Monday, December 23, 2019

Musica, Dein Kannst Lieblich Kunst

No, I don't speak German. (My younger son does, kind of. At least he took it for five years in school.) But my high school Madrigal group -- did I ever mention I was in a madrigal group in high school? I wasn't very good, and am retroactively surprised that they kept me around -- did that song, and it's been stuck in my head ever since.

It emerges randomly for no good reason, and I can't even sing the thing because I 1) don't remember the German well enough b) can't pronounce the German even if I did know the right words, and III) I can't now sing even as well as I did in high school, which (as I noted above) was not that good to begin with.

For instance, right now, when I'm trying to introduce a Spotify playlist of some of my favorite songs of the past decade, instead I'm rambling about a german choral piece that has nothing to do with any of it. One might think I'm doing this deliberately.

One might even be right....

A lot of people do lists like this at the end of a year, but I don't really listen to enough new music in any one year to make a decent list. However, I saw that the estimable John Scalzi (of whom you may have heard) recently did one for the last decade.

And I thought: "Aha, that's a trick worth stealing." And so I did.

Since the calendar is turning over two digits instead of one in about a week, suddenly any list covering 10 years is just as good -- maybe better -- than one covering this current year. (And, frankly, it wouldn't be hard for anything to be better than this current year.) So here I am.

I'm shamelessly stealing Scalzi's shtick: only one song per performer, that being my favorite for the past decade (but standing in for a lot of other stuff, obviously), and even using Spotify as my widget of choice, since it's free. My list however, is longer than his, because I'm lazier: my initial list had 56 songs, and after a first cut I had exactly fifty, which was such a nice round number I stopped.

The widget seems to default to the order I put them in, which isn't definitive by any means. And I have no way of knowing if you will share any of my musical tastes: I go for either talky stuff or noisy instrumentals, across a few musical subgenres.

I hope you enjoy this; I was just reminded I wanted to do it by seeing webcomics genius John Allison do his list of forty albums for this year alone. And if you don't enjoy it...oh weell.

After the widget: three songs I would have added, but Spotify didn't have them.

The sadly missing:

Empty Space Orchestra, "Exit Strategy"

Yellow Ostrich, "'Til I Disappear" (the album version is longer, but this is the version I like better)

Harvey Danger, "The Show Must Not Go On" (their break-up song, released online something like a year after they actually broke up)

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