Jirin's Listening Music Discovery Game

Jirin
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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:47 pm

Four albums I had low expectations for, one of them exceeded expectations, and that one was the winner.

Basement Jaxx - Remedy

Basement Jaxx is one of the bands I listened to at the point when I was first discovering there existed great 90s music that wasn’t on MTV, because I saw them high up on the Pazz N Jop list. At the time I didn’t like them. Now I’m enjoying them. It’s got that funky 90s dance-electronica feel without being droning.

Elvis Presley - From Elvis In Memphis

Strong energetic performances of a lot of Elvis’ hits. A fun listen and a little bit of a rawer sound than you get on studio recordings. Only big mark against the album is that In The Ghetto is on it. This is the most condescending god damn song I’ve ever heard. It paints a picture that every poor person spends their day brawling, starving, reproducing and cursing their circumstances. I can’t listen to this song. But otherwise very good live album.

Green Day - Warning

One of those Green Day albums from in between their initial heydey and their protest revival. It’s got some fun punk-poppy melodies, though not as fun as their early work, and mostly confined within the singles, good enough to make an enjoyable listen. When I was in high school the lyrics appealed to me a lot. “I wanna be the minority, down with the moral majority”. Now it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, because it reminds me of the image of liberals in conservative propaganda. “Liberals aren’t interested in changing anything or helping anyone, they just like being victims and lashing out indescriminantly against authority!” The victim mentality is laid on way too thick in later Green Day lyrics.

Fatboy Slim - You've Come A Long Way Baby

About what I remembered. Some nice catchy loops, which are also very sterile and emotionless. The songs have hooks that seem clever and surprising for about thirty seconds then wear out their novelty even though they are repeated for the whole song. The appeal of “Fatboy Slim is fucking in heaven” just doesn’t outlive its novelty value.

Winner: Remedy

Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um
Felt Kuti - Sorrow Tears And Blood - Black president
Quicksilver Messenger Service - Happy Trails
The Roots - Phreneology

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby babydoll » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:12 am

Jirin wrote:Only big mark against the album is that In The Ghetto is on it. This is the most condescending god damn song I’ve ever heard. It paints a picture that every poor person spends their day brawling, starving, reproducing and cursing their circumstances. I can’t listen to this song.

I offer up "All About That Bass" as even more condescending, viler song.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby prosecutorgodot » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:16 am

Warning is one of the worst Green Day albums. Too sugary for me, although "Macy's Day Parade" is one of rhe best songs of the 2000s in my opinion. Kerplunk! to Nimrod was a pretty good run tho.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:10 am

Dookie is in my AT top 200, otherwise I see Green Day as more of a singles band.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby prosecutorgodot » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:19 am

Jirin wrote:Dookie is in my AT top 200, otherwise I see Green Day as more of a singles band.

Huh, I've actually never heard someone describe them as a singles band before. :P

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:25 pm

prosecutorgodot wrote:
Jirin wrote:Dookie is in my AT top 200, otherwise I see Green Day as more of a singles band.

Huh, I've actually never heard someone describe them as a singles band before. :P


Most people have a higher opinion of the American Idiot album, I think. In general, except that I think Dookie is an all around great album, I think they have two or three great songs per album then lots of filler.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:30 pm

I'm a little confused about this Fela Kuti album. Allmusic lists them as totally separate albums but Acclaimed merges them. Looks like Black President is a collection of previously unreleased in the US tracks that contains tracks from Sorrow Tears and Blood?

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:08 pm

Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um

This is my second exposure to Charles Mingus. I think I like Black Saint and the Sinner Lady better but this album is extremely solid and focused with very efficiently expressed emotion. As I’ve said before talking about other jazz albums, I’m bad at describing instrumental jazz with more intelligence than “It soundy good” or “It soundy bad”. So I will just say “It soundy good”.

Fela Kuti - Sorrow Tears And Blood

I decided to just listen to Sorrow Tears and Blood as it seems Black President is more of a compilation that includes songs from it. I’m not sure why they are merged on AM. (Henrik?) I have the same good things to say about it as other Fela Kuti albums. Lyrics about the atrocities that happen in Africa, a strong energetic and sorrowful beat.

