Jirin's Music Listening Discovery Game - Round 2

Jirin
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Jirin's Music Listening Discovery Game - Round 2

Postby Jirin » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:26 pm

Thought I'd create a new topic since I finally got through all 256 albums and got to the field of 64.

I will be listening a little different here in that I will use these matchups to also seed albums into my ranking system. So I will be listening to 10 albums, the 4 in the matchup, 1 from 2017 not seeded in yet, 1 from 2016 not seeded in yet, and 4 ranking between 400-700.

Albums in this game will be commented, others will not, each will have its consequent new ranking in my program.

Currently there's some clumping going on so rankings for same matchups will seem close together, this will be fixed when they get more integrated with more heavily ranked albums.

----------------

The first matchup:

Arzachel - Arzachel (#644)
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds (#647)

Have you ever listened to an album where you were hoping you would hate it? Justin Timberlake is somebody I associate with kind of douchey ‘club poser’ culture. And his lyrics fit right into that image of him. He’s the kind of person who would start a business with Tom Haverford from Parks & Recreation. But unfortunately, the music on this album sounds good. It gets into these nifty dance grooves, smooth enough that you don’t care it’s obnoxiously trendy. Maybe I need to add Sexyback to my guilty pleasure ballot.

Waxahatchee - Out In The Storm (#651)
Bill Evans - Sunday At The Village Vanguard (#650)

Nice quiet conversational jazz.

Michael Kiwanuka - Love & Hate (#652)
Nick Cave - Tender Prey (#653)
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique (#658)
Mac Demarco - Salad Days (n/a)

I like this kind of simple laid back indie rock, but it needs just a little more to be special rather than just pleasant.

Lucinda Williams - World Without Tears (#657)

The National - The National (N/A)

I like the National style and singing style anywhere, but they just hadn’t found a songwriting groove here yet. They hadn’t yet zeroed on the themes of alienation and the tone of resignation that makes their later work so special.

So FutureSex/LoveSounds is the first album to move on to the semifinals.

Next:
The White Stripes - Under The Great White Northern Lights
The Housemartins - The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death
Velvet Underground - 1969: Velvet Underground Live With Lou Reed
Saint Etienne - Tales From Turnpike House

Against:
Fever Ray - Plunge
Nicolas Jaar - Sirens
Bjork - Vespertine
Cowtown - Paranormal Romance
Miles Davis - Birth of the Cool
The Who - The Who Sell Out

Jirin
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Re: Jirin's Music Listening Discovery Game - Round 2

Postby Jirin » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:18 pm

The White Stripes - Under The Great White Northern Lights

This is far and away the winner here. Jack White sounds amazing live, he virtuousically riffs on the source material and gives every song a new separate life of its own. I’m looking forward to seeing him at the New Orlenas Jazz and Heritage festival in a couple weeks.

Cowtown - Paranormal Romance
Fever Ray - Plunge
Miles Davis - Birth of the Cool
Bjork - Vespertine
Velvet Underground - 1969: Velvet Underground Live With Lou Reed

Good raw sounding live album. Lou Reed’s singing style injects a hint of irreverent sarcasm to every song he performs.

Saint Etienne - Tales From Turnpike House

Lately I’ve been finding a lot of music like this, indie pop with airy female vocals, I’ve really gotten into. Whether it be Saint Etienne, Julia Holter, Fever Ray. There aren’t quite the magically beautiful hooks there are on So Tough but an all around strong album.

The Who - The Who Sell Out
The Housemartins - The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death

You can’t go wrong with this kind of power pop with catchy happy melodies.

Nicolas Jaar - Sirens

Winner: Under The Great White Northern LIghts

Next:
Muddy Waters - Muddy Waters At Newport 1960
Bob Marley - Exodus
The Jam - In The City
The 2 Bears - The Night Is Young

Against:
Blanck Mass - World Eater
Frank Ocean - Blonde
Neil Young - Hitchhiker
These New Puritans - Field of Reeds
Viet Cong - Viet Cong
Led Zeppelin - Houses Of The Holy

Current semifinal bracket:
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
The White Stripes - Under The Great White Northern Lights

Jirin
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Re: Jirin's Music Listening Discovery Game - Round 2

Postby Jirin » Fri May 04, 2018 2:38 am

Neil Young - Hitchhiker
Frank Ocean - Blonde
The Jam - In The City

Can’t get enough of the energy and rawness of the post punk movement.

