wednesday, June 3, 2020

iPhone Music Library Continuous Play Challenge

iPhone Music Library Continuous Play Challenge


Music fans have been fortunate to have inventions like Spotify and Apple Music in recent years, to give immediate access to virtually every song created at the cost of only a monthly subscription.

But prior to the the transition to streaming services, the biggest revolution to the music industry was the introduction of the iPod by Apple in 2001. It changed how we listened to music, as overnight, users had a mobile device with 5 GB of storage that put "1000 songs in your pocket".

And the biggest feature of the iPod was the "shuffle" playback option.

In the days of compact disc players, "shuffle" just meant random playing of the 14 or so songs on a CD. If you were fortunate enough to have a multi-disc changer at home or in your car, it gave you a random sampling of much more. But nothing presented the sheer volume of songs to listen to randomly then the iPod offered.

Original iPod from 2001

The "shuffle" playback option on the iPod became the new norm for digital music listeners.

Instead of listening to albums from start to finish, by default, the majority of users listened to their music on shuffle. Music radio stations were impacted as well. In 2004, Jack-FM was licensed to the US by SparkNet Communications, a radio format modeled of the iPod shuffle with the slogan "Playing What We Want".

Radio was adapting to the new trend as music fans were listening to their own music devices more often, rather than relying solely on music radio. Apple would even go on to create a dedicated device called the iPod Shuffle in 2005.






iPhone Music Library Continuous Play Challenge


For vinyl enthusiasts, this is all moot. A person listening to records is choosing an album to listen to and listening through. But for those on a digital platform, shuffle is king.

Digital music collectors like myself have multiple terabyte hard drives full of music. If you were like me, when you were exposed to a song you liked, you might download the artists entire catalog. I'd carefully curate playlists that I'd listen to on my computer and then sync with my iPod. With the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, it just meant a single device would be in ones pocket for mobile listening.

Fast forward to 2020 and some of these same playlists have been with me for 19 years. And most of the song files originated from ripping the original CD I bought in the 1990’s.

And for the majority of my listening over those 19 years, I've listened to my music on shuffle.



I've decided to challenge myself...to listen to all 5,366 songs in my iPhone music library...on CONTINUOUS play.

If it's something you're interested in reading about, great. If it's something you want to also do, that's even better. 

I'm most interested in getting some music insights while going through this process. Maybe it's an artist I haven't listened to much, or an album I used to love but haven't listened to in full recently. I might even be reintroduced to an entire genre I haven't listened to in years. It seems like it will be a fun adventure.


But most of all, I’m excited for all the memories this project is going to trigger. And I’m going to document them all as they come up.




Here's what to know:


Stuck on Shuffle and need to figure
out how to set your Music
app to play continuously? 
Visit Apple Support
for details.
  • Songs on the iPhone are organized alphabetically by artist, meaning that the first song by an artist beginning with A (in my case Aberdeen City, but is suspect it will be ABBA for many) and the last song on being by the artist Zach Hill.
  • In most cases, songs will be organized by artist album.
  • The ONLY RULE is "no shuffle".

  • I will skip as often as I want. Hate it, skip it.

  • See how long I can go without switching to shuffle (or abandoning the challenge)

  • Go BACK as much as I want!

    If I find something that has me really locked in, and I want to keep re-listening to an album or artist from the start, I’ll go back and enjoy!
  • Switch off to podcasts, Spotify, etc as often as I want. Just when I am listening to my actual music library via the Music app, I will start where I left off.

  • Enjoy the ride! 



  • Feel free to share any observations you make in the comments section or privately to me.
    • Most important is to enjoy without obligations:

      If you don't want to keep track of anything and don't want to write anything down, then don't.

      If you want to take a few notes every few days/weeks, great.

      I'm going to try to take as extensive notes as I can, but only when I actually sit down at the computer after work.

      The point of this exercise if just to live the experience.

      If there is any documentation you want to exist publicly, you can share your notes here in the comments section, social media, etc. If I share anything on social, I’ll use #continuousplay

Some Things to Explore:
  • Maybe you really find yourself getting into an album you haven't listened to in a long time.
  • Maybe there is an album you once loved, but you've just outgrown.
  • Maybe you just lost the attention span to listen to a complete album.










My iPhone Music Library Continuous Play Experience:

I will update this with any observations I have about my own collection.



A: Observations

5/24/20:
  • Aberdeen City - The Freezing Atlantic: I was way overdue for a re-listen after so long. Sorry, Abba fans, but this is the first song on my songs list:




  • Aesop Rock: I forgot how hit or miss his songs were. Some are up there as my favorites while others were skippable.

  • The Aggrolites - listening to this brought back fond memories of my time living in Hermosa Beach and listening with Brian Nelms on the roof deck.

  • Air: so happy to listen to the entire catalog again! I think I first heard Air in the 2001 documentary Startup.com and jumped right in. "Remember" is one of my all time favorites...


  • Akrobatik: brought out a happy Matt!

  • Alabama Shakes: I loved listening to this album when it came out, but I didn't enjoy it as much this time.

  • Alexi Murdoch - Time Without Consequence: what a great album this is! I actually listen to this fairly often when reading.


  • Alice in Chains: my music taste has changed over the years...I didn't enjoy listening to them.

  • Really enjoying listening to Ani DiFranco and then The Animals after so many years. For Ani DiFranco, I really enjoyed Little Plastic Castles after being introduced to it from a college radio station I used to listen to. I was doing a long commute into the city from New Jersey that year after college to work for a AAA radio label as the Radio Promotions Director. My boss was a music producer at the label who used to work with Ani, Christine Lavin and a lot of the great female artists from the genre.


    For the Animals, they are one of my favorites from the classic rock genre. I've always liked the grittiness to the music compared to many of the other British bands from the period.


  • Attila: I could not make it through a single song. Just not my jam. I don't know if it ever was or even how I have so much on my phone.



B: Observations

5/25/20
  • Band of Horses: this was a tough listen. I really enjoy the music and listened often in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s. During my time living in Santa Monica from 2008-2010 and my time living in Buenos Aires from 2010-2012, I listened to Band of Horses nearly every day. But then the music got intertwined into my relationship and marriage as we’d listen to them together. So post-divorce, it’s a tough listen as it brings back many bad memories.


  • I'm stuck on Basia Bulat - Oh, My Darling. I'll report back later. After to listening to this 2x today, I carried on in the B's. Really love this album! I even decided to make a Malia dog video using one of them. 


  • But with the Beach Boys and then Beastie Boys and Beck, it's going to be a few days at the minimum.

    I recently watched the Beastie Boys documentary on Apple and loved it. I found myself spending a few days just listening and re-listening to every album. I have such great memories of listening to their music. Starting from my adolescent years with the first album Licensed to Ill, to my college years really digging into all the albums. My best memories of the Beastie Boys are pretty much any time I was with Dave Arthur during my junior and senior years at UMass.

