The Didgeridoo – History and Information

What is a Didgeridoo?

A didgeridoo is a type of native Australian wooden horn / pipe that makes deep, resonant sounds, and is considered as an aerophone (wind instrument) by many musicologists.

This instrument is also sometimes referred to as didge or didjeridu, as well as names like yiraka, djibouti, and paampu.

Here is a chart listing off all the local references to the instrument, based on region (in Australia).

The didgeridoo finds its origin in Northern Australia and was commonly used in the past by the native peoples there, and still is a big part of their culture as well.

If you are a musician in some other part of the world that is not Australia, there is a fair chance you haven’t even come across this fairly unique and slightly unusual musical instrument.  There’s a fair chance you have, and there’s a fair chance you haven’t.  Depends if you get around much. 

If you haven’t really been properly introduced to the didgeridoo, we hope this article will provide you with some information on its history, and how it fits into the greater scheme of music itself.  

Didgeridoo History

Drone Sounds

Something we must mention when talking about didgeridoos, is the idea of drone sounds, which is a big part of how the instrument expresses itself musically.

Listen to this piece of music being played by a man named Gumaroy, in Sydney at Circular Quay, and keep this in mind as we go along.

Before classical music was beginning to establish itself over one thousand years ago, the sound of the drone was being explored by our ancestors around the world, dating back much further into the mists of history.

Rewind To Dawn of Humanity

Drone sounds basically started whenever it was that human beings learned how they could use their bodies to make sounds that were not the same as talking.  Let’s just call this, making bodily noises. 

Like whistling, for instance, and whatever else can be done with the human body to make a sound, while also controlling that sound to a degree.  Our ancient ancestors did this for fun, no doubt, and people obviously still do it today!

Have you seen these two guys before?  They specialize in mimicking familiar sounds but just using their bodies to do it.  They almost got kicked off the America’s Got Talent (thanks Mel), but, in the end, people were able to appreciate their talents.

As you can imagine, human beings got better at using their bodies and various implements to make sounds.  Some people could emulate certain animals and birds, using natural materials such as twigs and leaves.

Here’s someone playing a leaf.

Eventually, the idea of “music” came about (hard to say exactly when that was), followed by the idea of musical instruments. 

What is music?  It is a system with a means to produce a melody or harmony, while also expressing some sort of emotion.

When the idea of melody was invented by humans – not the formal idea of melody but the literal execution of it – drone sounds came along at the exact same time. 

Drone sounds are, in their own way, the opposite of melody, and yet is just as essential and fundamental to music itself as melody, harmony, and rhythm.

Didgeridoos are especially good at making drone sounds.  Check out this woman playing the didgeridoo.

This piece she is playing is basically a drone sound, with some variation in how the sound is expressed (call it “spice”).

But what is a drone sound, exactly?  You can easily define it as a sound that is heard throughout the duration of a piece of music.  In other words, one long sustained note or chord.  In a sense, a drone is expressed through the “key” of a piece of of music.  

Often, a drone is played “underneath” a piece of music, or as a foundation, but in the above case, and in most cases with didgeridoo, it is the music.

Single note instruments, like horns, can easily produce a drone note, because it simply has to make one single note and hold it. 

A pipe works the same way, as long as you stay on the same note.

A didgeridoo is a horn of sorts, and also a pipe of sorts, but since it is not made of metal like other horns, as it is made from trees, it is more of a pipe, although it also has characteristics of a horn.  It’s a horn-pipe!

Look at this.  Here is a horn.  Notice is it made from brass and widens greatly at the end.  You blow into the mouthpiece and control the pitch of the note by levers.

Here is a pipe.  A saluang, actually, usually found in Indonesia, made from wood.  You blow into the one end and control the pitch by covering up the holes in different combinations, like a flute.

And here is a didgeridoo.  It looks a bit like a pipe, and a bit like a horn.  Pitch is controlled by the sound coming out of your mouth.

Now, back to the idea of drone notes, which, as we said, relates back to didgeridoos and how they sound when played.

Here’s an example of a drone note played by a cello, which is a stringed instrument, but here it is simply sustaining the note A.

Drones are often used for the musical practice purposes, but that’s not all they are used for.

Now compare that drone sound to this drone music by Brian Eno, the famous ambient experimental album from 1978, which experiment with drone passages, called Music For Airports.

Now compare that to the 1998 album by the electronic group, Coil, called Time Machines, which employs drones as well, but differently.

Now compare that to the famous electronic track by Aphex Twin from 1991 called Didgeridoo.

Ancient forms of music in eastern cultures tended to incorporate drone sounds, as drone were, and are, by their very nature, simpler to perform.  That isn’t an insult to players of the didgeridoo, as it takes a lot of mouth control to make the didgeridoo sound good.  All the same, it is easier to make a single sound than play a complicated melody.

Like the didgeridoo itself, drone sounds are associated with the sacred in ancient cultures and have an earthy quality to them that is undeniable and mesmerizing.

Lately, people everywhere have found newfound interest in the idea of the drone with the audiophile community in terms of binaural beats and brainwave entrainment, where certain frequencies of a drone sound can activate and stimulate different parts of your creative mind.

Didgeridoos, similarly, captivate an audience by tapping into low frequencies that also tickle the nervous system in a pleasing way.

Drones can be created in a variety of ways, via bells, gongs, organs, electronics, and other means.  A drone pipe is one particular instrument that is designed to create such a sound.  And yes, a didgeridoo is one such type of pipe.

20th Century

In 1912, Sir Baldwin Spencer made the first recording of the didgeridoo.  Spencer was a English-Australian biologist and anthropologist who studied native tribes in Australia extensively.

Donald Thompson, in his own studies of the aboriginal Australians, shows evidence of the instrument being used once again.

The didgeridoo started gaining some fame in 1953 in recorded music such as Tribal Music of Australia recorded by A.P. Elkin, and this was the first commercial debut for the instrument.

In 1963, Trevor Jones recorded The Art of the Didgeridoo, and he also published various articles based on aboriginal music.

Modern Didgeridoo

When it comes down to it, the didgeridoo has been used in many different musical genres, and finds its place just like any instrument.

Industrial bands such as Test Dept. have used it to generate sounds in their performances. 

Wallis Buchanan, a player from the acid jazz band, Jamiroquai, played it on the song, “When You Gonna Learn?”, which, fittingly, is a song about treating the planet poorly.  What better instrument to drive that point home than the rootsy didgeridoo?

The band also used this instrument in many of their performances until when Wallis Buchanan left the band in 1999.  Once Wallis left, the sound of the didgeridoo left with him.

As we featured earlier, electronic artists like Aphex Twin have also managed to make a hit song with the instrument is not just the main instrument, but also the name of the track itself.

This didgeridoo has also been used in hard rock music style. A well-known lead singer from the band Like a Storm, Chris Brooks, has used the dronepipe in many songs by the band.

One of the songs that has prominently featured the didgeridoo is the song Love the Way You Hate Me.

For bands and artists seeking something fresh and different, the didgeridoo is an option, although it is one of the more ancient instruments. 

The thing is, once you attempt to add didgeridoo to your track, there’s a good chance it will take over the song.  Whether you hear it as a novelty or not, there’s no getting around the power of the instrument.

The art of learning to play the instrument requires time and skill, with aboriginal Australians still being among the best players in the world.

Making A Didgeridoo

This instrument is not impossible to make, being that it is made from wood and carved and hollowed into a particular shape. 

That said, the construction of a didgeridoo requires a skillful maker. The traditional didgeridoo is made of hardwood.

The most commonly used hardwood is eucalyptus. Sometimes bamboo can be used instead of a eucalyptus.

The main trunk is used in the construction of the instrument, although a substantial branch can also be used. The tree to be used must be hollowed by termites to a certain degree.

As mentioned above, the eucalyptus makes the best source for the construction of the didgeridoo because the termites only attack the dead heartwood and leave the sapwood of the eucalyptus. 

Hollows that are made by termites make the didgeridoo have an irregular shape, and these hollows tend to increase the diameter of the didgeridoo towards the lower end.

This is because the sapwood produces a toxic chemical that is very harmful to the termites.

The hollows must not be too big or too small, as the instrument made from this type of rotted tree will be of poor quality, ultimately.

The bark of the tree is blasted off and trimming of the ends is done. The exterior is then shaped to produce a finished piece. Application of a rim of beeswax can be applied to the mouthpiece.

Non-traditional didgeridoos can be constructed using PVC piping which is not at all similar to these native hardwoods.  Metals agave, glass, clay, hemp, and / or carbon can also be used in making such an instrument, although you might argue that it will have lost a lot of the soul of how the aboriginals might construct one.

Some people who make a didgeridoo will use a combination of modern and ancient techniques to arrive at the final instrument.

Here is one made from bamboo.

For the mouthpiece of the instrument, made from PVC piping, a rubber stopper that is well sized can be used instead of the beeswax.

After the construction is done, the didgeridoo can be decorated by painting it, although it is not a necessity.

For an authentic make, maintaining the texture and appearance of the wood grain is preferred.  Most of the decorations are done by an experienced artist who understands the nature of the instrument. 

Thanks for reading this article.  If you have any comments, please leave them below!

Hard Shell Vs. Soft Shell (Gig Bag) Guitar Cases – Which is Better?

We’ve got to make the right choices for our instruments, and this extends far beyond the purchasing of the instrument itself! What are we going to do with the instrument once we get it home? Will we only play it on weekends in the comfort of our homes, or will we take it across town to a friend’s house for a jam session, or will we take it onstage to play live?

There are so many factors to consider. An important accessory that you will want to purchase with your instrument is a case. You should absolutely get a case to house and protect your instrument whether you leave it at home or travel far distances. A case will keep dust from accumulating on the instrument and will make it easier to carry, as well as house it so as to protect it from damage. There are two different styles of cases you can get: hard shells and soft shells, also known as gig bags. Which is the right one for you?

With this article we will look at all the possible factors that would go into your decision, so you can make an educated choice for your lifestyle and of course, your beloved instrument.

First, let us look at hard shell cases.

Hard Shell Cases

A hard shell case is the type with a hinged lid and snaps to keep it closed, and usually has feet. The hard shell case maintains its shape when the instrument is not inside it. For this reason, the hard shell case is a popular choice since it stands on its own. It can be inconvenient to have to structure and form the case every time you want to open or close it up. The hard shell will simply sit there once you have laid it down, and will remain like that until you need it again. This makes it very easy to take the instrument in and out.

Hard shell cases are ideal for far distance travel. If you are in a band and travel with other musicians and instruments, you will want a hard shell as it offers the best protection. Hard shell cases range in price from $75 to $500 and up. Quality is of course a main factor in the pricing of these cases: for example, a $75 case will protect the instrument from banging off walls or being crushed in a vehicle amongst other instruments, but it might not hold up to a car driving over it. A more expensive case will offer stronger protection.

Hard shells are also favoured because they cannot be broken into. They usually come equipped with lock and key, which will deter theft. The hard shell, unlike the soft shell, cannot simply be sliced open. For this reason soft shell cases do not come with locks.

Hard shell cases are favoured for long term storage. If you have several instruments and don’t use certain ones for long periods of time, you will likely want a hard shell, rather than soft shell, to store it away in the garage or attic or music room.

Hard shells will protect the instrument from minor damage too, including scratches or dents that you might not notice on the outside of a soft shell, but would certainly reach the instrument inside, thereby damaging it. A hard shell is a firm and durable barrier between the instrument and anything that lies outside the shell.

Hard shell interiors are usually lined with velvet or plush fabric to create a snug nest for the instrument. The tight fit will only serve to further protect the instrument. Their waterproof nature also sets them above the gig bag.

Additionally, hard shell cases tend to be the most attractive looking cases. They come in all kinds of colours such as black with burgundy interiors, or creamy pearl exterior with blue velvet interior.

Now we will look at soft shell cases, otherwise known as gig bags.

Soft Shell Case (Gig Bag)

Soft shell cases, like the hard shell, provide a convenient handle by which to carry the instrument. They also tend to be lighter in weight so they are good for anyone who walks a long distance to and from gigs with their instruments.

They take up less space so they are favoured by those who may take public transit, for example. Gig bags are far less cumbersome than hard shell cases, but they are not usually waterproof (unless you spray them with waterproofing spray) so any liquid damage will get the better of the case and then your instrument.

Soft shell cases often include pockets on the front in which you may store sheet music and other accessories. They are known as gig bags because they are most convenient for players who get regular use of their instruments. Gig bags are the cheaper option of the two, so this may affect your decision.

Peer to Peer (P2P) Networks Explained

Peer to peer (or P2P) is a model of computer network similar to the client-server computer networking model, but where each client is also functioning as its own server . The terms “peer”, “node”, and “user” are generally used to refer to the entities comprising a P2P network.

Generally speaking, connections between two computers can occur either one of two ways: in a centralized fashion (connections through an intermediate central server) or decentralized (connections are made directly).  Strictly speaking, P2P is only described as such when it is decentralized from a common hub, where a computer in the network is no longer a “client” but instead a “peer”.  That said, centralized networks still involve the interaction between two “peers”, and so this term can be applied to this behaviour as well, although we consider it a less accurate description of P2P (although it is commonly accepted as such).

P2P Networks Explained

By being part of the same network, each computer in that network is then able to share various types of files, or info, whereby the files can be transmitted from one computer to another in the network, making the need for any sort of central computer unnecessary.  It should be noted that for a peer-to-peer network to function properly, this requires that each node in the system be using the same software, whatever that software may be.  Networks are often bound together by their reliance on whatever piece of software they happen to be using for them to have joined the P2P network in the first place.  

When it comes to file sharing, a peer-to-peer system makes files all the more available to each individual user as they become increasingly popular, and so these files are then replicated on a large number of the nodes in the network. This, then, makes it possible to reduce the load (in terms of number of requests) imposed on individual nodes, which facilitates such files to be shared more easily, since, if one node in the system is offline, another node which also has the file can offer it to whoever is requesting it.  Popularity of certain files can come from the general popularity of that file (whether it be a game, song, or what-have-you) outside of the network, or from a manufactured popularity of that file after the file has been shared from within a given P2P network.

Because the main function of P2P networks is exchange of information on an individual 1-to-1 / P2P basis, it circumvents outside influence and therefore thwarts various types of censorship.  For the cost of a P2P network, which is relatively low, the network itself, it should be noted, is generally fairly stable when compared to certain centralized forms of networking.

