Saturday, January 21, 2012


You betray yourself immediately by admitting your tapioca panic attack. I don't think most people even like tapioca, and even less realize there are different tapioca "sizes". I hate to break this to you, but I'm afraid your toit rating may be precipitously high. Though it concerns me that I, too, love a good bowl of tapioca, but I must confess I've never obsessed about the size of the pearls or any other relative merit of one brand or "type" versus another. And just where the heck did you get that package? Are you a time traveler?

Thank you for the picture of Duran Duran that you posted.

As for your questions:
1) I can't remember exactly when I first heard of S-K, but I was non-plussed from day one. It wasn't an active, itchy sort of dislike, more of an annoyed, "here we go again" kind of response. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you thought they sounded like Patti Smith and The Clash, etc. Don't get me wrong, these are fine people to emulate, but doesn't everyone? Now if a band can pull it off, more power to them, but it's "difficult" (you and I should know): The Clash wrote incredible SONGS, and let's not forget that the definition of a good song is one that can be played in the most naked of ways, like one instrument and a vocal, and still sound great. And of course Patti Smith is a wordsmith like few others. See, the problem with people like you and me, besides any suspected toit-tosity, is that we were around when these artists were in their heyday, and there have been sooooo many copycats, not to mention at this point the preponderance of the copycat copycats, that it gets harder and harder to find the real deal. That being said, I like a LOT of new music. But S-K isn't in that particular mix. (Though I must admit I've heard a song by Wild Flag that has me interested in more.)
2) I went through a looooong period (this Nineties) where I had a really hard time finding new music, but those days are over, of course: the inter-tubes have all the recommendations you could want, and probably more than you can handle. For my Americana/country fix, I usually check out The Real Big Rock Candy Mountain. For a general source of recommendations, I regularly check out Metacritic. There's several others. I try to find sites that, obviously, aren't too "mainstream", but also that don't go in the opposite direction: a lot of places I end up are recommending stuff that is too obscure. Some people really like extremely "lo-fi" efforts; I guess I wanna hear at least a little bit of experience/musicianship. But then something will come along that defies all my "categories"; I try not to be too limiting, but also have a new interest in wasting less of my time. And then there's my other problem: I'm still old school enough to want a physical product. Every now and then I buy a song from a site, but I'm still interested in lp's or cd's.
3) I went on a hunt for hipsters of the Sacramento variety, but couldn't find any, perhaps because I was searching during daylight hours. If I sight any, I'll be sure to let you know.

So I want to start sending out 15 or 20 song playlists/"radio shows". What's the best way to do it? Whaddya think of Spotify?

Would that take care of my needs?

Ok, let's see...

--Where the heck did you get that package?

That would be Shopper's Corner, a Santa Cruz institution, in the historical photo in the last post. Now this *was* several years ago...

--Thank you for the picture of Duran Duran that you posted.

Uh, thanks, I guess, but it's hard to tell whether the The Backstreet Boys will be flattered or insulted..

...there have been sooooo many copycats,...

Oh, amen to that - I confess that I sank into a been-there-done-that as I listened to both of those groups...

... I had a really hard time finding new music, but those days are over...

- and to that! Pandora alone is a remarkable "suggestion box", and has gotten better and better at its version of stochastic tastemaking. As an experiment, I put in "Cream" as the seed, then immediately added "David Wilcox" for variety, and got the famous live "Crossroads" (before the varietization applied), Zep's "Good Times Bad Times", then some Hendrix rock, then the Animals' "House of the Rising Sun" - then a recent Wilcox release - this starts to look like a trajectory - then an artist I hadn't heard called Bebo Norman in the Wilcox vein, then another previously unknown folkie, Howie Day before I was tapped on the shoulder by Pandora for too much skipping. Wouldn't it be interesting to have it just spit out lists?

Then there's - I just jumped in to a tag called "punk revival", hit The Donnas, who I'd heard a little, then hit under their "Moods" list the term "campy", then ended up at "Ziggy Stardust" - next to which can be found Small Faces' "Lazy Sunday". The problem here is that starting in this vast compendium produces for me a sense of surfeit, a negative commitment. But if you start with a desire for very specific comparisons, it can be kind of great - have you used it much?

And even the anarchic associations of YouTube serve as a reasonable conduit, since the right gutter almost invariable represents someone's predictable taste. (Side note: at this point, that Pandora station I just created has dumped me into War's "Low Rider"; maybe I was a little *too* divergent in my seeding.) Was YT too frustrating for you?

-- I'm still old school enough to want a physical product.

It's funny, a CD never quite seemed to me as real as an LP, simply because the canvas of a 12" cover and sleeve already seemed like a fulfilled promise - and so I've more or less ceased to care.

--Would [Spotify] take care of my needs?

I was going to say Mog based on recent reviews, but I see they require a Facebook account; go Spotify! And this posting shows an interesting graph comparing top hits there vs. Rdio, an up-and-comer. I might be able to live without "Say Say Say" by going that direction.

No comments:

Post a Comment