Great Roderick Interview on Song Exploder Link

What a lovely interview about a terrific song. Today so many great songs lack meaningful liner notes. This type of interview makes The Commander Thinks Aloud more concrete and beautiful. By way of @hotdogsladies

Studio Ghibli Soundtracks

I love Miyazaki and Ghibli. The films are emotional and personal. A big part of that is due to the perfect interplay of music and story. Now the original soundtracks are available on the iTunes store.1 Here’s my personal rating of the soundtracks (not the movies): Spirited Away (so many feelings. so many.) Kiki’s Delivery Service (makes me want to drive a convertible through the hills of Tuscany) My Neighbor Totoro (this sounds like what playing with my kid feels like) Arrietty (lots of pop and strings and maybe the most modern sounding of the bunch) The Cat Returns (a wonderful lightness and magical feel to the entire soundtrack) Ponyo (fun and evocative and there’s something in my eye) Castle in the Sky (the genres are all over the place and that’s good) Porco Rosso (bombastic and fun with a bit of Charlie Brown) Princess Mononoke (dramatic and dark but fewer decapitations than the film) Howl’s Moving Castle (like a typical movie score.

Adventure Time Music and Fan Art

I just love these two YouTube clips so much. They collects all of the songs from Adventure Time and includes a bunch of really great fan art as a back drop. Added to myPlex for posterity. Just terrific. Let me get you start with my personal favorite. Full embed below but jump to 12:32: And close it out by getting your water works primed. Full embed below, but jump to 24:11:

iTunes Radio as a Pandora Subscriber

I’ve been a committed Pandora premium subscriber for around 4 years. There’s been nothing better than Pandora for pure music discovery.1 I don’t mind buying music I like but I use Pandora to find music I don’t know I like. It was because of my continued enjoyment of Pandora that I was skeptical of Apple’s new iTunes Radio. But Apple is not offering a cheap knock-off of Pandora. They are offering an upgrade.

Beets Python Based Music Manager Link

Beets is a crazy-geeky music toolbox from the command line. I’m not sure if I’d use this but I do appreciate that it exists. By way of Justin Mayer

Groove 2 for iOS

I really like my iTunes library. I really like my smart play lists. I really don’t care for the iOS music player so I play the field. I recently stumbled across Groove for iOS and I am thrilled with it.1 Tag Team The core of Groove is it’s tagging engine. When I first launched Groove there was a brief period of about five minutes while it performed a sync with my library, including iTunes Match.

The Best Radio Station

The best Pandora station on the planet for one hour: Led Zepplin (twice) Talking Heads The Clash The Police Tears for Fears New Order The Smiths David Bowie (twice) Pat Benatar Depeche Mode David Byrne Lou Reed The Beatles With no interaction on my part, I get a continuous stream of some of the best music from 1960-1995. No DJ. No playlist. No commercials. This, folks, is how radio dies.

The Mixtape Podcast Link

I have developed an unhealthy relationship with The Mixtape podcast. It’s like having a friend with way better taste make Pandora playlists for me. This podcast has taken over much of my music exploration efforts. I’m afraid I may forget how to dominate Pandora. Just take a look at one of the playlists. Damn awesome!

iTunes Genius Results

While I think the “Genius” moniker is abuse of language, iTunes recommendations are getting better. I’m pretty proud of my latest batch.

Fickle Pop

I’m not cool. Never have been. Don’t care to be. However, I do like music and try to branch out into new things. I recently caught wind of Lana Del Rey and enjoyed the album Born to Die. This New Yorker article discusses an unsavory side of Pop Music criticism and expectations.1 It also frames just how powerful and fickle the Internet is. It’s possible to go from prodigy to bum in just one performance.