Quicksilver Messenger Service - Happy Trails

Some great jam-bandy psychadelic rock. Spot on in making long instrumental pieces fresh and efficient without being self indulgent.

The Roots - Phreneology

I’m digging to find a word other than ‘Inoffensive’ to describe this album. It sounds solid with complex beats and great utilization of a lot of tools in the hip hop toolbox, but it doesn’t have a lot of good hooks, and it doesn’t have the shock value so effective at bringing rock critics to their knees. Maybe I’ve just been overly habituated to the current wave of hip hop that uses expletives, insults, protests, ego stroking and threats of violence in every other sentence. Being in 2002 it’s ahead of its time in terms of textures. The hooks just aren’t that strong or catchy compared to other non-shock value oriented hip hop acts like Outkast. Maybe that’s how they got their Tonight Show job, by being inoffensive.

Winner: Sorrow, Tears and Blood

Next:
Thin Lizzy - Live And Dangerous
Al Green - I'm Still In Love with You
The Byrds - Mr Tambourine Man
James Brown - Sex Machine

Not sure what the favorite would be in this matchup. Four older albums I've either heard at some point several years ago or have heard studio albums that the album probably covers, that I kinda liked but that that much.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:09 am

Thin Lizzy - Live And Dangerous

Solid middle of the road 70s guitar rock.

Al Green - I’m Still In Love With You

Also, a solidly executed well polished effort in the center of its genre. Spot on execution of standards.

The Byrds - Mr Tambourine Man

One of those 60s pre-album era pop albums that takes one great single and fills the album out with B material like The Who Sings My Generation.

James Brown - Sex Machine

It’s been a while since I listened to a James Brown studio album, forgot it had the same kind of energy as the live shows and the conversational back and forths with the backup singers. Few singers have this kind of charisma that translates to both live shows and studio recordings.

Winner: Sex Machine

Next:
TLC - Crazysexycool
Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - Rattlesnakes
The Slits - Trapped Animal
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm

Of these I'm most excited about Trapped Animal since Cut is in my AT top 200. And The Slits are a weird minimal unpredictable girl-punk band so I have no idea what to expect. The other three I've heard several years ago and at the time didn't think much of, but they wouldn't be the first I previously disregarded and rediscovered in this game.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby prosecutorgodot » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:21 am

Happy with your "Sex Machine" pick. Between listening to that album and Swans' recent output, it's like James Brown predicted the sound 40 years earlier. If anyone knows anything between those two points in time with those electric shocks of instrumentation, I'd be down for a recommendation.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:39 pm

TLC - Crazysexycool

Solid pop R&B from the period where R&B was about singing and didn’t need lots of autotuning, loud loops or people rapping over the singing. I don’t personally connect with it that well. The message of Waterfalls never quite sat right with me. “Don’t take any risks, stay in your comfort zone forever. Or else you may end up feeling bad.”

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - Rattlesnakes

There’s some spots of nice guitar riffs and mild catchiness but mostly it’s the bland center of glossy synth 80s-ness. This album elicits no emotional reaction in any direction for me.

The Slits - Trapped Animal

Not at all what I expected from a Slits album, but less surprising when you find out it came out in 2009, 30 years after Cut. It’s got the post punk energy but has lots of jazzy and reggae influences, without the roughness of their earlier work. Weird album.

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm

This is a hard album to gauge. It came out originally when it was super-hyped and trendy. The first couple tracks hit you and you’re like “This is amazing! It totally lives up to hype” Then you get to the middle of the album and it really cools off and blends more into its Strokes-led wave of UK garage rock, and you’re like “Ehh…now I’m not so sure”. I hadn’t heard it since the year it came out so when I listened to it today I went through that whole process all over again. Though in this group the first couple tracks might be enough for me to give it the win, because it’s the only of the four that I connected with any part of the album.

Winner: Silent Alarm

Next:

Wilco - Mermaid Avenue
Queen - A Night At The Opera
Beastie Boys - Check Your Head
Little Richard - Here’s Little Richard

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:30 pm

Wilco - Mermaid Avenue

Nice collection of country tinged rock (Or rock tinged country). The chemistry between styles here is pretty good, though not a lot of individually memorable tracks.

