Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Recipe for a Playlist
Once again, I have the Animal Collective message board, "Collected Animals," to thank for finding me new music to dig. This time, it's The Ruby Suns, more kind of Beach Boys sounding stuff, which I seem to be into lately.
I was thinking about this today and I realized that I usually find myself patrolling a few places for new music:
(1) blogs like Gorilla vs. Bear and Stereogum and others
(2) The New Yorker's blurbs about bands playing in town that week
(3) The New York Times "Playlist" column in the Sunday paper.
Those last two sound stodgy, but they are actually pretty smart sources. By far, though, the AC board has the highest success rate for me.
Usually, it goes like this: mine a thread for suggestions and then plug them into The Hype Machine to stream songs it finds across the universe. After streaming them for awhile, it's a pretty simple decision whether I want to pay to download the album or not.
Anyway, I do this and think that I'm caught up with what's happening in the music world and then I read a few SXSW reports of all the bands who played in Austin and I realize that I'm not even close. I'm more than a little jealous of my friend Jim, who just took a job as photo editor of Wired magazine and got to go to SXSW as a result. Maybe some day I will be able to trade my two Masters tickets to someone for some all-access badges to that festival. That'd be a dream.
I've also been spending a lot of time this break reading Abu Muqawama, a pretty amazing Iraq war blog, which does so much more to explain the nuances behind what you read in the traditional media. It has helped convince me, for example, that recent reductions in violence have less to do with our increased numbers of troops, and all to do with giving al-Sadr the chance to participate in the political process and therefore an incentive to call his militia off.
Now I have to drive in to school to feed my fish, though they're probably all dead by now. My last shark, "The Kid," has to be a goner, just like at the end of Blood Meridian.