The Sooz List: Spotify playlists for Boston bands and other favorite music

spotify music listening serviceSpotify has become my favorite music listening service. I love how easy it is to make and share music playlists.

Here are a few of my music playlists. If you’re on Spotify, click the subscribe button to save the playlist so you can come back to it later. This is especially handy for playlists that are updated more than once including my Boston Rocks! playlist.

Nostalgia For The Present— new songs I’ve dug up
Boston Rocks! — songs by bands from the Boston area, 5+ hours
The Tragically Hip — my favorite Hip songs spanning their 20+ year career
Lloyd Cole — one of the most talented singer/songwriters of our lifetime
Everything But The Girl — I’m not as into the newer “remixy” music but this band remains a favorite

New 8tracks mix: Anyway

It had been a while since I checked back in with 8tracks, a streaming music website where you can build mini internet radio stations and share your music recommendations in playlists of eight or more songs. Here’s a recent mix I made titled “Anyway” — songs to listen to on a cold (too cold!) winter’s night. It has a melancholy rock vibe and includes Whiskeytown, Over The Rhine, White Lies and Lloyd Cole & The Commotions.

SoozMix: An iTunes Genius mix based on “Born” by Over The Rhine

SoozMix: iTunes Genius mix based on Born by Over The Rhine

[tweetmeme] iTunes’ Genius is an awesome way to rediscover music you already have but may not have listened to in a while. Yesterday I told it to make a mix based on “Born” by Over The Rhine. The result was a perfect mix for a moody, chilly Sunday afternoon. It includes songs by Over The Rhine, Patty Griffin, Great Northern, Gillian Welch, Calexico & Iron Wine, Nickel Creek, Dar Williams, Ray LaMontagne and Sarah Harmer.

View the mix on iTunes.

Inspired and Inspiring — “A Watched Pot” Comes To Life For Bleu

Bleu at TT The Bear's Place
Bleu at TT The Bear’s Place, November 2006, Photo by Sooz

Unfortunately it’s not all that unique of a story — amazing band gets signed to a big label, releases an album and then gets dropped right as their next album is about to be released. Or in the case of two of my favorite Boston bands in the late 1990s — Talking to Animals and Splashdown — the labels produced each band’s first album but never released them. Not that I’m still bitter or anything.

So to see Bleu release A Watched Pot today (July 14, 2009) is nothing short of inspired and inspiring. Back in 2005 he was all set to share the album with the world but found himself dropped from Aware/Columbia Records along with other artists and employees during a label “reorganization.”

A lot of musicians would understandably have just given up. But Bleu worked to get those songs back from the label so he could eventually release the album elsewhere (Artist Garage/Fontana Distribution). And it’s all finally happening for him today. Amazing and awesome!

A Watched Pot is a gem of pop rock awesomeness — eleven songs of awesomeness to be precise. Read the full tale of how “A Watched Pot” finally came to life on Bleu’s community site.

Listen to A Watched Pot then buy it!

And it doesn’t matter if you can’t get into his music (though I’ll never understand why) — everyone should buy this album to support someone who stayed true to his creative pursuits.

Bleu is sharing his adventure to bring A Watched Pot to life at YouTube, Ning, Facebook and Twitter — the least we could do is give a little something back. Buy A Watched Pot digital downloads at iTunes or If you buy the album from Newbury Comics website, your CD will be signed by Bleu (while supplies last).

Music video for “Come ‘N Go”

See Bleu in Boston on July 24th

Bleu called Boston home for a while during and after attending Berklee and then he relocated to Los Angeles in June 2006. His Farewell to Boston show included the first time the rock and roll spectacle known as Bang Camaro performed on stage. Here are some of my photos from that night.

He will be back in town to celebrate the release of A Watched Pot on Friday, July 24th at TT The Bear’s Place joined by Hooray for Earth, Air Traffic Controller and another favorite band of mine, Count Zero. Get there early — Count Zero goes on at 9.

New iTunes Playlist of Music Inspired by Early, Snowy Morning

This morning I had to get up at crazy o’clock to wait for the Peapod driver to show up. It was a late order on Friday so the only available time slot left for today was 7:30am-1pm. Somehow, amazingly, the driver showed up by 8am with my groceries. Brilliant! I don’t usually wake up that early on a Sunday morning. After putting away my groceries I decided to find some music that would make a good soundtrack for a sleepy and snowy morning. This is the iTunes playlist that I came up with. Enjoy!

iTunes Playlist of Music I played at the #pinkslipparty at Betahouse

mosaic of #pinkslipparty imix

Here’s the iTunes playlist of a bunch of the songs I played at the #pinkslipparty that @pistachio, @alexa and @tibbon organized and Betahouse hosted on Friday, January 9th. I got there a couple hours early and made chocolate truffles. @digiphile brought his own pans and ingredients to make crepes for everyone towards the end of the night.

If an event could have just the right amount of serendipity+awesomeness, this was it.