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testing the staying power

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Age: 32
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#1 | Posted: 10/16/2017 10:03 | Post subject: testing the staying power Reply with quote
so Seth brought up in his new diary thread where he's looking thru 2017 releases (https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=19264&start=0) the idea of staying power, and while I say there that I think the concept is overrated, I do think it's interesting and worth exploring and I don't wanna derail his thread so I thought I'd so something here. I have my spreadsheet where I've been keeping track every time I listen to an album since the start of 2016. so I thought I'd go thru my 2014 list, as it stood on january 1st 2015, and see just how much I have kept up with these things. I'll just do the top 10 for now and add to this later, but yeah I dunno if anyone else has this sort of record keeping but if you were making lists on here in 2014 you should have access to how your old lists looked, take a look and report back your thoughts!

1. Aphex Twin - Syro (3 listens in 2017, 5 listens in 2016)
I think that's a good amount of listens. I'm not devouring it like when it came out, but I'm coming back to it pretty regularly and each time still convinced it's his best work.

2. Ben Vida - Slipping Control (1 listen in 2017, 2 listens in 2016)
That may not look like a lot of listens but both of those years had a listen on 4/20 and I think it's becoming a staple for that day. I would say that is enough staying power.

3. Gajek - Restless Shapes (0 listens in 2017, 3 listens in 2016)
Huh I really thought I had gotten a listen in on this this year. This one has fallen for me a bit but I still am fond of it and do still think about it, I was totally thinking about it the other day for how the tiny mix tapes review of it was so off the mark. But his follow-up album was a bit of a let down and I think that did unfairly rub off a little on this. I've been jamming his new Micromanic single this year though and am looking forward to his new album in November.

4. Arca - Xen (0 listens in 2017, 0 listens in 2016)
Oh wow, so yeah this one has fallen down for me, I have it down at 13 now and I do still throw on a few songs from this but damn guess I have not checked in with this much. I'm still fond of it, but honestly I dunno how much of Arca's stuff has staying power for me besides the Stretch EPs. I really should toss this one on again though, I think it should still hold up as an album.

5. Kemialliset Ystavat - Alas Rattoisaa Virtaa (1 listen in 2017, 3 listens in 2016)
this is such a distinct spot in their discography and even though the leader dude has been doing all sorts of other cool projects I do hope for another one from this group since this puts them on a really cool trajectory. I'm still all warm and fuzzy for this one.

6. Salvatore Martirano - The SalMar Construction (1 listen in 2017, 1 listen in 2016)
I'm on the yearly check in schedule with this one. I have it down lower now, this one is an archival release of shit recorded in the 80s and I do think it is a significant and offers a very specific sort of electronic music weirdness so it does have a sort of staying power for me since that's my jam. but it is maybe less significant than I had originally thought. tho I could come back around on it who knows.

7. Oren Ambarchi - Quixotism (2 listens in 2017, 2 listens in 2016)
I think there might be a lot like this where I check in twice a year. I could still get another listen in on this one before the year's out though, it's very good. is 2 listens a year enough to be staying power? I think so. This one's actually grown since I made the list, it's higher up at like 4 or something. It's really good but I feel like it just needs an occasional visit.

8. Valerio Tricoli - Miseri Lanes (0 listens in 2017, 1 listen in 2016)
I've been wanting to give this another listen recently, it's just so heavy. I feel like this one is actually due for another high consumption period again where I spend some time really living in it. so even though it's been a while the impression it left is still there in my brain.

9. Gobby - Wakng Thrst For Seeping Banhee (0 listens in 2017, 1 listen in 2016)
Again, this one is sort of heavy (but in a way different way), but I know I throw on songs from this like Rangishiff still. That song is a classic of the decade. I should give this one another listen soon it is good.

