I’m so incredibly excited to be playing FoCoMx again this year with Amy and the Peace Pipes, this time headlining the Boot Grill on Friday Night! There are so many incredible bands taking part in this festival, and to celebrate that I wanted to share some Spotify Playlists of the bands. Whether you’ve already got your wristband, love the FoCo Music Scene, or want to check out some awesome bands, hopefully these playlists will get you excited about the upcoming weekend!
My band, Amy and the Peace Pipes are kicking off an exciting season of shows with our first show at Swing Station, playing with Aires Attic. I really wanted to get away from posting the band photos straight-up and go with something that would portray a more artistic side of the two genres. Since our pairing is a little different, I thought the design could really showcase that.
Most of this gig-poster is based on a Photo to Color Sketch Tutorial that I’ve been meaning to use. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, especially with Amy and the Peace Pipes (the Aires Attic photo was already in Black & White, so I applied some color tine to the sketch effect.
It’s taken 9 years, but I’ve eclipsed 60,000 listens, or Scrobbles using Last.fm. For those who don’t know, this is a site that tracks your listens and provides data and recommendations based on your interests. However in the years that have passed, streaming services have eaten the lunch of Last.fm’s latter goal and unfortunately it seems the site is relegated to tracking. Given how much data I’ve been pumping into them, I’m glad that CBS is still keeping them around – for the time being.
It’s taken over three years for me to amass the next 20,000 songs, which is probably slower than most given that I listen to podcasts during essentially every commute. As you’ll see below most of my rankings haven’t changed that much, although there has been a shift in the songs that have become more popular.
10. Ozomatli (517 Plays, New to Top 10). Ozomatli is still a mainstream in my listening, and is my default go-to band when I want to hear some music in Spanish. Top Album: Don’t Mess With The Dragon. Top Tracks: Can’t Stop, La Gallina, Cut Chemist Suite
9. Outkast (557 Plays, Previously #9). If there was one group that I wish would get back together and play music, it would be Outkast. Unfortunately with all things in life: it’s just not that easy. Until then I’ll just need to be comforted by my Andre 3000 playlist. Top Album: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Top Tracks: Ms. Jackson, Rosa Parks, Hey Ya!
8. Jimmy Eat World (562 Plays, Previously #8). I still haven’t seen them play live yet, and I’m wondering if that window is starting to close. Top Album: Chase This Light. Top Tracks: Here It Goes, Open Bar Reception, A Praise Chorus
7. Red Hot Chili Peppers (733 Plays, Previously #5). RHCP may have suffered from not being on streaming platforms for part of the last three years. They finally got their stuff together and sre still putting out great music. Top Album: Stadium Arcadium. Top Tracks: Under the Bridge, Soul to Squeeze, Dani California
6. O.AR. (737 Plays, Previously #6). I’ve really liked a lot of their new stuff that they’ve put out. I’m a little surprised that Peace didn’t make it into my top three tracks, given how much I’m listening to it. Top Album: All Sides. Top Tracks: Love and Memories, This Town, Fire
5. John Butler Trio (816 Plays, Previously #7). Their plethora of great new music helped them swap places with RHCP. I’ve actually done drum covers of Used To Get High and Close To You. Top Album: Grand National. Top Tracks: Used to Get High, Daniella, One Way Road
4. Five for Fighting (872 Plays, Previously #5). I’m sad that my favorite singer-songwriter isn’t really releasing new material at this point. Top Album: Slice. Top Tracks: The Riddle, 100 Years, Slice
3. Michael Franti & Spearhead (924 Plays, Previously #4). I’m really enjoying the latest stuff that Franti and Spreahead are putting together, with the messages being more in-line with their earlier stuff. Top Album: Stay Human. Top Tracks: One Step Closer To You, Hey Hey Hey, We Don’t Stop
2. Muse (1,216 Plays, Muse #2). One of my other favorite bands who don’t seem afraid to try different things with different albums. I’ve had a harder time getting into their new stuff, but that has more to do with the fact that they’re releasing so much, so fast. Top Album: Black Holes and Revelations. Top Tracks: Time Is Running Out (another fun drum cover), New Born, Hyper Music
