October 22nd, 2008

caillebotte_the orangerie

Balmy, Musical, and Arty

When I lived in Los Angeles, October was my favorite month. After I moved to the mountains, where the climate is very different, I came to prefer May. But this year, October is kicking May's butt— even though I just nearly got whacked on the head with an acorn. Those things are a hazard. The squirrels need to yank them off the trees as soon as possible.

The afternoon was so mild, and the sun so warm, that when after a bit of lunch the gray cat settled down in a sunny spot he remained there only two or three minutes before moving into the dappled shade of a fir tree. I stayed mostly to the shade myself, enjoying the balmy air and watching the birds peck at the newly-green lawn. Best of all, the days will be pretty much the same through the weekend. With no need to use either the furnace or the air conditioner, we're saving a bundle on energy. Thanks, October.

Last night I came across this comment on one of Brad's posts. jayp39 recommended Grooveshark, a music streaming and social networking site he works for. Some time ago I signed up for Pandora Radio, and I sometimes listen to it (when I remember it's there), but I've always found the Internet radio format a bit limiting since you can't listen to particular songs whenever you want. You select only by genre and then listen to (or reject one at a time) whatever songs come up in the stream. Grooveshark lets you search for and play specific songs, or the work of specific artists, for free (they pay any royalties due.) Such a deal!

As I'm not all that knowledgeable about recent music, I'm not sure how many of the performers they have are popular and how many are obscure, but I've found some interesting stuff I've never heard before. They let bands seeking an audience upload their own music, but they also have a lot of recognized artists— I noticed Jack Johnson, Norah Jones, Coldplay and Kings of Leon, but also goatloads of artists I've never heard of (I liked "Sorry We Took All Yr Money" by Scary Mansion.) I haven't explored the various features of the site, but it all looks pretty easy to use. I listened to a couple of songs before creating an account, so you apparently don't have to sign up in order to just listen, but only if you want to upload, or participate in the various networking features, or create your own playlists and such.

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