10. Black to Comm - Black to Comm (0 listens in 2017, 4 listens in 2016)
ok what the fuck I was so sure I had listened to this this year. This album absolutely has staying power and so much of it can come to mind easily. I've been spending a lot of time this year listening to his other albums I guess.


so ok there's the 1st 10 and even though there's some I haven't listened to this year, I think they all still have staying power for me, except for maybe Xen. but even that still pops up in my thoughts. as I get deeper into the list I think we'll find some that absolutely did not have staying power, but really I'd still go to bat for all of this.
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Tha1ChiefRocka
I'm A Cowboy On My Own Trip



Location: Kansas
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#2 | Posted: 10/16/2017 15:12 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I'd say that replayability makes a a pretty big deal for me. If i cant listen to it more than once every year or bi annually i must not like it too much. This is usually with bands like Muse or Incubus for me. I can listen to their album once and be all "hell yeah" but after that I dont want anymore. I can say the same thing about other big names like Metallica. Hell, ive listened to Thee Oh Sees new song "The Static God" 5 times this week probably which is why i have the album rated high.
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craola
my name's not craig



Location: Mobile
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#3 | Posted: 10/16/2017 21:15 | Post subject: Reply with quote
This is an interesting topic.

A problem with this metric of testing is that there are albums I rarely listen to that I reference all the time (play 'em in my head, think about them, draw on them for inspiration, converse about). Meanwhile, there are albums I have listened to over and over and over trying to figure out what's supposedly so great about them, never truly appreciating them.

Examples: wrote:
Burial's Untrue (2007) is one of my favorite albums of all time, and it's been a mainstay for me for since 2007. I've listened to it twice this year and not-at-all last year.

The National released Boxer (which does nothing for me) the same year, and I've listened to it just as many times this year. I listened to it once last year as well. It's a record I return to because so many people love it, and I keep thinking another listen will turn me into a fan, but it never does, and I can never remember what it sounds like.

Strawberry Jam was released that year too, and I haven't listened to it at all this year, but I would rank it way ahead of Boxer. Strawberry Jam has made a great, lasting impression on me, though I don't feel the need to go back and hear it again.

That's just to say it's not fool-proof... but it's certainly an interesting analysis, and the albums I revisit the most definitely sift their way towards the top more often than not.
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#4 | Posted: 10/17/2017 07:14 | Post subject: Reply with quote
yeah would agree for sure it's not fool-proof, like these next ones have some weird bits where the numbers may not line up with what I'm saying. but yeah there are those albums where you're still trying but it's not clicking, and they probably won't have staying power in the future so you'd have that false positive signal. but then there's some where it lines up and makes sense. Like I do agree with Chief that a big part of this is in the replays, even if it's just one or two per year. But there's also some here where even without listening to it for almost 2 years, it's still stuck on me in a way.

also on this point

Quote:
I can listen to their album once and be all "hell yeah" but after that I dont want anymore.


I think that's how I generally get with things, but sometimes I can get really into going into a high frequency listening thing with it and hit it up a bunch of times over the course of a week, I think I should have at least one popping up further down the list.

11. VHS Head - Persistence of Vision (1 listen in 2017, 4 listens in 2016)
Haven't hit this one up that much this year but this is totally an idm classic, staying power for sure.

12. Kassel Jaeger - Toxic Cosmopolitanism (0 listens in 2017, 4 listens in 2016)
I really thought I had listened to this this year, been caught up in other releases of his I guess (his album from this year Aster is great). But yeah this has staying power for me, he is up there with my favorite new artists of this decade (he had one release in 2007 but I still count him as 2010s).

13. Marc Baron - Hidden Tapes (0 listens in 2017, 0 listens in 2016)
Ok so here's an interesting case, you'd think from the looks of that, no staying power right? wrong. I never actually owned this, and it's one of those heavy sort of serious listening things. So I lost the digital files sometime after 2014, but it really stuck with me, and I finally got around to actually buying it recently. So I'll be listening to this one again soon, I'd think this has staying power.

14. Oren Ambarchi & Eli Keszler - Alps (0 listens in 2017, 3 listens in 2016)
This album is an excellent combination of ambarchi guitar and keszler drum facemelting craziness, I wonder if maybe I've been mellowing out a bit and have been turning to this sort of thing less? I should figure out how to get the right kind of angry for this again tho because it rules.

15. Objekt - Flatland (1 listen in 2017, 2 listens in 2016)
Huh so my 2017 listen was in late July but it actually feels a lot more recent to me. But yeah it's on the 1 or 2 a year schedule, it's still a really enjoyable listen. Like it never felt like it was reinventing the wheel in the first place, but the production and execution are really solid.

