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Thread: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

  1. #1
    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Default An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    Some times I feel I have trouble absorbing new (to me) music, and end up listening to the same old shit over and over again, which leaves me kind of frustrated. I have a fairly vast music collection downloaded onto my hard drive (a little over half a terrabyte) and there is a sizable chunk I know practically nothing about. Part of the problem is that I have the attention span of a 10-year old meth addict listening to a Steve Aoki set, and another part is that a lot of music takes a really long time to settle in with me; very rarely does a first listen of anything leave any kind of impression. So in the spirit of expanding my tastes and controlling my musical ADD, I've devised a minor project for myself and I want your help.

    Basically, I want to immerse myself in one "important" album every week, listening to it as much as possible, with a minimum of two listens a day (but hopefully more), seven day straight. It's not very ambitious or complicated or anything, but I'm not trying to overwhelm myself, just alter my habits a little. And I'm more or less going to leave it open to the board to decide what I listen to. Of course, to prevent things from becoming too stupid, there are a few guidelines.

    First, I have final veto power. If it's an album I'm already fairly familiar with, or something I've given enough chances to and know I'm not interested in, or if it's some stupid joke suggestion like Nickelback, I'm not going to do it. And try to make it a fairly substantial album that really warrants a week of study, not just some fun dance album you won't remember in a year or anything. It can be an album you think everyone should own or some criminally overlooked semi-masterpiece, just so long as it's something that's really stuck with you for some time. I have no limitations as far as genre goes, just so long as it seems like a serious suggestion. To help with that, it would be cool if you wrote a short description about WHY I should familiarize myself with whatever album you're suggesting. And don't make it some impossible to find rarity no one has ever heard of unless you're willing to send out some mp3s.

    Anyone can make a suggestion, and whichever suggestion gets approval by three substantial board members (no lurkers, aliases, or fuckfaces) first wins. I'll immerse myself in it over the course of the week and post my thoughts and impressions afterward. Then we'll go through the process again, every Friday. If other people who aren't familiar with whatever album's been chosen for the week want to participate too and compare notes at the end of the week, that might make it a little more fun, like a book club except for internet music nerds. I'm expecting this to not really go anywhere and get bogged down with LOLZ posts, but it's worth a try. If you have any suggestions on how to improve this or anything, I'll take them into consideration.

    I'm going to cheat this week and ask for a Wilco album because I had familiarizing myself with them in mind when I came up with this, but starting next week, I'll leave it wide open for anything.

    UPDATE: I'm listening to two albums a week, one of my choosing, and one of your choosing.

    Week 1:
    Wilco - A Ghost Is Born C-

    Week 2:
    Personal choice: Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea A+
    Board choice: Electrelane - The Power Out B
    Last edited by SoulDischarge; 05-16-2009 at 07:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Dark Lord mountmccabe's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    I can think of two ways to go with Wilco. Summerteeth is their best album (imo) but Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was their album that kinda broke them into the non-countrified indie scene. I mean, sure, it still has some of the country influences but they aren't quite so bold. Sure, Summerteeth is less country than their first two but it primed the field to be ready for Wilco. The real surprising thing here, though, is that YHF was a big stretch; it wasn't a cash in.

    The two since have been less adventurous versions of YHF; the two before were more countrified. All are good but none really tell you all that much about the others.

    My final vote is for YHF.
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  3. #3
    Coachella Junkie faxman75's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    If you really want a feel for their live sound and a good mix of their full catalog you can also go with "kicking television: Live in Chicago"

    You can't go wrong with what mountmccabe says though. YHF is a really great album.

  4. #4

    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    listen to "I'm a Wheel" then move on
    Quote Originally Posted by RotationSlimWang View Post
    Say goodbye to that acid, Greg.

  5. #5

    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    I've done this same thing, except it's listening to one new album, uninterrupted, no stops or pauses, once a day.

    I'm at 105 right now, mixes between classics I've never heard, returning to old favorites, or festival research. I did it to broaden my musical horizons and also try and train my attention span as well.