    Dave Arthur

    I feel like virtually every time I was in the car with him, we'd be listening to the Paul's Boutique album.



5/26/20

  • I've been listening to music most of the day, with the exception of 2 podcast episodes. I'm just starting on Beck after 2 listens to Beach Boys - Pet Sounds and the entire Beastie Boys catalog. Needless to say, Pet Sounds is one of the greatest albums ever made. It was very cool spending 4 years of my life living in the South Bay in LA and being in the shadows of the Beach Boys in Redondo Beach, CA.



  5/27/20

  • With every Beck album on my phone, it's going to take a long time!

  • That was a nice run...got to listen to the entire Beck catalog. Any time I get to listen to the entire Beck - Odelay album is a good day. I listened to this a lot in the summer of 1996 when I was living down at the beach in New Jersey.



  • I'm surprised though for the B's...I didn't realize I had so much Babyface, B2K and Beenie Man. I got to listen to the Bar-Kays - Soul Finger so it was a success!
  • As of 9am, I've got a nice groove with the Bens: Ben Folds Five, Ben Harper and Ben Lee


  • I'm really enjoying Ben Lee. I think I've only listened to these albums once before in my life so this is great!

  • Benny Bennasi = more Hermosa Beach memories!

    I remember listening to this song often at Sharkeez in Hermosa Beach my first year living there in 2004. Moving to Hermosa Beach was a big point in my life.

    I had wanted to move to California my entire life. I just never had the strength to go at it alone. I dreamed of going to Stanford for college when I was younger, but ultimately, I didn't have the strength to just pack up my bags and say goodbye to the east coast. Instead, for college I went to UMass which was just a 3 hour drive away from home. I came back often, every 6-8 weeks for a weekend. When I graduated, I came back to New Jersey and New York. After 9/11, I moved to Boston, because I had all my college friends there, putting a move to California aside yet again. When I lived in Boston, I became friends with Akin. He moved to Hermosa Beach a year later in 2004 and it opened up a door for me. I was very unhappy in Boston. I went out to visit Akin in May 2004 one weekend and fell in love with Hermosa Beach. It was exactly the type of life I wanted. A few months later, in August 2004, I packed up the car and drove across the country to move there. It was one of the best decisions I made.

    I spent the first few months crashing on Akin's sofa, living with he and his roommate Mark. It gave me time to settle in, find a job and get used to my new life. I started working at a digital agency to build up their online marketing capabilities and started looking for a place to live. I was focused primarily on finding a one-bedroom for myself. But then I realized I didn't want to live alone. I had done that long enough when in New York. So I turned to Craigslist and looked for apartments that seeking a roommate. I responded to just one listing, from who would be my good friend, Brian Nelms. It was a great house just off the beach with ocean views all around on 2604 Hermosa Ave in a 5 bedroom house. 


    Living there was a great time and I made a lot of lifelong friends as a result. Roommates would change, the vibe would improve each time, and it was a great quality of life.




    Best of all, everyone who lived there had a passion for music. Music was the soundtrack of of those 4 years with ocean waves in the background. From the roof deck parties, to jam sessions, to concerts together, it was such an important time in my life. While Akin and I would drift apart as friends while living there, I'm always grateful for him for taking me in back in 2004 for me to make the move there. If it wasn't for me sense of adventure and then moving to Argentina in 2010, I probably would have spent the rest of my life in Southern California. But it was the time I was living in Los Angeles that gave me the strength and self-confidence to one day pack up and leave for Argentina. And if I hadn't made that move, I would have never met/created Alexander. 


    Brian Nelms at 2604 Hermosa Ave

    My view everyday from my apartment in Hermosa Beach from 2004-2008.


  • I'm also loving the random single-songs that pop up from all of the compilation discs I had in the 1990's like Virtually Alternative, CMJ, etc. Listening to Bernard Butler right now and have never listened to another song by him. I got into a number of bands back in the 1990's from these types of compilations, like The Figgs.

  • Now onto what will be a few hours of Better Than Ezra...kicking off with Juicy! Then onto the rest of the entire catalog. 



5/29/20

  • Still going through the B's and it's been a nice surprise. I've gotten to listen to some classics like Big Head Todd, Big Daddy Kane and Big Pun. Nice Beyonce stretch too.

    Big Drill Car was a fun ride...I used to listen to them a lot in college at UMass. 

  • Just hit the Billboard album section in the B's. So there is a gap of random songs in this section right now. I've listened to some randoms out of order somehow like Shakira, DMX, R Kelly, Jay-Z, Paul Oakenfold, and it looks like there are a series of random songs coming up before getting back into the grove with the B's like Black Crowes, Billie Holiday, etc. 

  • Nice little run of Bjork, which I haven't listened to much over the years. Back in the early 2000's I used to listen to one song often in particular, Bjork - Alarm call (Beck remix). Always a big fan.

  • Just had a good sampling for Biz Markie and then Billy Bragg and Wilco.

    Oddly enough, "Airline to Heaven" by Billy Bragg and Wilco is my morning alarm song after all these years. The slow build up of an intro makes for a happy wake-up!





  • Now onto the The Black Crowes. I have not listened to them since I was in high school, a time when I listened to them often. It was nice to go through the Shake Your Money Maker and The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion albums from start to finish after 25 years. 

  • Along with Basia Bulat, I'm putting the 2010 Black Dub album as one of my tops thus far for sure.



  • A scattering of BRMC is nice to listen to. Reminds me of many weekend afternoons sitting on the roof deck in Hermosa enjoying the sun. See the last photo above to see what my views were like. 

  • Time for some Black Eyed Peas. They got a bit played out at their peak, so it's good to go back and enjoy how good some of those albums were. 

  • A ton of Blind Melon up next!


5/30/20-6/3/20

  • It's been a few days since I've provided any updates. Been busy flying north to be with Alexander. I've settled into the hotel life since 6/1 and working through the day listening to music. I took a iPhone Library music break yesterday to listen to Zydeco music with Alexander all afternoon. He and I have been listening to the Zydeco All-Stars "Best of Zydeco Instrumentals" since he was a baby. Now that he's older, he likes to dance to Zydeco which makes me proud! We also got into the Mudbugs album on 6/2/20, thats a fun album!
  • Blind Melon was a nice listening stretch. I listen to some songs here and there over the years, have a song of theirs as one of my alarm songs. But going through the entire, albeit short, catalog was nice. Good memories of high school and I must have listened to them a lot during my junior year at UMass, beause I had a lot of memories of listening to them while I lived in the Pufton apartments that year. 

  • Blondie...doesn't get much better than that.



