Oh, Rdio, Rdio, how do we love thee

A few weeks ago, we had a family outing to the cinema for the first time in years. We watched Guardians of the Galaxy, and all of us thoroughly enjoyed it. I was also enchanted by the 70s music vibes, a period whose music I almost never listen to. We got home from the theatre and I opened my music app, typed in a few words, and voila, we had the soundtrack playing in our living room in seconds.

In 2011, our family became a subscriber to streaming music. The selection of services in Canada for streaming music at the time was very limited, and we ended up joining Rdio. I’ve not regretted it at all, even with the $9.99 a month we’ve been paying for years.

Not only is it a company that keeps on improving its offerings to users every year, but it really does have one of the nicest designs among similar services and offers a very logical, clean user interface experience across all platforms (web, Android, iOS, Mac), since very early on. Three words: so – dang – gorgeous.

5c3c3dfa-470f-47ae-b760-d6099cc96bf6_zpsb00c6c9c.jpg

The best part, of course? It’s brought us hours and hours of soundtracks to our lives. Some of the specific occasions we turn Rdio on include:

  • while doing housework
  • expanding our repertoire of French singers and musicians
  • blocking out life noises in order to read and study
  • for occasions of just dancing (all ages!)
  • providing us with road trip tunes
  • keeping le Petit occupied during a 15-hour trip to Hawaii
  • setting the scene for dinner parties
  • providing emotional, angsty backdrop tracks for restless late nights
  • and lately, filling our house with groovy 70s tunes.

Discovering Night Panther

Music is so intensely personal and completely a matter of preference.

Once in a while there is a moment when a track or tracks of an album totally grabs you, at that particular time at that particular place. Tonight, I had such a moment. My Rdio new releases play later queue was randomly streaming and suddenly, the tune of Fever by Night Panther started playing through my headphones.

music, rdio, nightpanther

Night Panther

The album is their debut, I guess, Night Panther by Night Panther.

I cannot describe music in general – that is an exercise for another day. The band’s Soundcloud tag is “sex pop” which provides zero clarification as to the kind of music it is. The best I can do is synth-pop-indie-singersongwriter, not that my description is any clearer.

The album is just fun and rich in harmony and musical instruments. You can hear the track, and the rest of the album for yourself here.

On the brain…

Oh how I’ve been struggling to find that balance between work, my school work, house work, and getting in my 2 shows and fiction in between. In general, I’ve been lacking sleep and not really uber-productive or efficient in anything.

It’s a bum feeling, but it’s the truth.

What it means is, to do better at all the things I want to improve on, it will take real streamlining of wants, tasks and priorities. That’s harder to do when there are a lotta things taking up brain space. These days, there are a lot of things that come up again and again, that I’m pondering, above and beyond what I’m grappling with for my school work.

So, with no further delay, here are some of the primary objects of last month’s ponderings:

1. Easily the top one is Michael Scofield and Prison Break.

prison break team

Prison Break

 There’s just something about a highly intelligent (engineer) man motivated by love for his brother and the desire to help the underdog, plus lean good looks, plus wonderful (and wonderfully wicked and dark) supporting characters that makes for a wonderful show. 4 years after it was released but hey, we don’t have to wait for another week or months for the next episode.

2. VSCO Cam

Have you seen this app? It renders really gorgeous photos without being gimmicky. Speed is a small issue now, but the app is in its first iteration now and hopefully the developers will continue to update and improve this lovely camera app. Here is its promo video:

  3. Blues

As in, the music. Thanks to this awesome Martin Scorcese series on the blues, the music for which I found at our local library, I’ve been sort of entranced with the history and lyrics of the blues.

4. Caramel

Whether it’s sauce, latte topping, toffee, cheesecake, creme brulee or Werther’s, we love this stuff at our house. I’m saddened by the disappearance of Starbuck’s Caramel Sauce from store shelves.

caramel

5. Kamloops Farmer’s Market

Yay, it’s that time of year again. And the Kamloops Farmer’s Market is in full swing. Love getting salad stuff there every Saturday. There is this awesome Indian woman who sells spinach, fresh and crisp, in this pretty huge bag for $3. She’s just one of the staples I’m relying on this summer for some of our greens. Plus, Petit is older and making friends left and right, so after a market stroll we usually end up at the local schoolyard/park and socialize with parents+kids.

farmers market produce

Girl Walk // All Day Dance Party

Photo by Emily Gilbert

Today’s CreativeMornings talk by Jacob Krupnick was followed by a Girl Walk // All Day movie screening which turned into an impressive dance party. Who says you can’t have a dance party at 10am?

Girl Walk // All Day is a 71 minutes dance video / love letter to NYC. Watch it here.

I just discovered Girl Talk, the web sampling master musician this past fall, when fellow students in a graduate media studies seminar kept talking about him. The name was mentioned with reference to copyright, Rolande Barthes, and current music culture. Over the Christmas break, I downloaded the All Day track – and just loved it. It’s funny to be listening to something and then be, like, “Hey, that’s Belinda Carlisle,” (in rap/hip-hop track!), or “What? Isn’t that Peter Gabriel?”, for the entire album.

So this past week, I was absolutely learn about Girl Walk, a film about dance and NYC, set to the music of a single long-play All Day track.

If you like music, New York, creativity, and something different, you have to check out the film, which is available streaming on Vimeo. Just look at how these viewers were celebrating the film at 10am in the morning.

My heart is tapping its feet to the beat of Benny Goodman

Though I am at the office, sometimes I click onto youtube or facebook just to watch videos of Le petit. They crack me up, in the way that only mothers do when looking at pics or vids of their children. I mean, other than grandparents and doting aunts and uncles and parents, who else fawns and watches again and again and again the captured moments of little ones? I know they’re fleeting, so I’m going to dote while I can.

So, here is the one today that put a little pep in my morning, it’s BG and band on a Saturday morning, Le petit practicing a new foot kick/jig I’ve never seen before: