Are You Passionate?

by Derrick Story

The Apple Music Store is a popular lunch table topic these days. Almost every discussion begins with a confession: "Well, I've downloaded about 30 songs in the last month," or "Sure, I've grabbed a couple tunes," or "Yeah, I downloaded an album for my wife."

(This was probably the same guy who downloaded a power drill for her birthday too.)

I like these confessions though. They remind me of when a bunch of us were quitting smoking, and we confessed to how many cigarettes we used to light up a day. Smokers always fudge about how much they smoke. I suppose music lovers do the same.

I've been one and still am the other. And as a music lover, one of my unexpected joys lately was discovering a song that sings to me, yet I didn't know existed two weeks ago.

I remembered this tonight during my walk when Neil Young's Are You Passionate? started playing on my iPod. This tune has been my unexpected joy of late.

I like to listen to it through the ear buds letting the music roll right through me. And after the song is over, I've regained just a little perspective that I lost during the day.

So since we don't hang out at the same lunch table, I was wondering what's been your unexpected joy in the Music Store? What song did you find, that when it flows through your ear buds, suddenly makes all the effort to get here somehow worth it?

Really, I'd like to know. I found a dollar the other day in a pair of work jeans, and I want to put it to good use.

PS: Thanks Neil for writing that song.


2003-06-03 23:59:35
Finding old Split Enz and Primus tunes!
I'm sad to say that in my haste during a move a few years ago, I gave away a lot of my old vinyl. A couple of years after that, a lot of my tapes bit the dust in a tragic "oops, someone left these out in the sun too long" accident.

The Apple Music Store has given me the opportunity to snag some of the best music that got away from me. Not only that, I already know which songs I like and which ones I don't. So downloading the good ones without having to download the not-so-good ones is a major bonus.

I've had to restrain myself from going back to the store too often, for reasons of financial stability ;-)

2003-06-04 00:13:13
Songs And Artists
More than discovering a song for me is discovering an artist who you can relate to. It feels like a friend you don't talk to often but no matter what you've both been through you always have some common ground. Often there are artists that have albums that mark a period in time for me and a song can take me right back to it. I'm a musician too and I can only hope to one day have a relationship with someone else the way I do with some peoples music. I've bought a few tracks from itms and I might buy some more if the mood strikes me.
2003-06-04 05:51:38
I don't have a Mac yet. I'll be purchasing an iMac after the WWDC at the end of June. I just want to see what is going to be coming out. I'm really looking forward to using iTunes and the ITMS. I have about 4000 songs on my PC and normally use Kazaa to "acquire" other music that I don't purchase on CDs. I've found that b/c of the ITMS I'm now just keeping a notebook of songs I want and will now be purchasing when I get my Mac. I really can't wait. I know this doesn't necessarily apply to your question but thought it might add some value.


2003-06-04 05:52:36
Passion is Fashion
And for "Fashion", we have David Bowie.

I too have been reclaiming my yoot through Apple's Music Store, purchasing tracks ranging from Johnny Cash to Oingo Boingo to Veruca Salt, and from Steve Martin's "Grandmother's Song" from "Let's Get Small" to a remix of Yaz's "Situation".

One problem I've noticed, though, is that most of the songs I've downloaded through the Music Store all have their Genre set to "Rock" -- even if it's "Oh l'Amour" by Erasure (definitely not a "Rock" tune).

I sure wish the Music Store included stuff from Emerson Lake & Palmer (or Powell). I could sure use some "Brain Salad Surgery" this morning. ;^)


2003-06-04 06:25:52
Stroke 9
I bought the album "Rip It Off" by Stroke 9 just because I liked one tune from the "Jay & Silent Bob" movie soundtrack. Much to my surprise I find the whole album quite funny and have listened to it many more times than I ever though I would.

Goes to show that sometimes "one good song" is just a gateway to "one good album".

What has been of more interest to me is how my shopping habits have changed. I'm now taking much more advantage of using the google search bar in Safari to look up reviews of albums and bands to decide if I want to spend money on an album. I guess I'm truly becoming a desk potato.

2003-06-04 06:27:36
Sublime and Ridiculous
Bouncy, flowy music is what takes me out of the moment. From the sublime - "Corner Pocket (1955 Version)" by Count Basie - to the ridiculous - "How Bizarre" by OMC.

Now there was a song on the charts that I always hummed along with when on the radio, and stuck with me for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, with the current practice of most radio stations these days, I don't know the artist, or title, and my aging ears failed to ever really capture the lyrics. If I could find it by humming the chorus into my mac, that would be a trick.

2003-06-04 08:04:31
Belfast to Boston
How about James Taylor's recent album, October Road.

Sounds good to me.

I am going to download "Are You Passionate" as soon as I get home to my Mac (and away from this awful Wintel box at work..)..

I like to download albums and print the artwork on my ink jet printer. Then I put in the jewel case and give the new CD to my wife. It's instant gratification. Isn't that what it's all about there days?