  • A little comical music with a couple Bloodhound Gang albums. Good memories of listening to them a lot with Adam Daly when I used to come visit him in Dennis, MA on the Cape in the late 1990's.
  • Bob Dylan. Every studio song ever. Good refresher for one of the artists that really got me into music in the first place.
  • Went through a good period of listening to Bob Marley this week. Bob Marley - Legend was actually the very first CD I ever purchased, back when they came in long rectangle, eco-unfriendly packaging. I bought it at Mr. Muck's in Butler, NJ way back when. Mr. Muck's was where I went weekly to load up on used CDs to build out the collection. I was always so excited when some rarity would be in there, like a Goats CD single. Remember, this was pre-internet, so the only way to find these rarities was to go to the record stores. I envy vinyl collectors who still get to go through this process. But with my travel lifestyle, music has to be digital for me.
  • In addition to some of the classic Bob Marley albums, I also have a cool album of Bob Marley dance remixes called Shakedown Marley Remixes (2001) that was nice to listen to after so many years.

  • Here's an interested segue: Bobby Darin to Bobby Womack to Body Count. Some classics, to soul, to listening to Cop Killer. I used to love that Body Count album in the early 1990's.
  • It's disco time! I just listened to every Boney M. studio song ever produced! Kyle Sargent would be proud as we used to listen to all his parents old 8-tracks and cassettes of the band back growing up in Kitchell Lake in West Milford, NJ.


    Kitchell Lake in West Milford, NJ




  • Here's a fun run: Brand Nubian, The Bravery and Brian Jonestown Massacre. Good stuff! For any Brian Jonestown Massacre fans, I recommend watching the documentary Dig!.
  • Getting ready for a long run of Bruce Springsteen but before that...time for some Bright Eyes and British Sea Power. I admittedly haven't listened to Bright Eyes or British Sea Power songs more than once before, so it was a good revisit.
  • Elementary school memory alert: going through Bryan Adams - Reckless (1984) now. I still know ever lyric to every song on that album despite not listening to it since the 1980's. I think I wore out the cassette tape I had back then. I remember many school trips while at Queen of Peace and having that tape on my walkman back when I was 9-10 years old. 
  • Last update for the day coming...and that is the great Buffalo Tom. I was probably first introduced to Buffalo Tom via a compilation CD back in high school, and I fell in love with them. Once I got to UMass in 1993, the school where the band formed...and hometown of an early Buffalo Tom album producer, J Mascis, I found myself surrounded by a number of other Buffalo Tom fans. I'm going to really savor this stretch of 6 early albums I have on my phone.



6/3/20 - 7/15/20


  • It's been over a month since I've added any updates and it's for a good reason. I spent nearly every day from 6/2/20 through 7/4/20 visiting with my son Alexander. I missed him so much after not seeing him in so long as his mother took him away to Arica. I arrived in Arica on 6/1/20 and immediately saw him the next day. He saw me from 20 meters away and came running into my arms for a big hug. I wish he and I didn't have to have these impacting moments and his mother would allow he and I to spend more time together, but this is the reality Alexander and I face. 

    From 6/2/20-7/4/20, we spend most of our music listening time on Spotify, listening to alot of zydeco, jazz, hip-hop and classical music. So For the bulk of that period in the afternoons, the only music was on Spotify.

    In the mornings, I had a good routine of listening to my iPhone library though, and as of 7/15/20, I made it through from B - G bands. Here's the recap...

  • After finishing up one of my favorite bands, Buffalo Tom, I had a nice slide into Built To Spill, another favorite of mine. There are a few classics in there for me that I tend to listen to from time to time like Scarin', Car, Big Dipper and Liar. 



  • Once I made it through some other random B's like Busta Rhymes, Butterfly Train and Butthole Surfers, I hit a band that I've listened to regularly for 20 years: Cake.






    C: Observations


    6/3/20 - 7/15/20


    I have so many memories listening to Cake. But my favorite goes back to 2001 or 2002 when I was on a road trip from New York to the west coast. I remember being in Joshua Tree National Park and listening to the Comfort Eagle album during my time there. That trip lasted about a month, so I listened to a lot of music, but given I was using MP3 CDs, I really dug in and was listening to full catalogs of albums versus MP3 shuffle. 

    You can view all my photos from that trip on my National Parks Photo Album


    Joshua Tree National Park

  • The C's had a lot of good ones in there for me. From Camper Van Beethoven I settled into a nice run of Carla Bruni. I always enjoyed listening to her music, enjoying her songs in native French especially. 

  • Time for some Cat Power


  • Next up was Cat Stevens. I used to listen to Cat Stevens often on my own. But my fondest memories of his music was listening to the Greatest Hits album daily on my rides home from Pope John XXIII High School my junior years with Leeann Dayon. Here's a song I feel like we listened to daily on those drives and certainly the song that when I hear, I think of her...




  • It took a few days, but I listened to every Chemical Brothers album I have...which is a lot. During my time in college at UMass, I used to listen to the Chemical Brothers often during my Junior and Senior years. I have a great memory of listening to Brother's Gonna Work It Out one morning while my friend Shaun Phelps and I were cleaning our home my Senior year after a large party. We had moved all the furniture out of the living room to turn it into a dance floor, and I remember Shaun and I blasting this song while power mopping up the beer soaked floors. Good times. I miss those days. 


    (2) of my roommates from my Senior year living on Hobart Lane,
    Shaun Phelps and Andrew Heywood!



  • I realize I used to listen to the Chemical Brothers often during my small road trips from UMass back to New York City and New Jersey. I recall being excited listening to the Exit Planet Dust album over and over one trip south from UMass in 1996, when I drove down to goto the Yankees playoff games. It was a great season that ended in the first World Series championship that I got to experience as a long time fan.

  • Cherry Poppin' Daddies: my son might one day read this and wonder why people were listening to Swing music in the 1990's. I don't know why. But it was fun. I was first introduced to the band when my friend Kyle and I were at a local record store in the 1990's and found these free cassette singles of the band. Loved them and ended up buying an album not long after.


  • Next up was a nice run in the C's with Chingy, Chris Chandler and a lot of Chris Issak. I don't recall when exactly I started listening to Chris Isaak, but in the late 1990's and early 2000's, I was a big fan. He even had a TV show on Showtime that I would eventual watch. Actually, one of my wake up alarm song is still this...



  • Continuing through the C's I've had a run with lots of Christina Aguilera, Church, CKY, Clash, Clipse, Cock Sparrer, Codeseven, Colbie Caillat and then virtually every Colin Hay song. But my favorite from this batch is...

  • Nice cluster of C's coming up with Commander Cody, Cornershop, Counting Crows and Cowboy Junkies before hitting one of my favorites from the 1990's, Cracker!

    I used to listen to their albums often. Whenever is was a friends birthday, this was always the song that came to mind (and this one is an actual music video!)


