This little list is not inclusive of people, places or experiences, but just simple shiny things that bring a bit of pleasure:
1. LaLa.com: A community of music fans/CD traders that ultimately allow you to get rid of those discs you no longer listen to in exchange for ones that you will. Similar to Netflix where you create a want list, your CD’s are sent from other LaLa members and your cast-offs are sent by you direct to others. A very simple and affordable (~$1.50US per disc) little service that will bring you a bit of joy everytime a new CD arrives in the mail. The only negative is occasionally you do not get ALL the artwork (back tray and booklet) but after almost 30 trades, I’m very pleased. Can’t wait for them to offer DVDs as well! If you sign up, be sure and add me to your friends list - my member name is
nfofreako 80sAirwaves. Also, they offer SOME of their members free virtual radio stations so if there is ever a resurrection of 80s Airwaves, you will likely find it over at LaLa since they cover all bandwidth and royalty expenses.
2. The Tube: Having been off the pipe for about six weeks now, the cable pipe that is, we have been watching a bit less TV than before, but one of the channels that seems to fill our infrequent down-times periods is a digital channel called The Tube. This little channel, almost completely commercial free, simply plays music videos. Can you imagine a TV channel that only plays music videos? No reality TV, no game shows, no pimped this or cribs that. Just back to back music videos. What a concept! They do get a bit heavy with the classic rot artists and even in MTV’s heyday they didn’t play nearly as many LIVE videos as the Tube does, but I must say I really appreciate this station and have found myself killing an hour or more without realizing it. Sure they could use a few more 80’s videos and a bit more soul… or ska… or reggae. And if they would just broadcast music videos in HD and 5.1 I just might get a Tube logo tattoo over my heart.
3. Before the Music Dies (Available soon on DVD): Back in March, when we saw the premier of this documentary at the SXSW Interactive in Austin, the experience was powerful… Like life impacting powerful. This movie captures 90% of everything that has gone wrong with the music business. The only part they left out was the slow death of music retailers. They also get a bit off-course with an attempt to make a model into a pop-tart, but it was an almost interesting experiment. I wrote a review of the movie for the Ironweed Film Club (of which I am a proud member) almost immediately after I saw it. My hope was that the Ironweed folks would be pick it up and release it on one of their monthly DVDs. Instead, Before the Music Dies is finally coming to DVD on its own. The link above will take you to their page and from their click the Amazon link for the pre-order - they deserve the affiliate funds more than I. If you have ANY music fans on your Christmas shopping list this year, make sure this disc is in their stocking.
Enjoy your time with family and friends this holiday and keep an eye out for those who are seeking either.