About

M4S is a daily musical stream of consciousness, a listening diary, if you will. I write about “found music,” although plenty of it is widely known, sometimes universally. Just not to me, until that day. I write while listening and doing real-time research, then post those diary entries every Sunday. 

I started this project by listening to albums that made best of lists from sources I trusted, including several disc jockeys at KCRW in Los Angeles, the on-line music blog Pitchfork, Esquire, Rolling Stone and the hosts of the music podcast Sound Opinions, Jim Derogatis and Greg Kot. It amounts to well over a hundred albums per year. Sometimes I make a snap decision and move on. Sometimes I stay until my attention wanes. If I like the entire album, I revisit it frequently and, if it continues to impress me, I put it on a list of albums to consider for that year’s best. 

The second part of M4S is my Best Of lists through the years. My intention is to compile one for each year I’ve been alive, which is to say, a massive undertaking. 

The final piece of M4S is monthly playlists based on the daily posts. These Spotify playlists can be accessed right here through Muisic4Sativa, as can the Tremolo Radio playlists. 

(ABOUT THE ORIGIN)

Sometime in early 2019, wanting an escape from the world as it had become, I entered self-imposed music therapy. I was paying too much attention to the chaos, to things I had no control over. So I decided to tune it out. And turn up the music. I started setting aside time every day to listen to music, most of it brand new to me. Every day I’d log on to my streaming service, find a rabbit hole, and dive in. Music is a hideaway where the world can’t find me.

My life is pretty simple. I live alone, I owe no alimony, have no children, and enjoy a considerable amount of free time, which I fill with several hobbies, the most passionate one being music. I listen to music like people watch television, fully attentive for hours at a time. I will do things around the apartment — clothes folding, dinner making, house cleaning — all while wearing headphones. Sometimes I listen from a comfortable chair, in a dimly lit room, with a candle burning nearby, and a bowl of sativa at the ready.

Over the years I’ve noticed that most ordinary people, those who aren’t music freaks, listen to the same stuff over and over. Particularly people of a certain age, like anyone who’s had a twentieth high school reunion. Maybe music from decades ago reminds them of a happy time, when they were younger, free of the burdens of adulthood. Maybe that’s why people listen to oldies stations. But aren’t these the same people who complain there’s no good music today? Like they’ve stopped listening to Dark Side of the Moon long enough to find out.

I’m guessing most people don’t listen to complete records these days, unless they happen to be a big fan of the artist. Yet everyone with a cell phone has access to nearly every song in the modern catalogue, for FREE (with certain annoying restrictions). For less than ten bucks a month, there aren’t any restrictions. Which opens up a fucking musical playground ripe for exploration. If for no other reason than that, it’s a great time to be alive. 

Good music is prevalent today, you just need to know where to look. True, there is a lot of garbage, a lot of clutter. Without some kind of direction, where is one to start? It’s a question I ask myself every time I log on. Where do I begin today? Muic4Sativa is the end result of a daily treasure hunt.

{ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I’m just a guy with two ears and an opinion. I call myself D-Jay3 because Jay was my nickname growing up and I’m the third, named after my father and grand-father. Thus the third power.

I’m essentially the same age as American rock ‘n’ roll. Almost a year to the day after I was born, The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and changed American music overnight. I don’t know if I listened to more music than other kids in the Seventies, but I know it was quite important to me. When I was ten, I even turned my closet into a DJ booth, cramming all my equipment in there and displaying my favorite vinyl on a tiny shelf along the wall. 

Because it was our mascot, the name of my high school newspaper was The Beaver. It was on those hallowed pages that my first record review was printed. I fawned over AC/DC’s Back in Black. My follow-up review was Bebe Le Strange by Heart (I loved it even more). 

My first job after getting a journalism degree was as a general assignment reporter for a weekly community newspaper on the west side of Phoenix. Since nothing much happened on that side of town, we were always scrambling for content, so I volunteered to write a music page. My favorite part of the job was writing about music (thankfully, these were pre-internet days and those stories are difficult if not impossible to find now).  After six years there, I became editor of a music fan-zeen owned by former Judas Priest front man Rob Halford. So, for about ten years, I enjoyed all the perks that came with being a “music journalist,” like attending pretty much any concert I wanted for free. Being pre-streaming days, I was also showered with promotional CDs from the record companies. It was almost too good to be true. There are times I wish I’d never left the business.

But in my early thirties I realized writing wasn’t much of a living for me, so I became a real estate agent. Then came a couple long-term relationships, and music took a back seat, although I continued following a few select bands.

In 2009 I moved to Los Angeles. Battling burnout and a mid-life crisis, it felt like a good place to start over. I’d never lost the itch to get back in the music business and now, living just down the hill from the rich music history of Laura Canyon, those desires flooded back tenfold. But I wasn’t a kid anymore, and music is a young person’s game. 

Within weeks of moving to LA, I happened to meet the wife of legendary rock musician and producer Ry Cooder. During our brief chat I mentioned I might explore a career in the music biz and asked if her husband might offer me some advice, being a man in his sixties and still active in the industry. Yeah sure, she said, and we exchanged email addresses. The next day I shot off a note and, to my complete surprise, Ry Cooder actually responded. He was gracious and thoughtful but the bottom line was this: the music business is “dead,” he wrote. If you don’t need to make money, by all means explore a mid-life career in music. Otherwise, he suggested, buy a food truck. “People line up around the block for those damn things.”  

As a pale substitute for a real music job, I launched a DIY radio station in 2010 on LIVE365, an internet platform for armature programmers. I, like thousands of other armchair enthusiasts, created playlists that were accessible to listeners, free of charge, anywhere in the world. I gave my station a name (Tremolo Radio) and had a graphic artist friend create a logo. At any given time I could see statistics on how many people were listening to Tremolo, broken down by country. It was fun and entertaining and nothing more than a hobby. And eventually a hobby my budget could no longer support. 

Then, sometime in 2018, when an extra ten bucks a month wasn’t going to break me, I signed up for Spotify. The closest comparison I can make to discovering Spotify was when I logged on to the internet for the first time in my early thirties. Both times, it was like walking into another world.

Then, on January 1, 2020, Music4Sativa was born. 

(ABOUT THE NAME

Music4Sativa implies that there is some music better heard under the influence of marijuana. But that’s actually a trick (I’m sorry) because, in my opinion, all music sounds better with a slight buzz. It helps me fully concentrate on what I’m hearing. The time of day when some people are at happy hour is when I imbibe and lose myself in Spotify-land. But I am not advocating for the use of pot or any other drug. It might be implied. But you’re under no obligation to agree with any of my opinions, on music or anything else. But I do hope you find something useful here. Welcome aboard my magical mystery tour!