  • The C's just don't seem to end! A lot of groups of 1-5 songs for a number of artists such as Craig Mack, Cranberries, Creeper Lagoon, before getting to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. I listened to a lot of CSNY when in high school when a large chunk of my musical taste was in classic rock.

  • Closing out the C's now with Crowded House, Crystal Method, lots of The Cure and The Cult. The Cult are one of those bands where you can look at their entire catalog and it will go mostly unnoticed. But they have (3) songs that rank up there as three of the best songs out there in Fire Woman, She Sells Sanctuary and Edie (Ciao Baby).



  • One of my favorite listening runs coming up with Curtis Mayfield and then Cypress Hill. I listened to both often in college as Curtis Mayfield was part of the soundtrack that was my days living on Hobert Lane in Amherst, MA. 




    Hobart Lane, 1997



    For Cypress Hill, there are so many songs I enjoyed from that time. But I remember a friend doing a video project for a class and she used "Illusions" and it quickly became my favorite Cypress Hill song.





D: Observations

  • Daft Punk: I have a lot of random songs from over the years. But the 2013 Random Access Memory album is one of my all time favorites. I started listening to it in the Spring that year just a month after moving to Zagreb, Croatia. I'd listen all day on repeat while working from my small office/guest bedroom in the first apartment I lived in there on Lopašićeva street. I arrived at the end of the winter and had a few weeks of snow and cold weather. But once Spring came, I'd have this album with me at home working or out exploring the streets of Zagreb on my way to a Dubravica bakery.

View from my first apartment in Zagreb, April 2013



  • Damien Rice: the 9 Crimes demo is one of my favorites songs. I was so happy to hit this during the run in the D's this week.




  • Nice stretch now with Dan Deacon, Daniel Johnson, Dave Brubek and David Bazan


  • I'm sad that I don't have more David Bowie on my phone. It's strange actually. I feel like I listen to Bowie fairly often, but I only have about 15 total songs on my phone.

  • Nice little run of David Crosby, Diamond Dave - David Lee Roth and DC Talk before heavying up with De La Soul

  • De La Soul was another big part of my college years. Along with A Tribe Called Quest and other early hip-hop, I still find myself listening to De La every few months


  • The D's have been a real fun listen. Just had a run of Dead Milkmen, Deadmau5, The Decemberists and now onto Deep Forest.

    I used to listen to Deep Forrest often in college when I needed to hear something different from what they consider the "ethnic electronica" genre


  • More goodness in the D's here with Deerhunter and then some Def Leppard from my child hood.

    I remember listening to the Hysteria album over and over when I was in 5th or 6th grade. My fondest memory of listening to Def Leppard, which might be a paradox, was walking for what seemed like miles alone on lava flows in Hawaii with my walkman on listening to that album. I wish I had a different soundtrack to such a wonderful memory, but it is what it is. I can remember that walk in detail even after all these years. I'm grateful that my parents gave me the time to wander off on my own and go for a walk. Different times.



    Hawaii Lava Flow Fields



  • A nice stretch of a lot of random songs coming up where I don't have too many complete albums saved on my phone. Some of the bands include Delinquent Habits, Depeche Mode, Despina Vandi, Devo, The Dickies, Dione Bromfield, Digital Underground and Dilated Peoples.

    This is a nice appetizer for what will be a few days of listening to every Dinosaur Jr. album ever made as I have them all on my phone.




  • Dinosaur Jr: This has been fun. I do listen to Dinosaur Jr. every week or so. When you have every album in the shuffle rotation, you're bound to get a song here or there.
     
    I got into Dinosaur Jr. when in high school with some of the earlier albums. I had a number fo friends who also enjoyed them, so it was always great to have a group of people to listen to them with. I've been to countless Dinosaur Jr. concerts, well into the double digets, highlighted by their show at Lollapalooza III in New Jersey.

    I have so many memories of this band from the early years in West Milford with my friends, to being a fan in college. J Mascis, the frontman for the band grew up just down the street from my college, on Jeffrey Lane. I have a great memory when some friends from West Milford came up to UMass to visit and we took them to do a drive-by of the house J Mascis grew up in. He was a legend to us.

    My time at UMass was special for a lot of reasons, but with so many of the bands I loved actually being from the school and the area, it made it extra special...like a bridge from my upbringing in West Milford to my new life at UMass. Years later, when Lou Barlow rejoined the band and they toured the new album Beyond in 2007, I got to again see them live at the Troubadour  in Los Angeles, CA. It was a different experience though as I was now in a VIP section overlooking the stage and not in the pit like in my youth.

    So many memories over a lifetime of listening to this band.
The late, great, Dave Post.
One of my closest friends for a few years in High School
and one of my main Dino buddies. Miss ya pal!











  • After a few days, I've finally moved on past Dinosaur Jr. This stretch had some random songs from Dire Straits, Dirty Vegas, Dishwalla, Division of Laura Lee, DJ Aligator Project, and then the next huge cluster of songs by DJ Shadow.

  • DJ Shadow: I started listening to DJ Shadow back in the late 1990's. I liked how it was a fusion of electronic music with a taste of hip-hop. Over the years, I'd go on to really explore his entire catalog, every remix, every experiment. While the more classic DJ Shadow is what I listen to the most, especially the album "Endtroducing" or the dark-jazzy "Dark Days" theme, one of my favorites is the funky jazz tune of "Camel Back". That funky elecronic-acid jazz genre of music is one I enjoy.



  • DJ Tiesto: Listening to DJ Shadow was a good segue into a genre a music I find myself listening to primarily these day: EDM. Chemical Brothers were the gateway and I've been fully onboard ever since those days in the 1990s. I have a good amount of Tiesto on phone, but I find that for this genre, I listen primarily via Spotify.



  • The D's continue with Dolly Pardon, Don Henley, Dog Fashion Disco, Donell Jones, Donnie Dunphy, Donovan and The Doors. I used to listen to The Doors in high school and loved them. But upon my first re-listen in some 20 years, I didn't find the music as enjoyable. Music tastes change, but I do find myself still enjoying a lot of classic rock from the 1960's and 1970's. I just don't enjoy The Doors as much any more.
     
  • The Doves: this is a band that entered my list of favorites later in life. I first learned of The Doves as an avid listened of the XM radio channel XMU. Prior to the merge with Sirius, XM was the leading satellite radio platform. The two platforms had very different ways of handling their music rotation. XM used a very low, a light rotation, where you would be exposed to a song (and see the artist/song on the Pad data) and if you listened to the same channel all day, you likely would not hear the song again. Sirius modeled their platform more on traditional radio with heavy rotations. On a Sirius channel, you'd hear a song on a channel and then hours later, hear the same song again. I eventually cancelled my subscription when Sirius and XM "merged", which was actually Sirius just buying out XM. With the being the case, the new SiriusXM platform was just the same as Sirius was: heavy rotation like traditional FM radio.