1. Dave Matthews Band (2,812 Plays). No big change except for the fact that I can’t get enough of my favorite band and am hopeful they can release some new material this next year. Top Album: Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King. Top Tracks: Two Step, #41, So Much To Say
Thank you for checking in on this journey with me. Just for kicks, I also grabbed my top 5 favorite songs (statistically speaking) from the last year:
5. Mark Ronson – Feel Right
4. The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
3. Daft Punk – Get Lucky
2. Enrique Iglesias – Bailando (Spanish Version) – my daughter loves this one
1 Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk
I’m especially sad because the truth is that I’ve been flirting with other music services over the years, and there are some key features that kept me coming back to Rdio. Now that it’s going away, I’m going to have to find another service that crosses off the most checkmarks when being compared to Spotify, Apple Music, Google Music, Amazon Prime and Microsoft’s Groove Music:
Remote Control Mode. This has been the biggest differentiater between Rdio and other music services. If you were running Rdio from one device (such as your computer or tablet), you could open the app on another device (like your phone) and remotely control all of the music. This has been invaluable in many parties and game nights where I didn’t want to be tethered to the speakers all night. I *think* Spotify may do something similar, but no services has been as elegant for me.
Family Plan Pricing. If memory serves, Rdio was the first ones to feature this, and my family quickly took advantage of this, serving three accounts with one low payment. The other services have followed suit, but hats off to Rdio’s innovation in this area.
Last.fm Scrobbling. As I’m fast approaching 60,000 scrobbles, this is paramount in my music consumption. I realize no one really uses Last.fm anymore, but as long as the service is around I’m deeply invested in the stats. I know Spotify offers Last.fm integration, but I’m not sure if any other other major providers offer this (Google does through a hack).
Platform-Agnostic Apps. This is the deal-breaker. Rdio was ubiquitous across the internet. They came out the gate with the browser UI, then expanded to mobile apps, have a Windows 10 presence and even a Roku app. Spotify is probably the most prominent in this space, but their browser-based UI didn’t compare to Rdio. To make matters more frustrating, platform-based music systems (Apple, Google, Microsoft Groove and even Amazon) are more interested in using music to propagate their own platforms.
Playlist Lock-In. This is going to be the biggest frustration. I have dozens of playlists (not to mention my “collection”) within Rdio and now I’m going to be challenged to import that into another platform – although Soundiiz looks promising.
I’ve tried most of the major services and have a pretty good sense of the benefits and shortcomings in each
Apple Music: Loved Beats 1, but that was about it. While the selection is great, the interface is just awful. The deal-breaker is that in order to use it on PC you have to go through the bloated hog that’s iTunes. The Android app is in an early (and ugly) beta, and it’s nowhere to be found on any TV platforms. No remote control. I couldn’t cancel my free trial fast enough.
Microsoft Groove Music: Good interface and ubiquitous. The fact that it’s on Xbox makes it appealing as well – however the lack of Scrobbling and no family plan won’t let me take it seriously. I let the free trial lapse. No remote control.
Google Music/YouTube Red: This one is most murky, given the recent Youtube Red development. On face value it looks like a great deal (ad-free YouTube along with Google Music Streaming, not to mention that you can upload 50,000 of your own songs to supplement the service). However it’s not clear to me how their family plan works with YouTube Red, and you can’t Scrobble through the mobile apps. No remote control. I’m currently in the YouTube Red free trial, but will likely cancel.
Amazon Prime: As a Prime customer this has been a nice perk, but in no way will this be replacing Rdio. The features just aren’t there.
Spotify: The most serious contender. They offer the platform ubiquity, the family plan pricing, Last.fm Scrobbling, (I think) a remote control. The interface is just so ugly.
So there we have it. Right now it really comes down to Spotify vs. Google Music, with a current edge to Spotify. Writing all of this makes me really miss Rdio. RIP to a wonderful music service.