An occasional blog about populist politics and popular music, not necessarily at the same time.
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Monday, July 2, 2018
Music: current count 29896  rated (+37), 348  unrated (-0).
Nothing monumental below that I didn't get to before posting June Streamnotes on Saturday, although the Grupo Mono Blanco records are pretty nice if you're interested in Mexican folk music that doesn't veer into Mariachi or more generally Norteño. I spent a fair amount of time in the EOM crunch pouring over Phil Overeem's We're Halfway There -- But to Where? midterm list. Still 27 records in his main list (out of "damn near 100") that I haven't heard, as well as 12 title under "Old Music Nicely Repackaged." I'll try to knock a few more off that list next week.
Since it's midway through 2018, I figured there would be some "So Far" album lists to look at. I thought it might not be too hard to adapt my EOY Aggregate architecture to collecting data from mid-year lists. (I've done minimal editing, so I can purge the mid-year data and reuse the program files come November.) I collected 21 lists, mostly from Album of the Year, which netted 240 albums (three are new releases of archival music so they're in separate files; two are new works by various artists, which I kept with the new music in large part because Black Panther: The Album is likely to show up on a competitive number of lists). The data is here. The top albums (my grades in brackets, but not counted):
The first number in braces is points, followed by number of lists the album appears on (I used that as a tiebreaker).
Main caveat here is that most of the lists were unranked, so each album listed there got one point. Numbered lists were counted on my standard scale -- 5 for number one, 4 for 2-5, 3 for 6-10, 2 for 11-20, 1 for everything else -- although only 6 ranked lists had more than 20 albums (the max was 50, by Stereogum and Uproxx). That scale works better for longer year-end lists, especially more of them, but with such a small sample expect some distortion.
I expected Janelle Monae and Cardi B to dominate the list, but not much else was obvious. I didn't like the Kacey Musgraves album at all. I'm not surprised that it has fans, but so many? The Pusha T EP was produced by Kanye West, and seems to have gotten a perverse boost as West's fortunes faded (1 mention; his Kid Cudi collaboration, Kids See Ghosts, got 2). Lot of women in the top 10 (if memory serves, 9 of 10, though only 2 of the next 8, or 4 of 20). Kali Uchis and Saba have high metacritic scores, but so do Confidence Man and Rolo Tomassi (1 mention each). Kamasi Washington's Heaven & Earth broke late (4 mentions, 4 points, tied for 54th), between Mount Eerie/Tracey Thorn and Car Seat Headrest/Ezra Furman.
One positive bit of computer news is that I bought a new keyboard -- a Logitech K740 Illuminated -- that I'm pretty happy with. Not sure what you'd call the switches, but they have a better than usual tactile feedback without being as clunky (clicky?) as the mechanical keyboards. Plus it has LED backlighting on the key legends, so I can find whatever key I'm looking for in the dark. (I am a competent touch typist, but that doesn't help if you can't find the right starting keys.)
New records rated this week:
Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries rated this week:
Old music rated this week:
Grade (or other) changes:
Unpacking: Found in the mail last week: