Monday, November 23, 2009

Infinite iteration...

The title might sound like math homework from decades long past but it is actually an observation on a much more recent problem. It is a more welcome problem, I must add, but an example of the fact that some things seem to get harder with practice and - at for me at least - writing year-end lists is one of them.

I have not fulfilled all the promises I made for my blog this year and only I am to blame there. I have however succeeded in listening to more music, both recorded and live, than ever before. That is another large part of the problem: taking stock in the last few weeks has only now made me realize how true that is. Worse still, in this regard alone, is that the guidance I have received from many sources in the last year has meant that very little of it, live or recorded, can simply be dismissed at the first pass; furthermore not only is there far more to consider it is also more varied in nature and that is a big problem hence the title of the post!
How do you whittle the list down without obvious accusations of a travesty of justice? I have had, and then discarded, various ideas about categorization but in the end I think I'm going to do it much like last year:

  • Two complementary lists of albums (I'm not sure how one will be distinct from the other).
  • A list of EPs/mini-albums (of which I have rather more this year than last).
  • A list of singles (probably).
  • A list of live acts that I have liked the most.
The last is a new category and to some extent it will overlap with the foregoing ones. Another that I'm still considering is a shortlist of albums from earlier years that I have acquired for the first time in 2009. Don't get me wrong, I love doing it but it does not actually get any easier and perhaps that apparent contradiction is actually part of the appeal.

I've even got a working list of 2010 artists and albums to keep an eye on and, as the second decade of the 21st century dawns, it doesn't look disappointing.

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