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  • Movers and shakers - comparing this year to a year ago.

    Mag 6 2010, 15:07

    For my own reference, let's see how the top 20 of the past year compares to the year before.

    1) Eels (from 9) ^ 8
    -rose because I bought
    Useless Trinkets and put it on my pc. The sheer number of songs makes it a new favourite for the shuffle. However, I also love this collection. Eels' b-sides are possibly more brilliant gems than the hits, because they're even more quirky, and quirkiness has always been the main strength of E's songwriting.

    -I have grown a bit fonder of Eels than I used to be. But in essence not that much has changed. There was simply too little Eels on my pc before.

    -Eels will sooner or later be the number one of all time. Unstoppable essentially.

    2) The Beatles (from 2) -
    -unchanging. The Beatles forever? In a word: yes. I've heard 11-year olds this year discussing whether a song was onRubber Soul or Revolver. Even Elvis seems to be waning in popularity now, and Bob Dylan is still famous but not as famous as he used to be. The only band of the 20th century I predict to stay famous even in the 22nd are the Beatles. So also for the rest of my life, obviously.

    3) Bob Dylan (from 5) ^ 2
    Not too long I'd predict him to rise to number one. Now this seems to make sense more. Although the neck-and-neck race with the Beatles should probable be decided in Bob's favor.

    4) Tom Lehrer (from 1) v 3
    Mainly fell because I expanded my library so much with other artists. Tom Lehrer was the first and only artist whose work I've downloaded on such a large scale.

    5) Tom Waits (from 7) ^ 2
    Again a new collection caused the rise: Orphans. Pretty brilliant.

    6) Leonard Cohen (from 11) ^ 5
    Frankly I don't get at all how he could have been ranked that low.

    7) De Mannen van de Radio (from 3) v 4
    Listening to comedy again and again doesn't really work. However, I don't predict them to fall any further. At a certain point relistening is worthwile.

    8) Chris Chameleon (new) *
    I guess I hadn't put his album into the system yet back then. Frankly I don't understand how one album merits a top 10 spot, but oh well. Pretty versatile album actually, so it's all good.

    9) Freshlyground (new) *
    Another South African artist. And another justified hit. Freshlyground is as good as its name implies.

    10) Johnny Cash (from 12) ^2

    11) Creedence Clearwater Revival (from 15) ^ 4
    This rise is a fluke. Seems like a lot but means nothing.

    11) James Taylor (from 13) ^ 2

    13) Paul Simon (new) *
    Funnily enough here my ranting journal entry was predictive. Paul Simon is now in the top 20 by himself, leaving Art Garfunkel behind. Graceland is to blame, and I have no regrets.

    14) Dire Straits (from 4) v10
    As I uploaded a number of Dire Straits albums first and used to listen to some tracks on purpose more than I do now, I should have know they would drop. But 10 places? Kind of a shocker.

    15) Howard Shore (new) *
    I had a lot of LOTR tracks on my pc for a long time. But recently I've come to be actually listening to them a lot more. They're actually quite good. In particular the Grey Havens theme.

    16) Dan Bern (from 8) v 8
    Victim to artists of whom I own more than one record which I've now uploaded. I expect him to fall even further.

    16) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (from 14) v 2

    18) Ani DiFranco (new) *

    19) Bob Marley (new) *

    20) Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (from 17) v 3

    And with 6 new artists in the top 20, what happened to the dropouts?

    Donovan, from number 6, is now on a shared number 49. I don't see him coming back to the top 20. I just used to play his albums a lot for some time, to get to know his music.

    Hans Teeuwen, from number 10, is now at 21. Seems to me he will stay close to the top 20, but the top 10 is out of reach now. Even more than the Mannen van de Radio, his solo comedy is hard to relisten, as the shock value simply wears off. This is not to say he's only about shock, but it's sure an important element in some sketches.

    Jacques Brel, from 16, is now at 28. He'll probably still sink somewhat lower as my musical collection gets bigger.

    Randy Newman, from 18, is now at 25. I really should buy some more of his music.

