Streaming new music from iTunes

I am a music fan. There was a time not too long ago that I was buying 2–3 albums (digital downloads) a week. Before that it was CD and cassettes. Over the last couple of years my buying habits have tapered off a little. A song here and there but nothing crazy. It has nothing to do with money – it has to do more with being uninspired by the music that is being put out. Lackluster, unoriginal, uninspiring are words that come to mind to me.

I still look at iTunes on Tuesdays to see what if there is any new music that might be interesting in some way. Admittedly I have an eclectic listening list so I hope I can find something. Last night while browsing I noticed a pre-order options for the new John Mayer album. His music varies in tone and popularity but I have always respected him as a guitar player.

The one thing that was different that I have never seen before was the ability to stream the album in whole before purchasing. You could always listen to the preview tracks of an album but there were always the .30 second to 1:30 minute samples depending on the length of the song. Click on the stream now allows you to listen to the album in entirety. Perphaps this has been there before and I never saw it. My other thought is this could be a small response to applications like NPR music which do something similar. Its availble for streaming for a linited time so if youa re interested check it out.

Whitespace in Music


Fender telecaster thinlineSome of my favorite guitar players are not what many would think of as tradtional guitar heros. They have all played in famous groups.  But one of the things that distinguishes them from so many other great guitar players is what the don’t play rather than what they do.  All three of them recognized what I like to call the white space in the music.

Andy Summers is well know as the guitarist of The Police. [ Perhaps not as well know was that he was also a member of Eric Burden in the Animals in one of their incarnations.] He played short reggae riffs and let the other instruments fill in some of the voids. He created tonal layers instead of trying to overwhelm the music with rapid fire insertion of notes to impress.

Johnny Marr was the lead guitarist of The Smiths. In some songs his notes were so sparse you wondered if he was playing.  In my opinion a perfect example of this is in the song “Half a Person“.  The entire song is made up of chords played in a slow appagio like format and then he would have the most unbelievable little hook that made the entire song.

One of thing most distinguishable sounds of U2 is the minimal guitar playing by the Edge.  While he may overlay tracks of sound or heavy use of echo and time delay – the actual notes he plays are relatively minimal to the overall sounds that he produces.

Like great design sometimes it comes down to what you leave out rather then put in that makes something so special.