Thursday, March 19, 2015

Google Play Music

    Morning. Coffee. Facebook. Not sure why. Facebook's for old people.
    Oh. Right. If the shoe fits...
    Why not? I've got nothing. See what the Hive Intelligence is up to. 
    A fuchsia square. Advertising.
    "Find the perfect station for your current mood."      
    My current mood? My current mood. Nah, you don't want to do that...
     What would that station be?
     WOLD? KRAB?
    "Find the perfect track for any mood. Google Play Music...."
     Something like "Volga Boatmen," maybe? 
      And "Google Play Music"? Is that what it's called? Really? It sounds like it was named by a chimp. "Tarzan Love Jane." "Baby Go Potty."
    Google Play Music. What IS that?
    "Google Play Music has expertly curated stations for when you need to chill out, wake up, or just dance."
     "Expertly curated." Who needs an "expert" to pick—whoops, to curate—their music? Okay, a DJ, sometimes. A hip guy in sunglasses, at parties. But an "expert"? How did these tin-ear imbeciles at Google ever get to run the world? I hope their coders are better at their jobs.
     "Chill out, wake up, or just dance." Those are my choices? It's too early to chill out. I actually don't think I've ever chilled out. I thought that chilling out is something arguing felons are urged to do when they're separated in a day room Cook County Jail. Coffee is for waking up. "Just dance." Happily. With whom?
   Enough. I'll bite.
   This Google Play Music, tell me more. I click on Google Play, and find myself, not at an infinity of music stations, expertly curated to match my increasingly shitty moods, but a "Product/Service" page, with 814,840 "likes." A photo of a fat-cheeked baby. Which catches my interest, as babies will. "Today, we open the time capsule featuring moments by you and amplified with 'Glory' by Jean-Michel Jarre & M83, an excerpt from Jean-Michel Jarre’s forthcoming studio album." This must be the beginning of my curated experience. A clap of thunder and blooping synthesizer that was dated in 1981. Spoken words. "What do you like about living on earth?" Certainly not the skill of online marketing morons. 
    Okay, try again. Interested customer here, trying to access the product dangled before my eyes. Plug "Google Play" into Google.  Up pops the Google Store. A series of games. "Hay Day." "Angry Birds Stella POP! "King of Thieves."
    Where's the music?  Ah, on the side. Click music. What about "Pandora"? Reminds me of the chef who named her restaurant "Scylla," not realizing it was "the yelping horror" to be avoided at all costs. The classics are faded, but we're supposed to open Pandora, right?  
     "Great music discovery is effortless and free with Pandora..." Well, at least it doesn't release evil into the world. 
    "Great music discovery is effortless and free..." That wasn't written by a native English speaker, was it?  Because a high school English teacher would have gone with "Discovering great music..." 
     "Create up to 100 personalized radio stations..." One will do, but okay, I'm game. 
     "You haven't accessed the Google Play Store app..."
    Oh, of course. My apologies. Right away.
    I access the store, but for some reason I end up looking at cell phones and "A Nest Learning Thermostat."
    "Fuck this," I think (I should create the "Fuck this!" app, sending a shriek of disapproval back at whatever nonsense is being dangled in front of you. It would be worth $100 million in a month).
    Go to Plan B.
    Fire up the Gramovox on my desk. Within seconds, it's pumping out Billy Corgan's "A-100," curated because it begins with "A" and thus is the first song on my song list. Live. An audience going nuts. Then that gorgeous fuzzy bass comes in.
       "Stay with me just a little," Billy sings, "lay with me, just a little...."
      Turns out that was what I needed to hear all along. Gets the blood going. And realizing how even Google, with its twee-yet-artful doodles and global domination, can on some days still seem to be run by the utterest idiots, well, that is life-affirming too, and a kind of happiness.



  1. First yuks of the day. Good luck with that new app.

    Doug D.

  2. "Curated" is an annoying word that always evokes for me the image of a French priest in a broad-brimmed hat leafing through a pornographic magazine.


    1. It is a lovely image, but I'm not sure the holy father should be French. Perhaps Anglican high church.

  3. Please, please, please make the "Fuck This" app! I would use it several times a day!

    1. I wish I knew how. Coders? Let's form a partnership!

  4. There is a lot of new indie music that is being influenced by early '80s synth and post punk. Check out Viet Cong's "Silhouettes" and M83 "Midnight City," a newer song that would sound appropriate in a Miami Vice episode.

    There is a lot of new indie music that is being influenced by early '80s synth (M83) and post punk (check out Viet Cong's Silhouettes).

  5. I related to barely a word. Not a criticism, but an acknowledgement of being bypassed by the culture and technology of the day. Something of a blessing if truth be told.

    Tom Evans

  6. nixit-Viet Cong silhouettes? I don't think so

    TE , don't feel bad, my grandparents don't get it either

    1. I don't feel bad. And it's perhaps not so much a matter of age than intention. My wife is a classically trained musician, but when I brought her to Chicago some years ago she was appalled by my habit of leaving WFMT on all day as background noise. From her I learned that silence is, not always but often, golden.



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