    Moxy Früvous, from 19, is now at 23. w/e.

    Simon & Garfunkel, from 20, now at 25. Lol.
  • Another pointless questionnaire....

    Nov 8 2009, 18:29

    Put player on shuffle, list the first 40 tracks that play and then answer the quiz questions.

    ==



    40) Elliott Smith – Between the Bars
    39) Bob Dylan – John Wesley Harding
    38) Woody Guthrie – This Land is Your Land
    37) Don McLean – Everybody Loves Me, Baby
    36) Johnny Cash – I Walk The Line
    35) Bob Marley & The Wailers – Rat Race
    34) Ben Folds Five – Army
    33) Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Homeless
    32) Ani DiFranco – Gravel
    31) Ben Folds – The Luckiest
    30) Elliott Smith – Say Yes
    29) Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA
    28) Wir sind Helden – Nur ein Wort
    27) The Beatles – Revolution
    26) Joaquin Sabina & Fito Paez – Llueve sobre mojado
    25) Bob Dylan – Times They Are A-Changin'
    24) Ani DiFranco – Untouchable Face
    23) Simon & Garfunkel – America
    22) Gert Vlok Nel – Hillside lullaby
    21) Elvis Presley – Kentucky Rain
    20) Arlo Guthrie – Don't Think Twice & Freight Train
    19) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Concerto For Flute and Harp
    18) Hank Williams Jr. – There's a Tear in My Beer
    17) Ani DiFranco – As Is
    16) North American Hallowe'en Prevention Initiative – Do They Know It's Hallowe'en
    15) Bob Dylan & Joan Baez – Chimes of Freedom Loved track
    14) Philip Glass – Koyaanisqatsi
    13) Gert Vlok Nel – epitaph
    12) Freshlyground – Fired Up
    11) Jimi Hendrix – Wild Thing
    10) Brigitte Kaandorp – Protestlied
    9) Claude François – Comme D'Habitude
    8) Acda en De Munnik – Als het vuur gedoofd is
    7) Eels – The Cheater´s Guide To Your Heart (Live)
    6) New Stories – Highway Blues
    5) Oasis – Don't Look Back in Anger
    4) Manu Chao – Clandestino
    3) John Cage – 4'33"
    2) Susan Tedeschi – Don't Think Twice
    1) Gnarls Barkley – Crazy

    ===

    QUESTIONS:
    1. Which song do you prefer, #1 or #40?
    Easy, number 40. Gnarls Barkley can get on my nerves sometimes, and Elliot Smith just get me right every time.

    2. Have you ever listened to #12 continuously on repeat?
    No. But I suppose if I ever do cocaine I would.

    3. What album is #26 from?
    Lol no idea.

    4. What do you think about the artist who did #15?
    A tragic duo. Their story is almost as good as their music.

    5. Is #19 one of your favorite songs?
    Uh, no. It's nice mut not very memorable.

    6. Who does #38 remind you of?
    The Simpsons, with "this log is your log". Also Joey from Friends with "this hand is your hand, oh no it's my hand, no wait it's your hand, oh no it's my hand".

    7. Does #20 have better lyrics or music?
    Lyrics. And even better banter in between the songs. That Arlo sure can talk...

    8. Do any of your friends like #3?
    Yup, one of my best friends is a fan. Honestly, I wished I got question 7 about this one...

    9. Is #33 from a movie soundtrack?
    I don't think so, which comes as kind of a surprise.

    10. Is #18 overplayed on the radio?
    Not in Europe... I'm sure in the States it's played quite a lot.

    11. What does #21 remind you of?
    Everything. It's a very evocative song.

    12. Which song do you prefer, #5 or #22?
    -#5. As long as I hear it by accident. I am physically unable to listen to Oasis on purpose.

