Multiple Enthusiasms

Infinite jest. Excellent fancy. Flashes of merriment.

Tag: the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy

What a difficult list to compile. Especially since, glancing down at my iTunes running, there are 33,773 songs in my library. According to iTunes, it will take me more than 100 days of continuous listening (with no sleep, now I realize) to listen to them all. It’s rather extensive, and it’s the sort of collection that makes my taste in music suspect at best, beginning as it does with A-Ha (because any collection without “Take On Me” is incomplete) and ending (before it reaches songs without proper ID3 tags and lumps them all) with “Skin Up Pin Up” by 808 State/Mansun from Spawn: The Album (iTunes is the first organization system I’ve seen that puts numbers after letters, rather than before; if it did, the first songs would be by 1 Giant Leap or 12 Rounds). In between those few, there’s everything from Rick Astley, Belinda Carlisle, and Bon Jovi to all of Clapton, the Beatles, and Sinatra.

So it’s pretty expansive.

But expansive as it is, I tend to stick to some favorites. Lately it’s been a lot of Wolfmother (and Jet; what is it about Australia that inspires such great rock music from its bands?), Vanessa Mae, and, as always, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. Also, Adam Lambert and Matt Wertz.

So there’s a lot. But I winnowed. I winnowed after I kept reading other lists that fawned over, like, Radiohead and such. I mean, has Radiohead ever managed to be as good as Pablo, Honey? They’re like Pearl Jam and Matchbox Twenty, with fantastic debut CDs but output that has gotten subsequently less terrific with each title. For me, anyway. Your listening may vary. Also, dear Rolling Stone: The Strokes and Wilco in number 2 and number 3 spots, respectively. No offense, but seriously? No wonder people debate the continued relevance of the magazine. I mean, how safe.

Why not stretch a bit? Why not reach for some choices few people would expect? Then again, this from a guy who doesn’t really enjoy any of those three bands. I know lots of reviewers fell over themselves to heap a lot of praise on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but there wasn’t a single song on it that made me want to listen to the CD again. I get the impression it’s all just, like, hey, everyone else likes it, so we should, too, but to cite one of the artists who earned a spot on my list by way of a great CD, “You don’t know what love is, you just do as you’re told.”

So, suspect taste noted, shall we? My top ten albums of the last ten years, in order:

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Already it sounds quirky, doesn’t it?

Over in my blogroll there on the left side of the page, you can see a listing for Need Coffee, which is the headquarters of the sleep deprivation institute. I’ve been reading Need Coffee since back when I was in college, which makes it a good ten years, now; I used to love their DreamCasts features, wherein the contributors would name the ideal actors for various, ubergeeky movie projects (including The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, X-Men, and Good Omens: The Nyce and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Wytch).

Given that, I’m sure it must be one of the longest running blogs on the Internet, especially since I was reading it multiple years before the word ‘blog’ had ever been coined.

A man named John Robinson, known by the moniker Widgett Walls, is the administrator of the site. In addition to maintaining it, Widge/John (Widge is John’s pseudonym, or vice-versa. Whichever you prefer) has also published a novel and a short story collection.

Today, Widge posted a link to his latest project, Emily & Oscar, which, according to him, is meant for children, albeit not “normal” children.

So far, the site itself is a bit sparse, with just a single picture of the eponymous heroine and her eponymous octopus (well, and, of course: the text of the story), but it sounds like he plans to do quite a bit more with it. I hope he does, because in all honesty, what is there could be expanded to become the sort of strange amalgamation that would have occurred if Bill Watterson had grown up reading Lovecraft rather than Peanuts. I think it could go in quite a number of different, brilliant directions, and I, for one, am interested in seeing where it goes.

I thought you might be, too.

Plus, John would like people’s thoughts/reactions/comments. So if you follow the above links and have any, leave some for him.