2003-06-04 08:26:48
Funny that you mention ELP
That's weird, about two months ago I got an itch forBrain Salad Surgery that wouldn't go away. I finally found the disc in a used CD store and have listened to it about a dozen times since. Man, those guys were good.
2003-06-04 08:32:23
Or, You've really got your tools down cold
I think your remark is an important on. All this stuff starts working together, and the bottom line is, you get to enjoy more music. Ahhhh.
2003-06-04 08:35:21
Sublime and Ridiculous
Actually, you're mentioning of Corner Pocket reminds me of something that we were talking about at lunch yesterday. A bunch of us stream iTunes on our subnet here at O'Reilly, and one of the libraries had a nice Frank Sinatra collection. Now, I would probably never buy a Sinatra album. But I did listen to a handful of tunes while going through my inbox. It was kind of fun, and it wouldn't have happened without iTunes 4.
2003-06-04 08:38:49
There is a song by the group, Live, called "Overcome". It's off their album V. Most of the songs on it are very good but this one is softer and really moves me.
2003-06-04 08:39:48
Overcome (and don't forget about loose change)
Now I'm going to have to go find another dollar. I'm saving the couch cushions as my last resort...
2003-06-04 08:40:08
What's your favorite track on October Road?
I haven't listened to Taylor's latest, although I think he's a fine musician. Which track do you like the best?
2003-06-04 08:41:51
Songs - New Laptops
Well, Apple just dropped the price on a few of their laptops, so it looks like we'll have new 12" and 15" models soon. Personally, I still like the 15". Somehow it feels "just right." Hope you find something you like.
2003-06-04 08:45:02
Songs And Artists -- The connection
I'm sure I'm not the only guy who pictures in his head how he would play that lead on his Fender Strat while listening to a song he really likes. Music is all about connection. Best of luck with yours.
2003-06-04 08:47:51
Audio Martini
Right now I use John Scofield's Tomorrow Land cut from his Uberjam CD as my audio martini.

Another great CD is Wise and Otherwise from Harry Manx.

2003-06-04 08:48:23
Finding old Split Enz and Primus tunes!
Ummm, I actually have a (limited) budget for music. I mean, I pay the cable company monthly for my TV, and SBC gets another slice for my bandwidth. I could do without a lot of things in life, I sure hope new music is never one of them.
2003-06-04 08:51:01
RE: Audio Martini (I'm laughing here)
That is my term of the week! But please, no interventions if I over indulge...
2003-06-04 09:20:30
Mr. Blue Sky
Mr. Blue Sky by ELO.

Got hooked when they used it in that VW ad, been loving it ever since.

Tom Bridge

2003-06-04 09:39:45
September Grass
vintage James Taylor..

Actually I like almost every track..

If I were to skip a track I guess it would be the Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (what was he thinking?.. actually.. a James Taylor holiday album would be money in the bank)..

2003-06-04 10:02:24
Madeleine Peyroux
I recommend either "Lovesick Blues" or "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (And Write Myself A Letter)".
2003-06-04 10:56:08
"From Within" - Michel Camilo
I think "Caribe" is there too but I didn't buy it yet.

And yes, music lover's do fudge about how much they smoke ;-)

2003-06-04 10:57:44
RE: Audio Martini (I'm laughing here)
And the term is so appropriate. It's awesome how music can affect us in so many ways. Such an important part of my life.
2003-06-04 11:00:20
Overcome (and don't forget about loose change)
"Overcome" is an awesome song! Much of Lives music is hard rock. On the same album, V, Simple creed is a good one too for that harder edge mood.
2003-06-04 11:17:57
You know, if the Indies do get in the Music Store...
It's reported that Apple is meeting with some Independents this week about inclusion in the Music Store. Many of us have wanted that from the start. But if it happens, then creating a place to discuss our discoveries would be really helpful to both listeners and the emerging bands.

Just a thought...

2003-06-04 12:34:05
"From Within" - Michel Camilo
Well, there's that too. But I also think we fudge about how much we buy ;)
2003-06-04 13:44:12
A song that took me back....
I would have to say one of the MAJOR songs of my life was by the Isley Brothers, off of their 3+3 alblum (did I date myself????) called "You go your way".....I'd forgotten all the crap I went thru (divorce, etc.), and this song made all the difference to me back then. Now, when I hear it, it reminded me that all of the crap of yesterday has yeilded some pertty spectactular plant life today.

I love the Mac folks for doing that with the music store,

2003-06-04 17:33:15
Forever Young - Bob Dylan
My wife mentioned in passing one day that this song really affected her.

So when it came time to give iTMS a test drive, Bob Dylan's Forever Young was my first try.

What a great song! I've listened to it many many times.

2003-06-05 06:38:24
Needles in the haystack
Hong Kong Mambo, Tito Puente: I'd heard this once or twice in a dance class I took years ago, and had even tried to find it on CD at the time, but didn't remember the title and wasn't real sure about the artist. Fire and ice, with an incredible vibes/marimba part.