Queen - A Night At The Opera

I’m sorry, I know a lot of people love this album, but I find it difficult to listen to. It’s overorchestrated and melodramatic and has this attitude about it that just makes me wince. Yeah, Bohemian Rhapsody is fun to sing along to.

Beastie Boys - Check Your Head

I’m not a huge fan of the early Beastie Boys where they mostly take drum and bass loops and take turns making monotone statements. I like their later stuff that opens up melodically a bit more.

Little Richard - Here’s Little Richard

Simple pop basics with a lot of showmanship. Makes me think of a joke in Family Guy. “Next we’re playing the classic hit by Little Richard, ‘Piano Flouish Woo.’” The ‘Woo’ sounds awesome but Little Richard would have certainly benefited from having a few more diverse tricks in his playbook.

To me this is not the strongest group. Two albums a lot of people love but I just don’t like, one nice sounding but unmemorable album, and one collection of very simple pop hits. Given this choice I’ll go with the pop hits.

Winner: Here’s Little Richard

Next:
The Kronos Quartet - Salome Dances For Peace
Beastie Boys - Licensed To Ill
Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash With His Hot And Blue Guitar
AC/DC - Highway To Hell

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby babydoll » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:41 pm

Jirin wrote:The message of Waterfalls never quite sat right with me. “Don’t take any risks, stay in your comfort zone forever. Or else you may end up feeling bad.”

THAT IS NOT WHAT THEY'RE SAYING! "Don't go chasing waterfalls" is a metaphor for "don't make choices that'll affect your life negatively," honestly a very valid advice. "Stick to the rivers and the lakes you're used to" - well, rivers are not exactly that still, so it means you can take chances but don't go chasing waterfalls, and the lakes are, well, the things you're used to.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:59 pm

I get the definite impression that it's saying that getting into crime, abandoning your parents, etc is a symptom of having higher aspirations that you currently have, and generally being unhappy with your station.

'Dreams are hopeless aspirations
In hopes of comin' true'

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby babydoll » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:23 pm

Jirin wrote:I get the definite impression that it's saying that getting into crime, abandoning your parents, etc is a symptom of having higher aspirations that you currently have, and generally being unhappy with your station.

'Dreams are hopeless aspirations
In hopes of comin' true'

But you conveniently left out the very next lines: "Believe in yourself/The rest is up to you and me." They're saying, "Dreams don't come true, you must accomplish it."

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:23 am

I think you're right, but I also think "Aim reasonably within your clear means" is a part of that message.

The Kronos Quartet - Salome Dances For Peace

Again facing my difficulty in being able to talk about non-vocal music. It is an ambitious string composition. A sociopolitical allegory rooted in mythology, but I’m going to be completely honest and say I don’t get when non-vocal music is said to tell a specific narrative story, as I just hear the notes and experience the emotions. So I will just say: “It soundy good”.

Beastie Boys - Licensed To Ill

I liked the Beastie Boys a lot more after they got rid of that whiny tone of voice they used in the early voice. That whine-tone is just grating. It makes songs that might be enjoyable with yelling just a little more on tone completely unlistenable. Paul’s Boutique is in my top 500 AT, because they got rid of the whine-tone later in their careers.

Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash with His Hot And Blue Guitar

This is an enjoyable album that suffers a bit from having inferior versions of songs that appear on Folsom Prison Blues. Also I Was There When It Happened leaves a bad taste in my mouth because it sounds in modern day like conservative Twitter propaganda. "Those people trying to trick you with their SCIENCE away from the Lord."

AC/DC - Highway To Hell

Good guitar riffs, expectedly silly lyrics. Can’t take songs seriously when the lyrics are basically bragging about being a horrible violent human being, whether it’s metal, punk, or hip hop.

Winner: Salome Dances For Peace

Next:
Suede - Suede
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Sonic Youth - Goo
Billy Joel - The Stranger

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby StevieFan13 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:35 am

Ooh, The Stranger. #2 AT.
Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand - Sir Duke (1976)

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:47 pm

Does the Suede s/t have other names or just not on Spotify?

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby StevieFan13 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:51 pm

Jirin wrote:Does the Suede s/t have other names or just not on Spotify?