    13. What album is #17 from?
    Who cares? I think it's Little Plastic Castle.

    14. When did you first hear #39?
    After I downloaded it because I had read the lyrics.

    15. When did you first hear #7?
    When I played the Trinkets CD.

    16. What genre is #8?
    Singer/songwriter? Pop?

    17. Do any of your friends like #14?
    A colleague does...

    18. What color does #4 remind you of?
    Red/Yellow/Green/Black of course...

    19. Have you ever blasted #11 on your stereo?
    No. But it's very suitable for it, isn't it?

    20. What genre is #37?
    Folk/Pop. Yeah, that existed back then...

    21. Can you play #13 on any instrument?
    I might... haven't tried though.

    22. What is your favorite lyric from #30?
    "And I could be another fool, or an exception to the rule/ you tell me the morning after"

    23. What is your favorite lyric from #23?
    As one of my teachers once said "Kathy I'm lost I said, though I knew she was sleeping". It's genius.

    24. Would you recommend #24 to your friends?
    No. It's kind of a guilty pleasure I guess.

    25. Is #2 a good song to dance to?
    Not at all.

    26. Do you ever hear #16 on the radio?
    By the time that came out I never listened to the radio anymore.

    27. Is #32 more of a "nighttime" or "daytime" song?
    daytime. More of a background thing while working.

    28. Does #36 have any special meaning to you?
    Connects to South Africa, where I saw the movie of the same name.

    29. Do any of your friends like #31?
    I have a Ben Folds fan friend, so yeah.

    30. Is #25 a fast or slow song?
    Slow.

    31. Is #35 a happy or sad song?
    I guess it's kind of sad. Maybe angry is a better word.

    32. What is one of your favorite lyrics from #9?
    "Mais toi
    Tu me tournes le dos
    Comme d'habitude"
    Suddenly the song comes alive. It seems a pretty simple trick, but simple reading/listening means hard writing.

    33. Is #34 better to listen to alone or with friends?
    Alone. It's pretty much a song about self-image.

    34. When did you first hear #27?
    idk, too long ago.

    35. Name 3 other songs by the artist who did #29.
    The River, I'm on Fire, uhm...

    36. Do you know all the words to #6?
    Right now I don't even know if it even has lyrics...

    38. What album is #10 from?
    No idea.

    Wow, this was pointless...
  • 15 artists, 3 tracks

    Mag 24 2009, 22:25

  • Why all my top 20 artists suck

    Mag 4 2009, 23:46

    Yes, I thought I'd have a go at this as well. Why do all the artists I listen to most actually suck? Why is none of them more than a guilty pleasure or a snobby badge of intellectualism?

    20) Simon & Garfunkel

    Ah, yes. The folk "duo" that got immortalized by making just one good album. "Duo" because it's really just Paul Simon who decided to give his background singer an equal role. Well, officially. In a duet with Joan Baez he actually says "way better than Artie". But that's not because Baez is good, just that Garfunkel is unbelievably bland. And that's basically what Simon & Garfunkel boils down to. Sound of Silence? Heck, compared to that song silence is a rollercoaster ride. John Cage writes more catchy tunes. Bridge Over Troubled water is vaguely obscene, but that's about it. Singing a song slower doesn't make it better, it just makes you zone out.



    19) Moxy Früvous

    Seriously? Moxy Früvous. They think that just because they're Canadian anything they do is funny. Oh haha we make a song about a video store. Hilarious! Let's make it the Album title! And singing about superheroes is not tongue in cheek, it just shows you don't have any ideas of your own. And I really don't care how you came to live in Canada after being royalty in Spain. But I imagine the Spaniards got bored of your so called off-beat goofyness.



    18) Randy Newman

    Randy Newman has written two songs: the sensitive ballad with the "the world sucks" lyrics, and the humpty dumpty swinging song with the "I am a jackass" lyrics. Well guess what Randy: I'm not sure if the world sucks, but you sure are a jackass.



    17) Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

    First of all: what's with the "and the Bad Seeds"? Who do those guys think they are? The Mothers of Invention? The Wailers? I've been to a Nick Cave show actually, and I don't recall a moment where I noticed those Bad Seeds doing anything special.