    When enjoying XM and the XMU channel, I learned about The Doves. I went on to download some albums and quickly found myself listening to them every day. At this time, it was around 2006-2007 and I was living in Hermosa Beach, CA. At that time, I had already made the move to consulting and was working from home. As I only had one initial client at the time, Powerbar, I had ample time for myself each day. I was very much into my health and exercise at this time in my life...something that is very easy to do when living in Southern California on the beach. 

    One of my favorite things to do each day was to get on my bike and ride on the Strand. The Strand is a walk/bike path that runs from the south in Redondo Beach and goes all the way up to Santa Monica. It's a nice ride along the beach through Manhattan Beach and into the marina area of Marina del Rey before getting into Venice Beach and then Santa Monica. There were many early mornings, where I'd do the entire trek on my bike from Hermosa Beach up to Santa Monica. In 2007, when I had my first iPhone, I had an extensive collection of Doves songs on my phone. I'd do this relaxing ride up the coast, and listen to nothing but the Doves. It's a fond memory of some quality time I made for myself, both physically and spiritually. 

    And the song that always got me going to start was always the same...one of my favorites to this day, The Cedar Room:


    South Bay, California:
    The Strand - Walking/Bike Path Map

  • Dr. Dre: I've steadily listened to Dr. Dre for many years now. My fondest memories were from college in the 1990's. The Chronic was released in 1992 and was a mainstay in dorm rooms at UMass and parties in college all over. When I hear Dr. Dre today, I'm reminded of parties I was at during my Sophomore year with Bill Nugent. We'd be at a party at the house of someone who used to live on our dorm floor a year prior, named Hank. Hank's parties were fun but what made the night was when the music would start to skip from a scratched CD and Hank would run across the room, eject the CD and blow it off with warm breath to get the music started again. That look of panic when the music would skip was always comical to us.



    Bill "Nuge" Nugent


  • Dr. Octagon: Another mainstay of my years in college at UMass, especially my senior year living on Hobart Lane. We'd listen to the Dr. Octagonecologyst album at Bill Nugent, Josh Desilet and Dave Arthur's apartment up the street. Mike Bannon lived just across the street and was one of the biggest Dr. Octagon fans I knew.

    Last day living in Amherst, MA with a trip to Bub's BBQ
    with Josh Desilets, Dave Arthur and Bill Nugent and the rest of the gang 





  • Dramarama: Dramarama has been a favorite of mine since high school. I was always overly proud of the band not just for my love of their music, but because they were also from New Jersey. There were only a few albums I really got into, but I was always a big fan. When I think of my time listening to Dramarama in High School, it was Thom Graney that I think I had the biggest connection with their music. If we were manning the music at a get-together, this is a song we were sure to play...



    Thom Graney



  • About to close out the D's with Dropkick Murphy's, Dub Pistols and The Dude of Life.




E: Observations

6/3/20 - 7/15/20

  • The E's start off with a few random songs and not many complete albums. The first run included Eagle-Eyed Cherry, Eamon, Easy E, Echo & The Bunnymen, Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, Edith Piaf, Edward Sharpe and the Eels. The only full album I have on my phone is from the Eels, but it's Eagle-Eyed Cherry that I recall the most from this group. While I listen to Easy E the most, Eagle-Eyed Cherry "Save Tonight" was the catchy type of music I was working in at the time in AAA radio back in the late 1990's.





  • Eklipse: here's some music on my phone that hasn't been there very long...the genre of classical music versions of popular songs. I started listening to this type of music when I first got to Barcelona in 2015 and was living in Passeig de Sant Joan. With a baby on the way and a new job working at Norwegian, it was relaxing music to have on when I got home from work each day. I still listen often via a Spotify mix with traditional classical music.



  • Elliot Smith: there are few artists I listen to more on my phone than Elliot Smith. Elliot Smith is about the extent to the EMO music that I listen too nd my favorite Elliot Smith songs tend to be the more upbeat ones like "Son of Sam". But for a long stretch of my life, Elliot Smith has been a regular companion. 

    I have so many memories when it comes to Elliot Smith. One that is hard to forget was from the day that he killed himself.I was living in Boston at the time and working as the online sales manager for City Schemes. I'd pop on the headphones and stream music and NY sports radio every day. But that day, I was listening to Elliot Smith via an MP3 CD I'd play on my computer and in the car. A number of musicians I loved had died in my life and they were impacting, like Jerry Garcia and Frank Sinatra. But with Elliot Smith it was different. Suicide is different. I have never been able to understand how anyone could ever consider suicide given that I look at life as a gift, something to enjoy. I've had plenty of low points in my life, sometimes they seem countless. But I could never grasp how anyone could feel so low. With Elliot Smith, it was like with Kurt Cobain...something I'd remember the rest of my life where I was and what I was doing. 

    My strongest memory of listening to Elliot Smith was in 2008 on a trip to Seattle, WA. I had just gone through an embarrassing breakup with someone I was dating and was on a trip to Seattle with two friends. I was an early riser then, put on my headphones and explored the city streets of Seattle by foot, walking around and contemplating life. Elliot Smith was my companion that day, with Pistelah on repeat:




  • Elvis Costello: I only owned a few Elvis Costello albums, listening mostly during my High School years. But all these years later, I still find myself going back to a few classics through shuffle play. So many greats, but this is my favorite...





  • Elvis Presley: the King is in heavy rotation on my iPhone. I don't have too much with me at all times, but certainly enough to keep me happy. An Elvis song was part of my wedding, so it's a bittersweet listen now.

    But my favorite memories of Elvis actually come from my time living in Hermosa Beach. There was a bar right across from my home called the North End. Being so close, we'd frequent there on a given weekend evening. They had a jukebox there and I'd love to take it over with Elvis songs. If I was there, this song was playing...


  • Emerson, Lake and Palmer: I have only a few songs on my phone, the same few songs I used to listen to in High School. But I have a great memory of one song, Karn Evil 9. It was the song that my teammate Jess Vasquez chose for our entrance song on our Pope John XXIII freshmen basketball team. We'd enter the gym from the locker room for warmups every game to this song. I don't hear it randomly anymore, but when it shows up in a shuffle or through this project, it brings me right back to my freshmen year. We went undefeated that year and scored over 100 points every game. I have to think that is some sort of record.






  • A run of E's now with Eminem, Eric Clapton, Erykah Badu, Esthero, Etta James, Evangelicals, and a lot of Evan Dando. As a big Lemonheads fan, I have quite a few Evan Dando songs in the iPhone library.

  • Everclear: closing out the E's with one of my favorites from the past, Everclear. I used to listen to a few albums regularly when in college and a year after I graduated. I preferred the earlier music but when they had a top selling album, it didn't disappoint. I used to listen often when doing a road trip from New Jersey up to Cape Cod to visit my friend Adam during the summer. I had fond memories taking a different driving route one time, going over a number of bridges in Rhode Island I hadn't been on, and listening to the two Everclear CDs I had in my CD changer.




