Shazam. For those unaware, it’s a remarkable little app that let’s you use your phone’s microphone to identify whatever song you happen to be listening to.
It’s fucking magic. Also maybe a little bit obnoxious. But handy as hell.
I remember that I started using it on a first generation iPad, back when I still walked around with a shitty flip phone. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized that all this time the damn thing had been keeping track of everything I’ve ever used it to “listen to.”
Looking through the list brought back strange memories of bars and parties otherwise lost to the ether of a hard decade. But also questions. “Why the hell did I need to Shazam Satisfaction??” for example. Or, “What the fuck is Escape From the Prison Planet by Clutch and does it suck as much as I think?”
It didn’t take long before I realized that in this collection of songs I had an opportunity.
I’ve never written much about music, and it’s been a long time since I did — 2014, to be exact, as you can see in the post that precedes this one, which I’ve resurrected from an old blog — but I write for a living and I played in a band for almost ten years. And… well… I have opinions…
“I know, at least a little bit, what it means to put a lot into a song and to put it out there for people to listen to and to care about the craft, and I respect the hell out of people who are able to make music, even if they’re not making the same stylistic choices that I would,” I explained in the aforementioned blog post. “That all said, some songs are fucking terrible.”
It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to enough current records to do those kinds of best of lists people like to do, and I was never going to burn my friends and review with brutal honesty all the shows I used to go to. But I sure as hell can do that to an established purveyor of trash! And though I’m hardly an expert, and can’t actually provide a good reason why anybody should care what I think about any of this, finding a way to share my thoughts on music — especially the stuff I think is really great — has long been in the back of my mind. So has been writing about something different than what I do in my daily life.
Enter this curious little list of songs on my phone, pulled on soundwaves from the goddamned air, and now I think I have my chance. Not just a chance to shit on things, but a chance to share music that I love and explore songs and artists that have passed through my atmosphere without me having the foggiest fucking clue who or what they are. A chance, if you’ll permit me to continue this a-little-too-masturbatory end flourish, to take some kind of a musical journey and to maybe even bring a few people along for the ride, if they’re into it.
These are songs I didn’t recognize…