And so, P2P helps to facilitate the use of the following:

  • the DNS
  • file sharing
  • broadcasting
  • online messaging
  • telephony

Centralized vs. Decentralized Systems

Although P2P networks have their clear advantages over more centralized systems, because they are decentralized, they also have their issues.  As compared with client-server systems, it can be much more troublesome to coordinate node interconnectivity between peers, depending on how the structure is set up.  Because, like we have stated, the central structure for this connection is purposely not present.  In order to avoid delays and nodes being down, what are known as structured decentralized systems have come into use.  The purpose of these systems, while seeking to keep the advantages of a decentralized system, seeks to improve on the following:

  • Controlling traffic received and sent by each node, which amounts to limiting the number of neighbours to which each node is connected;
  • The number of requests transmitted to a node;
  • The allocation of responsibility for access to shared files in the network.

We should also add that P2P networks should not be confused with what is known as PPP (Point to Point Protocol).

P2P Applications

Peer-to-peer did not become known as a principle unto itself, but by the popularity of applications that have emerged according to this relatively new network model.

File Sharing Applications

The most common application of peer-to-peer is file sharing. The advent of broadband Internet connections (ADSL in particular) without time limits contributed to this growth. The distributed principle of these systems makes it possible to take advantage of the asymmetry of the connections, and thus to download at a high rate a file from several limited flow sources.

Each user is a peer of the network, and the resources are files. Everyone can share their files and download the files of others. These systems are very effective, even when it comes to exchanging large amounts of data.

Among the most used file sharing applications, we can point to BitTorrent , μTorrent and eMule.  eMule enables file sharing on global Kad networks (Kademlia protocol) and eDonkey (eDonkey protocol).

Research Applications

A second application of P2P is intended for the general public or for research, but this is less widespread than file sharing, but it allows for the possibility of Internet users to share their computing power with other users.

Today’s computers are so powerful that, most of the time, much of their processor power is available to perform calculations. The BOINC project seized this opportunity to create a computer park distributed around the world to use this total computing power to perform complex calculations to be performed in a laboratory.

The BOINC project therefore asks the individual to allow the use of computational power which he does not immediately need to contribute to protein folding research (Folding@Home) and even the quest for extraterrestrial intelligence, by electromagnetic spectrum analysis (SETI@home).

The concept of peer-to-peer is also available in other software such as TeamViewer, or even Skype, the famous telephony software.

Software Architectures

The server that peer-to-peer works in is, in almost all cases, in synchronous mode: the transfer of information is limited to such elements connected together to network.  They can use the TCP protocol as a data transport layer (it works in duplex, the reception of the data is thus confirmed and their integrity is ensured).

On the other hand, certain uses such as streaming requires the use of a lighter and faster protocol , such as UDP, which is less reliable, even if they themselves ensure the integrity of the transmitted data. UDP is also the most used protocol for transmitting messages between servers in partially centralized systems.

Peer-to-peer systems fall into several broad categories, depending on their organization.

Centralized Architecture

Examples: Napster, Audiogalaxy, and eDonkey2000.

In this architecture , a client (a software used by members) connects to a server that manages sharing, searching, inserting information, although these pass directly from one user to another.

Such architectures are not fully peer-to-peer (as we mentioned at the beginning), as a central server is involved in the process, but file transfers are effectively distributed, so decentralization is only partial. This is the most fragile solution, since the centralization of server(s) is essential to the network. Thus, if this central point disappears, the whole network collapses. This disappearance can happen as a result of legal action , as was the case with Napster and Audiogalaxy, an overload of requests, accidental, or as a result of a computer attack.

Decentralized Architecture

Such an architecture makes it possible to resist such attacks, since the client software does not connect to a single server, but to several. The system is thus more robust, but the search for information is more difficult. It can be done in unstructured decentralized systems like Gnutella, where the search requires a high number of messages, proportional to the number of network users (and exponential depending on the search depth).

In structured decentralized systems, a connection organization is maintained between the nodes. Most are based on distributed hash tables, making it possible to search in a log number increasing logarithmically with the number of users of the network, such as CAN, Chord, Freenet, GNUnet, I2P, Tapestry, Pastry, and Symphony.

Another solution has been considered, consisting in the use of “super-nodes”. These elements of the network are ideally chosen according to their computing power and their bandwidth, in order to carry out functions useful to the system, such as the indexing of information and the intermediary role in queries. This solution, making the system a little less robust (the targets to “attack” in the network so that the system becomes inoperative are less numerous than in a Gnutella type system, for example), is used in FastTrack systems, such as KaZaA . The nodes of the network can then become super-nodes and vice versa, according to the needs of the system or of their own choice.

Similarly, the eDonkey2000 system uses fixed servers, which are more vulnerable because they are less numerous and less flexible than FastTrack super-nodes.

Network Protocols

The connections in P2P networks are made by TCP / IP , the most used on the internet, which integrates a control of reception of the data, or by UDP when the application chooses to control itself the good reception of the data.

Several peer-to-peer systems are offered as an underlying network. End-user applications can then operate using such networks. Among them are Mnet , Chord, Tapestry, Freenet , I2P (used by iMule ), Tor, or Koorde.

Security

Most security issues in P2P networks are due to file sharing. Users are looking for:

  • anonymity (to protect your privacy or to avoid possible legal action);
  • the scrambling of the protocol (in order to avoid the filtering of the internet access provider);
  • encryption (“we can know who I am, but not what I download”).

To ensure the anonymity of users, one or more of these concepts are put into practice in peer-to-peer applications:

Random routing

Queries go through multiple nodes to make tracing difficult. These nodes passing information are other users of the network, different fragments of the same file therefore go through different machines, and are sometimes copied, depending on the protocol (cache mechanism), before reaching the final computer having requested the download.

This cache mechanism is often used in conjunction with data encryption so that intermediaries can not see what is passing.

For example, this method is implemented in Freenet, I2P, Tor, StealthNet.

Networks of trust: Friend to friend

This process is implemented in RetroShare, GNUnet, OneSwarm, Freenet, and the abandoned software: WASTE.

Encryption of trade

This process is implemented in Freenet, I2P, RetroShare and the abandoned software: Ants.

Evolution of P2P Technologies

In the evolution of peer-to-peer technologies, there is a trend towards ever greater decentralization.  That said, both centralized and decentralized systems are still widely used.

One of the advantages of client-server access is the instantaneousness with which the resource is obtained. This is why downloading by http, ftp or via newsgroups are still used although being typical client-server systems.

The use of file transfer software, from the Napster era to that of BitTorrent, is to wait for the arrival of the file from several hours to several days. Several initiatives are trying to fill this gap. This is for example the case of Freenet but also Wuala who wants to make access to files stored in a network as fast as access to a local file.

Optimization by geographical proximity

Proactive network Provider Participation for P2P or P4P is a working group that aims to develop technologies to optimize peer-to-peer exchanges. They assume that geographically close peers are better able to exchange data.

Note: The P3P, despite its name, has nothing to do with P2P and is not an evolution of it. This is called the Platform for Privacy Preferences : a W3C initiative that aims to improve the security of web-based exchanges .

Peer-to-peer and, more generally, distributed systems are the subject of much academic research in computer science.

Social implications and co-operation

Cooperation within a community is key to the success of P2P systems. These systems reach their full potential when a large number of nodes offer resources. P2P networks, however, contain a large number of users who use the shared resources without sharing them back.

This way of practicing P2P can have a profound impact on the network and in some cases cause the collapse of the community. Since then, several incentive mechanisms have been put in place to encourage users to share as they consume.

Economic considerations

The ease of use of P2P makes this technology the main vector of illegal video streaming , used in particular for the broadcasting of live sports events. In the United Kingdom, the Premier League repeatedly expresses concerns about the illegal streaming of sports events.