It's just not on Spotify. I've tried finding their stuff before with no luck.
Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand - Sir Duke (1976)

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:33 am

Suede - Suede

Guitar parts are solid with a dash of trippiness. Unfortunately the melodies don’t go much of anywhere and the singer does that thing common in late 80s/early 90s British rock where his voice breaks way too much.

Black Sabbath - Paranoid

Just like with the self-titled I’m seeing things in Black Sabbath I didn’t see before, very good album. Just solid guitar driven hard rock anthems.

Sonic Youth - Goo

Sonic Youth does the trendy thing and incorporates some grunge. It sounds good but loses a lot of what make Sister and Daydream Nation special.

Billy Joel - The Stranger

Lots of nice melodies with well polished production. A tad on the schmaltzy side. That’s the one thing that keeps me from really becoming at Billy Joel fan, the overt sentimentality. Like every time he sees a potential heartstring he grabs onto it and pulls hard.

Winner: Paranoid

Next:
Clifford Brown & Max Roach - Daahoud/Clifford Brown & Max Roach
Simon & Garfunkel - Sounds of Silence
The Smiths - Meat Is Murder
Game Theory - Two Steps From The Middle Ages

Is the Brown/Roach album going to be confusing to find on Spotify? Is it another of those albums with 10,000 names?

The Game Theory Album was originally in a much earlier matchup but got swapped with another album because at the time it first come out, it was a month and a half away from being re-released and therefore available on Spotify. The album it swapped with is Never Mind The Bollocks, Here Are The Sex Pistols, not my favorite but easily the highest AM ranked album in this game. We'll see if it benefited from the swap. We'll see if this is a better matchup for it than Kevin Coyne, Godspeed You Black Emperor! and These New Puritans.
Last edited by Jirin on Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby StevieFan13 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:37 am

Aw. Well, to be fair, that does have some of his more sentimental songs, although a few are helped a great deal by looking at the lyrics. Just the Way You Are is crap, but She's Always a Woman is actually a very bitter, unromantic song. And songs like Scenes from an Italian Restaurant and Movin' Out are absolute classics.
Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand - Sir Duke (1976)

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:42 am

Clifford Brown & Max Roach - Daahoud/Clifford Brown & Max Roach

All around solid jazz effort. Some tracks have a ‘deuling’ kind of feel to them.

Simon & Garfunkel - Sounds Of Silence

There’s nothing wrong with this album except that it compared weakly to all the other Simon & Garfunkel albums. Feels like they just threw in whatever to sell the title single in an LP.

The Smiths - Meat Is Murder

Love that finely honed depressive Smiths sound. The perfect band to listen to when you feel like hating the human race. Meat Is Murder is a little more polished and mature than previous Smiths albums but doesn’t have the same strong hooks as their more popular albums.

Game Theory - Two Steps From The Middle Ages*

This is the other album that was originally assigned to early matchup, but when that matchup came up, I saw the album was not on Spotify but was going to be re-released in a month. I don’t know what I like so much about Scott Miller’s songwriting. It’s like he takes pop melodies and makes them a little distorted and weird without taking away the pop catchiness. Meandering pop melodies over simple new wave guitar. In this album the guitar riffs are a little more straightforwardly rocking.

Winner: Two Steps From The Middle Ages

Next:
Steve Earle - El Corazon
Buffalo Springfield - Buffalo Springfield
The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement
The Clash - Sandanista!

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby veganvalentine » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:11 am

StevieFan13 wrote:Aw. Well, to be fair, that does have some of his more sentimental songs, although a few are helped a great deal by looking at the lyrics. Just the Way You Are is crap, but She's Always a Woman is actually a very bitter, unromantic song. And songs like Scenes from an Italian Restaurant and Movin' Out are absolute classics.


Just the Way You Are is one of the only songs I don't care for on The Stranger, and although I love the melody of She's Always a Woman, the lyrics come off as sexist to me. Like you say, Movin' Out is an absolute classic, and the rhyming in particular is really impressive. The title track is great too.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:57 pm

Steve Earle - El Corazon

It’s not always easy to know what to expect from a Steve Earle album. He ranges from the driving guitar country rock of Guitar Town to the slower more contemplative Transcendental Blues. El Corazon seems to be more on the country rock side with a little more of a bluegrassy tinge.