Sail Away, Etta James: Discovered this cover while looking for the Randy Newman original. Hearing a blues singer with a gospel chorus on this already deeply ironic song about bringing blacks to America gives me the chills.

Caravan, Brian Setzer Orchestra: great guitar instrumental on a great melody.

2003-06-05 08:21:41
Were you able to find these?
Some great sounding music here. Were you able to find these in the Music Store?
2003-06-05 08:53:09
Were you able to find these?
I guess that was only implicit in my post. The Tito Puente cut I went looking for (I remembered it was a mambo, probably by Puente), and listened to 30 second samples until I found it.

The other two were serendipitous. The Etta James cut turned up in a search for "Sail Away". I knew the Brian Seltzer Orchestra "Jump Jive & Wail", and was checking out other things by the band.

This is one of the great things about iTMS: surfing for music.

2003-06-05 09:18:39
Great. Here's what I'm thinking.
Thanks for confirming. I wanted to be sure before I made my comment.

I've begun to look at the Apple Music Store a little differently than I do a record shop (actually, CD shop these days). I like both places. But I always had a harder time browsing in the record shop. I became overwhelmed and often couldn't sample the music.

On the other hand, I wander through the Music Store much the way I sometimes wander through the Web, and often discover things along the way that make the time well spent.

If after an hour in the Music Store I come away with a couple tracks that really sing to me, then that has been a great hour of entertainment.

I wish I could walk out of the movie theater with a DVD in hand...

2003-06-05 10:17:05
Needles in the haystack
I'm sure it's totally off-subject, but:

I own the original Etta James LP from which Sail Away is taken, and it's got two other songs from that brilliant, brilliant Randy Newman album.

I remember You Can Leave Your Hat On as being fine--as the Standells might say, "Try it."

You also need to check out the recently released original version of Sail Away by Randy Newman, with a band rather than an orchestra, and read Newman's remarks about it.

Interestingly, a friend gave me a legit copy of the Sail Away release for Christmas. The next day, another friend had a burned copy to give me. I'd've never turned down a second legit copy as a gift--I was given two copies of The Philosopher's Stone within days of each other and kept 'em both, happily--but the burned copy had no value to me, even with the copied booklet.

2003-06-05 12:00:32
Needles in the haystack
Doesn't seem off-topic at all; thanks for the recommendations. I'll look for them -- on iTMS, of course.
2003-06-05 19:37:39
BNL --- Ooh!
Browsing around, I happened upon "One Week," a song I knew only from the car commercial. That led me to "Be My Yoko Ono." Within the next 48 hours, I had downloaded ALL the Barenaked Ladies albums at the Music Store.

Lordy, lordy, I haven't been as excited about a band in years and years. The oldies from the 50's, 60's, and early 70's are just plain part of me. But, to find a "newer" group whose music has humor, irony, intelligence, and rollicking tuneful music that I cannot stop listening to is a wonderful gift.

2003-06-07 08:54:06
Try Nick Drake's "Saturday Sun"
Nick Drake is better known as the guy who wrote "Pink Moon" from the Volkswagon Cabriolet commercial where they drive to a party and then drive off. He's an amazing artist. Any of his songs are good but I particularly like "Saturday Sun".
2003-06-09 06:52:20
Fischerspooner...and a surprise
I went to the "Featured Artist" page and liked what I heard. Downloaded a track, and previewed some others. Then I went to a club this past weekend, and heard the "exclusive" mix only available on the iTMS! Sure enough, I went to the DJ booth and the guy had a Powerbook he was using to spin his tunes.
2003-06-09 08:17:05
I'm Seeing More of That Too.
Just shot a wedding last week and ran into a DJ I've worked with off and on over the years. He's one of the best in the area. No more CD cart; he had an iBook plugged into his mixing board. I asked him about the Apple Music Store and his reply was, "Oh yeah."
2003-06-10 05:41:16
Nina Simone - Work Song
I have been a Simone fan for about 8-9 years now and still have not collected all your music. I got this (Work Song) gem off of an Album that contained 18 songs and all for only $9.99. Nina is one of the most under-the-radar artists out there. If you can afford it, -you can you have a Mac- download at least one of her 'best of' CDs and you will not be disappointed.

R Miller

2003-06-11 18:12:04
who's the artist?
That was a nice song you used on your first digicam chronicles back in January. Who is it? I wonder if it's available.
2003-09-02 18:38:21
Try Nick Drake's "Saturday Sun"
I agree. Nick Drake's music really is wonderful. He has songs in soundtracks like The Royal Tenenbaums and Serendipity. Saturday Sun and From The Morning are two of his best.
2003-10-01 12:28:44
Mr. Blue Sky
What version of Mr. Blue Sky is this? It doesn't sound like Jeff Lynne. Is it a cover? You can tell the vocal arrangements is way different also.