Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mike that's a great off-the-top-of-your-header. Dulcinea's a great listen, Melville is a completely unique record, and I loved the Alan Parsons when I was in my teens....that one far more than some of his others.

You're right that it's impossible to boil it down to few enough records to make it digestible. I started writing records down as they came to me, and two days later have ended up with way too many. And I'm nowhere near done....but in the interest of offering some of my favourite music to the gang, I'll jot these ones down. They seem to be concentrated initially into 80's / early 90's records and 60's records.

Cracker - Kerosene Hat (1993) Great mix of grunge sensibilities with roots rock and former Camper lead man Dave Lowery's acerbic view of the world. Low might be my favourite song of that year and that's saying something. But the record as a whole is brilliant. Tracks - Low, Movie Star, Kerosene Hat

The Feelies - Only Life (1988) Not considered their most influential record, but for me this one was a revelation. May have listened to it more then any other record over the few years of its release. Tracks - It's Only Life, the Undertow, Higher Ground.

The Chills - Submarine Bells (1990) A great, intelligent (almost too brainy) pop record, far and away their best, to my ears, from Kiwi band. Lots of edge, melody, lyrical depth, and very clever arrangements. Tracks - Oncoming Day, Singing in my Sleep. Don't be Memory.

That Petrol Emotion - Babble (1987) Pretty ferocious (at times anyway) politically motivated eighties hard pop from a few of the former Northern Irish band Undertones, plus a great American singer (Steve Mack). So brilliant. Tracks - Spin Cycle, For What It's Worth, Big Decision, Chester Burnett.

The Mekons - Rock and Roll (1989). Just a great surprisingly hard -rocking record from this perennially underground English band, who at this point were already ten years along. Tracks - Blow Your Tuneless Trumpet (great song), Only Darkness Has the Power, Learning to Live on Your Own (a lovely melodic 60's-reminiscent number).

Big Dipper - Heavens (1987) - possibly my favourite record of the 1980's from this Boston-based band. Full of guitar-fuelled energy, clever if obscure lyrics, and a rocking modern sound that still sounds fresh to my ears. Tracks - She's Fetching, Lunar Module, When Men Were Trains, Mr. Woods.

Eleventh Dream Day - El Moodio (1993) Great year for guitar music, and these guys exemplify that. The fact that they rocked from 1987 to today (2011 release "Riot Now" is great) is what is sometimes lost....they preceded and have outlasted the trend of the day. This is moody, American indy rock with mixed girl/boy singing. If you don't know this band and/or this record, I urge you to listen to it! P.S. It's good!

John Cunningham - happy-go-unlucky (2002) Oh look, the 00's!! Great hushed Beatlesque-meets-Elliot-Smith singer-songwriter with (Kyle, this word is for you) lush orchestral arrangements. This guy has subsequently disappeared. Brilliant record.


And some 60's: These ones are more iconic in some cases, but you'll still never catch 'em on the Q!

Quicksilver Messenger Service - self-titled (1968). First was best for this core San Fran band, a jazzy, folky psych rock classic. Tracks - Pride of Man, Gold and Silver.

Moby Grape - self-titled (1967). The other great never-quite-made-it San Fran band, famous for their implosion despite enormous talent. Perhaps an overly obvious choice, but I adore the music. Another first record that nails what was great about that scene and that sound. Definitely not timeless though, specific to its time and place. Tracks - Omaha, Someday, Hey Grandma.

The Move - self-titled (1968). Rough and raw English pop with multiple personalities. May seem unremarkable upon first listen, but huge grower, as are the next three or four records after this one. 6 or 7 extraordinarily memorable pop songs. Eventually this band spawned ELO, but you won't hear it much here. Tracks - Lemon Tree, Night of Fear, Walk Upon Water, Fire Brigade.

Left Banke - Left Banke Too (1968). Beautiful and unusual baroque pop from this NY-based band. It was the year after their big hit record, and the main songwriter had left....yet this record is so great. Still that lush baroque/psych pop sound, a little prescient of the early 70's arrangement-wise. I have a hunch that many current bedroom-popsters making one-man-band masterpieces know this record well. Tracks - Bryant Hotel, Desiree, Nice to See You.

Nico - Chelsea Girl (1967). I may have mentioned I love this record? Not sure. A standard bearer for early baroque pop, which also breaks the "loving" tone of the sixties with a mix of irony and detached pain. Tracks - Little Sister, I'll Keep it With Mine, Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams.

Beau Brummels - Triangle (1967) Great early country-folk-chamber-pop record, as the Brummels evolved from their pure pop early-60's personae from a few years previous. Distinctive vocal style of Sal Valentino dominates the songs at times. Stuart didn't love this when I leant it to him, but then, he didn't love the Kinks Village Green the first time he borrowed it either. Tracks - Magic Hollow, Are You Happy, Painter of Women.

The rest of you lads posting your lost favourites? I'm looking forward to doing some listening.
I could go on for a very long time listing highly regarded albums that I've never really bothered with. Many have already been mentioned. But I'm more interested in the other side of the challenge - albums that I consider to be wonderful that never garnered the respect that they deserve. It would take more time than I have to do a thorough stroll through my collection looking for these, but here are a few off the top of my head:

Dulcinea by Toad the Wet Sprocket
Laid by James
Melville by Rheostatics
One Job Town by Grievous Angels
Robbie Roberston's first solo album
Starfish by the Church
Tales of Mystery and Imagination by the Alan Parsons Project
Vegetarians of Love by Bob Geldhof


I'm not suggesting that these albums are all significant in any way other than the music. But as far as the music goes, these are all among my favorites, and I don't think they're generally considered to be that strong.

i'm now working through the Joy Division and New Order catalogue. I know some of it but wonder why i never latched onto it when it was actually current. I'm latching now though!
Isn't storing jewellery in a work shop a safety hazza...oh wait, you meant your testicles and penis. Got it. Rock on.
don't get me wrong Kyle, i find it loathsome that i listen to the station ...and i'm often really not sure why i do. In reality, i often only listen when i'm doing physical work on site or in the shop. I think it helps me get into workymanjojo head space ...accompanied by frequent cursing, horking and scratching of the family jewels!
Marc,
re: Springsteen, Derek - Protestations to the contrary, it sounds like you do care. And that's perfectly fine, of course, to passionately care about an artist that someone else may disparage, or fail to appreciate, as you point out further down in your screed, i mean, post. :) But you care. A little. It comes across. The 'dragged from the bowels' line hints at frustration. A smidge.

re: the Q, you make some good points. In my rush to add my voice to the discussion, I may have crapped on the station in haste. A quick google search of their website, in fact, reveals a playlist of recently played songs that, though not exactly teeming with novelty, is one I could easily imagine myself compiling and listening to on a weekend: Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Roxy Music. I cheerfully concede that they can and do play artists that I like. And yet, if I asked to come up with words to describe Q's brand/identity, and prevented from using the words 'classic rock', then 'sexually retarded adolescent boy rock' would be next. Perhaps this is my own idiosyncratic take and others feel differently.
Kyle, i take your point about cock rock, but be aware (being the not so closet Q listener that i am on occasions) that you are lumping a huge swath of generalization into what you might think is the playlist of Q107. Don't get me wrong, i see its limitations, its sexism, its commercialization and the repetition of the rather narrow playlist as rather perplexing, but seriously, are you, of all people going to tell me that the entire Beatles catalogue is not to your liking. or that you never get honest pleasure from Dylan, Young, Marley, The Birds, the Kinks, The Velvet Underground, Nirvana, The Hip etc? ...i can see your point that over exposure breeds discontent, is that it? or is it a matter of "if it's on the Q, i must disassociate myself from it".

...can't believe i'm setting myself up for such a slaughter...it actually sounds like i'm defending the Q!
Derek, it's all fine and dandy to drag some 28 year old review from the bowels of history texts or comment on how ridiculous the star rating is for his albums, but what do you think of the albums in question. And no you don't need to go out and listen to it. Frankly i don't care. Really. There is no reason you should like my favourite album and no, i'm not 14, and so no, it won't make us bff.

I don't mean it personally, but i frankly feel it's fine to not like something, or to not even give it a chance. We all have biases in life and we are all individuals with individual tastes and association. I think you all hit the nail on the head but all for your own reasons. I would say that the last thing that any of us are is conformists and yet we are trying to conform ourselves and each other by trying to like shit that we are supposed to like. It's almost like people who like indie bands but stop liking them when they get popular because they don't want to be part of the mainstream ...but in reverse.
A more fulsome list will have to wait, but I'm enjoying the debate, particularly the figurative dagger throwing, vagueness of intended target notwithstanding.

My interjection, and here I'm quoting a band a song Stu played at the contest, "It's not the band I hate/it's their fans" ('Coax Me'. Sloan, speaking of Consolidated) may be a big factor for me.

