Song Of The Day 7/20/2014: Half Japanese - "I Heard Her Call My Name"



Fun With Spotify -- The "Appears On" Game: This set-up's long and involved and quite potentially not worth the effort, but I get paid by the keystroke. Stick with me.

A couple of weeks ago I posed another audience participation type thing on my Facebook page: "Give me artists whose primary body of work existed before 1990. I'm using your ideas for Song of the Day." I got seven useable artists quickly enough.

What I didn't tell these mild-mannered homemakers was that I wasn't going to feature anything by the artists they gave me. I was just using their suggestions to lead me on a labyrinthine footchase to find a song by someone else, in a little game I use to kill time while the children are doing unsupervised butchery on the deck. I call it The Spotify "Appears On" Game.

This is how it works. When you look up an artist page on Spotify, you'll see all the recordings our favorite Scandinavian subscription service has for that artist. First you'll see their most popular songs, then you'll see albums released under their name. Great. But at the very bottom of their page you'll see a section called "Appears On." This lists various-artist compilations -- soundtracks, anthologies, what have you -- on which the artist in question has contributed, willfully or otherwise, a track.

For example, let's look up Andre Williams, an old-time R&B guy whose work has been anthologized a great deal. If you go to his Spotify artist page you'll see all the albums he's made under his name (I recommend Silky), but if you go all the way to the bottom you'll see he has songs on compilations like Kind of No Blues, World Of Pain Vol. 2, and Motown Unreleased: Guys, Vol. 2. In addition to Andre's stuff, there's a bunch of songs from other artists that I haven't heard yet, but might be inclined to give a listen to because they're on a comp with Andre Williams. For example, on that Motown compilation there's a song called "Hot Sausage" by the Mysterions. Perhaps I'd give that song a listen if I weren't so patronizingly explaining this concept to you right now.

Seriously, I actually do use this method to discover music from to time. So I took my Facebook friends' suggestions, looked up their artist profiles on Spotify, scrolled down to "Appears On," found an album they appeared on, then selected a track from another artist on that album to be Song Of The Day. The results were educational -- and in the case of AC/DC, which King Dinösaur had me look up, thigh-slappingly hilarious and way off the charts. You'll have to wait until next Saturday to see what that was, 'cause it's ratings bait if ever there was.

But first: Beaver Gonzalez, whose name is still Beaver Gonzalez, had me look up Echo & The Bunnymen, one of the signpost bands of the '80s (and believe it or not, a band I'm not terribly familiar with at all). They appeared on a Velvet Underground tribute album which also featured Half Japanese playing this ethereal track. And since I've used up my word count for today I'll just step aside and gab at you tomorrow. This was an interesting exercise. I'm all Mark Goodson/Bill Todman over here.

Thanks, Bunnymen!
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