10 December 2016

Setup Your Own Holiday Muzak Channel #DIY #MicrosoftStore #MP3 #Freebies

It's beginning to look a lot like... the gift giving season is in full swing. Promotions are popping up left and right and tons of free goodies are being parceled out. It's a wonderful time to be a bargain hunter-gatherer!

Before the advent of the Internet, one could always suss out what season it was by the type of music being piped into area department stores. Often tinny-sounding versions of the originals, this Muzak was either a bane or blessing depending upon whom one asked. I generally found it annoying, especially around the holidays. I'd rather listen to real music of my own choosi

In that vein, I was happy to discover that the Microsoft Store made a number of Christmas albums available for free download the other day, including the classic A Charlie Brown's Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio (a Jazz standard) along with some Motown and pop tunes. I snagged them all and plan to program my own Holiday "Muzak channel" Playlist to beam across the various Bluetooth soundbars and speakers strategically placed throughout my home. Nowadays I shop almost exclusively online, but this doesn't mean I can't enjoy all the trappings of the retail holiday season. As I get to pick the music, I can assure that it doesn't annoy me, however. And you wonder why I love tech.

NOTES: I adored the A Charlie Brown's Christmas animated cartoon as a child and watched it religiously every broadcast. (I still watch it every year, but I now own a digital copy, and thus, no longer need to wait for the television programming.) The accompanying musical score has always held a special place in my heart, and so it was an interesting aside to discover after I moved to the Bay area, that Vince Guaraldi had been born in San Francisco and had died just down the road in Menlo Park. This knowledge added another emotional layer to the music, learning that he'd been a "local boy" to an area I consider my other home. Made him seem almost like a long-lost family member reclaimed.

1 comment:

  1. Two momentous events to note, related to music and "On This Day in History" (covering the dates of December 9-10) as detailed by Bing.com:

    1) When 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' premieres on December 9, 1965, CBS predicts a disaster. Child actors voicing the characters, no laugh track, a jazz score, and a depressed lead character all spell doom. But the show will become an instant classic, airing every Christmas season since.

    2) Otis Redding's private plane plummets into a lake just short of the runway in Madison, Wisconsin on December 10, 1967, killing Redding and six other passengers. Just the day before, the 26-year old soul singer recorded 'The Dock of the Bay,' which will become the first posthumous No. 1 hit. (Redding's hit became my theme song when I moved to the Bay area in the Fall of 1988. Redding was also a Georgia native, as I am, and the song lyrics were almost literally a propos to my situation at the time.)