The guys at my grade and then high school who liked heavy metal? Yeah, not people I gravitated towards and therefore avoided any band whose name happened to be etched onto the back of their jean jackets, embossed on their 3/4 length baseball shirts, or scratched onto their desks. So metal, or anything tangentially in the harder rock category, into which, however incorrectly, a band like Rush fell, were never gonna fall into my zone of interest during their hey day. I've since come to dig 'Tom Sawyer' to a certain extent, but in the same way that I appreciate that GNR's 'Sweet Child O' Mine' is a great song but never, ever listen to it of my own volition.

In fact, it's safe to say that anything that falls into the brand category of Q107 (Toronto classic rock station, for the uninitiated) is never going to be more than a guilty pleasure. This is in part due to the inane cock-rock (Motley Crue, Poison, Van Halen, etc) that is still played round the clock but mostly due to the culture, which I associate with the smoking of Players Light cigarettes, reading of the Toronto Sun, a political philosophy defined largely by negative visceral reaction to the unfamiliar, and tired sexist bullshit. So if you're a Q band, rightly or wrong, I'm never going to give you the time of day.

A corollary to the Sloan maxim is the 'Because a friend overlikes a band and seemingly won't shut the fuck up about how great it is, I'm hesitant to embrace its greatness'. I think this accounts for a lot of the widely divergent takes on certain bands among the posters here, especially the lack of appreciation for bands which, artists who, tend to be held in wide esteem, like the Beatles, Arcade Fire, and Bruce Springsteen.

Anyhoo, my list coming up. That it will kick the shit out of whatever Stu gets around to posting almost goes without saying. But I thought I'd say it anyway, just to stir the pot, throw another dagger, butcher my way through other metaphors, etc.
ha! 2112 ...just another hundred years to go!
In regards to Mr. Springsteen for one last go around I actually own two records of his. The aforementioned "Born in the USA" purchased solely to placate my 3rd year university girlfriend at the time. My parents subsequently must have assumed I was a big Boss fan and several years later gave me my most WTF Christmas moment ever when they dropped his 5 LP live set in to my unsuspecting lap.

I have just recently read Ellen Willis' "Out of the Vinyl Deeps" primarily a collection of her writings on rock music from the late 60s through early 70s for the New Yorker.

Enjoyed the book very much and was amused by this piece near the end of the book on our man Bruce: "...he is not a great songwriter. His melodies tend to be shapeless and to sound alike. As a result his first album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., is virtually unlistenable...". This from a piece she wrote in November 1974. Granted this is before some of his so-called classic albums were cut but I tend to agree.

I sometimes get the feeling with artists like Springsteen that the mythology has surpassed the reality and that we're all meant to genuflect before his masterful body of work. Look at Allmusic for all the proof required. Albums 1-8 and all 4.5-5 stars so how can one argue with that. It was refreshing to say the least to get a perspective from someone in the thick of it while the music was being released.

OK enough from me on that topic.

As for Brian's list of coulda, shoulda, and never wills. I think as far as Genesis applies it's likely too late for them to make any impression on a non-believer. For me they were a late high school love primarily because the group of guys I hung out with counted amongst them some big fans of the band. They were also the first band I saw live when I was 17 at MLG. I don't really listen to them too much these days and that's not going to change going forward.

New Order on the other hand still does it for me and you should really give a listen to "Power, Corruption and Lies". Try the tracks "Age of Consent", "The Village" and "Your Silent Face" for starters. You could also go back to the 1st album which has (at least on Rdio) the bonus tracks of some sterling 12" single releases in "Ceremony", "Everythings Gone Green", "Temptation" and "In a Lonely Place".

As much as I enjoyed some of the songs on their next 3 or 4 records the initial Joy Division to New Order transition produced their most memorable music.

As for Frank Zappa I agree wholeheartedly.

Now you'll have to excuse me I'm off to see what Rush's "2112" has to offer.
marc's project of the day ...Fleet Foxes ...here we go.
Note on 8) BSS ...loved it to death when they where the nazz but now, not so much. It's good but not great. I thought it was great when it came out ...why did it not wear that well? Now speaking of releases that came out around then, Funeral ...why don't you love it Brian? That is an album you should love, but can't get into if i am not mistaken. ...could i be so bold as to say it is the most important album of the past ten years? ...is there a more important or significant album in our cultural sphere?
Nice list and post Brian. Far more thinking than i am capable of! Interesting note so as to harp on the Boss, the only BS album that Derek owns is Born in the USA which is his most commercially successful album but quite possibly the one which has worn the least well over time ...mired with and overabundance of capital P proudness and flag waving. Contrast that with his early work that is humble introspective poetic and frankly, spoke to me when i was "Growing Up" (which is in fact a great tune). Can i divorse the music from the time in which i grew up and look at it objectivelly, no. I would suggest listening to Greeting from Asbury Park as it is perhaps a little more accessible and really brings more meaning and understanding to his second album that came out in the same year, The Wild The Innocent and the East Street Shuffle. I think that the W.I.E.S.S would make a good back to back listen with Closing Time by Tom Waits. Two albums from the same neck of the woods and the same year.

I gotta say that i love rush in small doses and in part because i feel it is always over the top. Perhaps it jumped the shark from the get go, but that's what being prog is all about, is it not? Rush IS different. It has a sound that you can love or hate and it can be pretty hard to get past that and it might be what keeps me at a distance much of the time. The music explores themes for the working man and punches it out in screaming licks with both wild abandon and introspective reflection. I still throw on my copy of 2112 from time to time ...much to m.e's chagrin ....and the meek shall inherit the earth.

Brian, if you are looking for some Acid jazz, do check of Toshinori Kondo and DJ Krush, when you are in a mood to be frenetic, give the Soil and Pimp Sessions disk another spin if you still have the compilation i gave you. (i'll cut you another if you want) I still think they rock. For something a little more down beat to smooth out the ruffled edges, check out Carboot Soul by Nightmares on Wax

Monday, January 30, 2012

Oh nice,methinks a nerve has been touched. NOW I realize why we haven't had this conversation in 15 years! And (not to harp on it but) why I wrote a screenplay about you all. Such awesome deeply brewing conflict. Anyway, not to soften a fun rant, MVG, but Derek could very well have been shooting that arrow at me, as he and I have had the "Boss" discussion on more than one occasion (without blows, though I think he stuck out his tongue once....) I'm a big Springsteen fan, particularly his first 7 or 8 records. But in Derek's defence, I would say that, while he can appear a touch obstinate, the man is in fact a musical warrior, based on the amount of new / old music he has discovered over the past ten years. Pretty much always willing to listen to music, particularly a trusted recommendation. So perhaps the question to ask ourselves is, what is the best Springsteen record for Derek to re-spin, and why?

So moving on to my Voids and Vacuums, I loved both of your lists. Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask is a perfect example of a record that is deeply revered that's bloody hard to listen to. Among the Ulysses' of pop, if you will.

And unlike Derek, among my list are plenty of examples of me closing my mind down to styles, sub-genres, and artists. Some of which I know more with the fullness of time. Others probably not so much.

Genesis is at or near the top of the list for me. I never listened to them back in the day, and haven't really gone back in any committed way to re-try it. Would welcome some insight on which record(s) to start with. I'm fairly optimistic, unlike some of the other music on this list, that I may quite like it. How do the Genesis lovers feel about it standing the test of time?



(1) Genesis - Trick of the Tail? Lamb Lies Down?

(2) Rush - 2112 - Canadian prog rock classic, sure, but is it really any good? I have no idea.

(3) Frank Zappa - you name the album....I prefer the early records only slightly, but classic period like Hot Rats etc really doesn't do it for me.

pause, there is a trend here to Prog Rock....time to mix it up.

(4) New Order - just always sounded like light synth-pop to me, but it's level of belovedness is making me re-think. In truth I never listened to it much. So, which record and why? Other synth pop depressed me too, but New Order is a great example of music that was inspiring a lot of the cool people all around me, but left me cold. Alas, I was a man unhappy in his own musical time. But that's another story.

(5) Talking Heads - Fear of Music or anything after that. I always thought they were a far better band before they discovered African. Their first two records sound so fresh to me. When they got popular I checked out

(6) Hip hop, trip hop, rap, jungle, house or acid Jazz. Ok, those are categories ( and you knew it was coming...) but is there a classic record nestled in there somewhere? Outkast? Public Enemy? Black Planet maybe. Notorious BIG? Input please.

(7) Sweet Baby James - never really got James Taylor, though I do love a lot of other 70's singer / songwriter.

(8) Broken Social Scene - You Forgot it in People. Should probably love it but don't.

(9) Pearl Jam - 10. Always sounded like more old power rock than anything new to me.
To each, their own! I know i’m never going to be able to convince you to listen to Springsteen Derek, and i know that i should stop because you will only despise it having walked into it with a mind closed tight as a bear trap. But in all seriousness, why should i care? I do take it as a personal affront every time it comes up ...and i know that dig was thrown dagger-like in my direction ...but why should i care?