In 2014, the UK stopped one of the heads of a network of illegal sports streaming sites P2P that would have cost 10 million pounds to British TV.

Intellectual Property and Illegal Sharing

Although P2P networks can be used for legitimate purposes, they are frequently involved in cases of illegal sharing of protected material. P2P involves the transfer of data from one user to another without using an intermediary server. P2P applications development companies have been involved in legal cases, mainly in the United States on issues of copyright.

The two main cases are Grokster vs. RIAA and MGM Studios Inc. vs. Grokster. In both cases, file sharing technology is considered legal as long as developers retain the ability to prevent the sharing of copyrighted content. To establish the criminal liability for breach of copyright on P2P systems, the government must prove that the defendant infringed the copyright for personal or financial purposes.

There are legal exceptions allowing the downloading of documents without the authorization of their authors. These are usually news reports or research and scientific works.

Controversies have developed over the legitimacy of using P2P for national and public security . When a file is downloaded via a P2P network, it is impossible to know who created the file and which users are connected to the network at any given time. Reliability of sources is a threat to the security of P2P systems.

Terminology

The term peer-to-peer system allows you to name a group of users (number not necessarily defined specifically, but generally), the protocol that allows them to communicate (Gnutella , BitTorrent , CAN , etc.), and the operation of the protocol between these machines;

  • the term network peer-to-peer is used to specify the machines and their interconnection at some point with a fixed number of machines / users;
  • the term ” node” makes it possible to designate the software present on a machine, so often a user (but possibly several);
  • the term link refers to a connection (often TCP ) between two nodes;
  • the term object refers to what is shared in a peer-to-peer system.

The P2P networks we will list below…

  • have several compatible software capable of working on it;
  • do not have countermeasure features to hide the activity of peers (in plain language: “who is looking for what?”);
  • do not prevent technically to discover the files made available by users (“who shares what?”);
  • do not prevent technically (eg, encryption ) from “seeing” the content of data transmissions between peers (“who downloads what?”).

List of P2P Networks Past and Present

BitTorrent – The BitTorrent protocol is a popular way to share files, which features free, unlimited downloads.

GTK-GnutellaThe Gnutella network was successful in the early 2000s, and its use declined sharply as a result of crackdowns on copyright infringement.  It was the first decentralized P2P of its kind.

Napster – The Napster network, after running into copyright issues, was purchased by Rhapsody and has recently been rebooted.  It is no longer what it was in the past, but maintains aspects of its previous incarnation.

FastTrack – Fasttrack was a P2P network that, at one point, had more users than Napster at its peak.  It was created by BlueMoon Interactive, based out of Estonia and headed by Jaan Tallinn, whose team later made Skype.

eMule – An open-source file sharing network based on the model set by EDonkey, originally created by Merkur.

MP2P network (Manolito P2P) – This peer-to-peer network was created by the Spanish programmer Pablo Soto.

Direct Connect Networks

Ares Galaxy

FileCroc – Software with data exchange encryption device and the first radio enabled P2P

Infinit – Launched in 2013. Client software for Mac and Windows.

Tudzu – backup between friends. Launched in 2012. Client software for Windows and Linux.

Software for peer-to-peer file sharing

AllPeers  (BitTorrent extension for Firefox, discontinued)

Carracho (1999-2005)

DexterWire (LimeWire variant)

Groove

Hotline (previously named Hotwire) and KDX (successor to Hotline)

MojoNation (Mnet)

Soulseek

WinMX

Software intended for instant messaging (chat) function operating in P2P

Pichat

Wambo (messaging)

Tox (software) (messaging)

 

Various P2P communication protocols

CAN

JXTA 

JXMobile

Kademlia

Tox

Chord

FreePastry

Symphony

Tapestry

Not sorted

Alpine network (“A peer based open source application and network infrastructure designed for decentralized information rental / discovery.”)

BWA: Business Workflow Analysis (also known as Business Management Systems p2p)

Evernet (2000-2002)

KoffeePhoto (photo sharing)

Peer-to-peer SIP (en)

PixVillage (photo sharing, 2004-2008)

Scribe (project of “scalable group communication system” 2001-2003)

Swarmcast  (in) (TV, video)

YTMS Youtube Channel Subscriber Contest February 2018

Hey there, we here at Fauxtown Records are trying to promote our newly revised Youtube channel, and to do that, we’re having a contest where if you subscribe to our channel within the next two months from today (contest starts February 22nd 2018 and ends April 22nd 2018), you will be entering to win one of three prizes, as seen below…

Feature Pick

Adidas Defender Ii Duffel Bag (Large), Black, 15 X 29

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OR

Feature Pick

Artix Cl750 Foldable Headphones With Microphone And Volume Control, On-Ear Stereo Earphones, Headset For Cellphones Tablets Smartphones Laptop Computer (Red/Gray)

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OR

Feature Pick

Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give A F*Ck (Thug Kitchen Cookbooks)

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HOW TO ENTER THIS CONTEST

To enter this contest, do the following: First and foremost, subscribe to our Youtube channel.  Then, send us a friendly email at admin@youtubemusicsucks.com that includes 1. Your name and mailing address, 2. Which of the above 3 prizes you want, 3. The name of your Youtube channel so we can see that you subscribed in our notifications.  Once you do all this, we will wait until the contest end date of April 22nd, 2018, and then we’ll do a raffle to see who wins the prize.  If you win, we’ll notify you by your email and you can expect to receive the prize of your choice shortly after, once we order it from Amazon and send it to your mailing address.  If you don’t win, we’ll keep your name for the next raffle which we’ll probably do in May.  Good luck!  🙂

BTW, our Youtube channel is going to be filling up with more great content soon, so dig around and check out our playlists, videos, songs, easter eggs, and more.  Fauxtown Records wants to rock you and rock you hard and sometimes soft and sometimes experimentally.  Enjoy the sonic and video adventures!

AKG K44 Perception Headphones Review

Today we review the AKG K44 Perception headphones, which are hi fi headphones which have multiple uses, including, as the company who makes them says, “critical listening”.  While some of us may want to use them for more serious pursuits such as listening to sound in fine detail in the name of science, we figure that the vast majority of people are going to want to use them to listen to tunes, podcasts, watch Netflix late at night, or things of that sort.  You might even want to use them to record with.  But the question remains – are they any good?!

Feature Pick

Akg K 44 Headphones

Buy On Amazon

AKG K44 Perception Headphones Review

Rather than provide you with your typical review, we actually talked to someone who claims to use these AKG K44’s on a regular basis, and that is YTMS’s own Young Coconut, self-professed audiophile, recording artist, and someone who has been accused on more than one occasion of being a “dirty hipster”.

We decided to grill Young Coconut on his opinions of these headphones, or rather, he said “Go right ahead and grill me.  I’m ready!”, adding that he had a few choice things to say about these K44’s.  The guy always has an opinion on something. 

Without further delay, here is our interview with Young Coconut about these AKG K44 Perception hi fi headphones.


YTMS: How long have you owned your K44 Perception headphones?

YC: About 3 years or so.  Maybe 4?

YTMS: How often do you use them?

YC: Every day, pretty much.

YTMS: What do you use them for?

YC: Listening to stuff, and for when I’m recording songs and whatnot.

YTMS: What kind of stuff do you listen to with them?

YC: For one thing, all types of music – jazz, rock, metal, acoustic stuff, electronic, whatever…anything at all, really.