  • Everything is Everything: WITCHI TAI TO is my ultimate pick up song. Anytime I feel down, I give this a listen. I don't know why it has such a strong effect on me, but it does. I love it. I've been listening to is often these days when going through Alexander's baby pictures. What a great way for me to round out the E's!



F: Observations

6/3/20 - 7/15/20

  • Face to Face: Right off the start, we get what I assume will be my favorite band from the F section. I got into Face to Face in High School and continued to listen well through college. My tastes changed over the years and I went long periods without listening to them. But they are a band I've seen in person, and had in heavy rotation.

    My best memory of Face to Face came in 1996 when I was living down the Jersey Shore for the summer. I got together with a friend from West Milford, Ralph Bonham, at a coffee shop in Long Branch called Maxwells. I gave him a ride that night and we listened to Don't Turn Away album, full blast, while both loudly singing. It was a fun night. 

    Some time later, I was at a party in West Milford and Ralph was there. I was telling a story to people about how I saw a deer in High Crest that had some sort of growth coming out of its ear that looked like a pair of testicles. People laughed, probably assuming it was a joke. But Ralph jumped in and said "I've seen that deer, too!".





  • Little run with some fun ones from The Faces, Failure, Fat Joe, Fatboy Slim, Feist, Filibuster & Half Pint, Fink and Finley Quaye.




  • Another stretch of just a few songs per artists without too many full albums. Artists included Fiona Apple (I haven't downloaded her newset and my favorite album of her yet), The Flaming Lips, Five Stairsteps, Flogging Molly and Florence + The Machine


  • Fleetwood Mac: I listened to Fleetwod Mac a lot back in high school. But of all the songs in my library, my favorite will always be Tusk. When I would goto McKeegs bar in Wes Milford when I was older, this song was on the jukebox and I played it every time I visited. To this day it's still one of my favorite tunes:


  • Next up are Folk Implosion and then the Foo Fighters. The Foo Fighters catalog has been on my phone since 2007. But in full transparency, I have never in my life until this project, ever listened to a Foo Fighters album. I don't know why. I've just never been a big fan and didn't give them a listen. I did now, they were fine, but still not a band I'm really can say I enjoy.

  • Another run of just a few songs per artist with Foxy Brown, Franz Ferdinand, The Fratellis, Fred Astaire, Freddy Johnson, From Good Homes and some Frank Sinatra which should be showing up in the S's later.

  • The Fugees: The Score was a groundbreaking album. I used to listen to that album with Laila during my Junior year at UMass. I have a few other albums on my phone but this one is one of the true greats. 


  • Nice little mix with Funkdoobiest and Fun Lovin' Criminals to close out the F's.



G: Observations

6/3/20 - 7/15/20


  • G Love and the Special Sauce: This is a stretch that will take a few days as I have every album on my phone, including those he self-released in the 1990's on his own mail-order label. I'm still listening to all of the original rips from the entire catalog, having not downloaded any of his music digitally until the late 2000's. 

    Some Matt trivia:

    * The Electric Mile album is the last CD I ever purchased, back in 2001. And the only reason I purchased it was because I bought it directly from G Love himself in New York City.

    * Even more than Dinosaur Jr and J Mascis solo shows, I've seen G Love in concert more than any other artist. Going back to the 1990's, I've seen him perform at least 20 times live. 

    I have so many great memories, I'd be here all day writing. Whether it's seeing him perform at a small venue at Amherst College, meeting him at a college party, watching his current quarantine performances on IGTV on a lonely night these past months, the list goes on.

    There's probably one song I listen to more than others these days. Free At Last has been my unofficial break-up song to listen to after getting out of a bad relationship. It's catchy, upbeat, and I like to listen to it for a pick-me-up.





     

  • Fast forward a week later, and I made it through all of G Love. Now a sampling of some Garth Brooks, which I used to listen to 1-2 albums back in the late 1980's early 1990's when taking the long bus trip every morning to high school my freshmen and sophomore years. It's unlistenable to me now. I can enjoy some classic country or new songs from classic artists like Willie Nelson, but not this.


  • George Ezra: Here's one I really love. I was introduced to George Ezra's music by, oddly enough, FM radio...in 2014! I hadn't listened to FM radio since the launch of XM and becoming a subscriber on day 1. But when I was living in Croatia, I took a road trip to Hungary to Lake Balaton and Budapest. We had a rental care and it did not have an adaptor to plug in my iPhone. So the music we had to listen to for the trip was Croatian FM radio. I instantly loved the song I heard and later than night at the hotel, I downloaded the Wanted on Voyage album. Strange enough, the first song I listened to that night, while just outside of Budapest was the song "Budapest". A year later I'd move to Barcelona, and sure enough, he had a song named "Barcelona" on the same album.

    I like everything he's done, but this is the song that always sticks with me. It remends me of a warm and sunny day, driving with the windows down in the countryside of Croatia, en route to Budapest:



  • Ghetto Boys: this is another classic from my days at UMass in college. Whether it was the dorms my first two years, or when living off-campus my junior and senior years, the Ghetto Boys were a staple. I'm trying to to include explicit lyric videos here, so Alexander, if you're reading this...wait until your in high school to listen to them. I don't have to agree with the message, but I can dig the beats. 



  • Gin Blossoms: just a single album, but one I listened to a lot my senior year in High School. The music holds up alright going through a listen after such a long time, but they never made it into my regular rotation other than the occasional shuffle appearance.


  • I'm writing this on 7/16 and I'm just about caught up as I didn't write for a month. The G's continue with some randoms by Ginuwine, Giovanotti, Glass Tiger, The Go! Team, and Goat before going into a deep-dive with every song every created by the 1990's Philly hip-hop group The Goats.



  • The Goats: the Goats were the band that got me to really dive into hip-hop, more so that anything I listened to in the 1980's. While I more regularly listen to other classic groups like A Tribe Called Quest more often, the Goats hold a special place in my heart.

    I have great memories from my freshmen year, listening to them...a group that was not well known, with another Goats fan from Massachusetts, and a few days later meeting a group of fans at UMass who were all from Cherry Hill, NJ. Cherry Hill is a suburb of Philadelphia, so these guys were even more well versed on the group than I.

    The Goats were also one of my favorite finds at record store used-CD bins. They only had (2) albums and I owned them both. The hunt when it came to the Goats, was to try to find some of their very limited CD singles that had a few B-sides that did not exist on the lone two albums. Two times in my life, I was able to find one of their CD singles, with my biggest score coming from Mr. Mucks in Butler, NJ.

    The first album had 25+ tracks with socio-political skits mixed in between the song tracks. They were very much what hip-hop was at the time with social messaging in their songs and the album.