I am thankful for the fact that we don ‘t agree on everything. I don’t get Genesis. I tried 69 Love Songs again for the smackdown ...didn’t get it, again. I find there is a lot that people go on about that i spin and just go hunh? The flip side of that is that i can be slow on the uptake on a lot of stuff, so i know i need to give it a chance. So much music ...only so many chances to spread around.

BTW, Elton John's early work is pretty close to my heart and i still listen to it fairly regularly. I think that we all form bonds with certain music at different times in our life for different reasons. I can't necessarily expect someone to relate to a piece of good music in the same way that i do because our life experience to which we relate music are different. If i came to his music now it would not mean the same thing to me. It's interesting that although music in the recorded form is static, in that it physically does not change with time, the environment in which it is reflected is a moving target. So don't worry Derek, I won't take it too personally.
OK first off I'll throw in the albums I haven't bothered with yet:

Pet Sounds
Born to Run / Nebraska / Darkness on the Edge of Town... you get the picture
MC5 - Kick out the Jams
Captain Beefheart - Trout Mask Replica (has anyone listened to this?)

And pretty much anything you care to throw into the "classic record" category by CCR, Elton John or the Grateful Dead.

Am I missing out on something special here by not listening to any of those listed above?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yeah I thought it might be surprising to see what crops up Stu. Interestingly, I have this feeling that after 15 years of playing music together we still haven't played some of our hard core faves to each other. And what better way to find some new (old) classics than from you lot?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Derek, I thought of doing some folk rock...in fact at one point when we were to be doing genres
I thought of folk rock as a great category...but up against heavy all out any genre wars I elected to play a handfull of songs that I thought were stronger as stand alone songs ( and they fell pretty flat anyway) ... I wasnt sure any 1 song off any of the classic folk albums could withstand a vote.. for me folk rock is an album thing...the whole albums are great right through but I wasnt sure any 1 song was so much better then the rest that it would translate.... (yet tuesdays gone with the wind by LS did exceptionally well), so maybe I was wrong......
Brian I like your through out and am deciding what 5 underrated albums to play.... some will be quite rare and some may be severely underrated albums by known artists for me.....
s

Friday, January 27, 2012

You're right Derek. Stuart IS really terrible at the smack down competition!

And speaking of terrible, how is it that you are listening to such a brilliant record for only the first time (as you approach your semi-centenary).

Brings up a good blog subject, which deserves scrutiny. Who knows, it's even possible that Gerald may opine on this one. And the question is two-fold.

Part A - are there any brilliant, acknowledged classic albums that you're aware of that you haven't bothered with yet? Ie Liege and Lief if you're Derek, or Velvet Underground and Nico if you're Stu? (Mine will come later).

Part B - What are the five incredible albums, personal faves of yours only please (ie nothing theoretical here), that you feel belong in the pantheon of greats but don't get mentioned (or mentioned much?). The more obscure the better.
Just listening to Fairport Convention's 1969 release "Liege and Lief". My first listen and I am already loving it. Pray tell Mr Watson why was this disc and especially a great track like Matty Groves left off last weeks playlist? Just wondering.
For those lovers of the Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs, a blog that attempts to set each song to a series of illustrations.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I also voted once for "the opposition". Agreed re 1980-91, and I would also like to explore mid-60's, mid-70's, (and, I suppose, early 00's). We may need to shorten the 25 year rule.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

apologies, yes brian thanks much for the pizza , forgot that and yes more importantly thank you so very much for winning it Derek.....
I voted against myself once, and looking back i feel i voted fairly, with my gut and my heart. The one that really slayed me was Superstition.
Slight correction Brian, the Doobie's song i played is called Long Train Runnin' and not, as the chorus would suggest, Without Love.
I too voted against my songs twice and as you noted Stuart, in what may have been a common occurrence for many of us, I voted 4 times for songs that were brand new to me on Friday night.

Thanks for hosting Brian, for footing for the pizza and for all involved playing songs with great enthusiasm and most especially to me for winning this thing.
yes thanks much Kyle and Brian for hosting...so to speak... both efforts appreciated much....

Random thoughts:

-It is interesting how we all chose some obscure tracks...that actually won even though they were sometimes virginal listens for some people.... I was going to suggest that we formalise that you have to pick a couple of obscure tracks in the future matches but our tough bunch seem to self regulate...( In short if you only pick classics you are sure to pay for this with the voting)...so no need to add any rule changes here

- I voted against myself twice... I would be curious to see how often you all voted against yourself.( Mike was particularly selfless)..post this info if you already have not please......

I like Marcs idea of addign the 80's into the mix , so maybe 3 songs from three different decades plus 1 floater from another decade for a total of 10 rounds again next time??? I liked 10 rounds as a maximum, it felt perfect and not the gruelsome affair I worried about..

If we do this again with the no repeat rules , it may get more and more interesting each time we do it....
I'll echo everybody's gratitude - I had a great time! Brian's hosting and Kyle's project management skills were much appreciated. I'd also like to thank those of you who voted for my selections. For those who voted against me (and here I include myself no fewer than 3 times), I'll eventually find a way to forgive you. It's just a little too soon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

As well, a big thanks to you Kyle for being so pro-active with the ballot and, rules and regs making, without which the night might have fallen into drunken disarray.
What happened to Brian's original post? I see Derek's response but not the question about when the track appeared on the album?

I appear to have bucked the trend, in that most of my tracks were #4 or later on the albums. Perhaps this accounts for my loss.

Agree with Marc that the format was a blast. Big big big thanks to Brian for hosting.
So what you are saying Derek, is that playing the last track on the Jimmy Cliff album, The Harder They Come, makes it an obvious non-starter.

I really loved the format of the evening, it was a hoot. I suggest the next time we have a smackdown we use the same tried and tested format, with each drawing two random years from the hole in the night that was the twelve years from 1980 to 1991.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

6 of my 10 choices were first side first track choices with two others being track #2 on the first side of an album. Obviously bands making an impact right out of the gate.
Derek and I at Betty's.....asking ourselves how many of the tracks played - particularly for records from the late 60's and 70's - were first tracks off of the records? In the era of "the album" the importance of the first song, and interestingly, first song of the second side, was huge. Without looking at the list carefully, our guess is that many of the high-vote songs were first track numbers.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Well Kyle, at least you didn't stick around until three in the morning listening to me moan about my lack of wisdom in spinning Jimmy Cliff!
In retrospect, Heries and Villains was a bad choice. Also, why the hell did I waste 3 good opportunities to vote for myself? Would have catapulted me out of the basement and into a solid second? Damn.
Well it's hard to say for sure but it's just possible that the (estimated) 63 empties I put in the recycling this morning may have contributed to the variance in last night's count, in which we ended up 6 votes short. When I re-did it this morning it seemed to fall in line. Small differences aside, Derek was the clear winner in either scenario. Unlike the rest of us he never had a round where he got killed - 1 or 0 votes.
Nice job Brian, that was an absolutely great night, thanks to all.

Brian, i am however starting to question the banking sector a bit and curious about the accounting practices by which we somehow found a bunch more ballots; were those the ones you had left in your pocket?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thanks gents for an action-packed and great night of music. I've updated the play list below with votes per round, and done a sober recount this morning. Derek and his excellent play list triumphed relatively convincingly in an otherwise tightly grouped outcome.

Perusing the round by round wins and losses is interesting and surprising in some cases (at least to my eye). Overall though it's fair to say that unfamiliar music still fared pretty badly, and playing to the room was a successful tactic, employed to varying degrees by all of us at one time or another. There isn't much evidence to support the belief that going second in a pairing was an advantage.

The format was awesome, and well organized by Kyle. Let's do this one again.

1st round
Kyle - helpless by Sugar 3 votes
Marc - Funeral for a Friend by Elton John 3 votes

Mike - Paranoid Android by Radiohead 4 votes
Brian - Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty 2 votes

Derek - Neightbourhood 1 by Arcade Fire 5 votes
Stuart - Live forever by Oasis 1 votes


2nd round
Mike - Starman by David Bowie 3 votes
Derek - Making Plans for Nigel by XTC 3 votes

Kyle - Venus in furs by velvet underground 4 votes
Stu - This girl's in love by Dionne Warwick 2 votes

Marc - Caligula by Macy Gray 3 votes
Brian - 16 Military wives by the Decemberists 3 votes


3rd Round
Stu - Lay Lady Lay by Bob Dylan 1 vote
Brian - Miss You by Rolling Stones 5 votes

Mike - Listen to the Music the doobies 2 votes
Marc - without love by the doobies! 4 votes

Derek - Life During Wartime by Talking Heads 2 votes
Kyle - In the Mouth a Desert by Pavement 4 votes


4th Round
Stu - Coax Me by Sloan 3 votes
Kyle - Black Metallic by Catherine Wheel 3 votes

Brian - Moving in Stereo by The Cars 1 vote
Mike - Between the Bars by Elliott Smith 5 votes

Marc - Toh-Sui by Toshiro Condo w DJ Crush 3 votes
Derek - Next Exit by Interpol 3 votes

Round 5
Marc -The Harder they Come by Jimmy Cliff 1 vote
Mike - Superstition by Stevie 5 votes