YTMS: Do you remember what you owned before you had these?

YC: Not really, but it seems like I’ve owned these AKG K44’s forever.  I take them everywhere.  If I forget to bring them with me, I get kinda mad, because that means I have to listen to my Macbook built in speakers.  Not cool, man.

YTMS: What do you like about them especially?

YC: Lots of things.  For instance, they’re super durable.  I don’t have to worry about breaking them, because these headphones can take some abuse.  That’s right, I’ve abused them.  They’re also fairly light.  I like equipment that I don’t feel like is going to break at any moment.  These are probably the best headphones I’ve ever owned, to be honest.

YTMS: What else do you like about them?

YC: They fit on my big head, for one thing.  They’re really quite flexible, which is great, and the ear pads aren’t too tight.  They fit snugly, and I don’t feel like they’re going to fall off, which is a big pet peeve of mine when it comes to headphones.  The cushioned strap that goes across the top of your head makes them feel more cushioned, and they stay in place perfectly.  They have just the right amount of tension in them to not suction your ears, but also to stay put.  Sound does not escape, and the ear pads are really nice and cozy.  I could keep going…

YTMS: Go ahead…

YC: The adapter cord is of solid make too.  Just the way it attaches to the headphones at the ear pad and runs to my computer’s input jack, or where ever I feel like plugging it in.  There’s something about the way they made it where I never worry about messing up the cord.  Cords for headphones and computer cords in general I find always get wrecked, and it renders the product useless, at least temporarily and usually when you least expect it.  Take my Macbook Pro.  I love Macs, but that damn power adapter they made to go with, it seems to break on me every 6 months or so. Maybe it’s just because I’m lugging my computer around with me in a backpack, but that cord is always crapping out on me because some connector wire inside the cord gets severed when you bend it the wrong way, or something happens to it.  I’ve had like 3 Macbook Pro power adapters, and I’m always concerned they’re going to crap out, because they always do.  With these headphones, on the other hand, I’ve dragged the headphones around *by* the friggin’ cord and it never once has crapped out on me.  I would think that by now that the way I treat equipment, there would be a problem with these headphones, but no dice, they work like a charm every time and they’re one thing in my life that I can count on, unlike most other equipment and – god damn it – most human beings I know. 

YTMS: Such ringing endorsements for these headphones.  Are you just being dramatic or what?

YC: Not really, these are awesome headphones.

YTMS: Ok, let’s talk about hi fi sound for a second.  These aren’t the most expensive headphones ever made, and you’re a recording artist, so can you talk about the kind of sound quality these headphones provide?

YC: Sure.  I’m always using these headphones for recording. I plug them into my pre amp, or someone else’s pre, and I’m off to the races.  I’ve never noticed any sort of lack of sound quality when it comes to listening to anything, whether it’s for enjoyment or for recording purposes.  My ears may not be as sharp as some peoples’, but they’re not bad, and I do notice when things sound off in my headphones, if it is indeed the fault of the headphones and not something else that is to blame.  What I mean is, these K44’s are pretty good headphones when it comes to listening to sound in general, whether it’s someone’s voice, or hi fi audio, or anything else.

Listen to albums Young Coconut has recorded using these K44’s

YTMS: AKG says that these are updated headphones, complete with XXL transducers and Varimotion technology.  Care to comment on that?

YC: I have no idea what that means.

YTMS: Watch this. It’s from AKG.

YC: Oh, ok, so it reduces noise I guess.

YTMS: Right.

YC: Yeah, I can see that.  I mean, compared to other headphones I’ve owned that are poor quality, these K44’s never give me any issues with hearing stuff properly.  In fact, I’d say that I can hear everything fairly accurately with these headphones, and, like I said, because of the design, the sound goes straight into my ears.  No feedback, no weird noises, unless that’s what’s in the recording to begin with.  

YTMS: How do you find the highs and lows with these headphones, ie. treble and bass?

YC: I love the bass I get from these headphones, for one thing.  And the high end is clear as well.  I like speakers that don’t leave out the bass, and these certainly don’t.  Usually, when I work on my computer at home or a café or where ever, and I want to add a bit of music into the mix, I can trust these to get me into the groove right away.  They convey the auditory spectrum nicely.  It doesn’t matter if it’s ambient music, or hard rock.  When I want to listen to tracks, I throw these on and away I go.

YTMS: How do you like the design of these headphones, aesthetically speaking?  

YC: I don’t really care about looks too much, but I like these.  They’re black, they don’t look ridiculous, and they’re functional. The point is, I don’t think about how they look much.  I just use them, and that’s fine with me.  I do like the little bumpy things on the side of the actual headphones.  I’m not even sure what they do, but I like them.

YTMS: Any complaints about these headphones?

YC: Surprisingly, no.  They’re one of the few products that I can think of nothing really to complain about, which is kind of a miracle.

YTMS: Thanks for your time.

YC: No problem!

How To Re-String An Acoustic Guitar Properly – Step By Step Instructions For Beginners Including Pictures and Video

Here is what you will need to do this job:

  • An acoustic guitar
  • A pack of new guitar strings
  • A pair of pliers
  • A soft cloth
  • A pair of wire cutters

You might want to keep this picture handy, as it lists the parts of an acoustic guitar that you might need to reference.

Step #1 – Choose One of Two Methods for Removing The Strings

Step #2 – Start Slowly Loosening The Strings

removing acoustic guitar strings

Step 3 – Remove The Bridge Pins

guitar bridge pin removal tool

acoustic guitar bridge pins

Once you take these pins out and set them aside, it’s time to take the strings off of the acoustic guitar entirely.

Step #4 – Remove Strings From The Tuning Posts

Now that you have the bridge pins out, and the strings have been pre-loosened, you can begin removing the strings from the tuning posts, which are those little posts that are attached to the tuning mechanism on the headstock of your guitar.

Once you get all the strings out through those holes, you can pull the strings right off the guitar, and it should be without strings now.

Step #5 – Clean Your Guitar (Optional)

cleaning your acoustic guitar

Step #6 – Get Out Your New Strings

new acoustic guitar medium guage strings

Step #7 – Put On The New Strings

restringing a guitar

At this point, the strings are just kind of sitting there on your guitar, with one end being in the holes, and the other end just kind of flopping around haphazardly.

Next, you want to put the bridge pins back into the guitar, effectively pinning the strings into the bridge section of the guitar, like this:

re-adding the bridge pins to your acoustic guitar

bridge pin with groove

It is at the point that you’re going to start threading the strings back into the tuning post holes, one at a time.

First of all, look at this acoustic guitar headstock.

Meanwhile, sometimes you have to hold the bridge pin in with your finger, or a friend can do it, so the bridge pin doesn’t pop out.

trimming acoustic guitar string excess

new guitar strings

Step #8 – Tuning Your New Strings For The First Time

largeminituner

Your acoustic guitar has now been properly re-strung and it’s in tune – no reason you can’t play something.

How To Re-String Your Acoustic Guitar Properly For Beginners – Full Video

Conclusion

Busking Etiquette

 

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I spend a lot of time/money getting somewhere to busk, and someone is already in that spot! It’s not their fault, but it’s frustrating. But they got there first, and they can stay as long as they want…

1. If someone is busking, let them busk.

When I show up to a spot where someone else is busking, I tend to walk up and (when they finish their song) ask them how late they plan on busking there- sometimes they’re about to leave, sometimes they just got there.

