Right now it’s cold and snowy outside. Walking is a tricky business, with seemingly arbitrary piles of sand appearing everywhere you step and salt crystals so big, you’re as liable to trip on them as you were on the ice in the first place. Conceding that I am stuck in my dorm for the night, I decide to make the best of the situation. But nobody is around, Illinois’s not playing, and I’ve already spent the afternoon playing a Japanese flash game where you see how far you can launch a blue-haired Japanese guy with a Japanese girl and her magical teleporting bike ( HYPERLINK “http://www.aotf.net/nanacacrash.html”). [Apparently a few kilometers is a reasonable distance] That, of course, leaves getting dressed up, breaking out a bottle of Port, some brie and crackers, and listening to classical music. Alas, I don’t have any such CDs, and the heightened sense of guilt trip that the Lenten season brings is keeping me off of Ares. Such are the travails of life at Princeton. But, as I found out recently, I needn’t have despaired. The Mendel Music Library, which already has a great collection of CDs (classical and otherwise), has recently added two streaming music subscription sites. The Classical Music Library, while focused on its thousands of classical music selections (what’s with librarians and descriptive, accurate titles?), also has some less serious music. There are a fair number of Bond movie themes and an unexpectedly cool a capella version of “A Hard Day’s Night.” The other, run by the classical music label Naxos, has even more variety and depth. This service runs the gamut from what I assume was someone singing in Yiddish the song “Cafe Jew Zoo” to a few hundred pieces of Chinese music. This is essential listening with pieces like “Best of Chinese Pop Evergreens” and “Marvelous Shaolin Kung Fu.” Then there’s the New Age section, packed with enough serene album covers, ambient music, and totally random titles to keep your Yoga sessions fresh and exciting for years. And, of course, again more classical music than anyone could ever digest. So the next time you find yourself sitting in your room, utterly confused as to why Text Twist think finkle is a legitimate word- or if you actually have a legitimate need to find just about any serious piece of Western art music ever composed- you can save yourself the trip to Mendel and visit one of these sites. Because, really, you haven’t lived until you’ve listened to Mozart played on a glass harmonica.
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