Buffalo Springfield - Buffalo Springfield

Not many albums sound more like the 60s than this one.

The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement

Not a bad album but kind of blends into the British garage rock scene other than the awesome opening track.

The Clash - Sandinista!

Is this a Clash album? It’s kind of all over the place. It’s not that it’s different from other Clash, so much as it’s an oversized album with no unifying theme or feel to it.

Winner: El Corazon

Next:
Dizzee Rascal - Boy in da Corner
Albert Ayler - Spiritual Unit
The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole
Thelonious Monk - Genius Of Modern Music, Vol 2

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:51 pm

Dizzee Rascal - Boy in da Corner

I haven’t really connected with British rap. It kind of strikes me like Butters playing Professor Chaos in South Park. People trying to project an aggressive attitude they just don’t have. And with particular dialects of British accent which make the vowels sound too jarring to have good flow. The self conscious irony of the lyrics conveyed by his voice constantly breaking doesn’t quite match the tone.

Albert Ayler - Spiritual Unity

It soundy good.

The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole

Great music to dance to, for sitting down and listening to it works a little better than some other droning electronica because a lot of the loops are moody and melodic vocals. “It Doesn’t Matter” … I think maybe Twitter found its new theme song.

Thelonious Monk - Genius Of Modern Music, Vol 2

I like this kind of jazz but it also seems a tad more packaged than the more avant garde kinds of jazz I really like.

Winner: Spiritual Unity

Next:
Townes Van Zandt - Flyin' Shoes
Miles Davis - In A Silent Way
Talking Heads - Little Creatures
The Notorious BIG - Ready To Die

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:29 pm

Townes Van Zandt - Flyin’ Shoes

Good album but melodies not quite on the level of the two albums of his I really like, which are the self titled and The Late Great Townes Van Zandt.

Miles Davis - In A Silent Way*

The title of this one indicates it is an album about silent or quietness. The blurb on allmusic says the original album production sounds folky in its melodies but the original studio recording took a lot longer to ramp up and is truer to the title. Whichever version I have, I enjoy its deliberateness.

Talking Heads - Little Creatures

I like Talking Heads but there’s just not much of their distinctive production style and some pretty weak hooks on this one.

Notorious BIG - Ready To Die

This is the highest AM ranked album I’ve never listened to all the way through. I enjoy it, the flow is really good and better than I remembered from the singles I’ve heard. Just as I’ve spoken about before, have big problem with violence glorifying lyrics. Like, in the big single Big Poppa, one has to make a special request to his friends that they not shoot up the club that night. (As opposed to real life, where you’d think not shooting people would be the default expectation.) Still, good enough it would come in second in this group.

Winner: In A Silent Way

Next:
The Go! Team - Rolling Blackouts
Fever Ray - Fever Ray
Randy Newman - 12 Songs
Bobby Bland - Two Steps From The Blues

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:51 am

Should I start a new topic for this? I'm no longer thinking of a listening project for 2017, I'm running a listening project, in 2017. And it's clearly going to bleed into 2018 as I'm only 36 out of 64 fights into round 1. :)

I'm actually considering taking the 64 winners from round 1 and combining them with new additions to my ranking system over the last year to expand the game next year. That way it'd be all the round 1 winners + All new discoveries from the last year + albums already in my ranking system that have floated toward the bottom lately in a new 256 album draw.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Hymie » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:08 am

Jirin wrote:As many of you know I'm a dork who likes making music listening into games. Here's an idea for something I might try next year.

Select albums by the following basis.

-For any artist with an album in my top 200, pick the highest ranked album I have not heard or not given a chance in a while.

-For each year 1950-2016, pick the highest ranked album by the same rules.

-Fill the list up to 256 by picking from the overall rankings the same way.

Any album not on Spotify and not available cheapo used on Amazon, pick next down the list for its qualification criteria.

For any qualification that takes me into Bubblers, tie goes to the earlier released album. Anything with nothing even in Bubblers, go to allmusic stars, same tiebreaker.