    When it came time to release their second album, they went a very different direction. The second album, No Goats, No Glory, was basically just following the Cypress Hill method of having an album seemingly dedicated only to the topic of marijuana smoking. But it wasn't about decriminalizing it as the first album tone would suggest. Instead it was more about good times, etc. A very different album.

    The band broke up with no new albums. Madd from the band would go on to create Incognegro which we'll get into in the "I" section coming up. 







 
  • Gomez:
    Gomez was always a fun listen. My best memories were listing to them on a college radio station in New Jersey as I was commuting down to Princeton, NJ to work back in 1998. It seemed like the morning show would play "Get Arrested" a few times per week.

    A few months later while working in radio, my boss Frank Cody had heard a song by Gomez from a commercial for I believe Phillips, and wanted to get it for radio play as the song radio rotation.






  • Next up was a stretch of Gorillaz and The Gourds. The Gourds cover of Gin and Juice was a fun one I used to listen to in the 1990's at a time when there weren't too many bluegrass covers of rap songs. It's a genre I actually go into later in life: bluegrass covers of modern songs as my most-listened to plays on Spotify. 

  • Graham Coxon and The Grand Spectacular.
    For Graham Coxon and the Grand Spectacular, I have great memories of listening to both when I first moved to Buenos Aires in 2010, in my Palermo Hollywood apartment. Thank you Ron and fez for introducing me to "Being a Dickehead's Cool". That time of arrival in Buenos Aires was exciting for me and a lot of fun. While I was alone in a foreign country, not speaking much of the language, I had Malia dog with me to explore the city streets and fall in love with my new home city. I spent my mornings and mid-days listening to Opie and Anthony and Ron and Fez, and then my afternoons working or exploring while listening to music. 




  • Grateful Dead:
  • The Grateful Dead was another soundtrack of my high school and college years. I went to a number of shows and loved the music. When Jerry Garcia dies on August 9, 1995, I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was working that summer in New Jersey doing wood floor installation. I was very sad when I heard the news, enough so that one of the guys I was working with poked fun at me. 
    The Grateful Dead is best known as a touring band, a live music experience. That is certainly true. But what is not recognized enough is just how good a studio album American Beauty is. I consider it not just one of my favorite studio albums, but one of the best by any band. The Dead just don't get recognition for it due to the majority of their music being live albums.



  • Green Day: I used to listen to Green Day a lot in high school as an early adopter. I listened a lot. Same for my first year or two in college, having seen them live multiple times. But after all these years, I just don't have the same connection to the music anymore. Maybe it's because of the over saturation on FM radio in the late 1990's as the music genre for the band varied from pop-punk to AAA radio. 

  • A few ones-offs by George Elias, Green Apple Quick Step, Groove Armada, Group Home, Grouplove, Guided By Voices.  I still listen to Groove Armada - At the River every so often.


  • Guns N' Roses
  • I have a complicated relationship with Guns N' Roses now due to the racism in some of the songs.

    But In elementary school and in high school, I was a big fan. I had all the albums and knew every song by heart. I have some great memories of their music, but two really stand out. 
    My friends and I used to visit Clinton Falls in New Jersey to go cliff diving, actually cliff "jumping" given the limited depth of the water. If was always a lot of fun. We went so often that you'd learn all the tricks such as where to put your foot and push off to ensure you clear the rocks and land in the water. Our parents would probably be terrified if they knew what we were doing. During the summer when there was a hot streak with little rain, the water we would jump into would be so shallow, that you'd have to bend your knees when entering the water to make sure you didn't hit the bottom with your feet too hard. I don't recall the exact high, but it was about a 50 foot jump. Those days of visiting Clinton Falls are a great memory. 
    But as scary in hindsight as the actual cliff jumping was, just getting to the falls was much scarier. There would be 5-8 of us in the back of a pickup truck being driven there by my friend Chris' brother Dave. He was a few years older. Dave had little regard for safety. As the pickup truck would leave the actual dirt road to turn into the area to get to the falls, entering a wide dirt trail more used for horses and all-terrain vehicles, Dave would stop and queue up the music. He'd play Welcome to the Jungle and then floor the gas. It swas a terrifying experience when I look back at it. Nobody ever fell out of the truck, but we'd all bounce around as the pickup truck would hit bumps and get air. The trail and the truck were definately not designed for the high speeds he was driving at. I guess that's why the cliff jumps were just fun without any fear...because after that drive, you'd feel like you've already survived.

           

    My other strong memory of Guns N' Roses is a much fonder one. It's part of a story of young love. 
    I had a girlfriend in high school, Jen Hart. We were together for a while, off and on over a couple of years. She was the first girl I ever had a really strong connection with. I'd write her long love letters, go away on weekend trips with her family like when her sister had a dance recital in Trenton. 
    We were very close. 
    Like most young love, it faded away and we found ourselves with other people. Jen and I became very close again as friends shortly after though. In college, there were stretches where I realize now that she was one of my best friends. She'd confide in personal matters with me when we'd be together in a group when back in New Jersey for summers and holidays. We'd talk on the phone fairly often when I was living in Amherst, MA and she was just 45 minutes way in Hartford, CT. 
    We'd become distant again after college...and I realize that is all on me. 
    I felt at the time that the friendship was one-way, as in I was always listening to her and trying to help her when she would ask, but that it wasn't being reciprocated. And it wasn't reciprocated, but that is on me. 
    It took some years to figure it all out on my own, but at that time, I had a wall up around me and didn't really let people in. I had a lot of great friends, had great times, and have all these great memories of being with friends of mine. But I never really let people in, so the closeness wasn't really there, and that is my fault. 
    The error I made with Jen was that the friendship we had seemed one-way because I did't let her in. I didn't share enough about what I was going through, about my life. The dynamic of the relationship was what it was because of me. So rather than push her away and think I was "giving" too much and not "getting" anything in return, all I simply had to do was let her in. But I didn't.
    Of course she would be there for me, that's what friends do. I guess I just didn't know how to let anyone in back then. Losing that friendship with her is a big regret of mine. We had a strong connection and due to my inabilities at the time, that friendship isn't there any more. But fast forward all these years later, and if I happen to hear the song November Rain, I'm overrun with warm memories of our time together in high school. It was one of "our" two songs. Young love is just the best.


  • Guru:
  • Guru was the perfect blend of rap, R&B and jazz for me at a time when I was really starting to get into all three. The Jazzmatazz albumns are to this day some of my favorites. It's great Sunday afternoon music to lay around and have in the background. But my favorite memories of Guru were on a weekend trip I made to visit my friend Dave Arthur. After college graduation, I was back in New Jersey. A year later, Dave graduated and moved out to Albany, NY. I made a few trips to visit him in Albany during that time, driving up on a Friday after work and leaving Sunday morning. It was great to be able to catch up with him and spend some time with him during this period of his life. I remeber arriving at his apartment on a Friday early evening, and us sitting around listening to the first Jazzmatazz album. When I listen to it now, I'm still transported to that Albany apartment back in the late 1990s.