16. Powell - 11-14 (0 listens in 2017, 0 listens in 2016)
Yeah compilations, I tend to have a weird relationship with them where they're too long and everything doesn't feel like it's supposed to be put together so it doesn't really stick with me. Great tracks on here, honestly what's probably stuck with me is the Club Music single, So We Went Electric and No U Turn and Maniac, great tracks that I'll put on every now and then. But yeah even though this compilation has plenty of other great material and I think I'd still want to recognize it highly on a list like this, this specific album does not have staying power for me I don't think.

17. Ekoplekz - Unfidelity (0 listens in 2017, 3 listens in 2016)
shit here's another one where I could've sworn I had thrown it on at some point this year. I've been neglecting Ekoplekz for sure, haven't given his new one from this year enough listens at all. I've been scratching the itch for his sort of sound with similar but slightly more abstract things, I really should toss this one on again soon though.

18. Florian Hecker - Articulação (0 listens in 2017, 0 listens in 2016)
this one has sort of fallen off for me, it's a bit lower now but yeah I've been more drawn to the other works in the trilogy, this year's A Script For Machine Synthesis and and 2012's Chimerization. I really do need to check back in with this one if only to further understand the other two, but I do think this one will end up sort of less significant for me in the scope of his whole discography than what my ranking suggests. So I'm gonna have to say this one probably not on the staying power side of things.

19. Keith Fullerton Whitman - Vittorio (0 listens in 2017, 0 listens in 2016)
So this is one that I would still say is good, but is another case where it's probably not as significant for me in the artist's discography. Though in this case I am a big KFW fanboy and was thinking about listening to this sometime soon, so I'd say this gets staying power more from that than anything else. Tho yeah this is still good.

20. Vanessa Rossetto - Whole Stories (2 listens in 2017, 0 listens in 2016)
So in 2016 I was mostly focused on listening to her album with Matthew Revert. I've been coming around to the idea that I am underrating this, and its bumped up to number 10 on my list now. more than just staying power, this one is a grower.

also I know a lot of you guys maybe aren't into these artists and I'm not saying that you should be or anything, but just these sorts of general relationships, I think there's some fun stuff we could all chat it up about. Like do you guys have similar issues with compilations? and like with Hecker, the sort of thing where you lose track of an album from an artist due to other really strong works they put out before and after? or like with KFW, where an album might be a minor entry in the artist's discography but because you are a fan it still ends up with a significant spot in your mind?
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bobbyb5



Gender: Male
Location: New York
United States

#5 | Posted: 10/17/2017 17:21 | Post subject: Reply with quote
This is a cool topic. I like it. I never kept track of how much I listen to anything. All I know is, to me anyway, rock music being made today has no staying power whatsoever. After hearing 90%of albums coming out, I never ever want to hear them again even if I like them. Today's music doesn't have that certain quality of " I wanna hear that again". Does anybody really listen to any album made in the 2010s and want to listen to it as much as, for instance, the classic albums of the 60s, 70s, 90s Etc?? But it's probably just me. I'm over 40, maybe I just lost interest in the genre. Because I don't feel the same way about electronic music. Just rock.
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Fischman
RockMonster, JazzMeister and ClassicalMaster



United States

#6 | Posted: 10/17/2017 18:04 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Tha1ChiefRocka wrote:
I'd say that replayability makes a a pretty big deal for me. If i cant listen to it more than once every year or bi annually i must not like it too much.