Blanck Mass - World Eater
Viet Cong - Viet Cong
The 2 Bears - The Night Is Young

The 2 Bears have a cheeky kind of electropop, but somehow it works really well.

Led Zeppelin - Houses Of The Holy
Bob Marley - Exodus

Good consistent album that sounds how you expect Bob Marley to sound.

Muddy Waters - Muddy Waters At Newport 1960

A good live blues album, though a little more on the pop side of blues than I prefer.

These New Puritans - Field of Reeds

Semifinal Draw:
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
The White Stripes - Under The Great White Northern Lights
The Jam - In The City

Next:
The Doors - Strange Days
Kevin Coyne - Case History
Fennesz - Venice
King Sunny Ade - Juju Music

Against:
Magnetic Fields - 50 Song Memoir
Bon Iver - 22, A Million
Sonny Sharrock - Ask The Ages
Perfume Genius - No Shape
Pepe Deluxe - Queen of the Wave
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks

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Re: Jirin's Music Listening Discovery Game - Round 2

Postby Jirin » Tue May 15, 2018 12:15 am

Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks
Magnetic Fields - 50 Song Memoir
Sonny Sharrock - Ask The Ages
Perfume Genius - No Shape
The Doors - Strange Days

A good Doors album, filled with the kind of playful takes on alienation you now see from The National. A little more catchy and less hard rocking than their biggest albums.

Fennesz - Venice

Fennesz albums are somehow entrancing, with textured ambiance that somehow just draws you in.

Bon Iver - 22, A Million
Pepe Deluxe - Queen of the Wave
King Sunny Ade - Juju Music

I like African pop in general, and this is a good album, but not one that to me particularly stands out within the genre.

Kevin Coyne - Case History

I like the quirky folk and often mental health related lyrics of Kevin Coyne. This album in particular criticizes the experience of having mental health problems and the way people were treated in the early 1970s.

Semifinal draw:
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
The White Stripes - Under The Great White Northern Lights
The Jam - In The City
The Doors - Strange Days

Next: John Mayall - Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton
John Coltrane - Giant Steps
Bjork - Medulla
Erykah Badu - Mama's Gun

Against:
LCD Soundsystem - American Dream
Savages - Adore Life
Wishbone Ash - Argus
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
Jorge Ben - Africa Brasil
Cream - Disraeli Gears

Jirin
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Re: Jirin's Music Listening Discovery Game - Round 2

Postby Jirin » Thu May 17, 2018 9:46 pm

John Coltrane - Giant Steps

I love this kind of jazz that doesn’t conform to any structure and never quite lets you get your brain set to fully anticipate the next measure.

Wishbone Ash - Argus
LCD Soundsystem - American Dream
Erykah Badu - Mama's Gun

Noone has that smooth spiritual groove quite like Erykah Badu. Her songs are personal, spiritual, and about the black experience in America without a hint of pretention.

Savages - Adore Life
Bjork - Medulla

The weirdest Bjork album and that’s saying something. The only one I’ve heard that invokes a chorus of other voices chanting. It almost has the function of the backing rhythyms in Afro-pop only has a little more of a hymnal tone and instead of establishing the groove it broadens the emotional context.

John Mayall - Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton

The guitar in this album is amazing, but I find the song selection a little constrained. Not that there’s anything wrong with blues albums that mostly play standards and play them extremely well, just I want to see a little more of the performer’s unique personality. When artists are extremely technically skilled but mostly play standards I tend to like them a lot more live than on studio albums.

Jorge Ben - Africa Brasil
Cream - Disraeli Gears
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral

Semifinal draw:
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
The White Stripes - Under The Great White Northern Lights
The Jam - In The City
The Doors - Strange Days

John Coltrane - Giant Steps

Next:

New Order - Low Life
Burning Spear - Marcus Garvey
Roy Harper - HQ
Lou Reed - Rock N Roll Animal

Against:
D.D Dumbo - Utopia Defeated
Josh T Pearson - Last Of The Country Gentlemen
Viet Cong - Viet Cong
The Gun Club - Fire Of Love
St Vincent - Masseduction
The Psychadelic Furs - Forever Now

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Re: Jirin's Music Listening Discovery Game - Round 2

Postby Jirin » Mon May 21, 2018 10:25 pm

St Vincent - Masseduction
Roy Harper - HQ
New Order - Low Life

This is a good consistent album that sinks into a nice groove and stays there. It does unfortunately suffer from a lack of variety. Every track evokes the same feelings.

