Years and Years

I was reading this article and thinking “gee, 1980 sure was a good year for music”.

So I wanted to list all the albums I had from 1980.  And then I discovered that I lacked the release year for about 1300 of mah records.

Fortunately, discogs.com has a nice API, so I wrote a tiny, tiny Emacs library for interfacing with it.

And now I  can play all the records from 1980!  Except that discogs didn’t identify about 300 records, so I have to do those manually.  Like an animal!

But the reason for this blog posting is just to beg, nay plead, nay ask, everybody that writes documentation to include fucking examples in their API documentation.  The discogs API 2.0 documentation includes a lot of the particulars, but not any examples on how to fucking actually compose the fucking REST fucking URLs that you have to fucking use.

Fuck.

And they don’t really specify this explicitly anywhere that I could find, either.

So here’s an example search URL:

http://api.discogs.com/database/search?type=master&artist=Grace Jones&release_title=Warm Leatherette

I hope that helps, Interwebs.

CDO Jukebox

I buy a lot of albums, and I have since I had enough money to buy a lot of albums.

Since the late 80s, my listening methodology hasn’t changed much.  I buy an album, and I put it in the “new” stack, and those are mainly the albums that I play.  I delve into older favourites, but new music is fun.

That stack used to be vinyl, and then CDs and vinyl, and an mp3s directory, and now flac.

After a while, an album becomes too old to be in the “new” stack, and I end-of-life the album by listening to it a last time, and then select the best songs from the album and put it on a Stuff mixtape.  The mixtape used to be tape, and then CD-R, and now it’s either not physical, or I burn a bunch of them to an mp3 CD-R to play in the car.

The “new” stack used to be a physical stack of albums, but since 1998 I’m just ripping everything, so it’s now a directory in Emacs.

I use the Stuff mixtapes play in the car, and to play while I’m eating breakfast.  Listening to Certified Good Music is less stressful when I’m zombieing around in the morning.

There’s now 306 of these mixtapes, stretching back to the early 90s.  They’re kinda a diary.  Sort of.  Only very cryptic, and I have no idea what some of it refers to any more.

The reason for this post is that I just got an idea to put the latest mixtape up for listening in the browser, so I did that.  The newest Stuff mixtape directory there will have a JS/Flash-based player embedded so that everybody can listen to the best music in the world!

A year or two after the fact!  I’m always perpetually behind in stuffing the “new” directory.  The first date on the images says when I bought the albums in question, and the last date says when I end-of-lifed them.

I bet this’ll become the most polular Internet Web Radio thing on the Intertubes.

4AD in the Early 90s

I used to be a 4AD fan and kept a discography going back in the 80s.  Or 90s, I guess. 

I also used to buy lots of British music papers.

Rooting through the basement storage here today, I found a cache of snipped 4AD-related articles and reviews that I had apparently collected back then, but had never done anything with.  So I thought I’d just scan them and assemble them into PDFs.

The scans should probably be cropped for easier reading, so I was thinking about writing an Emacs-based image cropping mode.  But then I thought “eh”, and wrote this teensy little library that just queries you for file names, and then uses the Gimp to do the cropping.

Gimp supports opening several files “remotely” (i.e., without starting a new instance for every image), so this turned out to be a workable way to, er, work.

The time period turned out to be 1989 to 1993, which isn’t the prime period for 4AD by any stretch of the imagination.  Half the articles are about Lush, I think.  I mean, I love Lush, but, you know.

So there you go.  Enjoy the fabulous early-90s British music journalism.

I should fold these into the general database, but that would mean getting the C++ program I wrote in 1989 to compile now, and that’s not…  fun…

Top 2012 Records

Hey, I wrote that thing that would pick out what albums I play the most.  Perhaps if I point it at 2012, it’ll just list all the best music that I’ve bought this year?

Cat Power Sun
Deerhoof Breakup Song
Django Django Django Django
Björk Biophilia Remixes Part Six
Neneh Cherry & The Thing The Cherry Thing
Thee Oh Sees Carrion Crawler-The Dream
Boris Black Original Remix
Various Bossa Jazz (2)
Various Minimal Wave Tapes Volume 2
Burial Street Halo
Actress Faceless
Hanne Hukkelberg Featherbrain
Leila U&I
Maria & The Mirrors Travel Sex

 Hey! It worked!

 Hm…  I wonder if it’ll be very different if I tell it to list the albums I’ve played most this year, no matter when I bought them.  Let’s see:

Cat Power Sun
Deerhoof Breakup Song
Django Django Django Django
Men Credit Card Babies
Björk Biophilia Remixes Part Six
Neneh Cherry & The Thing The Cherry Thing
Thee Oh Sees Carrion Crawler-The Dream
Various Crammed Global Soundcrash 1980-89, Part 2: Electrowave
Boris Black Original Remix
Joe Jackson Look Sharp!
Men Off Our Backs
Various Bossa Jazz (2)
Various Minimal Wave Tapes Volume 2
Burial Street Halo
Circlesquare The Distance After
Kate Bush 50 Words For Snow

Not a whole lot different. I play newer stuff the most, apparently.

Papp László Budapest Sportarénában

Who knew that Dead Can Dance had so many fans in Hungary that they had to play a sports arena?

I thought the sound was gonna be pretty iffy, but it was the last place in Europe that had tickets available.

The sound wasn’t iffy — it was horrible.

As Concert Goer Guy would say: Worst.  Echo.  Ever.

It was still ridiculously beautiful.  It’s Dead Can fucking Dance, innit?

Special CD

I was ripping CDs tonight, and one was giving me more problems than usual.

It was a cd by the band called disc, which is a Matmos offshoot.

I took the CD out of the drive and stared at it a bit.

Oops.  I think it might be one of those conceptual non-playable CDs.  And how did they make these pre-destroyed CDs?

Very inventive.

Kongsberg Jazz Festival

I’ve been to the Kongsberg Jazz Festival this weekend.

It’s mostly a blur.

I think we saw like a dozen free jazz concerts.  Most of them excellent.

Some stand out in particular.  Like the very quiet and magical John Tilbury concert.  And the very inventive  Augstí Fernández thing.

Oh, and the surprising Selvhenter concert.  And the Per Jørgesen thing.

Trey nice.