Thursday, February 21, 2008

Staying Cool

A great idea from Kevin Kelley over at Cool Tools:

When it came to music, I was an old fogie. I had a shelf full of Bob Dylan, Allman Brothers, Brian Eno, and more Bob Dylan. You know, old guy's music. I actually liked a lot of the new popular music I overheard, I was just not up on it. Didn't know what was what. Recently I've found two tools to keep me current with great contemporary music that wasn't just top 40. My iPod is now full of some pretty hip music, which I thoroughly enjoy.

Here's what works for me. At my birthday or Christmas, I request as my only present that my kids, nieces and nephews burn me a disc of their favorite music in the last year, or so. It is an easy gift for them to make, and a great learning experience for me. The few tracks I can't stand, I just delete. The stuff I love I seek out on iTunes to purchase more of. From this I get the fashionable tunes.

This trick actually works even better with kids not your own. When I am traveling overseas I ask students who befriend me to burn me a CD of their favorite local tunes, and boy does this beckon forth some great unknown stuff. I landed some lovely Polish rock this way. I've learned to not be bashful asking because everyone loves to share their favorites. The main thing is to not ask your friends; they think too much like you. Instead you want the "other-ness" from fans in other lands and other generations. In my experience this method works better than following random play lists on iTunes, or random recommendations on Amazon. The winnowing process to burn to a CD is more selective, and perhaps because it is being made for a specific person -- me -- it is, well, more personalized.
Matt, Dan, Mimi, et al; you now know what I want the next time you want to give your ol' fogey relative something for his birthday or Christmas.


Kym said...

I caught that same tip and starred it for future "what do you want" queries. Indeed - a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Great Idea Jack!! Love you guys!! Did you either of you catch my cold?? I hope not!! I still have it!!! Saturday Night was a good time! Next time you Jack & Peg already said she would::)) will have to indulge with me & Robdog LOLOLOLO
Love MiMi