Browsing Tag: Music

    Music, Social Media

    #m2sod … Choosing a “Song of the Day” on Twitter every day

    November 14, 2017

    It’s been fun over the past couple months posting a “Song of the Day” (almost) every day on Twitter. I say “almost” because I know I missed a couple days here or there, always unintentionally. But I’m on a pretty good streak right now — knock on wood — and it’s become something I think about during the day while I’m driving, working, or doing whatever else that lets me listen to music.

    One of the rules I’ve put on myself is that the Song of the Day has to be a song that I actually heard that day. Each night when I go to post the tweet, sometimes I have a song in mind already that I want to post about. Other times, I rely on my iTunes playlist, Spotify playlist and/or my account to remind me what songs I heard that day. (Goodness, I love and hope it never goes away.)

    And as I scroll through the day’s songs, many times a lyric from a certain will come to mind — a lyric that somehow reflects what was going on in my world that day, or the world that day, so I include that lyric, too. This is much easier to do now that Twitter has expanded to 280 characters!

    There’s almost always a meaning behind the song I choose. I picked “I Won’t Back Down” on the day of Tom Petty’s death. I feel like I’ve picked a lot of songs about death, both before and after my mom died last month. Other songs have had meanings that only matter to me, and that’s okay.

    All of this began sometime around mid-September; I don’t recall the exact date. But I do remember that the first song of the day was REM’s “Man On The Moon.” My choices have ranged from the unsurprising (REM, U2, Adele, etc.) to the largely unknown (Gavin Friday, Lynn Miles, Reamonn, Kieran Goss).

    One thing I’ve enjoyed is the conversations that some of my choices have started. It’s cool to see how my friends and followers pick up on certain songs or artists or whatever. I’m glad I started doing this … and now that I think about, I better go get today’s song posted!

    BTW, you can use Twitter search to see at least some of the choices I’ve made by checking the #m2sod hashtag.


    Rethinking ’80s Song Lyrics

    March 31, 2013

    tape-cassetteI listen to music pretty much all day while I work. And a lot of that is ’80s music. (The best decade for music, bar none!)

    But now that I’m comfortably in my mid-40s, I find myself having this experience on a daily basis: I’ll hear a song that I used to love with lyrics that I thought were so profound and I’ll just laugh at how unbelievably bad the lyrics sound now and how silly I was for thinking otherwise.

    Like just yesterday, I heard a song by The Fixx called “I Will.” Not one of their hits, but I remember playing it over and over for a time back in the ’80s. And I just thought these lyrics were amazing:

    The pleasure of life is the pain of living
    What we take out is replaced by giving
    If you can contain your own emptiness
    Then life is forward, no idle regrets

    If the love doesn’t set you free
    Then I will

    Dude… the pleasure of life is the pain of living!

    The teenaged Matt McGee was blown away by the depth in those words. The mid-40s Matt McGee chuckles every time he hears that line … and hundreds of other 80s songs with lyrics that don’t seem nearly as deep now as they did then.


    (Stock image via Used under license.)


    Room for Improvement

    July 15, 2012

    As you get older, it’s important to continue to identify areas of your life where you can do better and learn more. You should always be growing and striving to do better.

    Clearly, based on my performance in the Song Pop game, I have a lot of room for improvement in knowing the Modern Rap category.


    (My friend and competitor in this game also has a lot of room for improvement, too. But she still beat me in this round.)


    Video: The Power of Song

    April 11, 2012

    Judging from the number of views this video already has on YouTube, I’m sure some of you have already seen it. But it needs to be shared, anyway.

    If you ever doubt the power of song, remember this video. Amazing.

    I really do feel bad for people who don’t love music and appreciate what it can do.

    Featured, Music

    The Birth of @U2 – 15 Years Ago Today

    February 12, 2012

    By definition, @U2 was born on October 23, 1995. That’s the day we use when celebrating the site’s birthday, and we’ve had a couple pretty good parties over the years (even on different dates).

    October 23, 1995 is the day I put my first website online — “Matt’s Mostly U2 Music Page.” It was a site dedicated to U2 and a couple other bands I liked at the time, but it was about 75% U2 content. The header image looked like this:


    But in another sense, @U2 was kinda born 15 years ago today: February 12, 1997.

