For the last couple of years, I’ve been relying on Apple Music for all my of musical needs. It’s great. It has absolutely every song I ever want to hear, instantly available in my car, while out for a walk, at home, on my laptop. Anything anywhere any time! And I have dozens of my own purpose-built playlists (Springsteen Covers, Dance Party, Garage Rock, more). Plus they provide a ton of their own playlists. (Same for Spotify, I’m sure.)
So online music streaming is perfect, right? Well, yes, but also no. 🤷🏻♂️
My playlists had became too safe and predictable. And it’s weird that I never ever ever listen to the local radio. So today I suddenly had the urge to listen to my favorite local Austin radio station: KUTX. So I streamed it (seriously, I don’t have a radio). And it was great!
KUTX will constantly surprise and delight you with music that you don’t control. I have unwittingly discovered some of very favorite bands here (The XX and Tinariwen for example). And btw, KUTX is a public radio station. No ads or BS. It’s basically a community service by music fans.
If you’re not in the mood straight-up KUTX , which is geared towards indie rock, they have other streams like Old School Dance Party, Eklektikos, a soul and R&B station, a jazz station, and even a kid-friendly indie music station.
This doesn’t mean I’m dropping Apple Music, which is still great when I want music to help me concentrate, or to listen to my favorite album. But I’m glad to remember my old friend KUTX as a way to mix things up a bit.
The Boys of Summer is one of those songs I thought was “weird” or at best “okay” when it came out when I was 12 years old in 1984. I didn’t really understand what the heck he was singing about, and the sound of the song had a weird tension to it that made me uncomfortable. Plus it had one of those overly artsy black and white music videos!
These days I love the song. Now I know exactly what he’s talking about. I feel like I’ve lived this song myself. I love the black and white video because it’s overlay artsy. And the the weird little drummer boy is perfect. Now I really appreciate the weird tension in the song. It makes the song unique and edgy. And even with the musical tension, Don Henley sings in such a cool, nonchalant way.
The other tension is lyrical, between sadness and hope. The words paint a picture of a lonely beach town at the end of summer, a beautiful woman, and a broken heart. The lyrics stand pretty well on their own.
Nobody on the road Nobody on the beach I feel it in the air The summer’s out of reach.
Empty lake, empty streets The sun goes down alone I’m driving by your house Though I know you’re not home.
But I can see you Your brown skin shining in the sun You got your hair combed back and your sunglasses on, baby. I can tell you my love for you will still be strong After the boys of summer have gone.
The Boys of Summer by Don Henley
This song features one of the most beautiful outtros I’ve ever heard. The melodic, almost twangy guitar layered over a warm rhythm guitar counters the fierce electronic drums as the song fades out. Love it (these days).
Austin City Limits Music Festival (aka ACL) put together a pretty nice page of stuff to do while visiting Austin. As a local, I’m going to use this as inspiration to get out there and do all the things.
I can’t even describe how amazing Garageband is. It’s lets you record almost anything. And it sounds good! And it’s free! And easy to use! And it has basically all the guitar amps and pedals in the world. And real professional musicians use it to record real music. And it works on the iPhone and iPad.
I just recored a punk-inspired version of Bruce Springsteen’s No Surrender with it. I sang (yikes!) and played two guitar tracks, Drums were compliments of Garageband. It took like half an hour. I mean, what the hell?!?!
Here is Steve Jobs introducing GarageBand in 2004. “Garageband is a major new pro music tool. But it’s for everyone.”
And here’s an interesting list of milestones for Garageband.