Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Popular Music - November 2016

Tori Amos
  • Boys for Pele
  • Night of Hunters
  • Live recordings: Fort Myers 17/11/07, Melbourne 18/11/07, Clearwater 20/11/07, West Palm Beach 21/11/07, Brisbane 21/11/14
Bat for Lashes - The Haunted Man
Beyonce - Beyonce
Beyonce - Lemonade
Christine and the Queens - Christine and the Queens
Janelle Monae - Metropolis Suite II
Radiohead - Amnesiac
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Thrice - The Alchemy Index: Water and Air volumes
Rachael Yamagata - Chesapeake

There's no way around it. My popular music listening has stagnated significantly in recent months. As much as anything, this is a function of the way in which I tend to listen to popular music compared to classical music.

Popular music largely sits on my iPhone and gets taken to work. Classical music largely sits on CDs and gets played on my CD player at home. This is not a hard and fast rule, but it's most definitely the trend. To a large extent this is due to the greater effort required to get classical music into iTunes in a format I find satisfactory, with sensible metadata.

What this means, though, is that when I open up my iPhone, the same subset of my popular music collection will always be there unless I've actively done something to change what's on there. Yes, at this point someone will point out to me the existence of Apple Music and the cloud, but that's not a route I've taken. Nor am I inclined to take it. I like personal control and curation of my music.

For classical music, by contrast, all of my CDs are available in my house. The entire collection is at my disposal when listening at home.

There's also the fact that my popular music collection is still not fully catalogued in the way that the classical one is. And so I'm less likely to engage in the systematic listening, and projects, that characterise my classical listening - systems that were originally designed to stop me from listening to the same old things over and over again.

This is an elaborate way of explaining why I look at this small list of popular music works listened to in November (not including things I sampled or streamed that I don't own), and don't feel that I have anything to say about any of them.

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