Sheesh, “Year-End List” season has really stirred up some heated emotions this year. Idolator pondered, “What Use Are ‘Best Of’ Lists, Anyhow?” And today, Scott over at PGWP posted a long, detailed diatribe about the aspect (or rather absence) of trust with regard to the lists. He points out,
I’m detecting an odd, if fascinating tone to the usual kvetching this time around. It’s not the same old sux/rulz dichotomy: rather, there seems to be a distinct lack of trust, a suspicion of the listmakers’ motives.
Scott also points out this post from BG’s Tumblr (who wonders just how often you listen to those albums you called “Best” last year) and the inevitable ILM thread which I’m certain you don’t want to get involved in.
Ultimately, I came to Raptoravatar‘s response to Scott’s post, in which he proffered this:
I know that No Age’s Nouns is going to be in my top five and that I can make a case for it being a good record. However, I know that when I’m talking about that record I’m also talking about this whole past summer where I listened to it almost every day. My case for that record is as much about drunken late night bike rides where every speck of grime takes on a secret life, hitting taco trucks at 1 am, poetic graffitti in weird industrial areas, and giddy mosh pits as it is the hermeneutic of “Epic Punk” as understood through the influence of Husker Du.
And what struck me about that is that it rings of exactly what I think a Top/Best/Favorite list should be. It should be the music that, for whatever reason, just really resonated with the listmaker. The music that became part of their lives, instead of part of their “collection.” I realize that makes the lists WHOLLY idiosyncratic and subjective… but I feel like that’s the whole point. Music ain’t science, it ain’t statistics. It’s lust, and heartbreak, and anxiety, and confusion. It’s Elvis’ hips, and Joe Strummer’s guitar. It’s the too-short life of Ian Curtis.
It seems like at some point in the past few years, we decided that it was more important to value music against some nebulous set of criteria that we can apply numerical values to. Let’s keep it up and maybe one day, we can finally squeeze ALL the fun out of this.
10 Responses to “Listless”
Leave a Reply