Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.
-- Frank Zappa
Some facts about my music collection:
- In the past ten years, I have legitimately acquired nearly 500 albums of music.
- The vast majority of these CDs I purchased used at one of the many fine independent music retailers in the Boulder/Denver area. I hope the RIAA takes note of the fact that when I buy a CD, I'm often inspired to do so by an unauthorized mp3 I downloaded in college.
- I bring eight CDs to work each day and use the number I listen to as a productivity metric. If I don't spend much time listening to music in a day, I probably didn't spend much time programming. The converse is not necessarily true, though.
- I select some albums on workday mornings much more often than other albums. In fact, I own CDs I didn't listen to for over four years.
- I am running out of shelf space to file new CD acquisitions.
In light of the last two items, I decided in May that I should listen to all of my CDs so I could decide which to get rid of and which to listen to more often. Since I didn't think I would remember how I felt about each album five months later, I wrote a very brief review of each album in alphabetic order
. Perhaps this 200KB of obsessive compulsion will be useful to someone else on the Internet. If any reviews pique your interest, let me know and I'll try to get you a copy on the condition that you don't use it as an excuse not to patronize your local record store.
- I indeed have some albums I'd incorrectly assumed were New Age crap. I also have some albums that are in fact New Age crap. (To be fair, I also have other crap. I bought a hair metal album before I knew what that meant because I liked the band's name.)
- Symphonic rock covers are neither good symphonic music nor good rock music. With one exception (Us and Them), I have no reason to keep any of this abomination to human ears.
- I realized halfway through the project that listing genres might help. However, some of the music I like is tough to classify and besides, I didn't want to provide it for just half of the artists. Maybe I'll add them all in a fury of boredom sometime.
- Sometimes it's hard to come up with something distinct to say about an album. Sometimes this is because the music affects me in nonverbal ways. Sometimes that's because it's yet another Rush album.
- Some music is very good, but not well suited for getting work done. One key factor is how well I know the album, making it hard for CDs to break into rotation.
- I would love for rock to make up a smaller percentage of my collection, but I can never remember the names of awesome artists on my ethnic music compilations. Not that record stores usually have much flamenco or Arabic groove in stock.