Viet Cong - Viet Cong
Lou Reed - Rock N Roll Animal

I love live albums that are unique from the studio source material, and do something you can’t quite get from any other recordings.

Burning Spear - Marcus Garvey

Good raggae. Though as I mentioned the first time around I would have liked to hear the original version before it was diluted for commercial viability.

Josh T Pearson - Last Of The Country Gentlemen
The Gun Club - Fire Of Love
D.D Dumbo - Utopia Defeated
The Psychadelic Furs - Forever Now

I’m not connecting with this one was much in this round. It has the same basic aesthetic of Talk Talk Talk but songwriting is less focused.

Ironically, HQ lost in the first round to Murder Ballads. If it were in this 2nd round matchup it would have advanced.

Semifinals:
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
The White Stripes - Under The Great White Northern Lights
The Jam - In The City
The Doors - Strange Days

John Coltrane - Giant Steps
New Order - Low Life

Next:
Suicide - Alan Vega/Martin Rev
Basement Jaxx - Remedy
Fela Kuti - Sorrow Tears and Blood
James Brown - Sex Machine

Against:
Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me
Ben Harper - Call It What It Is
John Coltrane - My Favorite Things
Tame Impala - Innerspeakers
Quilt - Held In Splendor
Damien Jurado - Maraqopa

Jirin
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Re: Jirin's Music Listening Discovery Game - Round 2

Postby Jirin » Thu May 24, 2018 9:18 pm

Suicide - Alan Vega/Martin Rev

It’s hard to describe what appeals to me about this album. It’s got the dark, mysterious energy of the more famous Suicide album but a totally different approach to songwriting. Something about Suicide makes you feel like you’re involved in a criminal exchange in a hidden back alley and something is about to go horribly wrong, and it’s somehow awesome.

Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me
Basement Jaxx - Remedy

Loopy electronic album that showcases a lot of technical skill and not a whole lot of soul.

Ben Harper - Call It What It Is
James Brown - Sex Machine

Love the raw masculine energy here.

Fela Kuti - Sorrow Tears and Blood

A good Fela Kuti album, I don’t have very detailed things to say about this one.

Quilt - Held In Splendor
John Coltrane - My Favorite Things
Damien Jurado - Maraqopa
Tame Impala - Innerspeaker

Semifinals:
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
The White Stripes - Under The Great White Northern Lights
The Jam - In The City
The Doors - Strange Days

John Coltrane - Giant Steps
New Order - Low Life
Suicide - Alan Vega/Martin Rev

Next:
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Little Richard - Here's Little Richard
Kronos Quartet - Salome Dances For Peace
Black Sabbath - Paranoid

Against:
Godspeed You Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers
Lucinda Williams - Ghosts Of Highway 20
Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden Of Delete
Preoccupations - Preoccupations
Radiohead - The King Of Limbs
American Football - American Football

Jirin
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Re: Jirin's Music Listening Discovery Game - Round 2

Postby Jirin » Wed May 30, 2018 10:08 pm

Black Sabbath - Paranoid

Pure guitar and charisma driven hard rock.

Godspeed You Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers
Lucinda Williams - Ghosts Of Highway 20
Preoccupations - Preoccupations
American Football - American Football
Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden Of Delete
Kronos Quartet - Salome Dances For Peace

Kronos Quartet are an interesting band that pop up in weird places and interesting projects. This year they made an album with Laurie Anderson. This one is jazzy, chaotic and multifaceted. I try reading on allmusic exactly what is about, but can’t come up with much more to say than ‘It soundy good’.

Radiohead - The King Of Limbs
Little Richard - Here's Little Richard

I have nothing against Little Richard, he’s good at his brand of playing R&B standards with his infectiously happy charisma. Just his style is not for me, and his range doesn’t explore much outside the comfortable.

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm

This is pretty decent but pulls from the same bag of tricks as the entire British Garage Rock revival of the early 2000s.

