First Click: Stalking the curator of my favorite Spotify playlist

May the 4th be with you


I’m lousy at Spotify. I use it the way I imagine my parents imagine me “doing pot.” Oblivious to the nuance but pretty well-versed in the basics.

I’ve been using Spotify since September of 2010 based upon the oldest payment receipt stored in my profile. Yet after all this time most of my playback originates in the search field, where I find and play songs that hold meaning from my past, or new songs that Jamieson Cox tells me I’m supposed to like. I’m subscribed to a dozen or so playlists that I rarely play more than once, with one notable exception. An evolving playlist I’ve been subscribed to for about five years that now contains 729 songs amounting to 53 hours and 56 minutes of non-stop music. It’s called Brokemogul Radio and its curator, I'm surprised to learn, is kind of a big deal.

If I had to pigeonhole my musical tastes into a single genre I’d have to pick lazy. My tastes are eclectic and span multiple decades, but I want good tracks spoon-fed to me. And therein lies the rub: one person’s FKA Twigs is another person’s Smash Mouth; one person’s Kaytranada is another person’s M83. I can’t be bothered to learn the names of most bands anymore, or study the cover art the way I once did. I’m now a byproduct of streaming media and Sonos. I just want someone to find me the best tracks from that 30-million-strong playlist called Spotify and play it in every room of my house. That’s where the @brokemogul playlist comes in.

The inspiration to write this came 30 minutes into a @brokemogul listening spree that took me from "Drown" by Smashing Pumpkins, to "Bridge over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel, to "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers, to "Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou Reed, and then "Easy" by The Commodores. The most recent updates to the playlist include "The Stars Below" by Seekee, "Water Water" by Empress Of, "Hard Times" by Baby Huey & The Baby Sitters, and Major Lazer’s "Lean On" featuring MØ & DJ Snake. And I love all of it, with only a handful of exceptions.

Scott Vener has curated the @brokemogul playlist for years. I don’t know Vener. In fact, I never even knew his name until I started writing this. But Google seems to think that he’s like that vampire guy from Forgetting Sarah Marshall who keeps showing up naked. Only instead of scoring lame cop dramas, he helps score lame bro dramas, scoring IMDb music credits for HBO’s Entourage and Ballers in the process. I also just discovered that he has a regular gig with Pharrell Williams on Apple’s Beats 1 Radio — a show I’ve listened to and only just made the connection.

Vener used to update the Spotify playlist weekly. Unfortunately, only a single new track has been added in the last 12 months. He seems to have focused his powers of curation on a new music sharing site and iOS app called Undrtone. And yeah, I just subscribed to it because I had to hear what I’ve been missing. I also wanted to say "thank you" Scott Vener for many years of listening pleasure; and to Verge readers, you’re welcome.

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