Lala: RIP; Grace Potter: Hell Yeah!


Not a whole lot has happened on the cavaAdo front in the last month or so.  School is finally out for summer and I plan on devoting a large amount of time on the project during the upcoming summer months. In the meantime, I need to vent.

Lala, as I’m sure many of you know, is being shut down as of May 31st.  While this news is obviously a bit delayed, the shut-down-date is less than 2 weeks away.  The reality of the situation is setting in and I don’t like it.

Apple bought Lala back in late 2009.  Reasons as to why are pretty obvious—iTunes is probably moving to a cloud-based service.  While I’m all for this, I think shutting down Lala is the only thing Apple has done to make me mad, thus far.

I love Lala.  Anyone can explore new music, old music, good music, bad music, any kind of music with ease.  The service has actually made me want to buy more music.  Being able to listen to a record all the way through without having to forge through MySpace ads or sign up for an email list gives me the chance to really listen to the music with an honest mind.  If I listen to it once and something within the record pulls me out of my daze and back the computer screen, I know it’s worth listening to again (buying).

You don’t get that with the iTunes 30 second previews.  No, instead, you’re brought into the song at the most random point totally out of context compared to the rest of the song.  Sometimes you’ll get the hook, other times you’ll get the bridge.  I’ve bought albums off iTunes that I could have sworn were awesome records based on the 30 second previews and was totally disappointed.  And then there are those songs with the hidden hooks or personal connections that you can’t find in the 30 second previews.  To me, those kinds of songs are potentially my next favorite songs and I’d hate to miss them.  That’s why I love Lala.

If iTunes is put on a cloud in place of Lala, it better have the same features.  Otherwise I’ll be supremely disappointed.

RIP Lala.

Now, here are my music picks (for the time being, I am still connecting these records to Lala.  When I find a replacement, I’ll do my best to update these links):

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – This is Somewhere – This was a most pleasant recent discovery.  A great mix of blues, rock, alt country, with a whole lot of soul!  Grace Potter’s voice is unbelievably addicting and has been compared to Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin.  Give them a listen before they get too big and lose their appeal.

Highlights:

–       Mr. Columbus

–       Ah Mary

–       Here’s to the Meantime

The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt – This guy’s voice will no doubt weird you out upon first listen.  But listen to it a few more times and you’ll love it.  It’s quirky, weird, and amazingly beautiful.  A lot like Devendra Banhart but it’s also a lot of fun.  The majority of the record is just vocals and acoustic guitar with some other things like steel drums mixed in for added flavor.  Give him a listen for some good folk tunes and for a break from the ordinary.

Highlights

–       The Wild Hunt

–       Burden of Tomorrow

–       King of Spain

Gold Motel – Gold Motel EP – Pleasantly poppy, but not overdone.  This record is a great driving-with-the-windows-down-in-nice-weather record.  I predict it playing a very big role in my life this summer.  Give it a listen if you’re struggling to find something to enjoy while driving down an empty road and sporting some sweet shades!

Highlights:

–       Perfect in my Mind

–       Make Me Stay

–       Don’t Send the Searchlights

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2 responses to “Lala: RIP; Grace Potter: Hell Yeah!

  1. “Give them a listen before they get too big and lose their appeal.”

    Music quality should never be judged by popularity. Just because something becomes mainstream does not mean that the music itself becomes worse or less appealing in any way. Music is something that should be shared. This pretentious attitude fights against what good music is about and what I originally thought the point of your blog is about.

    That being said, music can be subjective and that is why we have so many genres and styles today. I think it is important that anyone should enjoy music as they wish regardless of anyone’s opinion that “their music sucks” or is “too mainstream” etc. Its the feeling and emotion that the music invokes and inspires for the listener. It is what it means to the listener.

    There are plenty of those people out there that will listen to a band and praise them while they are “underground”, “uprising”, and “new”, but when they hit mainstream popularity will dump them like they can’t stand them… For one, I think that type of attitude is the wrong way to go about music… its like searching for bands just for the “cool” factor and then moving on to the next because other people found out about the band. It makes no sense whatsoever.

    There are bands that will never be mainstream that are awesome bands. There are bands that are mainstream that suck. Popularity has zero to do with the quality of music. Its not about the charts… its not about the number of records sold or not sold. Its not even about the record label promoting them. Instead, music is about what the listener gets out of it… which can be many different things as people listen to music for different reasons… the message, the lyrics, the emotion, the sound quality (Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi), the feeling, the progressive force in new sounds, artistic representation, ENTERTAINMENT, the connection the listener feels with the artist, to expand the mind, to distract the mind… the list goes on and on. What music means to one person may be completely different to another. Without ranting too much more… I will say that I have never once looked at a band that I “discovered” before they were mainstream and then later decided once they got popular to disown them… the ONLY time that has happened is if I have heard their songs played to death and couldn’t bear to hear them any more which can happen even with the most underground of bands. It is of my opinion that a music lover should never be ashamed of something they enjoy listening to if it is important to them in some way. Sure, I may joke with friends sometimes saying “ah, I can’t believe you listen to so-and-so” but that is allll a difference of musical taste which is subjective.

    • @JSmoove
      1. thank you for the comment…your input is greatly valued.
      2. I totally understand what you are saying. however, what I was implying by that statement is not necessarily what you took away from it. I consider myself a very loyal person, especially to my favorite bands–I do everything I can to help them succeed. Whether it’s buying CDs, tshirts, concert tickets, whatever, I’m continually trying to pump money into their system so they can keep doing what they’re doing…because I love what they create. At the same time, there are a lot of bands that, once they gain serious mainstream traction, loose their sense of who they are what their old fans loved them for.

      As a fan, I’m sure a great deal of it has to do with the “I know something you don’t know” exclusivity that comes along when loving an band that is essentially unheard of. But at the same time, for a lot of artists that break, the dollar signs start appearing in the artists eyes and they go away from what they originally started out doing. Greedy music execs starting getting involved and they start creating music that makes money instead of the music that you or I or anyone else originally fell in love with. That’s when they lose their appeal…for me at least. And I’m not saying that this will happen to Grace Potter, or any of the other bands I talk about on here, but it is always a possibility.

      I started this blog because I wanted to tell as many people as I could about the bands that I loved that they maybe hadn’t heard of. If you found a new band that you liked while reading my blog, then I have achieved my goal. If the only thing you took away from this post was that I was a snobby music douche, then I have clearly failed. Either way, you will have to admit that there is some satisfaction in enjoying a band that not everyone has heard of. If you get excited when they come on the radio as you’re walking out of the movie theater (just as I did when Grace Potter did this past weekend) and want to tell everyone who walks past you about their music, then it is clearly something to share with the world.

      Thanks again for the comment and I hope you’ll continue reading.

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