Semifinals:
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
The White Stripes - Under The Great White Northern Lights
The Jam - In The City
The Doors - Strange Days

John Coltrane - Giant Steps
New Order - Low Life
Suicide - Alan Vega/Martin Rev
Black Sabbath - Paranoid

Next:
Game Theory - Two Steps From The Middle Ages
Steve Earle - El Corazon
Albert Ayler - Spiritual Unity
Miles Davis - In A Silent Way

Against:
Offa Rex - The Queen Of Hearts
La Femme - Mystere
Kevin Coyne - Babble
Kendrick Lamar - Untitled Unmastered
Lou Reed - Songs For Drella
LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

Jirin
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Re: Jirin's Music Listening Discovery Game - Round 2

Postby Jirin » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:56 am

Miles Davis - In A Silent Way

Multiple musical conversations in harmony. It soundy good.

Steve Earle - El Corazon

Steve Earle is exactly what I’d hope to hear if I walked into a music bar in Nashville.

Kendrick Lamar - Untitled Unmastered
Albert Ayler - Spiritual Unity

Again, I love the kind of free jazz that never lets your brain get quite comfortable. Exactly what I’d hope to hear if I walked into a bar in New Orleans.

Offa Rex - The Queen Of Hearts
Kevin Coyne - Babble
LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
Game Theory - Two Steps From The Middle Ages

A big part of what makes Game Theory and other Scott Miller projects unique is the mixing. The vocals are mixed lower than you expect from pop music, so it’s like the vocals are enveloped in the guitar. This album doesn’t stand out much however. With bands that don’t have the greatest variety, the middle-quality albums just remind you of the best ones.

Lou Reed - Songs For Drella
La Femme - Mystere

Semifinals:
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
The White Stripes - Under The Great White Northern Lights
The Jam - In The City
The Doors - Strange Days

John Coltrane - Giant Steps
New Order - Low Life
Suicide - Alan Vega/Martin Rev
Black Sabbath - Paranoid

Miles Davis - In A Silent Way

Next:
Bobby Bland - Two Steps From The Blues
The Nahavishnu Orchestra - The Inner Mounting Flame
Mahmoud Ahmed - Soul of Addis
Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress

Against:
Algiers - The Underside Of Power
The Pirouettes - Carrement Carrement
Violent Femmes - Hallowed Ground
Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking
Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man
Radiohead - Amnesiac

Jirin
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Re: Jirin's Music Listening Discovery Game - Round 2

Postby Jirin » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:41 pm

Radiohead - Amnesiac
Bobby Bland - Two Steps From The Blues

It’s a bold move for a performer to put Bland in their title. Like naming your act Derivative Dave or Unlistenable Al. I like this, a nice pleasant listen with some great soulful vocals. But like jazz I think blues loses something when you encapsulate it into radio format.

Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man
Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking
Mahmoud Ahmed - Soul of Addis

Mahmoud Ahmed does these interesting runs with his voice like he’s calling out a lamentation that just don’t sound anything like the kind of music you generally hear in the US. If you listen to a lot of his albums they all start to sound kind of similar.

The Pirouettes - Carrement Carrement
Violent Femmes - Hallowed Ground
Algiers - The Underside Of Power
The Mahavishnu Orchestra - The Inner Mounting Flame

I like the driving guitar riffs on this album, “Inner mounting flame” is right, it’s all has the mood of a buildup to something big about to go down.

Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress

Good album but always sounds to me like they were still figuring out what they were trying to do in Life Pursuit.

Semifinals:
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
The White Stripes - Under The Great White Northern Lights
The Jam - In The City
The Doors - Strange Days

John Coltrane - Giant Steps
New Order - Low Life
Suicide - Alan Vega/Martin Rev
Black Sabbath - Paranoid

Miles Davis - In A Silent Way
Bobby Bland - Two Steps From The Blues

Next:
The Pogues - If I Should Fall From Grace With God
Slayer - Reign In Blood
Jay Z - The Black Album
Kaki King - Until We Felt Red

Against:
Duke Garwood - Garden of Ashes
Underworld - Barbara barbara, we face a shining future
The Sound - Jeopardy
Little Dragon - Machine Dreams
X Ray Spex - Germfree Adolescents
Bonnie Prince Billy - I See A Darkness

Jirin
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Re: Jirin's Music Listening Discovery Game - Round 2

Postby Jirin » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:42 pm

The Sound - Jeopardy
Jay Z - The Black Album

Jay Z is someone I didn’t like at first but gradually warmed up to, to the point that Blueprint is close to entering my top 100 AT. I think 4:44 was underrated by critics, I love that it’s basically 50 minutes of good life advice. Maybe a message of “Invest your money and build wealth, don’t just throw it away” just doesn’t sound as cool as “YEAH GET MONEY AND SHOW THAT SHIT OFF!” Black Album is a good album but i some ways feels like Blueprint lite, with the exception of course that 99 Problems is on it.