Brian - Look out for my Love by Neil Young 5 votes
Kyle - Heroes and Villains by the Beach boys 1 vote

Stuart - Where Do You Go to My Lovely by Peter Sarstedt 2 votes
Derek - In the Evening - Led Zeppelin 4 votes


Round 6
Kyle - Waterloo Sunset by the Kinks 3 votes
Derek - London Calling by The Clash 3 votes

Mike - Isn't Life Strange by the Moody Blues 1 vote
Stuart - The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel 5 votes

Brian - Chicago by Sufjan Stevens 2 votes
Marc- Heartbreaker by the Stones 4 votes


Round 7
Derek - Just Another Night by Ian Hunter 4 votes
Mike - Rocks Off by the Rolling Stones 2 votes

Kyle - Baby You're a Rich Man by the Beatles 2 votes
Marc - Natural Blues by Moby 4 votes

Brian - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner by Warren Zevon 2 votes
Stuart - Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen 4 votes

Round 8
Kyle - Confetti by the Lemonheads 3 votes
Mike - Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve 3 votes

Derek - Tornados by the Drive By Truckers 2 votes
Brian - Ageless Beauty by Stars 4 votes

Marc - It's Hard to be a Saint in the City by Bruce Springsteen 2 votes
Stuart - Space Oddity by David Bowie 4 votes

Round 9
Brian - The Music Must Change by The Who 1 vote
Derek - Powderfinger by Neil Young 5 votes

Stuart - Cut Your Hair by Pavement 3 votes
Marc - Tuesday's Gone by Lynard Skynard 3 votes

Mike - Supper's Ready by Genesis 3 votes
Kyle - See Emily Play by Pink Floyd 3 votes

Round 10
Kyle - Never My Love by the Association 2 votes
Brian - Dreadlock Holiday by 10CC 4 votes

Derek - Dancing Barefoot by Patti Smith 3 votes
Marc - The Great Gig in the Sky by Pink Floyd 3 votes

Stuart - Hallehuliah - by Jeff Buckley 3 votes
Mike - Crackling Rose by Neil Diamond 3 votes


Final tally
1st Place: Derek (1979 / 2004) with 34 votes!
2nd Place: Mike (1972 / 1997) 31 votes
3rd Place: 3-way tie with 29 votes
Stuart (1969 / 1994)
Marc (1973 / 1999)
Brian (1978 / 2005)
Rear guard: Kyle (1967 / 1992) 28 votes

Thursday, January 19, 2012

geeesh, can we sign the declaration that we have read and understood the rules and regs when we get to Brian's or should we scan the form and e-mail it in ahead of time?
Greatest Songs Contest: Battle of the Years
2012 and Inaugural Edition
Rule Summary - Final Version

Object of the Contest: To pick the best songs, win the most points, claim the victory. No tangible prize specified. Intangible: bragging, gloating rights, schaedenfraudic revelling in others' bitterness

How it Works:

1) Each contestant must play a song from their chosen years, as follows:

Brian - 1978 and 2005
Derek - 1979 and 2004
Stu - 1969 and 1994
Marc - 1973 and 1999
Kyle - 1967 and 1992
Mike - 1972 and 1997

2) The contestant against which they're paired plays on song from his chosen years.
3) All contestants vote on what song played is the better/greater song.
4) Process repeats itself until all contestants have had a chance to play a song.
5) Round ends and the process begins again.
6) There are 10 rounds total
7) Any potential ties will be resolved with an additional round between the tied contestants. After all songs are played in the tie breaker, those not tied vote. A winner is then declared or another tie breaker commences with whomever remains tied until a winner is declared.

Specifics:

1) There are 15 possible pairings of contestants
2) Each contestant faces another contestant twice, for a total of 30 pairings total (3 pairings per round, 10 rounds)
3) The pairings will be as follows:

1. Brian-Derek
2. Brian-Kyle
3. Brian-Marc
4. Brian-Mike
5. Brian-Stu
6. Derek-Kyle
7. Derek-Marc
8. Derek-Mike
9. Derek-Stu
10. Kyle-Marc
11. Kyle-Mike
12. Kyle-Stu
13. Marc-Mike
14. Marc-Stu
15. Mike-Stu
16. Stu-Mike
17. Stu-Marc
18. Mike-Marc
19. Stu-Kyle
20. Mike-Kyle
21. Marc-Kyle
22. Stu-Derek
23. Mike-Derek
24. Marc-Derek
25. Kyle-Derek
26. Stu-Brian
27. Mike-Brian
28. Marc-Brian
29. Kyle-Brian
30. Derek-Brian

Note: I had originally suggested printing out all the pairings. However, this will cause some delays when pairings are pulled randomly and contestants who have already played in the round are pulled up again in the next draw; this will happen a lot. An alternative, better plan is to simply put all 6 contestant names in, draw the names, have players play in the order in which the names are pulled, and we simply cross off the pairing from a list.

4) Each round begins with two names being pulled out of a hat.
5) Contestants on the pairing play their songs. Order of play is determined by whose name was pulled first. The next time the two play, the order is reversed, regardless of whose name was pulled first from the hat.
6) Vote occurs; tear sheets with each person's name and round listed will be provided in order to help keep track of the voting, expedite the voting, and ensure that someone just doesn't repeatedly toss their own name in multiple times per round.
7) Process repeats itself until all 6 players have played a song.
8) Next round begins.

For example: Stuart and Brian are the first names drawn. Stuart plays a song. Brian plays a song. Everyone votes by tossing the name of the contestant they think has played the better song into a bowl. Two new names are drawn: Kyle and Marc. Kyle plays a song. Marc plays a song. We all vote. Two new names drawn: Mike and Derek. Mike plays a song. Derek plays a song. We vote. Round ends. We begin anew.

Additional notes:

-Year requirement: Contestant can play a song from whatever year but cannot play 3 songs in a row from the same year. So: Mike can play 1997, 1997 for the first two rounds and his next round he has to play 1972. He can then play 1997, 1997 for the fourth and fifth round, then has to play 1972 again. Etc. Note: This is just an example. He doesn't have to play any one year first.

-Song Length: It is asked that you not exceed the 5 minute length no more than twice in the contest. All songs will be cut off after 8 minutes. Players have the option of fast forwarding in order to highlight a section of the long song if they wish.

-Tie-breaker at the end of the rounds: If two or more players are tied in points at the end of 10 rounds, a sudden death final round occurs where each surviving player plays one song (chosen by a random selection) and we vote on the best played. The tied players do not get a vote in this round (that way, if an odd number are tied, we have a chance of quickly determining a winner).

Safe travels Mike and enjoy the prep everyone.

See you all tomorrow night!
oh, oh! can we link the mac to the plasma and have it display ESPN style scores with flashy graphics ...or get Wolf Blitzer commenting the play by play from the Situation Room?
ok sounds good to me......all voting all the time..

not a fan of a big score board....Derek will be load and clear and frequently updating me on how much I am losing by , so its redundant .....for me anyways....
whose twitter account are we going to use to tweet live updates to the rest of the world? ...this shit's important!
No need to print out chits, Marc. I'm going to print out everything we need to throw into the hat, marked by round, to prevent individuals getting really devious and putting their own names into a round more than once. More info here.

As for a big white board--thinking a visual tally makes sense. Will see about picking one up on the way to Brian's. But yes, this should be updated digitally as well, using the Mac in the living room.
i'm indifferent to the big board, but then, i don't come from a big-board white-board-marker culture ...i say we go electronic since i presume we will eventually record it for posterity that way anyway.
Yes, we did discuss this - not sure if Kyle had signed up for that or not?

Also, are we interetsed in scoring on a "big board"? If so I'll pick up some bristol board.
Not sure if missed this in one of the umpteen posts ...i presume we are voting into a hat? Shall i make up some little chits (complete with hanging chads) with names on them that can be re-used throughout the evening?
Hilarious Marc I was having the exact same thought. I think I'm quite likely to vote for a comepetitor's song - it's the song that wins, not the person, in my mind. I did this in the decade competition. Stu are you licking your chops at the prospect of all of us wankers voting against our own tunes?
I say we all vote all the time. The reality is that i am so filled with self loathing that the chances of my voting for myself are slim. I am currently making the mistake of listening to my picks in the background as i am working and am growing quite sick of them! ...as great as they are.
Stu, just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean you aren't being followed. I think 10 rounds is ambitious but do-able, provided we stay on track and don't start changing the rules mid-stream or someone knocks over Brian's shiny new turntable.

