Sunburned

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the band plays
tourists stop to hear
sunburned jazz

 

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Photo: Buskers on Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic, c.b.w. 2008

Words: senryu, c.b.w. 2017

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Why My iPod Is Better Than Your Cloud

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I saw the movie, Baby Driver, this week and it was fantastic. Not only do I love a good car chase and quirky characters, but one of the central components of the film was the iPod Classic, (multiple generations, too!).  You read that correctly – the iPod Classic. Not the iPod Touch or the invisible Cloud, but the golden device that started it all, the iPod Classic. It took everything I had not to cheer right there in the theater, (especially when I saw Baby had both generations of iPods that I currently own and use) because I firmly believe the iPod Classic is still the best device out there for multi-media files.

Over the last year, I’ve noticed iPods have gained some popularity among the smartphone generation. My 9th and 10th grade students stare in awe, not disdain, at my 6th Generation 160GB iPod Classic. That awe only grows when I explain how it works (they truly have never seen anything like it) and why it rocks:

⇒ It doesn’t absolutely require the internet. Songs can be uploaded straight from DVD or MP4 media files. Listening to songs or watching videos requires no internet, either, which means it’s good on planes, road trips, dead zones, or anywhere else.

⇒ I don’t have to pick what to download, I can have it all  with 160G of pure space. It’s basically a portable hard drive that works waaaay more efficiently thanks to a simple filing system of music playlists and file categories for TV Shows, Movies, and Audiobooks. After 9 years, I still have 50G remaining!

⇒ I don’t have to worry about data usage because I’m not using the internet while I watch movies or listen to music.

⇒ Battery life rivals any smartphone. Although, I will admit this applies mostly to music and audiobooks. Videos can kill battery life much faster.

⇒ It does music and video and audiobooks with a simple flick of the click wheel. I know smartphones and iPads do this, too, but you likely need the internet or have a limited number of choices based on what is downloaded. My iPod is a complete entertainment system with everything I love, not just a small selection.

⇒ I can plug my iPod into any speaker, TV, or projection system if I want to enjoy media files without my earbuds. This is why my students have seen my iPod – I plug it into a speaker in my classroom all the time. They like my Disney and 90s Retro playlists while they work. And, again, I can do it without the internet!

⇒ iPods are incredibly reliable if you take good care of them. Mine is 9 years old and it still works perfectly. I have a 13 year old 4th Generation Classic that still works beautifully as well.

Now, I know the iPod Classic is grossly archaic to some people and that’s okay. It’s not that I hate the Cloud (I do use it for a number of things), I just prefer not to be totally reliant on it. Maybe I’m just tragically nostalgic, but for me I’ll be using my iPod until the day it dies. And then I’ll probably hunt one down on eBay.

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c.b.w. 2017

A Music Flood

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First, I’d like to apologize to my followers on Twitter. I fan-girled a bit too hard last weekend, so everything on my feed probably made no sense unless you watch Shadowhunters. Things should normalize now that the winter finale has aired! However, I did realize Twitter is a lot more fun than I remember. I may have to play there a bit more as I piece together my haiku chapbook.

I digress. While in the process of fangirling, I’m continuing to discover new music as I branch out from the artists that revitalized my iPod a few weeks ago (see Music Drought Averted). It’s amazing what new music can do for the muse. I’m feeling a fresh wave of creativity, despite complete exhaustion caused by the day job.

Here are a few of my newfound favorites:

Artist: Kina Grannis

One song and I was hooked! I found this artist through one of the actors on Shadowhunters, (see, fangirling can be productive). She does a lot of acoustic covers of popular songs, but she also releases original music. Her voice is angelic and I love her sound.

This is the song that got me:

I visited her youtube channel and found she truly is a gem. I downloaded her album, Elements, but you can stream the entire thing through youtube – Just click on her name: Kina Grannis. Give it a listen – you won’t be sorry! I highly recommend exploring her channel as it is packed with some amazing music.

Artist: Talos

  • In Time

This song is as beautiful as it is haunting. Be forewarned, it digs right into the soul. There is a NSFW word in the lyrics, so you know … earbuds.

Artist: LEISURE

  • Got It Bad

I just love the funk factor of this song. My foot just starts tapping and I wish I had enough cool in me to sing along.

Artist: Sundara Karma

  • Indigo Puff

There are two versions of this song floating around. The original has a bit more funk, which I love, while the LAYLA remix is a little more pop infused. I love both for different reasons, but the lyrics are what pull me in the most.

Original Version:

LAYLA Remix:

Artist: Tiny Deaths

  • Ever

This song has such a nice vibe. It’s a little more pop than I usually go for, but it makes me smile every time I hear it.

The more I go exploring, the more I seem to find! I may have started with the threat of a music drought, but now it’s more a of a flood. I love how one artist leads to another if you’re willing to follow the trail and have an open mind. 🙂

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c.b.w. 2017

Music Drought Averted

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The last few months have been quiet for my iPod. I was so bored with my music collection, it just sat unused in my work bag. This is weird for me, because I usually have a soundtrack for everything. Whether its for writing poetry or grading papers, I have a playlist for it!

However, even the best playlist can grow old without a fresh infusion of music. It’s been a while since any of my favorite artists have released new music and I haven’t really heard anything good on the radio. It’s all the same stuff!

Then, as luck would have it, I started watching Shadowhunters on Freeform. I’m a die hard fan of the book series, The Mortal Instruments (by Cassandra Clare), so when I found out there was a television series based on the books, I was all over it. Not only do I love the show, but I started to notice it has a great soundtrack.

Thanks to the magic of the online fangirl community, I was able to track down a number of my favorite songs from Shadowhunters. It’s amazing what just a few new songs can do for a music drought.

Here’s a selection of what I’ve dug up so far …

Artist: Ruelle

  • This is the Hunt
  • Monsters
  • Where Do We Go From Here
  • War of Hearts
  • Storm

This artist is my favorite find. I’m busy exploring all of her albums and I’m continually blown away. Her music can be both ethereal and hard hitting, but the lyrics are quite poetic.

Artist: Metanoia

  • Faux Tales

This is a really cool piece of electronica. There may not be any lyrics, but it is intensely moving. Rather than stir excitement on the dance floor, it invites contemplation of deeper emotions. Plus, it’s attached to one of my favorite characters on the show.

Artist: Majik

  • Save Me

A great little indie song that stirs all the “feels” and pitfalls of love. As I write this, it’s on repeat on my iPod. I’m thinking of adding it to my playlist for my current novel project.

Artist: Allman Brown

  • Between the Wars

A stirring song that brings another round of “feels,” but in a different way from Save Me. It’s all about wanting to stay safely ensconced in love, when everything seems to be falling apart. Deeply melancholic, with an incredibly beautiful melody.

Artist: Dream Folk (Extreme Music)

  • Light Comes Back

Another indie song that skirts the border between ethereal and folk. It’s an uplifting reminder that better days are just around the corner.

The more I dig into these artists, the more amazing new music I find! It’s such a simple thing, but music really does wake up my muse in all aspects of my life. Thank goodness, the music drought is officially over!

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Are you listening to anything good? Please share!

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c.b.w. 2017