Seed randomly into a 4:1 elimination bracket (256-64-16-4-1).

Listen to these albums, advance the one I enjoyed the most, comment on the album on a thread here.

Does this sound like something that would be fun?


Just getting to this thread. Very cool idea. Gonna make some comments.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Hymie » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:14 am

Jirin wrote:The Beatles - Hard Day's Night

Listening to this reminded me of two things. That Hard Day's Night is an incredible single, and the reason I'm not into the Beatles' early albums. Other than the title song, the tracks on this album aren't all that special.


I have to disagree here. I like their early albums best, and this or Sgt. Pepper would be my favorite. I like the songs better on this album, but I listen to pepper much more as an album than I ever did with this one.

To me, all of these below are "special."

A Hard Day's Night
I Should Have Known Better
Tell Me Why
Can't Buy Me Love (my favorite song by them)
Any Time at All
I'll Cry Instead
Things We Said Today
You Can't Do That
I'll Be Back

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Hymie » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:17 am

Jirin wrote:Boogie Down Productions - Criminal Minded



I worked in a record shop in a black area back then, and we sold carloads of this on cassette. It was the best seller among catalog rap albums for several years for us. Lots of other albums were bigger when they were current, but this was the biggest seller among rap albums that were not current anymore. Monstrous.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Hymie » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:07 am

Jirin wrote:Little Richard - Here’s Little Richard

Simple pop basics with a lot of showmanship. Makes me think of a joke in Family Guy. “Next we’re playing the classic hit by Little Richard, ‘Piano Flouish Woo.’” The ‘Woo’ sounds awesome but Little Richard would have certainly benefited from having a few more diverse tricks in his playbook.

To me this is not the strongest group. Two albums a lot of people love but I just don’t like, one nice sounding but unmemorable album, and one collection of very simple pop hits. Given this choice I’ll go with the pop hits.

Winner: Here’s Little Richard


I have never heard anybody describe Little Richard as "pop" before. R&B, rock and roll, yes. Pop, not even remotely.

THIS is what 50s pop was like. Listen at your own risk!

Last edited by Hymie on Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Hymie » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:09 am

Jirin wrote:Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash with His Hot And Blue Guitar

This is an enjoyable album that suffers a bit from having inferior versions of songs that appear on Folsom Prison Blues.


Have to disagree here. The original Sun versions of those songs are far better than the pumped up live versions from 1968.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Rob » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:14 am

Jirin wrote:Should I start a new topic for this? I'm no longer thinking of a listening project for 2017, I'm running a listening project, in 2017. And it's clearly going to bleed into 2018 as I'm only 36 out of 64 fights into round 1. :)

I'm actually considering taking the 64 winners from round 1 and combining them with new additions to my ranking system over the last year to expand the game next year. That way it'd be all the round 1 winners + All new discoveries from the last year + albums already in my ranking system that have floated toward the bottom lately in a new 256 album draw.


You an also change the title of this existing topic, but editing your first post. I think that would work better as it keeps everything in one place. Jirin's Listening Project perhaps?

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:17 pm

The Go! Team - Rolling Blackouts

Sounds like more of the same as Thunder, Lighting, Strike which isn’t a bad thing. I like their weird unique niche of cheerleader chants and big bang instrument samples. Just a little bit too much of a rehash.

Fever Ray - Fever Ray

Fever Ray has the vocals of The Knife but it’s missing the exotically complex and spacey alien rhythms.

Randy Newman - 12 Songs

Never liked Randy Newman and this does not change my mind. Occasionally I think he has a clever political insight but most of them come off as smarmy and almost self-congratulatory for saying them. And I find something really irritating about his tone of voice, it almost seems like a tuanting voice, like he’s talking down to his audience.

Bobby Bland - Two Steps From The Blues

This is awesome, one of those examples of perfect execution in the center of a standard genre.

Winner: Two Steps From The Blues

Next:
Dr Dre - The Chronic
The Mahayishnu Orchestra - The Inner Mountain Flame
The Kinks - Arthur
Disclosure - Settle

Edit: First two not on Spotify. Hopefully YouTube is my friend here.