As for your voting suggestion, I say we allow people to continue to vote during their play and force them to be honest. Yes, there will be inclination to vote for oneself regardless of how you may be outmatched by another song but hey, that's one of those ethical choices you have to live with, and only adds to the drama of the contest.
apologies if I seem paranoid...memories of the bataan march at dereks made me a little worried , but starting at 6 and being efficient should solve it....
one last thought aboput rules.....
What do you think about not being able to vote when its your matchup... that still leaves 4 people to vote and elliminates selfish voting affecting the score.... as much as we are all honorable types capable of voting against ourselves if we feel bested.....lets face it its only human to be swayed by the prospect of a win especially at the end of the night if its close...
comments?
s

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Per Derek's note, I'd also like to go a minimum of ten rounds. There should be lots of time to do so (simple math would say we can go twelve rounds by midnight), and if we go past a little midnight, well, I'd be OK with that. I have a gut feeling I'll be up a bit later than 12:30, one way or another.
Just to confirm start time, lads. Mike will be leaving his house at 2iish so in normal traffic would arrive around 6:00. So let's gather then. He may be later, in which case, we'll drink beer and play music until he arrives. And yes, get organized. And then when he arrives....we'll drink beer and play music.
Fair enough Kyle.

As a discussion point, it will be interesting to see who can come up with artists that have made significant musical contributions in BOTH their years.
I am actually fine with allowing any number of songs of any length as i think we are going to be a little self regulating over the matter. After all this discussion, no one is going to risk playing a liturgy of epics for fear of losing the interest of the crowd, that's my take, buy it or not. The truth is, when you start to look at the specifics, certain years were known for their "short and sweets" and others for the opus, it seems unfair to arbitrarily preclude the great songs merely because they were too long to fit in your format. Everyone knows that simply because a song is long, it does not make it better. If you wanted to set a time limit on the songs you almost needed to do it before we chose our years.


You guys need to stop being such slack ass lazy digitty buggers ...if this thing needs to run to 4:00 am to get to the root of what is a great song, so be it. (please note the sarcastic tone in this last sentence)
Yes, I can be there for 6pm. Let's do this!!
thanks Kyle...didnt spot that....
There is also a email trail discussing going to Brians for 6pm not 7pm.... Mike may be early and if we can get started early and be efficient with setting up the tracks and voting we should be able to avoid an all night slog

Mike you are good to gosong length wise except not the 23 minute track...cant think what that would be...???
Kyle if you can be early too that would be great....Brian is ordering pizzas through the night...
....
Thanks Deeman. Stu, have commented on your post and answered (hopefully) your questions in the comment section. Will wait to hear from others before modifying and reposting the latest, and hopefully last, version of the rules.
Nice one Kyle. I think you've nailed the match-up problem.

In terms of running time for songs I'm happy to leave it wide open. As long as each track is not a 10 minute slog I don't think we should be restricting it too much. Given that most songs from 1979 are about 90 seconds long we should even out over the course of the night.

The 2 songs from one year to 1 song from the other works for me also.

I'd like to go 10 rounds if we can regardless of when the last one commences. Stuart, you will have built up an insurmountable lead before half-time anyway (a la Manchester United) and will be free to leave anytime after 10pm.
Please comment on the following 3 points;

1) though the current 5 minutes time + 2 eight min songs) works fine for me...you may want to comment on Mikes and my 3 attempts to change this for Mike ...see past threads from myself and Mike... if you dont want to change it - fine - then tell him so he can decide what to bring... It will be hard for him to decide what to bring if you guys dont at least tell him at least yes or no...

2) Brians comments on decade ratios ... i think the mentioned 2/3 1/3 ratio songs reasonable and would be happy w that...

3) please comment on the last round being played at midnight is the final round even if it is round 9...or if you prefer , the last round played is at 12:30 or 1pm if you want ...but lets pick a time limit as otherwise i fear we will go all night. ....... remember the night at Dereks apartment all those years ago for besty albums of all time ..thoughts...?

s
Potential solution to ensure both random but equal matchups:

With five players and 3 potential matchups per round, there are 15 potential pairings total:

1. Brian-Derek
2. Brian-Kyle
3. Brian-Marc
4. Brian-Mike
5. Brian-Stu
6. Derek-Kyle
7. Derek-Marc
8. Derek-Mike
9. Derek-Stu
10. Kyle-Marc
11. Kyle-Mike
12. Kyle-Stu
13. Marc-Mike
14. Marc-Stu
15. Mike-Stu

I print out cards with each pairing, we fold them, put them into a hat, bowl...whatever, and we pull them randomly. Since there will be a total of 10 rounds, with 3 pairings per round, or 30 pairings total, I'll print out two sets of the above pairings, drop them into the hat and once the pairing is removed from the hat, that's the pairing from it's discarded (recycled responsibly, of course). For the second set of prints I will reverse the order of the names in the pairing (i.e in the second set, 'Stu-Mike', 'Stu-Marc', etc...

The name that appears first in the pairing will play first.

Think this will ensure fairness in that:
  • we all face each other the same amount of times
  • the order in which we have to play a song first is equal and fair for each matchup
  • when we face each other is completely random, so it introduces element of surprise that will require strategy, decisions as to when to bring out (what you perceive to be) the big trump card/song, when to play a slower song, etc. For example, Brian and I could face each other in rounds 1 and 2 (and then never again) or we could face each other in the first round but not again until the tenth round. The strategy then shifts--do I save a particular song or year for a particular opponent. If Brian uses up 2 songs from 1978 in his first two rounds and then has to play a song from 2005 (can't play the same year three rounds in a row, see previous posted rule, assume we agree on) in the third round, he's not going to know who he'll face in that third round until we draw.

Hope you like this idea. I will do all the printing and prep to bring this stuff to the session. Thinking if it works, we can always do it again next year with different year pairings!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Oh yes I see your post now Kyle. All of this looks good by me. Whether it's 3 or 5 before the first tally rounds I'm less fussed. Three provides earlier feedback, but may distract me from my regular trips to the fridge for beer. So we'll wait to see what others think.


In terms of playback options, just to reiterate there is a new turntable for those of us with old years and older vinyl. It sounds pretty nice, just got it last night. I'll also have "the cord" for playing your Ipod (booooring) or CD player. Online streaming should work as well if that's of interest.
I like the quick vote idea - 30 second limit, don't add them until after round five. Perfect.

Nobody commented on the need for restrictions by year. Yay or nay on that?
Like the suggestions here, and think we're getting close to a final format. I'll restate after every revision. Hopefully, we'll have this hammered out before Thursday so we can read, review, suggest any final tweaks. Here's a modification of what I posted, incorporating Derek and Marc's suggestions on the point-scoring, which is good and ensures that, even in the scenario that Derek outlines, where Stu comes up badly against him in every round, Herr Watson at least garners at least one vote (presuming he can bring himself to vote for himself).

With regards to randomly ending up with the same opponent repeatedly, that tend to happen. So we either need to decide to allow randomness to a point, then intervene with a rule like, 'can't face the same opponent more than 3 times', though not sure how you resolve that once it happens and other matchups are already decided.

An alternative: since we happen to have arrived at 10 rounds total and we have a total of 5 possible matchups per person, maybe we say we each have to face an opponent twice. Open to either scenario. Just no complaining if you don't like your repeat matchup.

I'll print out and bring some tear sheets that we can use, with each person's name and round listed, in order to help keep track of the voting (and ensure that someone just doesn't repeatedly toss their own name in multiple times per round). Each person will then get 10 sheets of six names, with the round listed by the name, that they can then tear off and place in the hat, bowl, pot, dutchie, etc. Should expedite the process and cut down on penmanship errors.

Revised Rules

1) Names of each player are written on pieces of paper and placed in a hat. Matchups are randomly selected by draw and order of spins then occurs in the order of the draw. For an example, let's assume the names are chosen as follows: Mike, Derek, Brian, Kyle, Marc, Stuart. Mike then plays a song from one of his decades, followed by Derek. Assuming we stick with the random assignment.
2) We vote on which of the two songs just played that we like better; votes are tossed into the hat, and we move on to the next two songs. Votes are entered but not tallied until the end of the 5th round; Derek's suggestion of waiting until 5th round. I like this but suspect some will want to know how they are doing before getting halfway through the tourney. Perhaps we count after 3 rounds instead? Provides enough suspense while also ensuring people have time to adjust if they feel that their songs are 'cutting it' with the group.
3) We move onto the next matchup, Brian v. Kyle, then Marc v. Stu.
4) A giant board records point totals after they are tallied
5) We move onto the next round of pairings, either randomly assigned or actually assigned.

Suggestions for additional rules:

-Year requirement: Suggested modification: Player has the option of whatever year to play in the matchup, but cannot play the same year three times consecutively.

-Song Length: You may exceed the 5 minute length no more than twice in the contest. All songs will be cut off after 8 minutes. Players have the option of fast forwarding in order to highlight a section of the long song if they wish. Assume everyone is okay with this one.

-Tie-breaker at the end of the rounds: If two or more players are tied in points at the end of 10 rounds, a sudden death final round occurs where each surviving player plays one song (chosen by a random selection) and we vote on the best played. The tied players do not get a vote in this round (that way, if an odd number are tied, we have a chance of quickly determining a winner).
Assume we're okay with this one as well.
all good to me...( i think Derek and marc are saying the same thing...... ) I too like the suspence idea a lot ....

