Monday, May 01, 2006

Today was a monumental day is 2006mix history. Matt and I got through the D's. Unfortunately, I do not know when we officially started them, but I can tell you that we came to a major snag in the road. I call them the DAMN D's because we completely lost our momentum. Matt complained that he could no longer listen to the music that he wants to listen to, the Itunes is giving us a error message & refusing to work, and the man in the Apple store warned him that "F.Y.I., your Ipod is DYING". "F.Y.I, you may be listening to it too much." What that supposed to mean? Isn't something that you spend over three hundred dollars for supposed to work longer than 2 years. At this point, we are just treasuring each song it plays for us. During today's walk to work, Matt scored all six songs with a strong 4. I on the the other hand gave a 1 to Babyland (not surprising)...song title being Dyn-O-Mite...which it's NOT! I gave a middle ground 3 to both Moorcheba's Dungeness and EMPD's Dungeon Master. I look forward to the E's. Hopefully we can tackle them with more ambition than the DAMN D's. Otherwise the 2006mix may continue into 2009. One nice thing that came out of the D's was the creation of the "love connection". When both Matt and I score a song with a 5, it gets that title. Aretha Franklin's Dr. Feelgood and the Mavericks' Dream River were just a couple that earned a love connection. Let's see how many the E's hold.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Apologies for the long delay

We thought a trip would be a great opportunity for us to listen to a lot of music and really get ahead of the game. It turns out that just the opposite was true. Since visiting CL's Mom in Bozeman we've really slipped in the amount of music we've been listening to and obviously that has translated to some dead air on the blog here.

Our apologies for being away for so long. We have been getting back to the music and CL did a lot of work inputting the most recent ratings to our spreadsheet. I will update the rankings after I complete this post.

An interesting article today from the SF Chronicle by Steve Sande lists 20 New Rock Classics to be debated along with the iconic albums by The Beatles, Stones, et al. I wrote to Steve but didn't list my version of what those 20 albums would be.

Here they are:

The Stone Roses - self titled
The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
The Cure - Boys Don't Cry
The Clash - London Calling
Television - Marquee Moon
The The - Soul Mining
The English Beat - I Just Can't Stop It
The Buzzcocks - Singles Going Steady
The Pixies - Doolittle
David Bowie - Low
Captain Beefheart - Safe As Milk
Marmoset - Today It's You
M.I.A. - Arular
Radiohead - Kid A
Blondie - Parallel Lines
Pavement - Slanted And Enchanted
REM - Murmur
The White Stripes - De Stijl
The Strokes - Is This It?
Cornelius - Fantasma

My choices are decidely more recent than those listed by Steve and therefore up for more scrutiny as it's difficult to say if an album like Arular will stand up to the test of time. But I am pretty confident that I'll still be listening to all of these albums ten and twenty years from now.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

More stats and Caralee tops me

We've updated the stats page and when you check the page out you'll want to pay close attention to what happened on days 22 and 25. Caralee wrote a bit about her "Big" day on the 25th day of the 2006MIX Experiment now you can check it all out song for song.

We just heard some great stuff today including unanimous 5-star songs like Billie Jean, Bird On A Wire by The Fairport Convention, Birds And Ships from the original Mermaid Avenue album by Billy Bragg & Wilco.

I'm finding that each time I sit down to post to the blog I'm more inclined to write about the details of the experiment than I am to write about the actual music. This was not my intention but I guess it's due in part to the amount of work that goes into documenting all the listening. I'm going to work to find a better balance and try to devote more time to discussing the actual tunes.

I did want to mention that this past Saturday we met our friends Darla and Joe for a movie - the fantastic Good Night, And Good Luck, some indian food at Gaylords followed by a trip over to Madrone on Divis to see Bat Makumba. Had an excellent time and want to thank those two for spurring us into action. Hopefully we'll get out to see some more music soon. If you are in the Bay Area and like yourself some groovy Brazilian music then you should really check out Bat Makumba, great fun.

I'm bummed because Willie Nelson is in town for four nights this week at the Fillmore and I was unable to get any tix. After a slow concert year for us in 2005 I'm hoping that CL and I will get out to see more shows this year. I've noticed a lot of positive press lately for Film School and couldn't be happier about it. It's great to see a band stay true to their vision and find an audience that grows along with them. Hopefully they'll continue to reach more and more folks with each new release.

Yesterday was a big day. I awoke to a big scary dream, where a black bear was chasing after my cat and I. Luckily a black lab was there to protect us, because he was putting up a big fight. During our morning commute and after stepping off the train, I was comforted to see that the first dog we came across was a black lab. His coat was not sleek like dear Abby's used to be, but more fluffy...like a bear. What's this all mean? I don't know, but I was certainly giving big scores to the songs below.

Big River by Johnny cash (two versions played, live at San Quentin got a 4, Sun Years got the 5)
Then, I gave three 5 stars in a row...
Big Sky by the Kinks (with thoughts of Montana)
Big Ten-Inch Record Jackson w/Tiny Bradshaw Orchestra (sexy)
Big Time Woman by Leon Redbone (great beat for walking)

The evening ended with little music, but lots of fun with friends at the Oakland coliseum. We witnessed a big loss at the Warriors basketball game; the Dallas Mavericks took the win. At least we got through the 32 songs that start with "big", so I don't have to mention it anymore. Currently we're on song 940...quickly approaching the "blacks". Oh, just one more...that's BIG.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The "B's" and 700+ and counting

I'll be the first to admit my surprise that we're still going strong and nearing the completion of our third week in the 2006MIX Experiment. I thought by now we'd be bored of this, wanting to watch tv or a movie, CL would have heard one too many Pavement songs, or we'd have found some other project to take up.