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:07 am

Dr Dre - The Chronic

I could copy paste a lot of my thoughts on Ready to Die here. A lot to like about this about the flow, but very hard for me to get past the lyrics glorifying gang violence.

The Mahavishnu Orchestra - The Inner Mounting Flame*

I like this kind of stream of consciousness virtuosic instrumental riffing.

The Kinks - Arthur

This album has the tongue in cheek concept driven feel of Lola vs etc etc etc. This works really well when satirizing the record industry, but somehow the feel doesn’t match the concept as well when it’s talking about the government and militarism.

Disclosure - Settle

Not a fan of this one. Some of the looped vocals sound pretty grating. “When a fire starts to burn…and it starts to spread!” Some parts of it sound good but they just chose to loop a lot of melodies that just don’t sound good and don’t resolve themselves before the loop starts again.

Winner: The Inner Mounting Flame

Next:

Outkast - ATLiens
Mahmoud Ahmed - Soul of Addis
Otis Redding - The Dock Of The Bay
Oliver Nelson - The Blues And Abstract Truth

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby Jirin » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:13 am

Outkast - ATLiens

Some nice songs on this, with all the fun of Outkast records, just maybe they hadn’t found their stride yet.

Mahmoud Ahmed - Soul Of Addis

Mahmoud Ahmed I first discovered for BMAA with Ere Mela Mela, this is the second album of his I’m hearing. Love it when somebody has so much vocal charisma it doesn’t matter I have no idea what he’s saying.

Otis Redding - The Dock of the Bay

Otis Redding is somone I’ve always thought was really good, but I’ve never placed nearly as high as he appeared on all time lists. This album does not change my perception.

Oliver Nelson - The Blues And Abstract Truth

Some nice jazzy conversational blues.

Winner: Soul Of Addis

Next:
Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Queens Of The Stone Age - Rated R
GZA - Beneath The Surface
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory

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Re: Thinking of listening project for 2017

Postby bootsy » Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:05 am

Jirin wrote:Outkast - ATLiens

Some nice songs on this, with all the fun of Outkast records, just maybe they hadn’t found their stride yet.

They actually did. It's a different tone from their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik and to me it's their best album outside of Aquemini

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Re: Jirin's Listening Music Discovery Game

Postby Jirin » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:36 am

Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress

Recently Life Pursuit has become my favorite Belle & Sebastian album. Those catchy power pop melodies with the tone of raw yearning are infinitely singable. This album comes in between so wasn’t sure whether to expect it to sound like the 90’s stuff or more like Life Pursuit. It seems to have elements of both, good album but not quite as singable as its successor.

Queens Of The Stone Age - Rated R

QOTSA is a band I’ve never really liked anything by. There’s some neat guitar riffs, but they are the sort of band that thinks just listing off names of drugs over and over counts as rebelliousness. It comes off to me as lazy pandering. Melodies are generally uninspired.

GZA - Beneath The Surface

This is on the list because Liquid Swords is in my top 200. I like the flow, I like the protest songs in the album.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo’s Factory

Good catchy rock songs, but not my favorite among the classics, to me at least CCR ages a lot more than other equally celebrated albums from the same era.

Winner: Very close between Dear Catastrophe Waitress and Beneath The Surface. Going with Dear Catastrophe Waitress

Next:
Black Flag - Damaged
The Pogues - If I Should Fall From Grace With God
Rage Against The Machine - Rage Against The Machine
Theloneous Monk - Brilliant Corners

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Re: Jirin's Listening Music Discovery Game

Postby Jirin » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:43 pm

Black Flag - Damaged

Fun testosterone fueled songs about hanging out and drinking beer, I can get behind that. Musically though it’s a little boring. Power chords and yelling and not enough rawness and energy for it to have the exhilirating effect of bands like The Ramones. If this sort of music doesn’t make you want to headbang it has failed in its task.

The Pogues - If I Should Fall from Grace With God

This is one I’m liking a lot more now than I have in the past. I think what alienated me before was the roughness of the dialect, but I love the Celtic melodies.

Rage Against The Machine - Rage Against The Machine

This is okay. I’m not a fan of this kind of music, but it’s enjoyable. I like counterculturalism in music but this counterculturalism seems so generic I can’t get into the message. Raging against the machine, who is the machine? Well, whoever happens to be powerful or telling you what to do at the moment. Ok whatever.