  • To close of the "G' list, a few from Gym Class Heros and Gypsy Kings



H: Observations

6/3/20 - 7/15/20


  • Kicking off the "H" artists, the majority of the songs I have are just a few randoms with only a few full albums. To start, I listened to H2O, Hans Zimmer, Haru, Hayseed Dixie, The Hippos, The Hives. I used to listen to H2O in the late 1990's and in 2000. I had a few friends in Boston who also liked them, so it was a genre of music we would connect with.



     

  • Hladno Pivo:
    Hladno Pivo is a band I was introduced to in Croatia. When we first arrived there we were living at the Lopašića apartment in Zagreb. There was a salon right around the corner that I would goto to get my hair cut. They'd have Croatian FM radio on in the background which would have a mix of rock and pop songs from the US and England as well as Croatian songs of the genre.


    My first apartment in Zagreb: 
    Ul. Radoslava Lopašića 8


    I heard a Croatian song here and really liked it. So much so, that when I got home from my hair cut, I downloaded the album. I don't need to use Shazam often to determine an artist or song of music genres I listen to. But for Croatian rock music, Shazam came up big for me. Every time I listen to the album, I think of the day I was introduced to the band, my walks to Dubravica to enjoy the excellent Croatian baked goods, and my general good time living in Zagreb during those early days at that apartment.

   

  • The Hold Steady:
    You're Little Hoodrat Friend is another anthem of my early days of living in Buenos Aires. I used to listen to XM Radio online, especially the XMU album, and this song was on evry so often. By 2010 and living in Palermo Hollywood in Buenos Aires, I had this song on heavy rotaion in the old apartment. I used to work hard during the week and then treat myself to a glass of Malbec and a cigar on my terrace on Friday evening. I'd listen to my music loudly to drown out the busy city sounds just 1 story below the terrace of my porteño apartment and this song was often played. When I finished the cigar, I'd take a quick stroll over to one of the great nearby steakhouses like La Cabrera, La Dorita, Miranda or El Trapiche to treat myself to a good dinner. I never felt alone during that period of my arrival. I was just so excited for what I was experiencing in life. I remember walking to work one day to my office in Belgrano. I'd walk past all the license plates on the parked cars and see "Argentina" and just think how far away I was from the world that I new, that I was not living literally on the other side of the planet being in the southern hemisphere. Malia was such valuable company as we would explore the streets together. I her so much for the companionship she provided those early days before I met anyone.
                
 

  • Hooters: 
    The Hooters were a good part of my childhood in the 1980's. I listened to a lot of music in my youth, really getting into it by 3rd grade. I had quickly built up an extensive cassette collection, would record songs off the radio...I was all in.

    I realize I haven't really gotten into that too much in writing this. I've focused much more on high school and beyond. Maybe it's because I don't have as many songs from the 1980's on my phone so I am not listening to them. I'll have to go back to the previous sections above and see if there are any I missed, like Dire Straits.

    But in the 1980's, I listened to The Hooters. There are three songs I still listen to today: And We Danced, Day by Day and All You Zombies.



  • House of Pain:
    House of Pain is another group that got me into hip-hop. It was harder, edgier than some of the smoother artists I was listening to. There was a period in the late 1990's, probably around 1998, that I had House of Pain songs playing every day. I don't listen to them as much now, so this exercise was a lot of fun in being able to go through all the albums again and really enjoy.




  • Humming House:
    I got into Humming House when living in Sant Cugat, Barcelona. I was introduced to them on a Spotify mix I had on and fell in love with the Humming House Party! album.I bought it form iTunes and went on a good stretch of listening daily. By then it was 2017. With Alexander in my life, my routine was mostly working from home in Sant Cugat for Norwegian during the day, and then in the afternoon, I've switch over and work for Fearless, a company in New York I was consulting for over the past of a few years. I worked in a very large studio that had been converted from a patio area that was connected to the bedroom. With a futon, comfy chair and Alexander's toys, I'd work and watch him many times when I didn't have work calls to be on. It was so much fun listening to this album and be with him there. Alexander and I still listen to the Bluegrass Covers Spotify playlist, but our next visit, I think I want to listen to this album with him.


    19-month old Alexander reviewing Daddy's pitch deck in Sant Cugat, Barcelona 



  • Huey Lewis and the News:
    In the 1980's, I wore out my cassette versions of both the Sports and Fore! albums. I remember being in Cancun, Mexico with my family in 1987 and I spent a lot of time listening Huey Lewis. I even got to goto my first foreign record store that trip, I just don't recall what I bought. My strongest memories were just of listening to Huey Lewis on my Walkman and that the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers had won their 13th straight game to start the baseball season while I was there.



                    

  • And to close out the "H" section we have a few random songs from Hole, Hot Chip, Howlin' Wolf, Hum, Hurdi Gurdi, Hush Harbor, Hybrid.







More to come!





EXTRA: Anyone interested in digital music listening habits might find this study interesting








For my son Alexander:

You're only 4 years old now, so if you are reading this one day when you are older...

This is just a sample of the music that Daddy listened to over the years...as it is just what I have on my phone right now in May 2020. It's during the quarantine and without being able to see you on the visits since you are far away, I've been listening to a lot of music. During the day while working and then at night during dinner, I am listening to all the songs I have in my library. There are probably a few nostalgic tunes that I have in my library from back when I was your age, 4 years old. A lot of the music I listened to in hight school was actually older songs from the 1960's and 1970's. As you'll see from reading the updates I put here, Daddy's music is very eclectic. For songs from the 1970's, when Daddy was born, you'll even find some disco in there as I went through a disco listening period in the 1990's. And a lot fo Funk and Soul. We used to listen to a lot of Curtis Mayfield and James Brown when I was in college, and back home in New Jersey, my friends and I would often listen to old disco 8-Tracks that my friends parents had during the Disco years in the 1970's.

I'll add more on to this buddy, as I provide updates above. And if anyone else I know provides any feedback, I can tell you stories about how that person and I are connected.

But I am going to go all the way through and complete this. Not primarily for myself, but so that one day, you can look back and see the type of music I enjoy.

But know that for all the great memories I have from music...like being transported back in time to a any point in my life when I was with all the people I've loved so much over the years...know that the greatest moments in my life when it comes to music will always be my time listening to music with you. Whether is was classical, jazz, zydeco, nursery rhymes (like Dave and Ava) or even hip-hop as a baby, watching you listen, try to sing as a 6-month old, engage and interact as a 2 year old, dance with me as a 4 year old...these have been the best musical moments of my life.  I look forward to so many more with you over the years! I love you, buddy!

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