||"Play Your Part"
||I'm not an expert in all the things I like, and especially not UK pop R&B trios,|
||nor do I even clearly remember how I first came across N-Dubz rapper Dappy during N-Dubz's interregnum,|
||nor was his solo work appreciably closer to any of the scattered centers of my taste, either,|
||but I adored "Rockstar" so much, regardless,|
||"Street Dogs Have Wings"
||Not a Dream But a Controlled Explosion
||that I've kept up with him ever since, and now there's this N-Dubz reunion,|
||whose critical or cultural standing I can't really report on, either.|
||"Move Like Helicopter (feat Bobby Saint)"
||The Golden Rule: Part 2: Move Like Helicopter 3
||The music is fairly standard-issue trap beats with minimally atmospheric melodic fills and heavily auto-tuned vocals.|
||The lyrics are defensive consistently enough to make you start wondering about the group's individual and collective life-decisions even if you arrived without prejudice.|
||One Blood Namibia
||"Otjina otji studa"
||There's really no apparent reason I should expect to be much distracted by it from the long waiting list of things I know I'm going to like this week,|
||Hitler SA Massive Production
||operatic metal and coy Japanese indie-pop and Spanish love songs and cryptic cacophony.|
||Alaska Mafia Family
||And yet, Timeless is the one album this week that I've repeatedly spun out of my playlist rotation to play on its own, light and sentimental and jaded and fragile and guileless despite any amount of calculation,|
||"Paka Di Peke"
||and I think it might be my favorite pop album of the year,|
||"Basha (feat. Young Stunna, TOSS & Prvis3)"
||even if what I mean by this is, somewhat circularly, that I like it both out of all my usual contexts,|
||and so readily that I don't feel like it implies the existence of other contexts I need to be remedially immersed in to understand.|
||Woman of Power
||At least N-Dubz are British, which interposes a minor ocean of novelty for me as an American listener,|
||maybe on the order of a New Englander liking In-N-Out burgers or remembering Mr. Pibb.|
||Muhammad Zaky Zulfiqor
||But then, I do like In-N-Out. One of my previous employers once got acquired by a company headquartered in Pleasanton, California,|
||death's dynamic shroud
||and in a year of tedious corporate integration the Pleasanton In-N-Out was basically the sole but genuine highlight for me,|
||and essentially the only thing I missed when that company in turn was acquired by an even larger one based back in Massachusetts.|
||We have decent fast-food burgers in Massachusetts, too. Shake Shack and Tasty Burger are fine.|
||cyanotype memories +2
||We probably also have unremarkable but appealing pop R&B trios, too,|
||but I think I've never fully shed the childhood Anglophilia originally instilled by Monty Python and Fawlty Towers,|
||"At the Dawn"
||and later amplified by years of breathless flipping through record-store Import bins.|
||Star Potential 5
||Certainly this is the obvious explanation for my also-underinformed fondness for Grime,|
||which is like 85% American hip hop in British accents and 15% Sunday crossword puzzles.|
||The video for Giggs' "Mandem", which I definitely didn't skip through on mute while listening to the song straight through on audio,|
||Hurricane Party / Chopper 2
||is instructive, Diddy's feature dour with ambitious menace while Giggs grins through his wordplay,|
||Tones And I
||rhyming "hazardous" with "lamb and asparagus", and dodging improvisationally around the downbeats with a secret dancer's gleeful grace.|
||Love Lines 3
||But this doesn't explain why I like Tuggawar's white London dancehall joint anthem|
||"Back To Your Heart"
||or Iceboy Violet's gauzy muttering|
||Lucia & The Best Boys
||Burning Castles +2
||or go weeks without really synching with any particular EDM groove only to fall into a slow Bassnectar dubstep.|
||And of course it doesn't explain how my culture-theoretic curiosity about amapiano|
||Primo the Alien
||"Sad Part of a Happy Movie"
||led my listening to Polokwane, which now seems to be the new respawn point for my Afropop tastes.|
||But isn't this what we mean by curiosity?|
||"No Será Fácil"
||Methodical movement is cartography; exploration is something else.|
||This is the problem with fancy tools that ask you to describe what you want,|
||Crash the Time Machine
||and a much deeper problem with even fancier tools that try to deduce it from your phrenology or feints.|
||"dwi'n cychwyn tân"
||ti ar dy ora' pan ti'n canu
||Your past can only be extrapolated to a slightly different future,|
||incremented in close and precedented directions.|
||You might know what you want.|
||The Word Alive
||"Hate Me (feat. Loveless)"
||Hate Me (feat. Loveless) 5
||But you don't know what you would like.|
||The Front Bottoms
||You Are Who You Hang Out With
||Worse: you don't know how the next thing you didn't know you would like will change you,|
||and thus you don't even know who you will be by the day after that,|
||Spanish Love Songs
||who you could become,|
||who you could learn to want to become.|
||"Silk Ash Cascade"
||I am an expert in algorithmic music recommendations,|
||and my primary expert testimony is that algorithmic recommendations aren't a thing.|
||Aye, The Anchor
||Recommendation is a moral act, and algorithms neither apply or observe morality.|
||The thing algorithms do is|
||Delaire The Liar
||angel number. +1
||Rules have no volition.|
||But we do,|
||and the thing we do with algorithms is pattern-finding,|
||The Linda Lindas
||and this only works if we know what good new patterns look like when we find them,|
||"Paint My Body"
||which is why generative AI,|
||We Are the Catalyst
||which recapitulates old patterns as if they are new,|
||can be both uncanny and worthless.|
||This is how imperious machine learning goes most dangerously wrong:|
||"The Plague On Both Your Houses"
||The Plague On Both Your Houses 5
||not just by finding patterns without having non-selfish criteria for assessing them,|
||but by gathering courts of diligent functionaries who answer to the machinery,|
||and assess pattern-finding by its internal productivity.|
||A good explorer does not measure their exploration by kilometers of open ocean|
||I feel most useful at work on the days when I feel the least certain,|
||because then maybe I'm getting closer to learning something.|
||Slow the ship down,|
||look over the side.|
||MY FIRST STORY
||Some of the islands are tiny,|
||and sometimes you think you're looking for islands and what you actually find are oysters.|
||"Living My Life"
||I'm not an expert in oysters, either,|
||but every once in a while it's good to have people bring you a tray of things with names|
||that you can't tell apart by looking, and maybe not yet even by eating,|
||"Dark Ice - Single Version"
||and eat them.|
||That's how you learn.|
||"Soleste De’ Bardi"
||Oyster experts can not only describe the oysters, but organize them,|
||"Waltz in the Forest"
||and then you can navigate the organization of oysters by taste.|
||"Left For Dead"
||We can use algorithmic pattern-finding to organize music so that it may be navigated by listening,|
||and in this way allow the precise refinement of expertise by the expansive expression of love,|
||"Seed Of Death"
||Seed Of Death +1
||rather than tediously vice versa.|
||"Down and Out"
||Down and Out +3
||I do not eat enough oysters to make a lot of progress in my oyster expertise,|
||"Ride Into The Storm"
||but I don't need a lot of oyster expertise to find oysters I like.|
||"Brand New Way"
||Actually, my experience is that oysters are too expensive to eat very many or often,|
||and thus at the rate I consume them I am not quickly developing notable preferences or aversions,|
||and thus have no pressing need for expertise,|
||Dwell in Doom
||Northern Cold +1
||and in fact can probably happily live the rest of my life|
||"The Dísir - Dance Version"
||without progressing beyond the oyster-expertise level of|
||"sometimes I go a place that serves oysters,|
||Genus Ordinis Dei
||and when I do I order one each of however many kinds they have,|
||Humanity's Last Breath
||unless they have more than 6,|
||in which case I order a random 4".|
||"Shovel Beats Sceptre"
||Shovel Beats Sceptre +1
||Presumably there are people who farm and serve oysters for a living|
||"It-tarf tal-Kożmu u ta' Ruħi"
||who would like me to have a less casual relationship with oysters,|
||"Mirrors Turned Inward"
||but in my Kantian mode I think I'm OK with the social-holistic implications of oysters as an occasional delicacy.|
||"Jenseits (Kapitel II - Dualitaet)"
||Jenseits (Kapitel II - Dualitaet) +1
||I'm aware, of course, that there are also people for whom music occupies this same tier of significance,|
||"Enshrouded by Winter"
||who would be content to listen to whatever 4-6 songs somebody else decided to play|
||Musica Universalis 4
||in their hearing while they were waiting for their oysters|
||An Autumn for Crippled Children
||(3 Aunt Dotty's from Saquish, 4 Pink Moons from PEI, and just one King Caesar because those fuckers are a mouthful and you're not allowed to cut them in half).|
||Som Skyer 3
||But songs are not consumed,|
||"In the Dawn"
||they are shared.|
||Edge Of Forever
||"Ritual, Pt. I"
||I want you to want to hear them.|
||I want you to want to have control, of or at least decisive influence over, your music.|
||"Wild In The CIty"
||I want you to want the world's music to be arrayed in front of you,|
||"33's And 45's"
||whichever front you face.|
||"Don't Wait for the Fire"
||I want you to have sources of music discovery that take you out of your existing familiarity,|
||"Running Back to Earth"
||and that keep doing so no matter how many times you incorporate their novelty into what you now know.|
||"A Thousand Miles Away"
||I'm happy if one of those sources is me, these playlists, this oblique journal of what I've learned and what I clearly haven't,|
||"I Got You"
||but there's no real reason it should be.|
||"Maybe / Mayday"
||I don't expect you to follow the internal logic in my heart that leads from boomy synthwave to chirpy second-gen K-Pop to Swedish-Finnish post-ABBA strut.|
||People Like Me & You
||Other people's inexplicable tastes leads everywhere and nowhere.|
||"Stand On My Own"
||You can order one each of a list of oysters and, knowing nothing, be calmly confident that you will get ice,|
||and shells and horseradish and tiny forks,|
||and not oblong lumps of oats laced with molasses and candied pecans,|
||"All I See"
||All I See, You See Me
||tiny fried smelts with a saffron crème fraîche,|
||fox capture plan
||"Wait And Bleed"
||snifters of evaporated goat milk laced with cloudberry syrup,|
||New Model Army
||"Innocence - Orchestral Version - Single Edit"
||crusty wafers of hazelnut brittle topped with tiny lattices of halvah.|
||"Army Of Me"
||Here, it's less clear: abstruse Japanese math-jazz covers of metalcore chug, dissonants joined the choir, enjoinders against complaint;|
||homework exercises for third-language seminars.|
||"I Will Wait"
||I want you to be curious, but the sincere wish for curiosity cannot be directed.|
||"Don't Dream It's Over"
||COVERS, Vol. 1 4
||You'll never see the end of the road while you're traveling with me, but the endlessness is not my creation or gift.|
||"Living After Midnight"
||Living After Midnight +1
||At most we might share part of the way, and then we're gone,|
||The Iron Cross
||each into our own inexpert unknowns.|
||"Wings of a Butterfly"
||But OK. Come on. We'll borrow wings and go together, and by the time we get there we'll be ready to show them our love.|