Only 2 comments...

lets go to songs limited to 6 minutes and lets not penalise Mike if he has to cut a song short...ie we will likely know the song and dont need to listen to all 8 minutes of it for Mike to get his win...should we approve of his choice of course...

I like Dereks idea of keeping it moving without tallys for a while... i think we will be a lot longer than midnight if we waste time deciding on our vote too... if we take 2 minutes to vote after each round that adds 60 minutes of time to the night over 30 head to head battles....plus time queing up songs.... we may be here way into the morning...
perhaps we say the last round is the round that is in play at midnight....thereby finishing up before 1 am....it may only be round 8 or 9 but that also adds an element of stategy...maybe we also say you have to vote within 30 secounds of the end of the song and there is no arguing historic points or cultural bullshit... the songs are judged without commentary by the player..?
What do you think?
Hey Marc that's exactly my point. We vote as you say after each head to head battle. Didn't I make that clear. What I'm saying is we don't stop every round to tally votes. Maintain a bit of suspense until we're a good chunk of the way in. At least for a while we're just playing tunes and voting and not stopping to count up little bits of paper. Keep things moving along.
I prefer that we do the voting after each head-to-head battle. If we get the system down and keep it simple and don't make a big deal of it like you guys do in book club , (ouch!) we can be doing the voting and tally as the next round is starting up. Keep it moving. I prefer that the vote take place on a pairing before your thoughts get tainted by subsequent plays. Hell, i don't care!!!!!!! i'll vote when i want, and you can count it when you want.
I prefer Marc's idea vis-a-vis scoring the rounds. Potentially 6 points to be had if everyone votes for your song over your opponents. Also means that even in a tight battle you can still pick up 2 points rather than a zero should the vote come in at 4-2 in your opponents favour.

I also think that for the first 5 rounds we simply play the music, vote each round then tally points and break for pizza when we're 2 to 3 hours in. Then we tally at the end of every 2 rounds subsequently, leaving it all in the mix for round 10.

To expedite the voting we simply have each gents name 10 times on a piece of paper and simply throw it in the hat/pail after each 2 song battle voting for your preferred song.

My only question would be do we draw names in each of the 10 rounds for our dance partner? What if I draw Stuart each and every round? Other than I garner maximum points available.
Nice Kyle, thanks. On the point of allocation between the years, rather than a rigid 50/50 allocation between years, I had proposed a maximum 2/3 - 1/3 refreshed after each three songs - so you would have had to play one of each year by the end of the third round. And the same holds at the end of the sixth and ninth rounds. I offered this up only to allow a bit more flexibility as we play....plus personally I've had more fun diving into 1978 and so my preference would be to feature that year more. F05 has proven to be just a bit too recent to feel like as much of a "journey", if you'll pardon the gay self-actualization semantic. I'd also be happy to open it up further - ie play whatever year you want. Strong supporters or objectors to any of these suggestions - 50/50 , 67/33, wide open?

I like the Big Board idea. Any volunteers to bring a piece of bristol board?
My preference in these things is to Keep It Simple, so let's avoid a system where the points change, graduate, or even go beyond the simple 1 point for a win, 1/2 for a tie, 0 for a loss.

Think it's worthwhile summarizing the decisions on the voting order, pairing selection, time limits, etc. before heading into Friday as I can easily see varying interpretations resulting in disappointment, anger when an unforeseen change to perceived structure throws one strategy completely out the window.

Here's my understanding of the way this is going to work, based on my reading of the last few posts:

1) Names of each player are written on pieces of paper and placed in a hat. Matchups are randomly selected by draw and order of spins then occurs in the order of the draw. For an example, let's assume the names are chosen as follows: Mike, Derek, Brian, Kyle, Marc, Stuart. Mike then plays a song from one of his decades, followed by Derek.
2) We vote on which of the two songs we like better, a vote is recorded and we move onto the next matchup, Brian v. Kyle, then Marc v. Stu.
3) Each player has a set of six players names on a piece of paper; to vote, the name selected is placed into a hat, the votes are tallied and we move onto the matchup.
4) A giant board records point totals after each round

Suggestions for additional rules:

-Year requirement: With ten rounds, each player will be playing 10 songs total. Do we want to require that they play 5 songs from each year? So if I've played all my 1967 tracks by round 6, I have to then play 1992 songs the rest of the way through? Think this would be easy to keep track of. If we don't want to limit someone to playing both years equally, a requirement that each player play at least 4 songs from a decade seems like a reasonable compromise.
-Song Length: You may exceed the 5 minute length no more than twice in the contest. All songs will be cut off after 8 minutes. Players have the option of fast forwarding in order to highlight a section of the long song if they wish.
-Tie-breaker at the end of the rounds: If two or more players are tied in points at the end of 10 rounds, a sudden death final round occurs where each surviving player plays one song (chosen by a random selection) and we vote on the best played. The tied players do not get a vote in this round (that way, if an odd number are tied, we have a chance of quickly determining a winner).

Not sure if this is what you had in mind. Welcome your clarifications.
I'm also concerned about the 5 minute limit. At this point, I've narrowed my list down to 68 songs. Of these, 11 are more than 5 minutes long, 6 are more than 6 minutes long and only 3 are longer than 7 minutes. The longest is 22 minutes, and I really can't expect to play it, despite the fact that it is a very strong candidate. I've been working on ranking them so that I can be ready when the time comes to either throw down the gauntlet or pick it up and thump somebody with it, and if I pick the top 10 from each of my years, 5 of the top 20 are over 5 minutes long. Only 2 of them are more than 6 minutes long. I'd be more comfortable with 6 minutes as a limit, and I agree that we should be able to play longer songs and truncate them down to 5 or 6 minutes.

Whatever the committee decides, I'll be there. Armed with some of the finest music ever created!



Mike

Monday, January 16, 2012

thoughts:
I am not worried about going 1st or 2nd on a individual " match" , I hope our mrmmories can remember the 1 song played 5 minutes earlier.....

I like the blind vote that gets tallied at the end so that if I am losing bad i will never know until the final count....

I do not think we should have a 5 minute limit... For me it is about quality songs and..... what the fuck ? , are we now doing commercial a.m. radio format?...( We are supposed to be getting pleasure from this remember?) lets say that you can only bring 1 really long song 10 minutes long, but anything up to 8 minutes or so should be fine.. I dont think we will have that many frankly....( I am sure there will be a bunch or 3 minute punk and early rock songs to offset the time or a few longer ones)..... for the record I dont have many if any that long so I am not biased..

so 10 sets of 6 songs each 60 songs = 5 hours....midnightish... sounds good to me
Come to think of it Brian, I am currently leaning towards a tally whereby you would be awarded anywhere from 0 to 6 points per round ...i guess i don't share the same hockey bias a you. I think it would be cool because it would give more room for the big comeback of the underdog in the last round or two ...like when you're up agaisnt the boards in the final period and you're having trouble getting the puck down the ice ...never was good at the sports analogies ...guess you got to watch 'em to pick up on the clich├ęs!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I like it Brian; cuts down on the voting as well.

May i suggest that with respect to the time limit, we may play more long songs, but, may only play up to five minutes of them; as well as with the 1 (or 2)exceptions you mention. (note that an edit on the part of a contestant would still remain a risky proposition but one that may well prove to be a worthwhile gambit). I think that otherwise we risk arbitrarily eliminating works of great art for our mere convenience.
I like the random order idea Marc. Derek and I discussed the same thing last night. So let's consider that a "go".

D and I also thought of a wrinkle (beers at Betty's yet again) to the original proposal worth considering. We both had a concern that the "rolling vote" - i.e., after each play there's another vote - may bias towards the current song as it will be the only fresh song each time. So a possible change to mitigate this is that after we draw the order for the round, that we pair up the picks so that 1 battles 2, 3 battles 4, and 5 battles 6. A win in a round is counted as one point, and a tie as a 1/2 point (there will be six voters so ties will occur). What do you think? We aim for ten-twelve rounds.

We also discussed a maximum song length of 5:00, which each guy can exceed only once (or twice?) in the night.
As previously proposed (to a certain extent), the format would have us drawing the names from a hat each round of six songs and thus playing our selections in random order relative to the other participants. When the hat is empty all the names go back into the hat and we continue. After each song selection we vote for that song or the previously played song based on whatever criteria we feel as individuals we feel would like to apply.

The interesting thing is that you have first an opportunity to "counter" a previously played song with your own, yet every time you do, you get countered by the opponent that follows.

One of the big tasks of the evening will be tracking the selections and the voting. We need to decide if the voting will be public or by ballot of some sort. I would suggest that i can make up some tiles that are marked "C" or "P" for current or previous song. We each toss out the appropriate tile at the end of the song and someone slips the total into a spreadsheet and it tallies the vote. We can either keep the tally hidden 'till the end or show a running tally.