There was a time I'd have said the same thing. But now having been collecting music for a full four decades, and having very broad tastes, I simply have so much music there's no way I can listen to everything twice a year (and still have a life outside of music). Even at the bottom of my frequency pile, there's some positively excellent music I refuse to give up.
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#7 | Posted: 10/17/2017 18:58 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Bobby, I would disagree about rock! its not where I spend the majority of my listening, and 2014 especially I didn't go deep on the rock. but this decade has Horse Lords (who have a 2014 album I've totally neglected but Interventions is a classic), Guerilla Toss, and Paln who are all amazing as far as I'm concerned. and then there's stuff like this year's Taiwan Housing Project album... and then if you count things like the Ambarchi/Keszler album I mentioned then that would rly expand things. depending on the strictness I could come up with a lot of things, but yeah I think there is still vital guitar music being made.

and Fisch yeah I get that position for sure, the library gets so big it'll become impossible to come back to everything worthwhile. especially as music listening time gets less available. even now for me there's stuff I care about that hasn't popped up in the almost 2 years of logged listens I've got.
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#8 | Posted: 10/18/2017 03:29 | Post subject: Reply with quote
ok so next batch, starting to get into the weirder cases now:

21. Clark - Clark (0 listens in 2017, 3 listens in 2016)
So I haven't really listened to any Clark this year at all except some listens to his new one from this year, I gave it some chances and it's just doing some stuff that I'm not into. Maybe that put on a temporary downer on listening to his other stuff that I do like a lot, like this one? Because I do think this is a strong point in his discography. I'd say this has staying power though, I'll be coming back to this for sure.

22. Afrikan Sciences - Circuitous (0 listens in 2017, 2 listens in 2016)
Again here is the common refrain of "what, I totally thought I listened to this this year". I need to pull this one out again, there is something really special about the drum programming on here. Very confident in the staying power on this one.

23. Andrew Pekler - The Prepaid Piano & Replayed (0 listens in 2017, 1 listen in 2016)
So this is one of those ones where Pekler has much easier to listen to stuff that is still totally great. But this album is two huge epics with a lot going on, and it's sort of intimidating I guess, where his other stuff is more inviting. But it's still a very special thing in his discography that I'm sure will stick with me.

24. Shellac - Dude Incredible (0 listens in 2017, 1 listen in 2016)
This one is sort of in an inbetween space, like I'm probably not going to listen to it too consistently in the future, but I did listen to it a bunch in 2014. and I sort of did the same thing with Excellent Italian Greyhound from these guys back in 2007. I guess I have a sort of ephemeral relationship with post-2000 Shellac where they make their mark on their year but then they don't really stick in the personal canon, and sort of sit just outside of it as a significant part of the year but not as what I'd think of as the most significant music. Not to say it isn't great tho, it is, but listening to songs from it feels more like going back to 2014 than anything else on this list. I dunno, it's kind of hard to explain, especially because it's not like it's dated to the time or anything, it just sounds like Shellac. But yeah I don't know if I'd call it staying power exactly, but it is something.

25. Mica Levi - Under The Skin (0 listens in 2017, 0 listens in 2016)
Yeah I dunno, it's hard to just go listen to a soundtrack usually. This one is an excellent one for sure, and I think it makes sense to recognize it on a list. So in that sense it does have staying power for me and I'll appreciate it when I revisit the film for sure, but I really don't expect to revisit the soundtrack too many times. Mostly I guess this is just a case of soundtracks being different than albums and generally incomparable.

26. Last Ex - Last Ex (0 listens in 2017, 1 listen in 2016)
This one is kind of a minor release of just some chill instrumental rock stuff but it's such a distinct vibe and has one of my favorite music videos https://vimeo.com/105274774 so yeah this is sticking with me

27. Joseph Hammer - Roadless Travel (1 listen in 2017, 0 listens in 2016)
So this isn't that far off from other Joseph Hammer stuff and I would argue he's got better stuff but it's still a great album that I will return to because Hammer's whole loop soup tape magic is wonderful. this one is sticking with me.

28. Angus MacLise - New York Electronic, 1965 (0 listens in 2017, 0 listens in 2016)
So here's another instance of a weird semi-ephemeral thing, because this is archival material that deserves release, but taking it all in as an individual unit isn't something I really wanted to do after the first few go rounds. So the object itself doesn't really have staying power but it was still a significant part of 2014, and helped color in a bit more understanding about this pocket of musical experimentation happening around that time in New York.

29. Lee Gamble - KOCH (2 listens in 2017, 3 listens in 2016)
I'm probably underrating this, but yeah I really like how Gamble sort of has a new twist on the spirit of IDM, because he's drawing from dance music tropes but making something that would struggle to find success in that context, generally. Though he'd have a better chance than most of the genre really, because there's some pretty clear beats. For me, the point of using these tropes is so that you can get a sense of memory degradation creating something new. Like these tropes are remembered things but everything is so fuzzy and there are parts missing. I think it's really something, absolutely this is sticking with me.

