Exploring and discovering musical genres

This website — everynoise.com —  appears to have every possible genre of music imaginable.. Well, 1536 right now.

Click on one and you can hear an example. Click on the “»” on that example, and you’ll see another map of artists. A fun place to explore and discover.

According to the site creator,

“down is more organic, up is more mechanical and electric; left is denser and more atmospheric, right is spikier and bouncier.”


Mr. Higgins

This is a moving story about a musician, how he used his music to help him deal with the physical and emotional pain of losing a limb, and why he named a song “Mr. Higgins”. The short film makes us think about what success in life means. And the artwork in the video is unusual.

I like the idea that he had only learned two chords before he started writing songs. It makes me think about students who worry that they don’t have enough vocabulary to speak in English. It may not be easy and it may not be an eloquent speech, but you can express what you want to say with a very small vocabulary … and people who listen.

Baby, you’re a firework

No, not that Katy Perry song. But this video explains, in a very easy to understand way, how she was right and we are like fireworks.

July 4th is the biggest day for fireworks in the U.S., but the season is just starting here in Japan. Have you been to any big fireworks displays? Are you going this summer? And which word do you like better — fireworks or “flower-fire” (花火). I think the Japanese word is much more descriptive and beautiful (though English speakers probably won’t understand you unless they know the Japanese word), but the English word does put the focus on how much effort it must take to make them!

They do the hard work for you

Is e-mail becoming obsolete? Some believe that, but there are e-mail newsletters that continue to do the hard work of curation for us. Here are a few I have been enjoying recently:

Everything Changes from the Awl— the theme changes, the frequency changes. You never know what to expect. This week there is a list of “tiny kindnesses” that people noticed. Here are a couple:



Make Your Point — to improve your vocabulary. I posted about this in January.

The Daily Pnut — a daily update of important news, curated for you, from sites like BBC, NYT, the Atlantic,

Elevator Grooves — the name here is still “Sweet Chili” but it’s now called “Elevator Grooves” and is from the Daily Pnut people, a weekly collection of songs you may not have heard. A couple of weeks ago I found some great Cuban music I didn’t know about thanks to them, and was reminded about how perfect for this time of year the Buena Vista Social Club is. The same day I was playing their music again, after forgetting about them for years, this documentary happened to be on TV. Kismet.