...other suggestions?
thanks Brian...I cant recall the format exactly but I will bring 20 songs in total 10 from each year....let me know if I have this wrong somehow...
s

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I was thinking about the number of songs as well, and figure if we stay on track we could do a round in 30 minutes or so (maybe forty when Marc and Mike start into the Yes and Genesis catalogues lol) so if we get rolling at 7 (do-able?) and go to midnight that'd be 10 songs each. I'll be going to 4 am, but don't expect all of the rest of you to keep pace. Seems a lot of work for 10 songs eh? Yikes. Anyway, the other question is, what proportion of each year (of our two) do we need to feature. I was thinking a maximum of 2/3 from one year, so for every three songs that you play, only 2 can come from the same year.....something like that. I'm easy on that so let's hear from others.

And Stu in terms of your CSN question (wild guess on my part) the live track will be attached to the year of its own release, not of the original studio recording.

Friday, January 13, 2012

sorry bout that Mike...unintentional barb there....
how many songs do you guys think it will take .... I have no idea how many to bring...
I need some clarification again on live songs....what if a song is released originally in your given year but a better live version comes out later, can we play the later version even though its year is not your year?
probably not?

On the other hand I assume we can play live cover tunes by a second artist that improves upon the original studio release by the original artist, obviously the year would be the year the new cover version is released as a single...
Probably yes?


please confirm..
tks
s
Actually Stu I thought you'd always loved that Sprinfield song. I recall some years ago you warbling out a version (superbly, mind) when justifying the greatness of their relatively under-lauded third album.

In terms of losing the plot two years ago when battling the 60's, I agree. It shows what's tricky about getting votes, though. Who would think I'd give up the round because I played REM and U2? Perhaps the two greatest bands of any standing from the decade. And while an argument could be made that the songs were bad choices, one is a beloved though underground choice from their lesser-loved third record (though a fave of mine) and the second is a huge breakthrough anthem which defined the band for a number of years - ie, hardly twaddle. And Stu's choices were great great songs but all very well known. Could be interesting next week!
Actually, I'm the one who selected "On the Way Home". I was basically trying to do what Kyle described below - avoiding the more obvious and potentially overplayed tracks in favour of some tasty but lesser known gems that show off the depth of a given band. And, for the record (since Brian's list below is missing this), the James song I chose was "Seven".

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On the way home? ... I cant recall why I would have chosen such a "B" song.....hummmmmm...
..Also There may have been a reason for why certain songs were played in certain orders, so winning by a slim margin early on may well have been what I intended....cant recall the exact sitch though....
But Derek, this time the voting will be fast and furious and i expect the tallies will be up and down throughout the night.
Hey Brian what I found interesting when looking back over the sheets that detailed our selections round by round 2 years ago was that you almost took out Mr. 1960's Watson from the competition entirely (well before the final round) but lost the vote by the slimmest of margins 3-2.

And looking at your picks for that round I know you had my vote with your first two choices Billy Bragg and New Order but for the first time that night you wavered playing REM's "Driver 8" and U2s "Sunday Bloody Sunday". I'm not sure how the vote was split between 60s and 80s (hell I can't remember who I ultimately voted for) but Stu was ripe for the takedown and you let him off the hook with those last 2 songs in my humble opinion.

I think I'll miss the edginess of the elimination factor this time around and the chance to play a bunch of songs in a row.
The trick with '67 will not, of course, be slim pickings but fatigue with some of the more popular and immortal tracks and a disinterest in under appreciated or lesser heard tracks. But I suppose that's a challenge we all face, to some extent.
Thanks Derek, couple of updates attached.

1960s

Donovan - Wear Your Love Like Heaven
Jefferson Airplane - Somebody to Love
The Band - The Weight
The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale
The Who - I Can See for Miles
Love - Alone Again Or
The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Antonio Carlos Jobim - The Girl from Ipanema
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Wooden Ships
The Byrds - Eight Miles High
Neil Diamond - Sweet Caroline
Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower
Buffalo Springfield - On The Way Home
The Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin
The Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want
Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone
The Beatles - A Day in the Life

1970s

Bobby Womack - Across 110th Street
Led Zeppelin - Over the Hills and Far Away
Elvis Costello - I Don't Want to go to Chelsea
The Clash - White Man in Hammersmith Palais
The Kinks - Lola
Pink Floyd - Fearless
David Bowie - Life on Mars
Lou Reed - Perfect Day
Iggy Pop - The Passenger
The Jam - Down in the Tube Station at Midnight
Blondie - Heart of Glass
ELO - Livin Thing
Van Morrison - Into the Mystic
Nick Drake - Northern Sky
Neil Young - Old Man
The Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the Uk
John Lennon - Instant Karma

1980s

The Church - Under the Milky Way
The Cure - In Between Days
Bruce Springsteen - Atlantic City
The Pixies - Monkey Gone to Heaven
The Smiths - Please, Please, Please...
The Stranglers - Golden Brown
The Replacements - The Ledge
Kate Bush - Cloudbusting
The Smiths - This Charming Man
Billy Bragg - Levi Stubb's Tears
New Order - Ceremony
R.E.M. - Driver 8
U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
Tom Waits - Telephone Call from Istanbul
Midnight Oil - Beds are Burning
The Waterboys - A Girl Called Johnny
Prince - When Doves Cry
Icicle Works - Whisper to a Scream

1990s

Ride - Vapour Trail
The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work
Portishead - Sour Times
Belle & Sebastian - Get Me Away from Here, I'm Dying
The Posies - Dream All Day
Radiohead - Karma Police
Nirvana - Sliver
The Ghandharvas - First Day of Spring
Elliott Smith - Bled White
Built to Spill - Randy Described Eternity
Wilco - I'm Always in Love
Blur - The Universal
Flaming Lips - Superman
James - (Mike's pick from Laid?)

2000s

Soil Pimp Sessions - (track?)
M. Ward - (track?)
Arcade Fire - Antichrist Television Blues
Outkast - (track from Stankonia)
Interpol - Not Even Jail
Jolie Holland - Sascha
Getatchew - track?
Amon Tobin - track?
Stars - Your Ex-Lover is Dead

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Here's the list lads. Please fill in the gaps as you recall them.

1960s

Donovan - Wear Your Love Like Heaven
Jefferson Airplane - Somebody to Love
The Band - The Weight
The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale
The Who - I Can See for Miles
Love - Alone Again Or
The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Antonio Carlos Jobim - The Girl from Ipanema
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Wooden Ships
The Byrds - Eight Miles High
Neil Diamond - Sweet Caroline
Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower
Buffalo Springfield - On The Way Home
The Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin
The Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want
Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone
The Beatles - A Day in the Life

1970s

Bobby Womack - Across 110th Street
Led Zeppelin - Over the Hills and Far Away
Elvis Costello - I Don't Want to go to Chelsea
The Clash - White Man in Hammersmith Palais
The Kinks - Lola
Pink Floyd - Fearless
David Bowie - Life on Mars
Lou Reed - Perfect Day
Iggy Pop - The Passenger
The Jam - Down in the Tube Station at Midnight
Blondie - Heart of Glass
ELO - Livin Thing
Van Morrison - Into the Mystic
Nick Drake - Northern Sky
Neil Young - Old Man
The Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the Uk
John Lennon - Instant Karma

1980s

The Church - Under the Milky Way
The Cure - In Between Days
Bruce Springsteen - (track from Nebraska)
The Pixies - Monkey Gone to Heaven
The Smiths - Please, Please, Please...
The Stranglers - Golden Brown
The Replacements - The Ledge
Kate Bush - Cloudbusting
The Smiths - This Charming Man
Billy Bragg - Levi Stubb's Tears
New Order - Ceremony
R.E.M. - Driver 8
U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
Tom Waits - Telephone Call from Istanbul
Midnight Oil - Beds are Burning
The Waterboys - A Girl Called Johnny
Prince - When Doves Cry
Icicle Works - Whisper to a Scream

1990s

Ride - Vapour Trail
The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work
Portishead - Sour Times
Belle & Sebastian - Get Me Away from Here, I'm Dying
The Posies - Dream All Day
Radiohead - Karma Police
Nirvana - Sliver
The Ghandharvas - First Day of Spring
Elliott Smith - (track picked by Mike)
Built to Spill - Randy Described Eternity
Wilco - I'm Always in Love
Blur - The Universal
Flaming Lips - Superman
James - (Mike's pick from Laid?)

2000s

Soil Pimp Sessions - (track?)
M. Ward - (track?)
Arcade Fire - Antichrist Television Blues
Outkast - (track from Stankonia)
Interpol - Not Even Jail
Jolie Holland - Sascha
Getatchew - track?
Amon Tobin - track?
Stars - Your Ex-Lover is Dead
Hey D, any chance can you try to post up the 2-year-ago playlists in the next day? My step-brother-in-law Gary, great bloke who manages bands in Sydney, is very keen to see our lists from last time. I'm seeing him one more time before I head back.

Kyle, did I read correctly that you're worrying about a lack of material from 1967 because Stu scooped A Day in the Life last time 'round? Let me just repeat the questions....did I read corre - OK never mind. My man you are putting my earlier gamesmanship (not) to shame!
Looking forward to looking at the list and filling in the gaps. I have concerns about 1967 and having to rule out some potential gems that Stu might have already spun. 1992 less so but it would still be worth looking at.