    Nick Cave has a deep voice, which makes you think his lyrics are deep. Well, I'll give him that they are unusual, but unusual doesn't make deep. If you accept that the topic will be the paranoid doubt of love, life and sanity, the lyrics are as vapidly direct as Britney Spears lyrics. "People just ain't no good" isn't deep, it's just pathetic. "Where the wild roses grow" isn't deep, just creepy. You get the idea.



    16) Jacques Brel

    Ah, here we come to the first real snobby badge. Well, first of all, Brels renditions are way over the top. He just tries too hard. And all the violins mask any authenticity, if it ever was there. Because are you really telling me this Belgian guy who actually preferred to act wrote all those classically covered songs? Come on, he obviously had a ghostwriter. Who should have given the songs to Dutch and German artists right away.



    15) Creedence Clearwater Revival

    It's a sad state of affairs when a list with multiple comic artists features a non-comic artist with the most ridiculous name. I'm sure there's some sort of hilarious story behind it, but I don't care. It sounds like a wedding band.

    Creedence can play, make no mistake about that. But they seem to carry too much baggage of the sixties without really making full use of it. Somewhat psychedelic lyrics, but not really. Somewhat politically involved, but not really. And the most mysterious songs are about "rain". Well guess what, Bob Dylan already made a meaninglessly mysterious song about rain.



    14) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Composer has a son, who isn't just an able musician, but also writes symphonies as a toddler. Seriously? Did anybody buy this hoax? "Amadeus" didn't paint too negative a picture of Mozart, but much too positive. I don't believe he ever wrote as much as a piano sonata, he was just a "boy composer" of the eighteenth century.



    13) James Taylor

    OK, this is genuinely embarrassing. No, there's no area between folk and country where one can pass as a "singer-songwriter". The only difference between folk and country is that the latter is too slick and vapid. And Taylor is not folk, not by a long shot.



    12) Johnny Cash

    Well, if folk is good then Cash must be good right? Wrong. Cash is the original gangster rapper. 2Pac and Ice-T got the public outcry Cash deserved. Did he stick up for them? I don't think so.



    11) Leonard Cohen

    See Nick Cave.

    What's that? Cohen's lyrics are better? No, they're just more complicated. "Nobody has told us yet what boogie street is for", what does that mean? Well, as Homer Simpson said "It doesn't mean anything! It's like 'ramalamadingdong' or 'give peace a chance'!"



    10) Hans Teeuwen

    Doing weird voices does not equal humor. Pretending to be a complete moron is humor, but really grade school humor at best.



    9) Eels

    "Oh my life has been so hard, because my father was a brilliant scientist." Well, guess what: your father's theory is "controversial", in other words complete bogus. And how could you think that "Eels" is sorted after "E"? Obviously weirdly working minds are hereditary. And we get it, you have a glockenspiel. Ha. Ha. Ha.



    8) Dan Bern

    Ok, singing about superheroes, as lame as it is, goes way beyond singing about celebrities. "I wish I was Tiger Woods"? Yeah Dan, I also wish you were Tiger Woods. Because then you would be an awesome golf player instead of a lousy singer.



    7) Tom Waits

    Someone else commented that Tom Waits's voice is too horrible to listen to, that we just get used to it. It's actually much worse than that: his voice masks the fact that his compositions are cornier than Green Day's.



    6) Donovan

    Well, at least I mostly listen to the psychedelic Donovan, not the earlier folksy one. Just too bad that nobody ever actually called Donovan "Mellow Yellow". Seriously, not once.



    5) Bob Dylan

    One thing one has to give Bob Dylan credit for: the way he gives credit to those who inspired him. The question is, by now, why do we still listen to him and not the geniuses who inspired this pop-idol?



    4) Dire Straits

    For 500 euros: tell me a member of the Dire Straits whose name does not begin with "Mark Knopfle". Yeah the piano solo on Telegraph Road is pretty cool, but who did it? Who cares? And making songs fifteen minutes long doesn't mean they're good, it just means you think long solos are better than short solos.



