Here’s the best music of 2019, according to Emacs, which has carefully tallied what I’ve been listening to:
It’s a bit difficult to do a play-based ranking this year, because I’ve just bought way too much stuff, so there just hasn’t been time to listen to everything…
There wasn’t really any single stand-out new album this year (except the Amidon album), just a bunch of new music that’s good and interesting and stuff.
Here’s the best old albums I’ve bought in 2019, and once again Bright Phoebus by Lal and Mike Waterson won, because I bought a new version of it: This time the vinyl version that had to be withdrawn because the copyright holders demanded it be destroyed. But I got a copy from ebay! Hah!
Music I’ve bought in December.
Hm… not a very exciting month for new music, apparently. But I got a bunch of old stuff that I remembered needing, like Chrome Hoof:
As a data scientist, applying machine learning to my listening patterns has led to this quantitative analysis of the albums of the decade. I can therefore reveal that these are officially the best albums released during the previous ten year period:
Or rather, I had Emacs tally up which albums I’d listened to most over the previous decade. However, that just led to the oldest albums winning, of course, since they’ve had most time to be listened to.
So I experimented with various way to apply decays. The question is: If I listened to an album ten times per year since 2010, is that an album that should have the same rating as an album that I’ve listened to ten times this year? Probably… not? My default mode of listening is to direct Emacs to play me the newest music I’ve bought, so I listen to almost all things I buy 5-8 times, whether I like them or not.
Like any data scientist, the solution is obvious: Fiddle with the hyperparameters until I get a list I kinda agree with.
The result is above. The album I listened most to was 50 Words For Snow by Kate Bush at a whopping 50 times (which ended up as number 6, but was bought in 2011), and the winner here, Dani Siciliano, I’ve only listened to 28 times (but bought in 2016).
Science is hard!
For giggles, while we’re gazing into the abyss of my navel, here’s the list of albums I listened the most to, in total, no matter how old they are:
Geez! You’d almost think I like Talking Heads and Kate Bush or something. (The winner, Remain in Light I listened to 100 times this decade, and Diamond Dogs, at number 12, I listened to 51 times.)
So are there any further ways to torture this data set? Uhm… OK, let’s look at albums I bought this decade, but were made earlier. (But this time I removed the weights, just because.)
So I’ve been futzing with my living room stereo setup lately after getting new speakers, and things look a bit too… stacked?
So I thought I’d at least slim down the box the stereo is sitting on:
That’s an Ikea box, and it’s too wide and too high and too deep. Inside that box is a bunch of electronics, so I have to have… something… but perhaps not that big of a something?
So today the new Montana box arrived, and I got started disassembling the stereo (and stuff), which I was not looking forward to. Something always stops working when touching equipment that’s been just sitting there for half a decade.
And the main problem, this time, was with the DA/AD matrix mixer I use for distributing music (on different sound levels) to the various rooms: The RME Hammerfell DSP Multiface II *phew*. At first it didn’t work… but then it worked… and then it didn’t work… and then the computer says that it works but no sound comes out of it…
It turns out that if I touch the 1394a cable (aka six pin Firewire, which is what the RME PCI Express card uses to communicate with the box (but it speaks a proprietary protocol, not Firewire)) in a certain spot, it loses connection. So it seems like the cable is faulty, somehow, and I don’t have any other 1394a cables (just four pin cables).
But if I leave it just… so… I’m now getting music again, after a hellish two hours of silence.
Oh the humanity.
See? That’s… totally… different… from what it was before…
Totally… worth… it…
But at least this one rolls on castor wheels, so I can poke at the cables more easily when I need to.
So there! Worth it!
Music I’ve bought in November.
I’ve been buying all the usual nonsense this month, but I’ve particularly been delving into the output of Broklyn Beats (yes, one O), a label that was active in the early noughts. They concentrated on what some people at the time called “brokebeat”: Harsh, annoying music you can’t dance to. For instance, here’s Toecutter:
Man, that album is the most annoying thing I’ve heard ever! And I’ve heard all the annoying albums! I challenge anybody to program while listening to this album! Kudos!
But I didn’t know that Broklyn Beats also did this charming packaging stuff:
See? It’s a mesh thing stapled into a kind of sleeve.
And inside, there is what looks like a hand-screen-printed paper sleeve. (And a CD-R.)
I love it.
Music I’ve bought in October.
I’ve been buying a lot of stuff this month, eh? It’s mostly along two lines in inquiry: Is everything Ze Records published in the late 70s/early 80s fun? The answer is yes, but not everything is good.
But some is!
The other is: There has to be more good music I haven’t heard from the 60s, so I got everything in the top 20 here that I didn’t have before.
Most surprising thing: The Stooges are kinda nice. Least surprising: Bob Dylan is kinda eh.
Most random thing of the month:
Formula by Old. That’s an awesome album.
Music I’ve bought in September.
After some months of really trying to cut down on buying music, I just kinda gave up.
LET THE FLOODGATES OPEN!