Music On Demand is Like Waving A Magic Wand
Raise your hand if you were into music as a kid and you remember you had to listen to a radio station for hours and hours in the hope of hearing your favorite song. Yes, I am one of those dinosaurs. But no more. We are in the era of instant music gratification.
From as early on as I can remember, I was into music. It’s no wonder why – my father is the biggest music fan and had all kinds of great stuff playing on our console stereo while I was growing up – from the Frank Sinatra’s to Henry Mancini to the great broadway musical soundtracks of the day.
One of my earliest memories is of a small transistor radio being given to me when I was just about five or six years old, and playing the pop stations constantly from then on, using my little earphone.
My dad and I also watched all the variety programs that used to be the staple of sixties TV. Ed Sullivan, the Hollywood Bowl as well as many others, with both of us always waiting for the music guests. I guess this is why I know of many singers and songs way before my own era of the sixties and seventies, and why I still love listening to music from the 40’s and on.
I also watched all the music shows of the 60’s such as American Bandstand, Shindig, Hullabaloo, Tops of the Pops and even got my father into the Beatles, the Monkees, and other of my musical tastes.
As a child when I developed my own musical tastes, my father was glad I had my little transistor. Of course it only got AM stations. But that was okay.
I raised my children the same way, with my oldies music as well as their contemporary music, and to this day they know more music from the 60’s on than most other kids born in the mid to late 80’s. In fact they are usually stunned to find out other kids know very little about major musical groups of the 60’s. My daughter had a fellow cheerleader on her squad in high school who didn’t know who John Lennon was. She still brings this topic up all the time, many years later. I’ve tried to keep up with their music as well, with the exception of most forms of rap other than the most tame ones.
To this day, whenever I am stressed, bored, or otherwise bothered, I turn to music. use music to soothe, and I have to say, like comfort food, it works.
Going back to those days of listening to my favorite tunes on the transitor radio, or even actually splurging (with money made from a pathetic 50 cents an hour babysitting job) and purchasing a single, or even album, I remember waiting, waiting, waiting for my favorite song to play. It would get so frustrating waiting that sometimes I would give in and go out an buy it.
There is no waiting game now. This is the era of instant gratification in regard to music, and I couldn’t be happier. In fact, it’s my opinion that being able to access music on demand has made the world a happier place. It is almost magical to me.
There aren’t many variety shows on television, and MTV and VH1 aren’t really about music anymore, but the best thing about the modern era is that you can get music instantly – from any number of sources. Between AOL music and another website I will describe further on in this blog, and of course You Tube, virtually any song, old or new that you feel like hearing at any given moment is readily available.
Another great thing is when I hear a new song, I can immediately find the lyrics. My generation grew up mis-singing the lyrics to just about every song as I wrote in this past blog. This no longer has to be the case.
Finally, I noticed that even if I hear a song on the radio and am immediately smitten with it but didn’t catch the title of the song or singer, I can actually easily find it either on the radio website’s last played songs list, or by just googling some of the lyrics. I found two new songs this way recently.
I can’t remember the last time I was moved to purchase anything other than downloads for my MP3 player. (and by the way, MP3 players were made for people like me who like to listen to favorite singles rather than to a whole album (with the Beatles, the Moody Blues, Led Zep and Bruce Springsteen my only exceptions)
Without You Tube,about half of my leisure time would have to be spent doing something else. Sometimes I surf on You Tube till late in the night. I can find snippets of all those musical memories from TV that I first saw with my dad. I heart You Tube.
If you are hankering for those moments of the golden 60’s variety shows, you can find any number of them with performances intact, on the same channel. You want a old Beatles on Ed Sullivan moment? It’s ready for you, on demand.
Another great website that my kids told me about is Grooveshark. It is a free on-demand radio station where you can build huge play lists of obscure songs such as “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road” by Loudon Wainwright III – to the most popular of today. You can even play old TV theme songs such as the one I love from the Partridge Family. “We’ll Make You HAPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEEE.” I will tell you this. Grooveshark makes me Happy.
But my You Tube and Grooveshark mania are not only for nostalgia. I use them both whenever I find a new song to love.
Lately I have been surfing for a cappella stuff – there are some awesome young groups doing it amazingly well on the Internet.
For me all of this music on demand is like waving a magic wand. You simply wish to hear your favorite song, and voila! There it is in a matter of seconds.
I don’t feel sorry for music stars of the day, they look like they are in the bucks despite this era of music on demand. So it’s a win for all of us, isn’t it?