30. St Vincent - St Vincent (0 listens in 2017, 0 listens in 2016)
Oh yeah no question that this one was an ephemeral one for me. There's some songs I would still put on but yeah I don't really have a draw to listen to this whole album. It still does have a special place in my heart though because I remember there was a transitional period at work that was a little stressful but I'd toss this one on a bunch and it helped build some sense of consistency over the time period. So yeah I wouldn't say this one has staying power but there is something to it where I think I would want to continue recognizing it on the list or whatever.
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sethmadsen
Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis


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#9 | Posted: 10/18/2017 04:11 | Post subject: Reply with quote
bobbyb5 wrote:
This is a cool topic. I like it. I never kept track of how much I listen to anything. All I know is, to me anyway, rock music being made today has no staying power whatsoever. After hearing 90%of albums coming out, I never ever want to hear them again even if I like them. Today's music doesn't have that certain quality of " I wanna hear that again". Does anybody really listen to any album made in the 2010s and want to listen to it as much as, for instance, the classic albums of the 60s, 70s, 90s Etc?? But it's probably just me. I'm over 40, maybe I just lost interest in the genre. Because I don't feel the same way about electronic music. Just rock.


FIRST: TAP... very jealous you have a log of all you've listened to (in a very nerdy way). Very cool. I remember iTunes used to do this and it used to mean something to me. I'd sort my music by most listened. I had a song on repeat on accident though, so that kind of threw the stats, but nonetheless, very cool.

Bobby5:
I get what you mean, but have to agree with Tap. There's good rock (I'll expand that to all things that are guitar, bass, drums, vocals) today. But yes, sometimes it is regurgitated, so why not go back to a time when it was a bit more heart felt. I'd like to think that maybe half of the rock on my 2010s list is just as exciting as rock from the 90s or 60s (likely because it's bands from the 90s... haha). But to prove your point - would I rather listen to Minus the Bear or Pink Floyd?

I find some electronic music from the 70s/60s more interesting than electronic music today or rap music from the 90s more intriguing than rap music today.

To be honest, (coming back to staying power) - I think music ages. As it ages it becomes part of our consciousness (whether that cultural consciousness or actual subconsciousness). For me I'm realizing familiarity and age of music plays a roll in staying power... at least to some degree.

It very much so isn't about musical prowess. Metallica for example was mentioned - another band I like who has an amazing bassist (Primus)... both of those bands are musically very interesting, but yeah... they emotionally aren't on the same plane for me.

@Fischman: Interesting perspective. I guess I haven't really gotten there yet, but I imagine give me another 20 years and I'll possibly be in the same boat... just too much music and to say it isn't important because you haven't listened to it in a long time isn't quite true is it? I know this is true of some classical music I like, or music maybe of my childhood which I still like (or think I do), but just haven't listened to it.

@Tha1ChiefRocka: At the same time, I totally agree with this. Just because something is musically interesting, doesn't mean I emotionally connected with it, and therefore decided it actually mattered to me.

Back to what I was wondering originally... how does new music create staying power (whether earned or not).

And I forgot who said it, but I agree that sometimes I listen to a record a bunch to see if it can grow on me... and never does. This plays a huge role in new music for me because sometimes I end up loving something I originally didn't like and then other stuff I am bored with regardless... when and how and stuff with things.
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sethmadsen
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#10 | Posted: 10/18/2017 04:16 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Also TAP - some of these have a single listen on them or what have you...

How does an album mean anything to you after one listen? Do you have this awesome zen thing going on or something?

I'm just asking to understand a bit as I read through your log. I mean I totally get one can. I've had that feeling too and still didn't come back for more for whatever reason... and then like The1CHIEF, I just chalk it up to hmmm... maybe I didn't like it as much - or it was superficial...

I don't know... I really don't, but it is fun to talk about. haha.

It basically is life - sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't and that's just the way it is... sometimes.
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