pete townshendoodle

Stop wasting my time

“How many how many of you have…?” The most annoying thing a speaker can do is poll the audience. “Does anybody want to guess…?” Just get to the point. Stop wasting my time.

On Spotify, control and creativity

1981. Called the local radio station to request Urgent by Foreigner. When it hit the airwaves, I did a cartwheel to celebrate my newfound power (I was twelve).
2011. Tried out Pandora. It presumed that because I listen to Peter Gabriel, I might want to hear from a lesser-known artist named Phil Fucking Collins.
Delete App.
When I first used Spotify, it didn’t even have Peter Gabriel. It did, however, allow me to make a playlist of every album recorded by Fleetwood Mac, chronologically. (You really need to hear the first one.) When I make my own playlist, I’m creating. I’m grabbing colors from my palette and making something new. Now, I’m the DJ. I find Billboard’s Hot 100 for every year and play each song, in order, every day. I scrounge around looking for the first rock ‘n’ roll song. (No two agree on this, but now I have a playlist of contenders.)
Spotify still tries to show me things I might like. The best of these is Discover Weekly. It takes the tracks I’ve played, throws them into a blender and makes me a playlist. 90% of the songs are spot-on. The others are based on songs I was playing for other people. If I play the worst songs of all time as a joke, Spotify’s algorithms only know what I played, not why I played them. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Are the other “Made for You” lists really made for me? 
Clicked on Daily Wellness. First track: Here’s your Daily Wellness….” Second track: “Welcome to your Tuesday Wind Down…we can slow down the incessant need to go off on wild adventures….”
They did it. Spotify hit a trifecta of things I hate: redundancy, pointless narrators, and someone telling me to wind down. I’m pro-yoga, meditation, all that stuff. It’s just that when I do yoga, I call it stretching and I listen to TOOL.
Author’s note: By 2019, both Peter Gabriel and TOOL were added to Spotify.

Phil F. Collins