If they’re not going to be too much longer, sometimes you can just hang out until they’re finished- but don’t hang around them chatting or they won’t make anything and will leave feeling frustrated, or just won’t leave. And make sure you tip them! You are expecting to make money, and so are they!

If you are shopping at a store someone is busking at, let them busk… stopping to say hi, give a tip, and mention that you love music or something is one thing, but telling them every detail of a concert you went to 30 years ago is just unreasonable and time consuming and even if I’m not in a hurry that would be annoying.

2. Pay it forward!

Whenever I see another busker, if I have change, I like to tip. This goes for any buskers (musicians, jugglers, statues, etc.) as well as waiters/waitresses, massage therapists, etc.

3. If someone talks to you while you’re busking, don’t be rude.

It can be sooooooooooooooo annoying having someone talk to you constantly while you’re trying to busk.

Especially when you’re completely broke or have limited time. Understand though, that this person is just being friendly, and they may not realize that you are working, and can’t just stand around and chat.

At times, I just want to ask people to leave me alone, because I will literally have no money and no dog food and only an hour before the store closes (or whatever the case may be), and someone is talking to me about their second cousin twice removed (or is it their third cousin once removed??) who also plays guitar (or maybe it was a banjo?).

The details don’t matter, but for some reason they will spend thirteen minutes trying to remember what day of the week it was when their friend played an instrument for them.

4. Don’t stop someone in the middle of a song to ask them to play another song. Actually, don’t stop them in the middle of a song for any reason.

Unless they are on fire, or in immediate danger, let them finish their song. If you want to talk to them, wait until they finish playing. Interrupting someone mid song is so rude and unnecessary.

Unless they’re playing something like The Decline by NOFX (which I would love to see someone busk), you won’t have long to wait, so just be patient.

5. If someone is set up busking, don’t just set up beside them.

Or around the corner from them, or at the store beside them. Don’t be an asshole. If someone is busking somewhere, let them have their spot.

If you’ve come a long way to busk there, talk to them (in between songs). Ask how long they will be there, and if they mind if you busk across the parking lot at another shop (I can almost guarantee that they won’t mind, and if they do it’s because they don’t make a lot there so be reasonable).

At one spot I busk at, there is often a homeless man panhandling there. Every time I see him, I ask if he minds if I busk while he panhandles there, and he has always let me.

If he shows up while I’m busking he also asks if he can set up and I always let him. Even though both of us could guarantee that the other will agree to let us use the spot, neither has ever set up without asking and I think that’s really important.

You should always remember to check in with whoever got there first so that you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes.

6. Play Fair & share!

If someone shows up while you’re busking, and politely asks if you’ll be there much longer, don’t just stay till close because you got there first.

If you’ve already cleared $100, and the store is only open for 30 more minutes, why not leave 30 minutes early and give this person the spot? Maybe they’ll get there first next time and share the spot with you!

7. Don’t smoke outside the store!

This is a HUGE problem! Stores ban buskers altogether because some people will smoke right outside the door, and not just cigarettes! People will even smoke pot right outside the door and customers will complain, and bam – NO BUSKING.

After things like this happen, store owners/managers tend to get a little aggressive and will threaten to call the police just because you showed up to play guitar or juggle or whatever.

8. Don’t drink before or while busking!!

If people smell alcohol on your breath or see you drinking outside the store, they might laugh, take a shot with you, tell the manager, or call the cops. It’s not worth it and doing this is jeopardizing this spot for all buskers. Don’t be selfish.

9. Don’t let crappy customers get to you

When a customer is rude to you (and it will happen) don’t let it get to you. Freaking out/yelling at them/ telling them off/ reacting to them in any negative sort of way will only hurt you and the other buskers who use that spot. Just know that they will die alone and carry on with your day.

10. Don’t be an @$$#0L3!

Be kind to other buskers and to shoppers! Even the rude ones! A positive attitude goes a long way!

liv gains ontario musician

German Classical and Folk Music History and Traditions

saint hildebard of bingen

Beginnings of German Musical Traditions

The beginning of German music traces back to the 12th century when Hildegard of Bingen wrote many popular traditional Christian music, hymns, and lyrics that were considered to be both mystical and auspicious.

saint hildebard of bingen

In the next section, we shall elaborate on the different forms of folk and classical music of Germany that have come up through the ages.

German Folk Music

Traditional German wedding music composed by Richard Wagner, Felix Mendelssohn, and Johann Pachelbel, although cliched, are still played during receptions and auspicious ceremonies.

Types of Traditional German Folk Music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Crl1JUBvgCc

German Classical Music History

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdNUmL7qjpo

You can check out the tunes and compositions of the famous singers and musicians from any musical online website or get DVDs for your personal collection.

young coconut musician

AKG P420 High-Performance Condenser Microphone

The AKG P420 High-Performance Dual-Capsule True Condenser Microphone is a sturdy, reliable microphone that can record in many situations. It’s great for those who want to record an acoustic guitar solo, a duet of singers, or a podcast interview.

It’s so versatile because it has a multiple polar pattern as well as a switchable attenuation pad on the back of the mic, too. It’s able to pick up a high dynamic range as well.

Feature Pick

Akg Pro Audio P420 Sliver Blue 980 X 550

Buy On Amazon

What’s Included in the Box?

  • Microphone
  • Spider Shockmount
  • Metal Carrying Case

Technical Specs

  • Audio frequency bandwidth 20 to 20,000 Hz
  • Bass cut filter 300 – 12 dB/octave Hz
  • Electrical impedance <= 200 ohms
  • Signal to noise 79 dB-A

AKG Harman Company

The company was founded in Vienna in 1947. Within a few months, the company’s microphones were being used in radio stations and jazz clubs. At the time, the mics were made by hand. There were only 5 workers who made the microphones. In 1949, they expanded their products to include headphones.

From there, they continued to make new microphones and received acclaim for their quality condenser mics. The C 12 was one of the first products to make acoustic history, and their first customers were companies like the BBC in London.

Throughout the years, they’ve won awards for their products and their products have been used on tour with some of the most famous musicians in the world like Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton.

First Impressions

At first glance, this microphone leaves an impression. It’s a microphone that looks stylish, but what’s more impressive is the fact that it has so many features. It’s reasonably priced as a single mic, but has 3 patterns, so it’s like getting 3 mics.

It comes with a shockmount and carrying case, too. This mic can be added to your current recording setup, or you can begin your recording career with this microphone by adding cables, power, and stand quite easily.

Polar Pattern

While this isn’t a cheap microphone, you are essentially getting three of them for the price you’d pay for one. The three patterns are the figure 8, omnidirectional, and cardioid pattern.

With the figure 8 pattern, you’re able to record sounds from the front and back of the mic. If you’re wondering why that would be important, consider sitting across the table from someone and recording a conversation.

You’ll be able to pick up both sides of the conversation without purchasing two microphones. It’s also great for recording a musician on one side playing an instrument and the vocalist on the other side singing.

The omnidirectional pattern records all the sounds within a few feet of the microphone. If you play with a band, you can pick up all the sounds from the drums to the guitar to the singing with one microphone.

Although, you might want to pick up the reverb in the room with these instruments, it couldn’t hurt to have a separate mic for the vocalist.

The cardioid pattern is for recording sounds directly in front of the mic. It can pick up sounds from the sides, but it’s mainly for recording directly from the front. This is a great pattern to use when recording a solo instrument like an acoustic guitar.

The background noise is minimally recorded, but you’ll get some reverb from the sides as the sound bounces around the room.

