Not surprisingly, the founder and chief architect of social media website Digg and other internet start ups works long hours behind the scenes. Staring at computer screens and code requires a particular soundtrack and Kevin Rose shared some of those songs with DJ Raul Campos, including a band that hides from the public eye at all costs and a singer-songwriter who records alone in a Wisconsin cabin. He also chose a track that was passed around the DIGG offices until the whole staff became fans.
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Tracklist1. The Knife "Pass This On", Deep Cuts (Mute)
2. Pinback "Good to Sea", Autumn of the Seraphs (Touch and Go Records)
3. Iron and Wine "Boy With a Coin", The Shepherd's Dog (Sub Pop Records)
4. Bon Iver "Flume", For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar)
5. MGMT "Time to Pretend", Time To Pretend EP (Cantora Records)
Raul Campos: Hey, it’s Raul Campos from KCRW and I’m here with technology visionary and Digg founder, Mr. Kevin Rose. How are you sir?
Kevin Rose: Good, thanks for having me.
Raul Campos: A pleasure to have you. We’re gonna talk about the music that’s inspired you over the years so, what songs are you gonna share with us today?
Kevin Rose: I’ve got a bunch of great bands. I just picked five great songs that I’ve been into recently – you know, when you’re working long hours at start ups you just like to tune out and put your headphones on and listen to some good music
Raul Campos: What’s this first song that we’re going to hear?
Kevin Rose: First song is from a band called The Knife. They’re a really strange mixture of all different types of sounds. You get a little bit of everything with The Knife. And as a group they’re really strange people, I mean they never make any public appearances, they’re always wearing these crazy masks so you never get to see their faces. Every time they are up for an award they always send people dressed in gorilla outfits and basically they hate awards, hate all of that stuff, they don’t like to be in the public eye at all.
Song: The Knife’s Pass This On
Raul Campos: That was The Knife on KCRW.com. “Pass This On” is the name of the tune. Kevin Rose from Digg is in the house, he’s selecting tunes and guest DJ selections here on KCRW.com. What’s this next tune that we’re going to hear?
Kevin Rose: So this next band I’m sure you’ve heard of, Pinback. This is a track off their new CD -- “Good to Sea” is the name of the track. I feel as though they don’t get enough play out there. I mean, they’re a great little band out of San Diego. They’ve been around forever, they have a bunch of CDs out, but it’s just really good chill music. You know when you just want to relax and just want something good to listen to…sometimes you just want something that’s kind of in between and good, and it’s not too noisy that if you’re still working on stuff and you’re tying to get stuff done, you’re not going to be distracted. This is something that I can just put my head down and just keep working on stuff and it’s just in the background relaxing me more than anything else.
Song: Pinback’s Good to Sea
Raul Campos: So we’re going to get into Iron and Wine, this is a tune that I’ve been playing quite a bit. “Boy with the Coin” is the tune that you’re going to play next, why Iron and Wine?
Kevin Rose: When I was first getting into this album, I wasn’t going to go and buy the album. I was like, well I don’t know if I’m really going to like it. I was listening to this song playing here in San Francisco locally on the drive over, and I went to their website, and they actually have this as a free download. I think that’s one of the cool things that Iron and Wine has been doing. They’ve been releasing some of the singles and stuff for free, which is a great way to get a taste of them. And when I first heard this track, I thought it was awesome -- they really hit it with this track. And I don’t know if you’ve seen their music video that goes along with this, just a bunch of choreographed dancers dancing together, clapping their hands and snapping their fingers as the track does that, so it’s a great video to watch and catch on YouTube. But this is an amazing track off their album.
Song: Boy With a Coin by Iron and Wine
Raul Campos: What’s this next thing that we’re going to get into?
Kevin Rose: This is Bon Iver, which I had a really hard time pronouncing for the first time.
Raul Campos: You sound like a pro now.
Kevin Rose: Yes, I am a pro now. But I had to ask several friends, my French speaking friends clued me in there. I guess it means “good winter” in French. So this is an independent, indie folk singer, songwriter -- Justin Vernon is his name. He wrote this album while he was actually recording it for four months in a cabin in Wisconsin and this is what he came up with it. It’s just amazing, amazing. From start to finish, this is just a great album. This is a great album.
Raul Campos: Well let’s check this out. It’s Bon Iver.
Song: Flume by Bon Iver
Raul Campos: Let’s get into final tune from our guest DJ session. What do we have coming up?
Kevin Rose: This is a band that was formally known as The Management (MGMT). It’s just a great CD, and this is the first track on the album called “Time to Pretend.”
Actually this one was passed around the office and that’s how I first heard of the band. Everyone has those iTunes where you can share your music from computer to computer. You can turn that on and you can browse other people’s tracks. And you always hear about certain bands -- someone will IM you and say, ‘you gotta check this band out.’ This was one -- I believe it was Aubrey at the office actually -- she was the first one to bring it in and all of sudden the entire office was listening to it.
Song: Time to Pretend by MGMT
Raul Campos: So Kevin, thanks so much for joining us here on KCRW.com today. It was fantastic.
Kevin Rose: That was fun, thanks for having me.