Friday, January 29, 2010
Hard to comment further on Pollack's work, given that I haven't even begun to get through it, but I do have to commend him for undertaking the task.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
A friend of mine sent me this link to a site that provides in-depth analysis of virtually every Beatles song. It is written by American musicologist Alan Pollack. He makes only passing reference to lyrical content, as it is primarily a musical analysis. I've only read a few of them, but what becomes clear very quickly is that even the simple Beatles songs are full of little twists and changes that make them interesting. I've often wondered whether they wrote that way intentionally, or whether they just wrote what felt right to them, unaware of the underlying musical complexity that they were creating.
Monday, January 25, 2010
It sounds as though you've somehow gotten into a state in which your samples are playing locally with their Flash 9 player, and are also downloading to Windows Media player for some reason. My only recommendation would be to contact emusic customer support and hope that they have a technical team that can reset your account.
my computer at the office plays emusic via windows media only... ( not via a emusic propriatorial media player...
are you lot sure that emusic has its own media player...?
Friday, January 22, 2010
Jimi Hendrix: All Along the Watchtower
Buffalo Springfield: On the Way Home
Van Morrison: Into the Mystic
Tom Waits: Telephone Call from Istanbul
Elliott Smith: Bled White
Stars: Your Ex-Lover is Dead
I considered publishing the entire list of songs that I brought with me (to justify all of the hours that I spent compiling it, I suppose), but I've decided that I prefer to remain somewhat mysterious. Each of you should feel free to assume that the discs were jam-packed with your favorites from each decade.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I had a great time and enjoyed the upsets I managed to pull off, though ultimately getting slammed in the finals was humbling. In looking at my lists the enxt day (I built eight play lists for the night to draw from, plus a list of 50 "five star" songs and fifty "four star" numbers) I did wonder if I should have pushed the boundaries of familiarity a little more to draw from some stronger material in the second half of the night. But then I remember playing "Driver 8" and "Girl Called Johnny" and getting feedback ranging from sideways glances (the nice guys) to comments like "poor choice" (the frank guys) to " who is this?" (the ..... guys).
Still, with all of that prep I thought I may as well throw out a few of my other play lists for posterity's sake. As the evening progressed I chopped up the lists and used some songs as youi'll see, though when I look at them now they might have been better as a whole. By and large this is music that I think is really strong or at the very least the best within its genre, of the time.
Love My Way - Psy Furs
Prisoners - Rain Parade
Beds are Burning - M/Oil (used that one)
Levi Stubbs' Tears - Bragg (used it)
Major Tom - Peter Schilling
Pair of Brown Eyes - the Pogues
Elephant Stone - Stone Roses
Wet Weekend - Big Dipper
Pale Shelter - Tears for Fears
Pink Turns to Blue - Husker Du
Only Life - The Feelies
The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death - Housemartins
Games Without Frontiers - Gabriel
A Wave Crashed on Rocks - The Felt
The Dreg - Fleshtones
Ceremony- New Order
Borderline - Camper Van Beethoven
Message of Love - Pretenders
Killing Jar - Siouxsie and the Banshees
Perfect Day - The The
Fields of Fire - Big Country
Christine - House of Love
Everything Counts - Depeche Mode
Might as Well Be on Mars - Pukka Orchestra
So great night. My one less-than-glowing comment is that iit ended up being a process of (almost) smug familiarity with music, rather than opening our ears to new (or less familiar) music. Of course that was all to do with the format. For me that familiarity was what propelled me through two rounds...so not sour grapes. And I kick myself for not punishing Mr 60's with my (lack of) votes for his choice of two Beatles and two Stones. Bastard! And thereby skipping lots of great bands. And two from the same record (Let it Bleed).
Stu has subsequently suggested we get together in the future for in depth listens oif a decade. Stu, over to you to outline your suggestion.
Monday, January 18, 2010
He was very commercially sucessfull during the 90's and had a sound sort of like REM meets sigour ros....its interesting how he knows all the american and british bands of the 60's to 00's including obscure figures like al kooper... seems they had access to all the stuff we had up here...
anyway I am hoping you lot are more open to this since its not a special event like the decade battle but let me know...
Kudos too to Mike, for making the trek down to the meeting, spinning some great music during the elimination rounds, and generally tolerating the drunken self-absorption of the rest of us. I hope your son doesn't hold your decision to skip his hockey game against you for the rest of your life; if so, I hope it was worth it.
Final Tally was, for those too drunk to remember:
1st Place: 1960s
2nd Place: 1970s
3rd Place: 1980s
4th Place: 1990s
5th Place: 2000s
Believe the rounds went as follows:
1. 1960s defeated 2000s
2. 1980s defeated 1990s
3. 1990s defeated 2000s (eliminated)
4. 1980s defeated 1970s
5. 1970s defeated 1960s
6. 1960s defeated 1990s (eliminated)
7. 1970s defeated 1980s
8. final round - mike's 3 choices, 4 choices from 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, votes after each round
total vote final round: 1960s: 34, 1970s: 32, 1980s: 6
Please correct if I have this wrong. More importantly, what does this tell us, beyond the fact that Stuart wins and should get some sort of prize, beyond blog-based technical support for web browser media plugins? Beyond the bitterness of say, not finishing where you would have liked your randomly assigned decade to have finished, do you ultimate agree with the final ranking?