Little Dragon - Machine Dreams
Slayer - Reign In Blood

Slayer has taken an interesting position in pop culture as it seems to be the default reference for “Oh, I don’t listen to that deprssing indie crap noone has heard of, I listen to SLAYER.” It has great guitar riffs, it sounds like pure aggression and it doesn’t have the growl scream that sours most metal bands for me. Slayer does what they do better than pretty much everyone else, but it’s just hilarious that a band like this has become a cultural touchstone of musical anti-hipster self righteousness. If you like pure aggression music, I would recommend Slayer.

X Ray Spex - Germfree Adolescents
The Pogues - If I Should Fall From Grace With God

Love the Celtic melodies and the folksy ask and response lyrics are more endearing to me on this listen than they have in the past. “I could have been someone” - “Well so could anyone!”

Duke Garwood - Garden of Ashes
Kaki King - Until We Felt Red

Kaki King’s one of those musically educated technical guitarists, and more accessible to non-technical guitarists than most who meet that description. This is a good album of hers, maybe not her best.

Bonnie Prince Billy - I See A Darkness
Underworld - Barbara barbara, we face a shining future

Semifinal draw:
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
The White Stripes - Under The Great White Northern Lights
The Jam - In The City
The Doors - Strange Days

John Coltrane - Giant Steps
New Order - Low Life
Suicide - Alan Vega/Martin Rev
Black Sabbath - Paranoid

Miles Davis - In A Silent Way
Bobby Bland - Two Steps From The Blues
Jay Z - The Black Album

Next:
Iggy Pop - The Idiot
Nick Cave - Murder Ballads
Leftfield - Leftism
Pere Ubu - New Picnic Time

Against:
The National - Sleep Well Beast
Wild Beasts - Boy King
Tindersticks - The Waiting Room
TV On The Radio - Nine Types Of Light
Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsys
John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band

Jirin
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Re: Jirin's Music Listening Discovery Game - Round 2

Postby Jirin » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:55 am

John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band
Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsys
Iggy Pop - The Idiot

Listening to post-Stooges Iggy Pop has always been strange to me. Less noisy, less hard rock but still with noisy hard rock style sludgy vocals. Something about it comes together and sounds awesome.

The National - Sleep Well Beast
Wild Beasts - Boy King
Pere Ubu - New Picnic Time

Good new wave album but one that is a little heavy on weird noises, cute-cleverisms and idiosyncracy for its own sake, so one that might not be very accessible to those who aren’t in love with the genre.

TV On The Radio - Nine Types Of Light
Nick Cave - Murder Ballads

Nick Cave is such a unique performer. His storytelling approach reminds me of Tom Waits who most of you probably know I adore. But instead of the gruff underculture focus of Tom Waits you get aggressively masculine stories, often focusing on outsiders and criminals (In the case of this album murderers).

Tindersticks - The Waiting Room
Leftfield - Leftism

Good album but with some flaws. Yeah, it’s a winning formula to take soulful vocals and add atmospheric dance beats, but it’s been done better.

Semifinal draw:
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
The White Stripes - Under The Great White Northern Lights
The Jam - In The City
The Doors - Strange Days

John Coltrane - Giant Steps
New Order - Low Life
Suicide - Alan Vega/Martin Rev
Black Sabbath - Paranoid

Miles Davis - In A Silent Way
Bobby Bland - Two Steps From The Blues
Jay Z - The Black Album
Iggy Pop - The Idiot

Next:
Oasis - Definitely Maybe
Herbie Hancokc - Head Hunters
The Replacements - Pleased To Meet Me
Soul II Souls - Club Callsics Vol. One / Keep On Movin

Against:
Vagabon - Infinite Worlds
The Pines - Above The Prairie
Floating Points - Eleania
Arzachel - Arzachel
David Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
Miles Davis - Birth Of The Cool

Have been thinking about the best way to do the semifinals. Instead of having six other albums to seed into, since in this round I had one album in the 400s in my system and one album in the 500s in my system, semifinals will have one in the 200s and one in the 300s.


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