The Gear That's Getting Us Through Quarantine

By WIRED Staff

MC: So, does it lean in any particular direction? Is it along the lines of Afrobeats and jazz, and that kind of stuff?

Alan Henry: Yeah, a little bit more future jazz, a little upbeat, I would say. And sometimes, he'll just roll out some Coltrane or some Miles Davis, or something that's really, really, not traditional jazz, but jazz that you've probably heard some of, in the past. But, other times it'll just be a track from a Japanese rapper, or a Senegalese lyricist who's just starting out and put out their first album. And he's apparently the only person in the world who's ever heard it. So it's wild, it's wild. But it's all good. That's the thing. I've never heard a song on Freefall that I didn't like, at least.

And then there are ... and that's the bottom of the barrel. The top of the barrel are the songs that I immediately go to SoundCloud and save, or I'll go to YouTube and add to a playlist, or something.

MC: Awesome.

AS: The playlist you put together, the Pump It Up playlist?

AH: Yeah.

AS: Alan, that was truly incredible. I was just wandering around. I love that we put the entire, all of Beyonce combined discographies on there. I was like, "Yes. That's it. That's all we need."

AH: Yeah. That playlist is 142 songs, eight hours of music. And someone dared me to put the entire Beyonce Homecoming album in it. And I was like, "How dare you, dare me to do a thing?" And so, I did. I just did. And a few people have noticed, but not that many. Because you can just hit play, and start listening to it. And then an hour and a half into it, you just realize, "Wow, there's a lot of Beyonce, in this."

AS: You were like, "Nobody's mentioned it, because everyone was so happy."

AH: Exactly.

AS: So, I was talking to Parker, who is another one of the product writers on staff. And he dropped a couple of Vulfpeck songs into Slack. And one of them, I wanted to vote as the new theme song for the Gadget Lab. It was like, "I'm a products guy, money will be spent," or whatever. And I was just like, "Oh my God, nailed it. Nailed it, Parker." But, I forget the name of the song, right now. Maybe we can put that, somewhere.

MC: Yeah. We can put it in the show notes.

AS: Yeah.

MC: All right. Well, Freefall radio, I am going to give it a shot because I'm always, always listening. I think the only way to walk through this world is with your eyes and your ears open. So, thank you for that.

My recommendation is, it's basically, I have just been watching a lot of NHK World programming. This is a news and lifestyle station, a television station out of Tokyo. And in Japan, it's just called NHK Tokyo. And then, they also have the World service, which is an English language service. And, it's just a bunch of shows. Travel shows, history shows. There's one where a person gets on a train, and just travels from one city to another, on a train. And you spend half an hour with them, on the train. It's pretty amazing.

There are a couple of shows that I turn to, every single time there's a new one. And the one that I've been getting way into over the last few months is called "Dining with the Chef." It's a cooking show, and there's a few different formulas that are applied, to the cooking show. Some shows are Topic A, and some shows are Topic B and some shows are Topic C. And, they're all shot on a rotating schedule, by different crews. And you never know what you're going to get, from week to week.