April 2009 Archives

April 20, 2009

Current 5: A Twitter Music Survey

Because I'm now an old geezer, I often feel that I'm behind the ball on great and emergent music. I like to see what other people are listening to, and Twitter exponentially expands the range that you can poll.

So recently I asked for five (5) artists that define one's current musical landscape. Slightly more functional than a "stranded island" playlist, while much less permanent than a "favorite artists" roster. A number of people responded, their lists as varied as the individuals themselves:

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@dgroundsel, a self-described chinscratcher and otaku who lives somewhere quite near me apparently, stayed true to form with this eclectic and efficient set of artists that blur the lines between what is sound and what is music. I'd add a personal extension of this list by including Towa Tei or a Rei Harakami.

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@aebsr, a fellow designer/developer in the greater DC area, provides a very safe yet compelling set anchored firmly in soul. We're friends on last.fm, where I share a common vein in hip hop appreciation but part ways in his tolerance of R&B. At some point we going to have to sit down and sort out our differences; we are fellow contrarians as well.

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@JustinBaum's list probably excites me the most. A San Fran web des/dev/PM that I met briefly at a conference earlier this year, he's also a DJ--a passion I've had to suppress for one reason or another for the past 5 years. DJs cultivate this really fun habit I call "theming": finding and utilizing obscure commonalities in vastly differing types of music. Looking at his list made me eager to see what that theme was.

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@brad is perhaps my longest-running twitter relation, and we get on like yin and yang: white/black,  east coast/west coast, older/younger--you name it, and we balance it out. Brad has a massive collection I've had the opportunity to peruse, and, as such, he's the most confusing as far as music taste is concerned. He listens to nearly everything; perhaps more than any other this list identifies exactly what he's listening to at this moment instead of in general.

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@smelvin is my colleague and corporate partner in crime. You'd never get that from this list. I'm appreciative of EW&F and Sample, skeptical of common (though I was a big fan in his early days), and barely tolerant of musiq and stevie. I know I'll get flack for this scathing review, but it just goes to show, perhaps, that opposites attract?

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@gorgeoux, a Romanian media expert who has since transplanted herself in London, is another long-term twitter relation; we like to wax eloquently in DM debates. :) A very nice grouping here which reminds me that I've not listened to Talvin Singh in a very long time, which is a very sad thing.

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@etmueller is my German younger brother (really! ask my mom! haha) who's now holding it down in SoCal. He's quite conservative musically, which would explain why I've never heard of most of his list. I'd be remiss if I didn't check these artists out. On a side note, however, I think Vivaldi was the only artist mentioned twice--and on totally differing lists.

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@espresso22 is works in the office next to mine, and we occasionally share our iTunes playlists. She's young enough that I poll her musical rotations regularly. Her playlist dredges up bittersweet memories of a decade of angst and invincibility. Perhaps I should introduce her to @brad?

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Naturally, someone couldn't settle on just one list. I think this list is much more indicative of what we have in common musically. Good one @aebsr!

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In many regards, Toronto technophile @funkaoshi has a musical taste that mimics mine at his age. Coincidentally, I think I was being heavily influenced at that time by Milk, 2kool4radio and other Canada-centric sources. The kid's alright by me, mostly because he justifies my collection.

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Finally, the youngest of the bunch (and technically my cousin?) @capturing_moods makes me happy that the new sounds that appeal to me are pretty close to the pulse of the next gen. I'll stop now rather than date myself with "I remember when No Doubt..." Oh by the way she has a twitter music feed, @indie_rock_life--as does @brad (his is @staires).

It's always nice to cross reference your tastes with those around you, be it tangibly or twitterphorically. I wonder what else I can find  by attempting a meme (perhaps that I'm not as old as I like to let on)?