Power Requirements

The microphone is a condenser mic, which means that it needs phantom power to operate. The mic doesn’t come with an XLR cable, but that’s what you’d need to power the microphone. Usually, that’s a 48v power supply that’s required.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of mic stand should I purchase for this microphone?
It has a standard clamp, which means that you should be able to choose any mic stand you want.

Can this be plugged into a computer?
In order to use this in a computer, you’d have to use an interface as well as phantom power in order to hook this into the computer.

Will this mic pick up traffic outside during the recording?
This mic is incredibly sensitive, but you can choose the cardioid pattern and have the mic facing away from the windows to avoid picking up noise from the street.

Can this mic be used overhead to capture a group of singers?
With a choice of patterns, you can use this microphone in a variety of ways. It sounds like the omnidirectional pattern would work best in that scenario.

The AKG P420 High-Performance Condenser Microphone is one of those mics that works well in almost every situation. Recording a guitar solo, a trio of singers, a conversation between podcasters, or a live show for playback later is all scenarios where this microphone shines. Along with the three polar patterns, it has a switchable attenuation pad for high SPL situations, too.

25 Pick Me Up Songs To Listen To When Your Life Is In The Toilet

pick me up songs for when you're having a bad day
 

We’ve all had those days – you know, the ones where so many things go wrong that you feel like you’re a living example of Murphy’s Law in progress, and the only thing that’s working in your favour is that it has to end. 

When your spirits are flagging and you’re feeling blue, listen to some feel good music, and let it work its magic – if nothing else, you’ll go to sleep feeling a bit better than you were. 

And at best?  You’ll dust off the day’s debris, put on your happy hat, get gussied up, and face the world head on in your twinkly dancing shoes. 

gussied up wearing fancy hat

Nothing can make the world seem better than music – well, maybe chocolate, sunshine, and piping hot coffee on a cold winter morning, warm socks and autumn colours, a doggy welcome and April showers, but I’m hoping you catch my drift by now. 

To get you started, take a look at the world of happiness through feel good songs that’ll have you tapping your feet in no time!

But first, let’s have a look at some of the things that can cause you to have a bad day / life in the first place.  It’s not always your fault…sometimes it’s just “bad luck” (ie. God hates you / wants to “challenge” you).  

Ok, with that stuff out of the way, let’s take a look at the music you can listen to to make things a bit better…

List of songs that will make you feel better when your life just sucks

It’s sort of stupid to assume that what works for me will work for you, since tastes are so individual and choices even more so. 

I might scoff at music you like and you might scrunch up your nose at my choices, but, sometimes, just sometimes, if you expand your horizons, and give a song a chance to cheer you up, it might just do that.

It’s not all sunshine and lollipops here, but anyways, this is a list of some of the best music I could find, express finished to make you smile.  It has pretty much every genre somewhere in there, so give it a whirl. 


Feelin’ Groovy – Simon and Garfunkel

This song was written with one purpose in mind, and that is to make you feel groovy.  So, if you listen to this tune, and you don’t feel groovy, you can sue Simon and Garfunkel, and tell them we sent you.

Visit: https://www.simonandgarfunkel.com/


Today I Hate Everyone – Killjoys

We figured this song would fit into the theme of the article quite nicely.  Canadian band from the ’90’s.  So hateful, and yet so upbeat at the same time.


I Feel Good – James Brown

Another song that you can’t listen to and not help but spit out those 30 Advils you were just about to swallow.  It’s time to dance!

Visit: http://www.jamesbrown.com/


Moneygrabber – Fitz and the Tantrums

This is another great, upbeat song, which you may or may not be able to relate to in your situation.  If some gold digger is out for your money, just totally reaching into your bank account and nabbing all your cash, and that’s what’s irking you, then blast this song and tell that gold digger their time has come and it’s time to get the fuck out!  

Visit: https://www.fitzandthetantrums.com/


Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves

This song is borderline cheeseball (or maybe it’s over the border, I don’t know), but it also is just a very unabashedly happy song that should remind you that happy emotions are out there, even if you aren’t feeling them.

So, you can either put it on and shake off those blues with this track, or you’ll be more enraged than ever.  This tune couldn’t have had a very big budget – play a fake concert, feed the ducks at the park.  Good going!

Visit: https://www.katrinaandthewaves.com/


The Soft Boys – Live

This next clip goes along with the last one because did you know that Kimberley Rew, who played guitar in Katrina and the Waves, was originally in a weird British band called The Soft Boys, which is a post-punk band that features a whole bunch of really weird songs.  I really like Old Pervert.  Great riff!

Visit: http://www.yeproc.com/artists/the-soft-boys/


Gold Star For Robot Boy – Guided By Voices

Guided by Voices is a band lead by former school teacher Robert Pollard, who only achieved any kind of band success in his mid-30’s, quitting his job as a high school math teacher to sign with Matador Records and become a rock and roll God. 

Pollard has written more songs than pretty much anyone.  If you like the Beatles psychedelic period, or the Kinks, or even The Who, who GBV seems to be in some kind of self-imposed belated competition with for most boisterous band, then you’ll probably dig this band.  

This song is from Bee Thousand, which I recommend.

Visit: https://www.guidedbyvoices.com/


The Saga Begins – Weird Al Yankovic

When Weird Al’s on, you’re more than likely going to stop crying, if only momentarily.  This goofy satirist has a career spanning many decades, and each of his songs is a self-contained masterpiece.  There are few who dislike him, even though he’s such a dork.  In fact, he speaks to the total dork in us all.  

One of his best…

Visit: http://weirdal.com/home/


Pull Up To The Bumper – Grace Jones

If this list so far has been too much cheese for you, you can just throw on something super weird like Grace Jones, the tall weird black chick from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, who specializes in futuristic synth pop funk.

Visit: https://www.facebook.com/GraceJonesOfficial/


Little Fluffy Clouds – The Orb

…Or maybe you need to change things up completely and listen to something really chill and trippy like The Orb, whose classic track Little Fluffy Clouds could potentially make your mind wander off in a pleasant way, away from all of the dark thoughts of your life being in the toilet and all that, and into the clouds..the little fluffy ones.  Wheeeee….

Visit: https://www.theorb.com/


Stagefright – Def Leopard

Def Leppard is one of the biggest bands of the 80’s, and this song Stagefright is a real rocker.  Probably my favorite song of theirs, from their album which has the edgy cover that has been banned for being too eerily predictive of 9/11.  Great album though.  

Visit: http://www.defleppard.com/


Donna Summer – Hot Stuff

As this song describes, perhaps one way to make your life better would be to get some “hot stuff” baby, this evenin’.  Depending on your personal circumstances, calling 1000 phone numbers may not be the answer, but you might be at the point where – hey – you may as well try it!

Or you could just listen to this song and get into the groove, boogie down, and all that jazz.

Visit: http://donnasummer.com/


Whoever You Are – Geggy Tah

This song is a fun one, and a lot of people don’t know it.  It’s one of those obscure one-hit wonders from the 90’s that’s actually pretty cool, and touches upon the virtues of people being nice in traffic.  A groovy tune, and much overlooked!

Visit: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4O4IKDuNW6VIitV8vdg88x


United States of Whatever – Liam Lynch

This is another one of those songs that came along, people were like “huh?” and then that was it.  But it’s a fun, punk-y song, and if you’re a certain kind of person, you might just grab a chair, throw it through a window, and jump out that window.  And that’s fine, you’re back in business and mission accomplished!