Just to confirm, we're still allocated as follows:

Brian - 1978 and 2005
Derek - 1979 and 2004
Stu - 1969 and 1994
Marc - 1973 and 1999
Kyle - 1967 and 1992
Mike - 1972 and 1997

If you'll excuse me, I'll go back to painfully trying to determine which of Kriss Kross or Sir Mix A Lot will make the short list.
Thanks Kyle (whose last name name rhymes with what a leaky faucet does) for the re-fresher on the Jango ...gave it a spin and came across a Norwegian band called Flunk ...fit my mood to a T today, particularly like a track called Blind My Mind ...breathy and sensuous, sweeeeet! it put me in a head space to imagine someday possibly tackling 1999 ...did i mention 1999 sucks!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I have a fairly complete list of all the songs that were played 2 years ago. It gets harder to read my scrawl as the evening wears on but I will post it later today and you can fill in the blanks (ie song title) as you recall them.
Ok.....please I get it.....I will not play anything from 1969 that I played before..... Geeze Louise....
In fact, since you all hate me before we even start this game, I have decided to play only Neil Diamond songs from 1994.......(I will still beat Derek.....)

re release dates: I think the simple rule is the original release date of the song itself is what counts ..if the single came first like in the 60's or 70's then that is the year... if the single came after its album release then its the album release date...and I guess we have to pick North American release date as the sensible option as we are North Americans....

( Does anyone have the list of what we played at marcs at the decades battle as I only recall some of what I played.. Can you recall if we posted it to metabeats , if so i will look back and try to find it)
Since you are all getting anal about release dates ...release dates where? ...North America? Canada? First world wide release? some albums where not released in North America for months or a year after the release in a foreign market. Is there wiggle room here? Knowing you guys i imagine NOT!

And with regard to release dates on singles, i think that some exceptions must be made as there where lots of songs that where released as singles or b sides and only found their way onto records or comps later in life. We would be agreed that the single as a pre-album-release teaser is out though.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Did I? Darn it. Though doing these things on your blackberry is so primitive I'm not surprised. I'm selling all of my remaining RIM shares (if only I could do that on my blackberry). re Derek's additional thought, agreed it's something of a fallacy in some cases to choose release date, but we have to draw the line somewhere. Not to scoop Derek's play list at all, but London Calling was released in December 1979 and so all of us were blown away by those songs in 1980 and thereafter (it really was the first record of the 80's in many ways), but for the sake of the comp, it;s 1979 all the way.
Posting on the (now-defunct) Filmfest blog? Totally Stu move.

Here's Brian's post:

"I'd be OK with formally released live versions, but I don't see a re-mix (unless it's truly different) or a remaster as creating a new song and therefore for these I'd say no. Agreed on comp's, it's the original release that matters."

Good to know. Am also fine w/ not playing a track that was played at the last one of these, even though it means bidding adieu to 'A Day in the Life' and possibly other hot tracks from '67. Hoping I still have enough to wup ass with.
I think the only thing I would add to Brian's comments which for some reason he has posted in the film festival blog is that we agreed to go by the year of an album's release. So in my case several singles were released by M.I.A in 2004 that subsequently showed up on her 2005 album release "Arular". As I have 2004 as one of my years I would not be allowed to play the songs released as singles in 2004.

Agree with Brian on compilations. As in 1979 which saw the release of the Who's "Quadrophenia" and also "The Kids Are Alright". Once again I would not be permitted to spin the tracks from either of these records.

Does anyone have an issue with us not being permitted to play any of the tracks that were played at edition #1 of this contest back in 2010. I don't want to hear Stuart play the same dozen tracks he played 2 years ago.
Since I missed the drunken luncheon at which the rules of this contest were finalized, I have a question about the qualification of songs for a given year. Using the assumptive close that I learned in a sales course many years ago, I'm going to phrase my question as a statement:

Presumably, songs re-released on compilation albums do not qualify for inclusion in the year of the compilation's release, but alternative versions of previously released songs (remixes, remakes, live versions, mashups, etc) are valid.




Friday, January 06, 2012

Also, am presently listening to Jango.com, a site I had mentioned last year, which is a Canadian-friendly version of Pandora. My M83 station is serving up some nice downtempo electronica to get me through some of the paperwork sitting on my desk this afternoon. Recommend you give it a whirl, esp if your last name rhymes with Ban Binkel.
Seems we're on now for the 20th, given mr. gaines' willingness to hit the highway early and brave gta reverse commute traffic on a friday evening. The 20th. Friday. The. 20th. Nobody make a hair, nails, or waxing appointment for that evening.

Also, your guide to 2012's coolest Canadian bands.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Ugh to date problems! Stu you have to make this one a priority! Mike, failing Stu being Being able to shuffle, is there any chance of you coming down early-ish on the Friday?

In terms of locale, yes it's chez me, and I'll have a nice new turntable in place for anyone crazy enough to bring vinyl. And genre is wide open.
Mike, Marc...genre thing is gone, as you suspected. Feel free to veer wildly from free jazz to fusion to klesmer. Stu, say it ain't so on the date? Can you participate via remote/blackberry? We can play your suggestion and then vote....We do have the technology.
. I had us down for the 20th and the 21st got booked up for me early in december unfortunately...well before the 23rd email. I checked this morning for a confirmation in November on metabeats and could not spot one but I may well have missed it....certainly dont change the date for me, since the 21st works for all of you.... no worries.......it will not be the last of these sort of events i am sure.....
....
Mind Games Derek? ...1973! John's finest work of his career!
update Mike ...genre thing got ditched on the 23rd ...guess you missed the news flash ...anyone else correct me if i am wrong.
I'm happy with my years - there are a lot of good albums from '72, and '97 was also a pretty great year. But I thought that the idea was to focus on a single genre, and that is going to be difficult. I think that the decision to limit ourselves to 2 specific years has placed the focus squarely on timeframe and relegated genre to a distant back seat. Indeed, reading the posts below, all of the discussion is about the year - nobody is mentioning genre at all. Perhaps that we change if we were all required to declare a genre in advance, just as we have identified the years.

I fear we will all end up picking very broad definitions for our genre (i.e. "rock" or "dance") by neccessity, given the dual year constraint. And genre will not be the focus of our battles. Anybody else having similar thoughts?
Brian's I believe? ...as V and the kids will be away?
This time around Brian is hosting and if you read the e-mail sent out from Bettys on December 23rd we are meeting on January 21st. The Saturday. I hate when Stuart uses big words. Let the mind games begin.
Don't think any of us is here falls into this trap, but it certainly brings to mind conversations I have with my boomer relatives or even gen-x acquaintances who stopped listening to music when they stopped going to school.
What, we were going to re-pick because people weren't happy with their selections? Pshaw. And now we're mocking selections from the 60s and 90s in a game of pre-tourney expectations management? Double pshaw.
Stu-man, I love it when you intimate. It just feels so intimate. At present, I'm fine with either the 20th or 21st. We doing this at Marc's again or elsewhere?
I thought we booked it in for the 21st back in November! I am open for the change if that is necessary.

Brian, I like the fact that some of us are having to dig a little deeper ...as was always my want. I think that our having to dig will change the dynamics of our voting and might be pitting obvious vs. obscure in an interest relationship.

Kyle, diggin' the Grooveshark mix ...have not recognized a single tune as of yet, (that's good) ...like the cover of The Suburbs by Mr Little Jeans ...I think that might be the first AF cover i heard to date ...goes to show that a good song can easily have legs with another artist.
not to complicate things but i dont think a final date was chosen for the showdown... i had intimated friday night 20th is bertter for me and still is... i ahve the saturday booked... is the friday still the night?
s
Marc, Funny thing, in that I sent an email to Derek last night decrying my choice of 1978 - apparently many of the songs / artists I was thinking of are from 1979 - and suggesting a trade. Dman replied saying he had the same thought, but about 1980. Ha. So it would seem that nobody is happy, unless of course you took the uber-safe choice of a 60's / 90's combo. Booooooo. But rather than create utter chaos by suggesting we re-draft, I'm of the mind that we soldier on and find the nuggets in these years. I've spent a night (post-denial of my choice) focusing on 78 and think I have a fair bit to work with now. And I can't help but think that the votes may be harder to come by for those who opted for the safe choice this time round :). A Day in the Life will get a backlash-thumbs-down, who knows? And anything off of Let if Bleed will likely be boo'ed out of the room. Game on!

Oz is 26 degrees and a perfect mix of beach and tropical rain forest in northern New South Wales.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

It's not your fault, Marc. I seem to recall that someone put a gun to your head and made you pick 1973 so...wait a minute...you chose that of your own volition. Fool!

2011 still rocks, though. A nice playlist I found on grooveshark today.

Link
1973 sucks! ...and why is there an "L" on my forehead?
Itunes and classical music: is it getting better?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Happy New Year!

To celebrate, a nice New Order cover by Destroyer: