Monday, 23 February 2009

We interrupt our scheduled programming....

So, this whole not having a camera thing is actually pretty annoying. It means I can't show you the progress I'm making on the Tailored Cardigan or the Minimalist Cardigan (I know, I feel your pain and disappointment). I'm alternating between the two as they're both quite repetitive patterns. One's in a lovely, somewhat hairy, alpaca and the other in a crisp tweed, which is making a healthy dent in my stash.

Anyway, I can't show you either for the time being, so what else can we talk about? The weather? It's all gone depressingly tame of late, with not a snowflake in sight.

Given the lack of knitwear, I'll have to turn to this blog's other topic of choice, music. I'm currently enjoying Spotify, although I'm still trying to work out why the hell it exists in the first place.

For the uninitiated, you sign up for free, and can then listen to a whole load of music for nothing. It opens in a player that's set out a bit like iTunes. You can search for artists, albums and songs and there's a healthy amount of stuff on the site - although it's better if you have a wishlist, it's not really geared towards browsing. You can then add whatever you like to your playlist and it's stored there for you to play as and when you wish. Obviously you can't save it to play elsewhere, but if you just want music to play at home or the office, then you're sorted. With my laptop plugged into my stereo I'm discovering just why Robert Plant and Alison Krauss won that Grammy. I'm also trying to work out why the hell anyone cares about Lady Ga Ga (beside her crotch being thrust into our faces at every opportunity and the nuance of her lyrics - 'I wanna take a ride on your disco stick', anyone?) or the plethora of 80s synth girls who all seem to wish they were Annie Lennox or Prince or possibly an interesting combination of the two. So far all they're giving me is the urge to search for Prince's greatest hits (and lo, here they are with all their B sides in one handy album).

Not sure how it benefits the artists so far, I guess the hope is I'll go and buy an album after listening, but it's a good way of finding new gems, or checking out recommendations. The free subscription option does have adverts, but they're barely 20 seconds long and only crop up about once every 15 minutes - bearable.

It doesn't seem to have as many features, or the magazine look, of but it's an interesting development. With all this music available for free you can, at the very least, create your own radio station-style playlist, and save your pennies for the tracks or albums you've thoroughly road-tested and really love. And it's great to be able to try out new artists beyond iTunes' measly 20 second soundbite.

So, after all this research, here is stuff wot I listened to (the top half of the list being my preferred soundtrack, the others being curiosity):

Robert Palmer/Alison Krauss
Alela Diane
Ane Brun
Emiliana Torrini
Angus & Julia Stone
Rosie Brown
Sufjan Stevens
Sigure Ros
Lily Allen
Lady Ga Ga
La Roux
Little Boots

Whatever your musical tastes, I heartily recommend you go forth and Spotify...

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