Finally I think I’m on the downside of the flu. Whew. I probably still won’t push myself too hard today, but at least my throat no longer feels swollen and it’s not killing me to swallow. That’s a good thing. Interestingly the day I must have gotten ill it was extremely hot out. In the past couple of days it’s cooled off considerably. In fact we’re having an overcast day today. I like that. A change of pace.
In case you missed it yesterday Apple has updated their musical line of products. That means new iPods and finally some new features to iTunes itself. There’s one new feature to iTunes 8 that is pretty darn hip. It’s called Genius. Genius reminds me of the concept of Pandora. At least Pandora radio that is. Pandora internet radio allows you to pick an artist you like and it will create a station of music that will play similar music to that artist, along with songs of that artist. It then has direct links to iTunes to purchase the music. It won’t tell you what it’s going to play ahead of time and I think you’re only allowed to skip ahead to the next song a few times before it prevents you from doing it any more.
Genius from Apple will examine your music library. Then it will combine your music information along with millions of other user’s music information (Apple claims it does this anonymously) and create a playlist based upon a song that you choose to hit the Genius button on. The larger your library is, the better I suppose it would work. Being the anxious masochist that I am, I hit the Genius button on one of my songs to see what it would do.
I picked Closer To Ourselves as the random song. I hit the button and the computer started connecting to the iTunes server and came back with a list of 25 songs that were supposed to go with my song. Being that I don’t have a Pandora account, I have no idea how Pandora would link me to others – but I now know the initial list that Genius pairs me up with. Let me say that I was actually flattered with the company of artists it put me with. Here’s a short list: Train, The Police, Queen, Maroon 5, Aerosmith, Natasha Beddingfield, Collective Soul, Vertical Horizon, and more.
I’ve tried it on a few of my relatively unfamous friends. Some of them worked, some of them didn’t. I guess iTunes hasn’t gotten enough information about everyone yet. Thus I suppose I’m doing well to be in there right off the bat. Either way it made my evening better despite my flu to know some of the company Apple’s Genius put me in.
It’s not likely that I’d be linked to today’s pick via the Genius button. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking their hip and cool too. Actually I had another song that I wanted to feature but I couldn’t find it for purchase. Thus I went with Street Sounds. The Pimps of Joytime are a classic jam style band. It’s hard to find a really good jam style band that you can actually listen to. At least it is for me. The musicians have to be stellar to hold my attention for more than a few minutes. Unfortunately most jam bands are jam bands because they don’t have the musicianship to do crafty work. This is not the case with The Pimps of Joytime. No, The Pimps of Joytime actually have some kickin chops. They have some great ideas as well.
One has to think a little more old school like Sly and the Family Stone. Combine that with the after hours of Prince (he’s a jam master). Then sprinkle in some Bill Withers and maybe some Jamiroquai and it becomes complete. They got a great feel. Excellent control of time and rhythm. Benefits of that include being able to bob your head without losing the beat and knowing you could dance and sway around without getting lost over two left feet. Chalk that up to a solid rhythm section. And that is the necessity to a good jam band.
Keep an eye out for The Pimps of Joytime. They’re out performing live and I’m willing to bet that it’s a great show to experience for the music alone. Go get your street sounds now!