Are we sentimental and overly nostalgic? Do we idealize the past or just require time to put the music in its proper perspective? Or, is it just that Stuart is a god?
Sunday, January 17, 2010
the problem is that the emusic streaming is working fine but my windows media player has for some reason started playing symultaneously, ( but 5 seconds delayed)...
I have gone into the windows media player and turned off all the file types that are automatically prompting it to be engaged...this has solved the problem sort of.."
but now when I try to stream a song I get a dialogue box each time that says "file download,"
"do you want to open or save this file" and I have to close the dialogue box each and every time I click on a track top stream....
maybe I shoiuld just remove windows media player from my computer, but I am worried that will affect other things I have or that my kids have on the computer....
seems drastic to do that,
Go to "Your Account" and look at the Account Options on the left hand side and scroll down to the "Downloading and Streaming" option and click on "Streaming Sample Settings".
My own account is set up as follows:
Embedded Sound Samples: ENABLED
eMusic's 30-second audio samples are set to play automatically within your browser, without launching a media player. Nice! Note that you must have Flash 9 installed in order to utilize this feature. To install Flash 9 click here.
But, if you prefer to listen to audio samples using your Media Player just click the button below. The change will not affect downloading or playback of downloaded tracks.
Let me know if you are still having trouble after checking this out.
Thanks again Marc for being a gracious host on Friday night.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Are we doing 7 rounds or 9 rounds total?
Reviewing the blog postings, Derek nicely sketched out examples of each but I noticed that we hadn't made a decision on the exact number. I'm fine with either scenario, but may I make a suggestion: If we do 9 rounds, we should probably limit each round to 3 songs per decade. If we stick with 7 rounds, we can keep it at the 15 minutes.
Thoughts? Mostly wanted to clarify ahead of time as this may impact your song selection/strategy.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
"Got to - keep it in the family
Learn to - keep it in the family
Have to - keep it in the family
Want to - keep it in the family"
Of course I'm just a dour Scotsman who likes the status quo.
Hey Marc, do we have a definitive start time on this for Friday?
Monday, January 11, 2010
As for the exact years or ranges, I vote on skipping, mostly because I think it could take away from the strategizing and decision-making that will go into what songs are played each round. Do I play a song from the beginning, middle, end of a decade in each round? Do I try to group the songs I'm going to play by genre? If so, which genre to start with? Do I lead with what I feel are the strongest songs first or do I keep some powder in the keg with the hopes of making it to the end? Going with one year or set of years will mean I'll have to come up with 3 goodies or so per year but the structure imposed kind of makes it easier for participants and really, we can't have that. Just my two cents. Certainly don't want to antagonize anyone going into a voting period.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Hope it's not all Marine Girls and Minutemen there Bri.
Friday, January 08, 2010
As for the minimum of 7 rounds maximum of 9 that I posted earlier take the following as an example.
7 Round Contest
#1: 60's v 70's - winner 60's
#2: 80's v 90's - winner 80's
#3: 60's v 00's - winner 60's
#4: 80's v 70's - winner 80's (70's eliminated)
#5: 60's v 90's - winner 60's (90's eliminated)
#6: 80's v 00's - winner 80's (00's eliminated)
#7: 60's v 80's for all the marbles
9 Round Contest
#1: 60's v 70's - winner 60's
#2: 80's v 90's - winner 80's
#3: 60's v 00's - winner 00's
#4: 80's v 70's - winner 70's
#5: 60's v 80's - winner 60's (80's eliminated)
#6: 90's v 00's - winner 90's
#7: 70's v 00's - winner 70's (00's eliminated)
#8: 60's v 90's - winner 90's (60's eliminated)
#9: 70's v 90's for the big prize
As for the 4pm start time I believe that we are deadly serious. You don't after all think this thing will run like clockwork do you. A couple of those 5 litre mini kegs should see us right.
Getting back to the other scenario re specific years. I was thinking that if we were to go that route we should be assigned specific years prior to the night in question. i.e. I show up on the 15th knowing that all the songs I play have to come from 1997 and Brian's from 1983 etc. Would be rather difficult the night of to bring along a deep list of songs for each year of your assigned decade. I still like the idea but would like to hear from the rest of the group.
The list of shameful songs is also a nice touch.
I'm trying to get a handle on all the convoluted rules to the smackdown. If we are drawing the five decades out of a hat randomly is it not possible that one of the decades gets picked every time if it has not yet been eliminated and therefore might be subject to up to nine rounds? ...or are we arbitrarily saying that it can only participate in four rounds ...but if it wins those first four rounds would it not then automatically become the winner because it is undefeated and then the smackdown ends after four rounds? ...Is there something i am not understanding about the rules (as per usual!)?