Visit: http://www.liamlynch.net/


White Flag – Dido

Dido is one of those artists that writes such smooth, sad, beautiful music, that it can often make you depressed, pining for lost loves and walking around with a big oversized cardigan or something. 

For some people, Dido’s music may not really make you want to go out and party, but…it might get you to a party, where you can go and be depressed around people, rather than sitting in your room alone with that knife.  

Visit: https://www.didomusic.com/


Weezer – Africa (Starring Weird Al)

Weezer is one of those bands that some people love, and some people hate, but they generally elicit strong opinions and feelings from people, for what it’s worth.  Weezer also is a bit of a nerd band, and proud of it.  

Hence, it was no surprise that they have hooked up with Weird Al here, for their cover of Toto’s Africa.  It’s a little bit tongue and cheek, but the song does its best to pay respect to Toto (who returned the favor partly by playing Hash Pipe live at least once).  

This is a song that has some good feels in it, and it might inspire you to re-think sending that really long, angry text to that person that you were just about to hit “send” on, calling them on all their bullshit.

Visit: https://weezer.com/


Together Forever – Rick Astley

Rick Astley’s other huge song, from the 90’s.  I’m pretty sure it’s not proper to Rick Roll someone with this, but you can always try it.  To be sure, there is a fair bit of cheese in this list, and in this song as well, because they (the wise ones) say cheese is what nourishes the soul in times of need.  

Actually, nobody said that.  Cheese, although tasty, can wreak havoc with your body, especially if you are lactose intolerant.  You might just get bloated, but at least that bloating will distract you from the fact that your significant other left you the day before you have to pay that outstanding hydro bill!

Visit: http://www.rickastley.co.uk/


Growing Pains – Season 3 Theme Song

Unless you have no heart, this song’s cheesy feel-good vibes should serve to cheer you up a bit, at least enough to make you take that shotgun out of your mouth.  Either that, or you’ll be pulling the trigger, leaving the world and the 1980’s far behind.

BJ Thomas is the singer of this tune, although for years I thought maybe it was Alan Thicke (the dad on the show, RIP) who sang it.  In any case, there is a real sentiment in the song that you can take to heart if you wish, or you can continue with your wrong-doings and evil ways and move on to the next song.  🙂

BONUS:

Visit: https://www.bjthomas.com/


Smiling – Operation Ivy

Operation Ivy is one of, if not THE, best punk band ever IMHO.  Even Green Day worships them, and they lack respect for most things.  Actually, I’m pretty sure Green Day came up in the same scene as “Op Ivy”, at 924 Gilman, but a bit before them…not sure. 

In addition to having one of the most crack bands ever, this band also features Tim Armstrong on guitar, who would later go on to form punk legends Rancid.

Anyway, this band rocks, and this song is kind of funny too.

Visit: http://epitaph.com/artists/operation-ivy


Corcovado – Astrud Gilberto

There are few voices more soothing and yet sultry than that of Astrud Gilberto, Brazil’s bossa nova queen.  From her pure jazzy tones, to her unique phrasing, she’s certainly one of a kind.

When I’m feeling down, it’s nearly impossible to stay that way after listening to anything sung by her, as it does something inside my head to put me in the frame of mind that evokes the impressions of love and longing, as experienced by one of the exotic voices ever put on record.

Visit: http://www.astrudgilberto.com/


Wango Wango – Osibisa

I discovered Osibisa in my days of scouring old vinyl bins in my twenties, and looking for something let’s say .. different.  Osibisa is certainly that.  Very different, as it is African and Caribbean music by way of the United Kingdom. 

It was the album art of Osibisa that struck me first, and that drew me into their equally vibrant music, which I’ve always kept close by, for just such occasions as when someone you love tells you you’re worthless, and then turns their back on you forever.  At that point, fix yourself a spritzer and put on this music!

Visit: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/osibisa/7243654


Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now – Samantha Fox

The ’80’s had a way of taking sad topics and making them positively joyous.  Take this song, for example.  Just listen to the words and you wouldn’t expect it to have a mega hit dance vibe. 

But, like many great songs that discuss sadness and sorrow, here Samantha Fox aims to overcome the sadness that they are experiencing and their troubles, by living inside a sound that inherently goes in another direction, infused with light and love, and leaving the sadness behind.

If this song speaks to you, I say go with it.

Visit: https://samfox.com/


Your Party – Ween

If you don’t know Ween, it’s about time you did.  The band threw in the towel years ago, and then came back, smelled that sweaty old towel, and headed right back into the gym!  Metaphorically speaking, I mean…

For fans of Ween, it’s hard to pick a Ween song that isn’t a classic.  Their fans are rabid, because their music does something that few artists can do without turning into a one-trick pony – make a song that both entertains and also makes you laugh.  

By this point in Ween’s career, no one really knew what to expect from them, and this song is one of those songs that works as both a bizarre novelty, but also as simply good music.  Hope you dig it!

Visit: http://ween.com/


Vivrant Thing – Q-Tip

This is just one of the best A Tribe Called Quest songs, or solo Q-Tip, not sure which… songs that I know.  It’s a hard song to hate on…even if you are chock full of hate. 

If you like hip-hop, and aren’t so much into those gangsta lyrics, this song might get your left bum cheek movin’ and from there, who knows what might happen?!

Visit: http://atribecalledquest.com/home/


Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen – Baz Luhrman

This song is more of a motivational speech.  It might be the first track on this list that is actually directed directly at stressed out people, so if you’ve been skipping the rest of these, then this one you might not want to skip as it has some measured words of advice for you, set to music.

Visit: https://twitter.com/bazluhrmann?lang=en


Cool in the Pool – Holger Czukay

This song might cheer you up because it’s kooky, and features one of the members of the kraut rock band, Can.  Here, Holger does his best to write I guess what you might call a pop song, if it weren’t so fucking weird.  

That said, it’s pretty hard to listen to this and hold that knife steady at your wrist.  May as well put that blade down and head over to the local discotheque and request this one. 


Tribute – Tenacious D

And no list of pick me up songs would be complete without some Tenacious D, who go to great lengths to write fairly ridiculous songs that also rock and which are also very humorous.  

Like, yeah, maybe your life sucks, but once you watch this, you hopefully will at least feel less shitty enough to take that pitchfork out of your belly button.  Why?  Because you’ve just listened to the best song in the world, of course.  

Visit: https://www.tenaciousd.com/


Postscript

Sometimes, bad days seem to be the norm, and nothing really works much – especially when you’re going through a break up or trying hard to survive the aftermath. 

At such times, a good cry can be more therapeutic than one may give it credit for.  They say that music soothes the soul – does that mean that songs that make you cry, or think, or feel inspired make you feel good?  Perhaps they do.

And finally, when you’re all cried out, and the tears are giving way to righteous indignation and you feel the urge to thumb your nose at life, and shout “Bring it on!” in sheer challenge, watch a feel good music video, maybe Bryan Adams’ “On A Day Like Today”. 

Once you’re done all of this, I’d wager you’ll be a lot better off – enough to perhaps make yourself a lovely mug of cocoa and settle down to clean our your closet (perhaps that’s too ambitious?), rid yourself of clutter, find your inner poise and Qi, and, in the process, get a grip on your life.  Just like the gif of this weird looking man I found….

Anyways, when life seems too much to take, and the world seems to be conspiring against you (which it no doubt actually is because hey, fuck you!), slip on your head phones, put on your pick-me-up mix, and take a walk. 

The world’s worries can wait.