Friday, March 23, 2007

Unyielding Commissioning Wonders Where to Buy Music Now

We love lists here, but... You may have seen this floating around the internets lately. I first saw it on frequent poster PMaz’s page, and it keeps rearing its ugly head.

Seriously. This is an atrocity. Check out this link.

When PMaz first brought it to the world’s attention, I assumed it was just a crazy list some guy put together. You know, like a Top Ten Worst Songs Ever list or something. But eventually I learned that this was on the homepage of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now, I’m sure you’re expecting me to go off on the Rock Hall for supporting a list as insipid at this one. However, this is far from the worst crime they’ve committed. I don’t believe that anyone with any interest in music will give the Rock Hall any credence, anyway. We all know that it was really just created to give people a reason to visit Cleveland. For about four hours. OK, if you’ve been there you know I’m exaggerating. Two hours. So who cares what they think?

Webster’s defines definitive as "serving to provide a final solution or to end a situation." The implication is that we are to cease discussion of music not included in this list. It was actually compiled by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, and on their website, they state:

The Definitive 200 is a list of 200 ranked albums that every music lover should own… celebrating classic recordings by favorite iconic and contemporary artists. Complete your collection!
The list speaks for itself. I don’t need to tell you how bad it is. There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from this list, and it is that the people who sell us music don’t know a damn thing about it.

NARM is a non-profit trade organization serving the music retailing community. I’m all for trade organizations sharing ideas and working together to improve their industry. But the publication of this list indicates that they don’t know their industry so well. My father spent the bulk of his career working for the National Automatic Merchandising Association. I bring this up because three of those words are the same. But NAMA is the national trade organization for the vending machine industry. Perhaps that's how these people view their product. Highly processed, shelf-stable, often unhealthy sustenance.

The message is clear. They think that if they put a list together, you’ll run out and purchase Carole King’s “Tapestry.” Remember that when you’re at Best Buy and they have a pile of them sitting at the end of every aisle. I trust the fact that you're missing #7 from the definitive list to end all listing lists won't tempt you to make a purchase.

Lots of new albums out! The new Andrew Bird is excellent. I've given the new Modest Mouse a half-listen and it seems pretty darn good. No first blush coming on that one, but you may recall that I was somewhat obsessed with the first single, Dashboard. It has not lost any luster since then. Also out this week: Ted Leo, Low, and The Shins. So if you're into those folks, check 'em out.

Here there be tygers!


jess said...

i have a fear of people who need to make lists unless the list is
1. sparxx
2. big gold hoop earrings
3. outkast
4. blue steel

or something similar

Anonymous said...

What a joke. Alanis Morissette only #26? After her re-invention of the word "ironic" clearly a top 10 album. Oh wait, this isn't the worst list?