    That’s the day that U2 announced its PopMart Tour from inside a K-Mart store in Manhattan. And it’s the day that the 16-month-old website really became a legitimate and popular online source of U2 news. On that day, I knew that it was going to be something bigger than a normal hobby site.

    Before the Announcement

    In the days and weeks leading up to the tour announcement, there was incredible buzz on Wire — the major U2 listserv of the day — and on other U2 communities like CompuServe and AOL. Fans were looking for any bits of news they could find, which mostly amounted to rumors.

    I recall posting articles and bits of information on the website, and then sending out the link to the various online communities … and the hit counter always went up when I did that. (Yes, I said “hit counter.”) Now, I’d been posting U2 news on the site since the beginning, but with the tour approaching, any little nugget of info became breaking news and drew a lot of traffic.

    So, as the 12th approached — and it had been known in advance that U2 would be announcing the tour on this date — I had to think about how @U2 was going to cover the news.

    1996I was the Sports Director for KEPR-TV at the time — the local CBS affiliate here in Tri-Cities, WA. I did the sports weeknights at 6 pm and 11 pm and was mostly a one-man department. That meant getting sick or taking a day off was a real pain in the arse for the station. They’d have to pull someone else away from their regular tasks to do sports.

    Nonetheless, as the 12th approached, I decided that I was going to play hooky. I didn’t think I had much choice, actually. There were a lot of U2 fans online that would be visiting the website looking for news, and I felt more obligated to report that than to report the day’s local sports.

    To this day, it still amazes me that I decided to call in sick from my job to update a website with U2 news. Did I really do that? Yep.

    The Announcement

    I called in sick that morning, and then turned on my TV and fired up the computer. I think it was an Apple Performa 450 at the time, and I might’ve had a 14.4 or 33.6 modem. Good times.

    My memory is shaky, but I vaguely recall that the announcement would begin at Noon at K-Mart — or 9 am my time. MTV wasn’t airing it live, as I recall, but they’d certainly report it pretty quickly in those twice-an-hour MTV News updates hosted by Kurt Loder (or whomever it was then).

    But there was a huge problem: we didn’t get MTV live in those days. It was delayed; even if MTV News had the story by 12:30 pm ET, I wouldn’t see it until 12:30 pm PT … three hours after the fact!

    So, TV was pretty useless. But there were numerous music news websites at the time — All Star Magazine, Addicted To Noise, JAM Showbiz (which still exists) and others. MTV even had a website then, as did a few major news publications. Google didn’t exist yet, but there was Yahoo and a few other search engines that I’m sure I used … probably Excite, Northern Light and others.

    I kept an eye on all the music news sites I could find, and all the U2 forums/communities/mailing lists. I must’ve hit refresh 200 times that morning. I don’t know where I first found the tour news, but I remember posting a couple shorter bits of info and then …. BAM! …. MTV News had posted the entire list of dates and details online. They also posted some video from the news conference, and I had software on my Performa that made it easy to do screenshots, so I took a few of those. I posted the news, emailed the mailing lists, notified the online communities and the rest is history, as the saying goes.

    You can still, to this day, see the original MTV News story (and my screenshot) on @U2. (Yes, an early form of content scraping! Remind me later to write a post on that topic.)

    The Aftermath

    Even though I’d been posting news for ages, getting the full list of PopMart tour dates online really established @U2 as one of … maybe THE … go-to sites for U2 news online. I recall the hit counter was off the charts that day, and for several days afterward. And it never dropped back down.

    A couple weeks later, Triple J radio in Australia had me on-air to talk about the tour news. And then they did it again in April; they called after the first concert in Las Vegas so that I could give a live report/review to their listeners. (They had me on again in early 1998, right before the tour arrived in Australia.)

    Later in 1997, Ireland’s Hot Press magazine mentioned @U2 in one article and also published a guest article that I sent in to preview the PopMart shows coming to Dublin. (You can read that on @U2, too.)

    And, maybe the most important result of all was that, as more people visited the site and sent in news to share with other fans, I was able to start growing out a staff. For a while, it was just me and one other person posting news. Then it was 4-5 people. Then 8-10. Then a couple dozen. And today, we have about 40 people involved in one way or another. All volunteers, me included. It blows my mind.

    So, yeah. February 12th will probably always have a special place in my heart and mind. It’s not @U2’s formal birthday, but it’s the day that it started to become what it is today. Thanks, PopMart.