Theloneous Monk - Brilliant Corners

I like this. Subtle, slower jazz that encourages active listening.


Winner: If I Should Fall From Grace With God

Next:
The Crickets - The "Chirping" Crickets
Slayer - Reign In Blood
The Watersons - Frost And Fire
Animal Collective - Here Comes The Indian

Two non-Spotify albums, hopefully Youtube helps me as usual.

Why are Watersons records so hard to find?

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Re: Jirin's Listening Music Discovery Game

Postby Jirin » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:10 am

The Crickets - The “Chirping” Crickets

I know it’s unfair to call this ‘Dad rock’, since it appealed to teenagers when it came out, who then grew into dads. But I think it’s appropriate. The music my dad actually listens to like the Beatles, Stones and all that good 60s-70s stuff I would never call ‘Dad rock’. It’s got a distinct combination of desire to appear youthful and fear of crossing boundaries.

Slayer - Reign In Blood

Album has some great energy and fun, though heavy helping of cheesiness as well.

The Watersons - Frost and Fire

The only other thing I’ve heard by them is Bright Phoebus which is in my top 100. The Watersons have a distinct weirdness, but also emotional tenderness and delicacy in their unapologetic Anglicanism. This album is a collection of seasonal themed songs. It’s good but doesn’t quite hook me the same way Bright Phoebus does.

Animal Collective - Here Comes The Indian

I like Animal Collective's later stuff when they married their experimentalism with a vestige of melody and pop sensibilities. This album though combines weird halting with screaming and what sounds like mashing random keys on the keyboard.

Winner: Reign in Blood

Next:
Jay Z - The Black Album
The Wailers' - Burnin'
Frank Sinatra - Songs For Swinging Lovers
Loretta Lynn - Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind)

Jay Z is the obvious favorite here for me as I hold Blueprint in very high esteem. Though I haven't heard a lot of earlier Loretta Lynn, and also like a lot of Marley. Of course Jay Z is not on Spotify and probably polices Youtube more, might be tricky to hear this without buying upfront.

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Re: Jirin's Listening Music Discovery Game

Postby Jirin » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:10 am

Damn it, Jay Z polices Youtube. There has to be a way to find out if I like the album before blind buying it.

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Re: Jirin's Listening Music Discovery Game

Postby StevieFan13 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:37 am

Jirin wrote:Damn it, Jay Z polices Youtube. There has to be a way to find out if I like the album before blind buying it.

Trust me on this one: it's worth buying blind.
Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand - Sir Duke (1976)

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Re: Jirin's Listening Music Discovery Game

Postby Honorio » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:59 am


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Re: Jirin's Listening Music Discovery Game

Postby Jirin » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:31 pm

Thanks! Next situation like that I'll make use of it, but I already found not-as-good-alternative way to hear it in this case.

Jay Z - The Black Album

I ended up finding a site that streamed live versions of all the non singles, so I streamed those, then managed to find the big singles standalone on Youtube eventually, so I think that’s enough. It is awesome, and is good enough that I want to buy it, just I wish these major label artists would realize it isn't 1997 and you have to let people listen to an album once, not just the singles, before they decide if they want to buy it or not. In next round I'll own the actual CD and hear the real full album.

The Wailers’ - Burnin’

Met my expectations pretty much exactly. I like The Wailers and this is neither my favorite nor least favorite of their work.

Frank Sinatra - Songs For Swinging Lovers

This does not change my opinion of Sinatra much. I respect his talent, I just don’t like the kind of 50s-masculine loungy music he sings.

Loretta Lynn - Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)

Wow this album comes off darker in today’s world than it probably did when it came out. Woman trapped in horrible marriage with man who spends all day drinking and cheating. It originally just must have come off as the status quo that women have to live with? I like Loretta Lynn but I have to admit I like her a lot more with the higher paced spontaneous feel of Jack White’s production style.

Winner: The Black Album

Next:
Kaki King - Until We Felt Red
Nirvana - From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah
The Smiths - Strangeways, Here We Come
Run DMC - Raising Hell


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