Internet Detective

There are a lot of upsides to us not having a television since the late 70s. One downside is we appear to have missed out on some music. Bands that were big in those years mostly escaped our attention, partly because of lack of TV, but also because we’ve mostly listened to NPR and not commercial radio.

One advantage to all this for me recently has been the discovery of some classic songs. There was apparently some good music in the past 30 years, and what fun it has been to ferret some of it out. I owe thanks to the internet, particularly facebook and youtube to assist in these discoveries.

The process for a recent one started on our vacation aboard a cruise ship. I was walking from one end of the ship to the other one evening, when I came upon a concert by a lone guitar player assisted by a laptop and some other electronics. The guy was pretty good, and as I was walking by, he started on a song that began with some organ music, and the singer coming in with a couple of “woo hoo hoos.” I stood there and listened to the song, which I knew I’d heard before, and couldn’t get it out of my head.

When we got home, I started looking around online to find it. My problem was I assumed the artist was Gordon Lightfoot because the singer’s voice matched Gord’s. I looked and looked online, and even listened to snippets of most of every song Gord had released, but couldn’t find it. I finally gave up on it being a Lightfoot song, and just started typing in the words to the lyrics I could remember. This was a problem, because the singer hadn’t articulated the words very clearly, and my memory of his singing wasn’t perfect. Finally the right clue transferred from my brain to the keyboard, and Google spat out “Walk of Life” by Dire Straits. Woo hoo hoo! Shortly thereafter, Apple got $1.29 of my money when I bought the song and moved it to my iPod.

I have facebook to thank for the second song. Some time ago, someone had posted an instrumental of two guys on cellos, and was a spoof on Victorian theater. The tune was a good one and stuck in my head. Then last night a facebook friend posted another cover for this tune, which was titled “Thunderstruck.” I listened and enjoyed this one too, but it sounded vaguely familiar. I typed Thunderstruck into a search window, and found it was the came tune as the cellists had done, and also found the original AC/DC video of the tune. Cranking up the volume to full with my headphones on produced some pleasurable sensations.

Maybe my enjoyment of this “new” music had mostly to do with having to look around and making the discovery. Whatever it was, it surely was fun, and I’m looking forward to the next one.

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