Sunday, June 4, 2017

Hodgepodge 218/365 - Ether

I have a bad habit of hearing some snippet of music on the radio, often during an interview with the artist(s) in question, thinking, "Oh, I like that!" and then rushing out and buying the CD.

Some of those CDs I listened to once, and realized there was, yeah, one song on the album I liked: yup—the one I heard on the radio.

Today on the radio, I was listening to a fun little interview with half of the new-to-me French indie pop band Phoenix. They didn't play much of their music, in fact: the interview was a hypothetical dinner party, for which the interviewees were to choose the background music. (They were tasked with selecting one of their own tunes for dessert.) It was a fun idea and a fun discussion. Who knew Brian Ferry covered "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"?

Turns out, this is a regular show, called "The Dinner Party Download." This was episode 386! They launched in 2008! How have I missed this show all this time? Yikes!

Here's the description: "Welcome to The Dinner Party Download, a fast and funny hour of culture, food and conversation: 'public radio's arts & leisure section.' In every episode you'll learn a joke; bone up on an odd bit of history and then wash it down with a themed cocktail recipe; meet artists of note; have your burning etiquette questions answered; savor an emerging food trend; and hear your new favorite song. Plus, unconventional wisdom from hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam."

Fortunately, it's served up as a podcast. I can go back and listen to all 386 sessions. And I just might.

But to return to my opening statement: fortunately, too, I don't have to rush out and buy CDs anymore! There's Spotify! Which I had on my phone but didn't really use until writer Tod Goldberg, via Facebook, convinced me to give it a try. Which I did. And right now it's cranking out the delightfully upbeat album It's Never Been Like That by, yes, Phoenix.

I should probably be thinking about what to do with all those irrelevant CDs. (Except—I do rather like the old-fashioned experience of handling the material object, shoving it in the slot in my car's dashboard, and having a coherent album emerge, to my ears' delight. I also like liner notes.)

Good grief, modern life is something else, isn't it? So much delight, traveling through the ether and emerging in the very space we inhabit.

And yeah, there's also a lot of horror and despicableness, which the ether delivers up in equal doses, if we let it.

But today, I'm focusing on the delight. It's out there, for sure.

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