Secondly, in order to declare a winner out of five decades, would we not have a minimum of EIGHT rounds with a maximum of nine? ...or again, is there something i am not understanding about the rules (as per usual!)?
Re start time and a little simple math. Stuart mentioned a 4:00pm start time in an earlier e-mail ...is this for real? Limit of 15 min per round per person times 2 plus x minutes for The Gainezer for the the save, gives us 37:30 a round, times 9 is 5:37, makes us done by 9:30? ...oh ya and then there's 2 1/2 hours of voting and arguing about the rules! ...so that's how many ml. of alcohol? I'm willing to start at 4:00 if everyone else is serious about it.
On the topic of irritating music, one additional twist I thought we could add would be to have an 'auto-disqualify' feature, whereby each attendee could write down the name of one song, from any decade, that he considers to be so goddamn awful that, if played, triggers an automatic disqualification for the person who has chosen to play it. We obviously would not disclose our choices, at least until after the end of the evening, and it lend a touch of drama and pressure to the proceedings. So if, say, Brian were feeling overconfident and decided he could get away with playing "We Built this City" by Starship, and this were written down on my sheet of paper, I could then wave it and shout, 'Disqualify' and he would automatically be disqualified from that round and any future round. The only unresolved question, in my mind, would be whether he would get to stay for the rest of the evening or would have to leave Marc's place immediately. If this sounds like I'm picking on Brian then picture one of yourselves yelling it at me, and me having to high tail it out of Marc's place, Barry Manilow's Mandy tucked against the tail between my legs.
Thursday, January 07, 2010
I'm easy either way but I thought I'd throw this out there.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
It would be nice if the person presenting the songs loved them to death, and still likes playing it...
the arguments about the importance historically or musically can always be tried out to sway voters......
for me the interesting songs are likely the ones just under the absoute best.... I mean i will likely trott out hey jude, because I love the song to death and still love it, but do you guys really need to hear it? I am wondering if the evening is being compressed too much... for example, I would love a whole evening playing 1960 against 1990..... we could divide up into 2 groups each armed with 100 songs and alternate what you play...ie each team member doesnt have to tell ahead of time their choice to his fellow team members...
I realise this is way to late to change the format, and I wont say any more...I promise...
maybe next year we can do a similar thing but dig deeper into the decades...
Mind you, I've got the 80's, so am feeling a bit like the Latvians at an international hockey tournament. I'm counting on Kyle for major votes.
Dreams of better lives/the kind that never hate/Dropped in the state of imaginary grace/I made a pilgrimage to save the human race/Never comprehending a race had long gone by.....
Beyond coming up with "good" song choices, what should we be aiming for in either evaluating songs to motivate or deciding on how to vote? Songs that define a decade? Transcend it? Posess a timeless quality while simultaneously albeit paradoxically are still very much rooted in a specific time and place? Your guidance will determine whether or not Dr. Hook makes the final cut.
Back to so-cal pretty guitar strumming, vocal harmonies, as per Derek's suggestion...
"Cause the free wind is blowin' through your hair/and the days surround your daylight there/ Seasons cryin', oh despair/Alligator lizards in the air/In the air....doo doo doo..."
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
As for Brian's hubris perhaps he is just now beginning to realize how much help he's going to need simply to win a round never mind reaching the final.
3 or 4 songs should be about right. Let's say we limit it to 15 minutes per person per round as we don't want Kyle getting carried away with the likes of Rush, Genesis and King Crimson that could easily see us closing in on an hour for 3 tracks.
Gentlemen, I've done a lot of listening in the past couple of weeks. The 80's were an outstanding decade of music, and dare I say, could be the frontrunner going into the big shewdewn.
Monday, January 04, 2010
Since a decade can only lose twice and then is eliminated I think that we are looking at a minimum of 7 rounds and a maximum of 9. Thus each decade will be in play for 2 rounds at a minimum and likely 4 at a maximum.
The idea behind a wildcard like yourself Mike is that if a decade has already lost once and has been voted against for a 2nd time then you could throw out several tunes from that era as a lifeline to see if that would somehow sway the vote and keep that decade alive.
CDs, Ipods, or vinyl I think we can probably accommodate any format so that will be up to each individual. Having an album cover with lyric sheets might even play a small part in the persuasiveness of the song.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
As for Robert Pollard I'm not sure anyone needs to hear new music from the man who doesn't have a thought that doesn't get turned in to a lyric. And I'll pass on anything new from Vampire Weekend, a band I tired of very quickly.
Looking forward to January 15th. One of the rules that came to mind is that a winning decade in any round should not go directly back in to the hat as we could select the same match-up two rounds in a row. Having said that should we avoid identical decade match-ups at least until the final round when there are only 2 decades left. My song selection will remain very top secret until the night in question although I might just run with the complete discography of Ace of Base and let all comers fall in its wake.