Sunday, October 01, 2006

886 to go

there is christmas music wafting up through the air ducts. that's right, i live with a guy who listens to christmas music on october 1st. what the goose???

well, i too have my strange musical habits. perhaps the most extraordinary of these unusual tendencies is my analytical assualt on alex layton's mp3 collection. in the summer of 2005, alex allowed me to copy his exhaustive music library onto my new laptop. with the addition of this generous earful, the total number of songs on my computer was 4186.

if i were to rank my friends (and perhaps my acquaintances too) in terms of their musical acuity, alex would be somewhere in the top ten. however, we humans are fallible (and sentimental), and everyone likes to listen to a little crap now and then. thus, despite the impressiveness of alex's musical taste, many of his songs don't strike me as worth the 5mb it takes to keep them alive. order to purge my system of musical malcontens, i elected to rank EVERY single song using the itunes five-star ratings system. while this is a daunting project, the quirkiest piece is yet to come.

in the download-happy world of the single, the prevailing musical mood seems a bit against the concept of an album. still, i continue to embrace the idea that songs are significantly connected in a web of meaning. perhaps i give too much credit to the music industry, but there's something tragic in the disassociation of the chapter from the book. therefore, i will not delete the musical atrocities until i have determined that the entire album is bad.

now, one more word about my methodology: while i support the concept of the album as an important, undivided entity, i have been listening to my unrated playlist in--gasp--random order. at first i rated albums song-by-song, but i soon found that by the last third of an album i was influenced as much by the previous tracks as the song itself. because i was afraid that this manner of rating might make me miss some gems, i adopted the unbiased method of listening to tracks in random order.

wow, it took a lot longer to explain that than i thought...

beth the s.o.. "andrew summiting the highest mountain in the world" cypress island, wa.
by the way, that's the andrew that spends his time ranking music not the andrew that spends his time thinking