    3) De Mannen van de Radio

    Apparently something is funny about these sketches, because the guys themselves keep cracking up while doing them. Maybe they just smoked a lot of pot each time they recorded them (or during?). Anyway, whatever comic effect there might have been is lost in that sloppy delivery.



    2) The Beatles

    In twenty years, do you really think people will be listening to the Backstreet Boys? Then why are we listening to the Beatles now?



    1) Tom Lehrer

    Most of his songs are based on Gilbert & Sullivan. He doesn't seem to understand the first rule of parody: don't parody comedy, ever. Nor the second rule of parody: parody is the lowest form of wit.
  • oh that's cool... we should have a meme about that.

    Apr 14 2009, 21:55

    (somehow the offbeat randomness of the question order intrigues me into doing this)

    Name your top 10 most played bands on Last.fm:
    1) Tom Lehrer
    2) The Beatles
    3) Dire Straits
    4) De Mannen van de Radio
    5) Donovan
    6) Bob Dylan
    7) Dan Bern
    8) Tom Waits
    9) Hans Teeuwen
    10) Johnny Cash

    Now answer the questions according to the numbers:
    -- what was the first song you ever heard by 6?
    No idea. But the first song of his I conciously remember people singing, and indeed the first song I ever learned play on the guitar is Blowin' in the Wind

    -- what is your favourite album of 2?
    My god. That has to be the worst question to be asked in music, huh? And now I have to admit I don't own a single beatles album, just the blue greatest hits album. The only album I ever listened to consistently was Abbey Road, and I really liked that one. Basically all it's songs are good. Kind of a happy-go-lucky album, but what's wrong with that?

    -- what is your favourite lyric that 5 has sung?
    "Quite rightly"

    -- how many times have you seen 4 live?
    I don't believe they actually ever performed live. If so, I would have loved to see it.

    -- what is your favourite song by 7?
    Albuquerque. The seperate parts of the lyrics seem to have nothing to do with each other but complement each other perfectly.

    -- what is a good memory you have considering the music of 10?
    Does watching "walk the line" in a hostel in South Africa count?

    -- is there a song of 3 that makes you sad?
    It Never Rains. I was unbelievably 12 and in love when I listened to Love Over Gold over and over again. I didn't understand this song at all, though I knew it spelled some kind of doom. If only I knew back then what it meant and payed some attention to it.

    -- what is your favourite lyric that 2 has sung?
    Dare I say it? Yes, it's got to be "I am the Walrus". Best line ever.

    -- what is your favourite song by 9?
    Nederland

    -- how did you get in to 3?
    My dad played it a lot. Which is to say, he played Telegraph Road super loud.

    -- what was the first song you heard by 1?
    Either Send The Marines or Wernher Von Braun.

    -- what is your favourite song by 4?
    Naimami Indianen. "Ze zeggen zelf Naimimi, maar het is dus Naimami". Theo Maassen has to do his best not to laugh the rest of the session, but he keeps it up. Well, almost at least.

    -- how many time have you seen 9 live?
    none.

    -- what is a good memory you have concerning 2?
    Discussing whether or not they are the defining band of all time... if every band after them is a form of response to them.

    -- is there a song of 8 that makes you sad?
    Ol'55 is not a nice song to hear when you're lonely. Particularly if it's your own fault.

    -- what is your favourite album of 5?
    Mellow Yellow

    -- what is your favourite lyric that 3 has sung?
    "These mist covered mountains
    Are home now for me
    But my home is the low lands
    And always will be"

    or

    "Goodness me could this be Industrial Disease?"

    -- what is your favourite song of 1?
    The Subway Song. Few of his songs aren't gems, but this one just takes his punchline principles to the max.

    -- what is your favourite song of 10?
    Hm. Probably Mean As Hell. It may not be his best song, but there's few others that exhibit his strengths like it.

    -- how many times have you seen 8 live?
    I haven't and of the living ones it is the one I'd like to see most and haven't yet.

    -- what is your favourite album of 1?
    Besides the point really.