    Good luck. I went through lots of sources looking for albums

  6. #6

    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    any albums that were pleasant surprises Gonshman?
    Quote Originally Posted by RotationSlimWang View Post
    Say goodbye to that acid, Greg.

  7. #7
    Coachella Junkie fatbastard's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    This is a great idea.
    Whiskey Sour

    2 oz blended whiskey
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    1/2 tsp powdered sugar
    1 cherry
    1/2 slice lemon

    Shake blended whiskey, juice of lemon, and powdered sugar with ice and strain into a whiskey sour glass. Decorate with the half-slice of lemon, top with the cherry, and serve.

  8. #8
    Beefy Soft Taco TommyboyUNM's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    SD, I'll join you in Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I've never heard that album and I want to really familiarize myself with Wilco before Bonnaroo. Some listens will be better than others (at work vs at home with my headphones on).

  9. #9
    Coachella Junkie Pixiessp's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    I am quite partial to A Ghost Is Born. That CD is phenomenal from start to finish.
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  10. #10
    Brackish African wmgaretjax's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    I force myself to listen to one new album per day... on work days it ends up being something like 3.

    I also recommend A Ghost Is Born, knowing your taste some, I think that album makes sense as an entry point for you.

  11. #11
    Dick Nicewonger kreutz2112's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    I will also recommend A Ghost is Born. Sorry John. Jared is correct about its suiting to your taste.
    RAPE STOVE

    white power?!

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    Coachella Junkie BlackSwan's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    For future reference, have you listened to all of Elbow's albums SD?
    .

  13. #13
    Loveable Curmudgeon TallGuyCM's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    See, I think the recent "Sky Blue Sky" is very user-friendly, and is more strikingly Wilco than some of their previous efforts. Songs like "Side with the Seeds", "Walken", and "Impossible Germany" really give a new listener a great idea of what Wilco can sound like and what they are capable of musically.
    8/28 - Ty Segall - Echo
    8/31 - Sleep - Troubadour (?)
    9/05 - The Rentals - Fonda (?)
    9/11 - Swans - Roxy
    9/13 - Owen Pallett - El Rey (?)


    Quote Originally Posted by getbetter View Post
    I finally made it through a listen of Sun Kil Moon - Benji and had put it on maybe 4 times til I could finally feel mentally like, "just fuck it just let this guy blabber on" while I'm doing paperwork .
    last.fm, if you care

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  14. #14
    Dark Lord mountmccabe's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgaretjax View Post
    I also recommend A Ghost Is Born, knowing your taste some, I think that album makes sense as an entry point for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by kreutz2112 View Post
    I will also recommend A Ghost is Born. Sorry John. Jared is correct about its suiting to your taste.
    It is OK, I understand, y'all have no sense of history.



    Though, to be fair, I don't know Patrick's tastes quite as well.

    And, in fact, that was what I was gonna ask until I got the part where you said Wilco. What do you like. Alls I've got to go on is that mix you posted several months ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by SoulDischarge View Post
    See how wrong you are, Tommy? Randy is agreeing with you.

  15. #15
    Member AlecEiffel's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    I think this is a great idea. Something that wouldn't hurt me to do myself, actually.

    It looks like Yankee Foxtrot Hotel or A Ghost Is Born is gonna win here, but personally I'd go with Summerteeth.

  16. #16
    old school pancakespancakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixiessp View Post
    I am quite partial to A Ghost Is Born. That CD is phenomenal from start to finish.
    I will third this recommendation, (or fourth?), not to bombard you or anything, SD. But I still think AGIB is their finest hour, for whatever reason. You seem like you might really ejoy it.

    This is an awesome idea though. I'm pretty intrigued. I need to do something like this myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by PotVsKtl View Post
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  17. #17
    Member AlecEiffel's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    I'm surprised to see all this positive Ghost is Born talk, I was pretty disappointed in it when it came out and haven't really given it much time since. Should I go back and check it out again?

  18. #18
    old school pancakespancakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    YES.

    Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by PotVsKtl View Post
    Put a boombox playing Sarah McLachlan behind a fan, call it a day.

  19. #19
    Member AlecEiffel's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    Ok, I think I'll dig it out tonight.

  20. #20
    Beefy Soft Taco TommyboyUNM's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    Upon first listen, I like Summerteeth better than Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I'm gonna have to listen to A Ghost Is Born, though.

  21. #21
    Coachella Junkie Pixiessp's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    Quote Originally Posted by AlecEiffel View Post
    I'm surprised to see all this positive Ghost is Born talk, I was pretty disappointed in it when it came out and haven't really given it much time since. Should I go back and check it out again?
    The Pancake and the Pixie say YES
    Quote Originally Posted by insbordnat View Post
    If you're in a relationship that causes Ancestry.com to crash, it's probably inappropriate.

  22. #22
    Coachella Junkie Pixiessp's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    Quote Originally Posted by TommyboyUNM View Post
    Upon first listen, I like Summerteeth better than Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I'm gonna have to listen to A Ghost Is Born, though.
    Karen O is whispering in my ear right now.
    Quote Originally Posted by insbordnat View Post
    If you're in a relationship that causes Ancestry.com to crash, it's probably inappropriate.

  23. #23
    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    I'm going with A Ghost Is Born. I'll give Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Summerteeth some attention, but those won't be my main focus. Thanks. I'll report back next Friday, along with anyone else who's joining in.

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgaretjax View Post
    I force myself to listen to one new album per day... on work days it ends up being something like 3.
    I try to do this as much as possible too, but it's part of the problem. I'll listen to an album once, not much will stick, and I'll forget about it and move on to something different the next day.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSwan View Post
    For future reference, have you listened to all of Elbow's albums SD?
    I've heard their most recent 2 or 3 times and remember enjoying it, but I'm not especially familiar with their catalog.

    Quote Originally Posted by mountmccabe View Post
    Though, to be fair, I don't know Patrick's tastes quite as well.

    And, in fact, that was what I was gonna ask until I got the part where you said Wilco. What do you like. Alls I've got to go on is that mix you posted several months ago.
    Actually, I don't want my tastes to factor in too heavily. Part of what I'm hoping to get from opening this up to the board is getting the opportunity to listen to a few things I might not normally give much time towards.

  24. #24

    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    Quote Originally Posted by bug on your lip View Post
    any albums that were pleasant surprises Gonshman?
    Some ones that I loved/had never heard anything by the band before/had never heard anything beyond a single song by that band are:

    TV On the Radio - Dear Science
    Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power
    Husker Du - Zen Arcade
    Run-DMC - Raising Hell
    Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsys
    The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
    The Mae Shi - Hlllyh
    My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
    Massive Attack - Mezzanine
    Bjork - Post
    Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit
    Pearl Jam - Ten
    Nas - Illmatic


    And many, many others. I love getting suggestions (even started a similar thread on it) so if anyone wants to add something to the list, just bump my thread or pm me or whatever. It's basically guaranteed that I listen to whatever you suggest.

  25. #25
    Member apostle2's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    if you're not trying to cater to tastes, then going with anything other than YHF is a mistake. when the obligatory best albums of the decade lists start coming out in a couple months, that album will consistently be in the top 20.

  26. #26
    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    I guess some context of taste would be beneficial in deciding what would be a good starting album for certain bands, but I don't really feel like going through an outline of what I like and don't like any time soon. Attentive posters already have a vague sense anyway. A Ghost Is Born won democratically. Hopefully it will lead me to their other albums.

  27. #27
    Beefy Soft Taco TommyboyUNM's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    I'll join you in A Ghost Is Born. I'll likely start tomorrow morning.

  28. #28
    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    Would you like to join me in the steam room as well?

  29. #29
    Gummi bear sultan miscorrections's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    I'm disappointed you didn't choose Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. That is an Album.
    Quote Originally Posted by bmack86 View Post
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  30. #30
    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Album per Week: An Experiment in Listening Habits

    Blame Jared, Adam, pancakes, and Joann.

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