The truth is, we're loving the experiment and all we're learning from it. In fact, just the other day Caralina handed a Pavement song four stars! This is truly going better than expected.

After our train ride and walk to work this morning we're just a few songs short of 750. The other night we made it through the completion of the "A" songs - over 500 in total. Although we were thrilled to hit the "B's" our first song, "B-boy Bouillabaisse" by the
Beastie Boys, had us immediately longing for the "A's" or even the "punctuations". The songs 12:33 length was too much for either of us and we both gave it a 1 and moved on. It does have a sort of Abbey Road medly quality to it but too much of the song misses the mark.

We've been kicking around some ideas for new ways to compare the songs we're rating. We'd love to hear your thoughts on the ideas we've got and any new ideas you may have.
(keep in mind that these all use Song Titles as their foundation)
The Vs. Series: Which group of songs are better, those that contain the word "A" or the word "B"? i.e. "Good" vs. "Bad", "Love" vs. "Hate", "Walk" vs. "Run"
Time of the Season: Which season of the year is represented the best in song? i.e. Are the songs with "
Autumn" or "Fall" in the title better than those with "Winter"?
City Soundtrack: Which cities have the best songs dedicated to them (or at least the city is in the song title)?

Look for these and other lists to be incorporated into the 2006MIX Experiment as we move along.

A quick note that's not 2006MIX related -
We have a story in our latest issue (1/30/06) about Marc Weinstein and Amoeba Records - go ahead and check it out. Marc is a very nice guy, had the pleasure of meeting him at one of Amoeba's annual employee parties on Treasure Island.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

We really like the SFist

A great entry today on the SFist and their just begun infatuation with their iPod. I think it's safe to say that CL and I can relate.

I would like to express my love and hate for a few songs that have played in the last couple days. We are reaching the end of the A's with great anticipation of what the B's might hold. The A's have been a wonderful ride. We have discovered that apples are a good fruit to sing about and autumn provides wonderful inspiration for some amazing songs.

Today we finished with the "Autumn" songs with high scores all around, only one 3 was given by me for Captain Beefheart's "Autumn's Child". Matt and I both gave 5 stars to "Autumn" by Mia Dio Todd and "Autumn Leaves" by Cannonball Atterley. I was surprised by the song length of the latter (11 minutes long). In order to achieve a 5 star rating from me, a song cannot be too repetitious and must hold my interest throughout. Atterley did that well. If you evey get the chance to see Mia Dio Todd in person. I highly recommend it. Matt introduced me to her on a total whim. He had heard about her through a friend and found that she was singing at Bimbo's one night...an impromtu date for us that introduced me to one of my favorite singers. Her voice is unlike anyone I have ever heard. It has somewhat of a vibrato aspect to it...simply beautiful and even more dramatic in person.

Yesterday, Matt and I both gave a 5 to Bebel Gilberto's "August Day Song". With her soothing voice and sultry mood, I personally felt like I might be walking through heaven. Unfortunately, I was only walking to work. Directly off of the train, I felt like the screaming guitar of "Atrocity Exhibition" by Joy Division might send me to the looney bin if I listened to it for too long. I should have skipped it in the early beginning, but there was a nice drum beat that kept me sane.

Monday, January 16, 2006

What's happening

We're now well into week 3 of the 2006MIX Experiment. I've got the day off today and that has helped me to find the time to come up with a solution to our stats problem. I will try to update the stats at least once a week and am still open to ideas/suggestions you may have on ways to improve the presentation of this information. You can always check our stats page by clicking the link on the left nav bar (as well as our bios, favorites, etc.)

I want to thank my friends Scott and Jim for helping me with the stats page issue.

An interesting trend has developed of late - CL is handing our more 5 star rating than I am, yet, her daily average rating has yet to eclipse mine. At the beginning of this process I wondered if her ratings would ever be higher than mine for a day. I still feel that this won't happen because with those 5's come a lot of 1's and 2's. Because most of the music being played is "mine" I'm more likely to enjoy the bulk of it (this does not apply to Neil Diamond and the Indigo Girls).

I'm starting a list of albums that are on the chopping blcok and will most likely be first to go at the conclusion of the experiment. The list so far skews heavily towards jazz and latin jazz. I'll post this list in another couple weeks or so.

Hoping to get some new photos added here before they become "old" photos. Look for an update on that page soon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It's "All" over now

The end of Day 11 of the 2006MIX Experiment and we just trudged our way through the "Alls". Everything from "All Night Long" to "All Stripped Down" to "All Things Must Pass", and so they shall, into the "Almost"s. Between days 10 and 11 we heard 63 songs that started with the word "All".

The best (received 5's from both of us):
"All Night Diner" by Modest Mouse
"All of You" by Miles Davis
"All of Your Love" by Magic Sam
"All These Things That I've Done" by The Killers
"All Tomorrow's Parties" by The Velvet Underground

and the worst (lowest aggregate scores):
"All I Really Need Is You" by Neil Diamond
"All The Nations Airports" by Archers Of Loaf

We've topped the 441 mark and aim to pass 500 songs in the next couple days.