Sorting music

When I get a fancy into my head, generally it is very difficult not to follow through on unless so long or complicated that others may in time replace. For example: creating playlists for music by nationality of the artist or composer. And anyone who does not avail emself of escape gets to read thoughts prompted during the process. I do things like this because I am curious if anything interesting will emerge - will I on listening to these lists discern some sort of national character, or will I not? Will I agree or disagree with those ascribed by the experts on the matter? Will anything interesting turn up in the listening. I suppose that is a reason library work appeals to me. I like devising organisational schemes and modes of presentation, and seeing if these bring interesting new perspectives on the material so arranged. 1910 Fruitgum Company. So the USA gets the first playlist this time. I am a bit disappointed having them as the first artist in Songbird's alphabetical sort - 'Simon Says' is fun enough, but hopefully everyone can see the problem with 'Indian Giver' (the actual first track in my library under this sort) and '1, 2, 3 Red Light' parses as a guy telling his girlfriend she better stop saying no to sex or she'll suffer the consequences of scorn and abandonment. I tend to skip those and wonder if I should delete them, but then the compilation album they're from would be incomplete and that would bother me too. These are unfortunately too-common problems with older rock music. Aaron Copland was both gay and Jewish, and I vaguely wonder if anything interesting would turn up were I to create playlists around either of those categories. Alessandro Scarlatti was difficult to pin down, but I filed him eventually under Naples despite having been born in Sicily. I suspect that is not the proper political term for the time but have not found a clearly better one. The artist analoq gets to be the first (and so far only) filed under 'unknown nationality'. I suppose when I am done I will check whoever ends up there again and see if wider source selection will help. Ann Carr-Boyd with her Fandango is the first Australian artist. Not much to say; I've been pleasantly surprised to find I enjoy the work of Australian composers and intend to collect more. Antonín Dvorák. I was relieved when I finally acquired music of his that wasn't the Largo from his New World symphony. Just did some further poking around while writing this, and Czech does seem to hold up well as a list to put him under. Ethnically Czech, born in Bohemia... doesn't seem like any lurking surprises of miscategorisation. I am not writing something for every artist. Many have been skipped already for lack of anything to say in the moment. Antonio Vivaldi is another artist with a nation that no longer exists as independent in politics - the Republic of Venice. Like Alessandro Scarlatti I filed him with both the country of the time and with Italy. I am also relieved to have recently acquired more of his music than endless performances of the Four Seasons. Maybe now I can get a feel for what he was actually like as a composer. Aqua? I suppose they are the first marked as properly multinational, from both Norway and Denmark. Then we skip a couple of mislabelled artists for... The Archies, the first group to be listed with 'fictitious' as their nationality. But 'Sugar Sugar' is still a real fun song. Arvo Pärt was a fortunate find. Seems the only artists I have from Estonia are minimalists, but they've taught me I probably like minimalism. Well, I suspected I would. I was a bit astonished to discover the Bernard Cribbins singing 'Hole in the Ground' is the same one who recently featured in Doctor Who as Donna's grandfather and accidental banshee to the 10th Doctor. Very fun song. There's a song here by a group called Berserk, but I don't know which group called Berserk (it was offered free from and I was curious) since I am an outsider to metal and certainly can't tell black metal from thrash metal by ear. *stretch of older rock beginning with Betty Everett's 'The Shoop Shoop Song'* [notes from about here are largely drawn from IM conversations I had while filing]: It is interesting listening to a lot of these old hits from the mid-20th Century and hearing how much the music scene has changed. Most of my exposure had been from a handful of major acts, but I did not have so much context for them before. I think so long as the recording is of good quality I'm willing to like the music of maybe any era. A lot of people make exceptions for country and rap music, but I know there are examples of both those styles I like. Jazz is actually possibly the sort of music (out of those I am aware enough of to say anything of) that I have had the hardest time getting into, mostly for sounding very busy in ways that put me off and for feeling 'hot' (as in of high temperature). But there are definitely definitely jazz and ragtime musics I like too, so it probably depends as much as any other sort of music and I just had bad luck for a while. Also, listening to collections of older rock & roll I am repeatedly struck by how quickly and thoroughly rock seems to have became white people music. I had not known The Big Bopper started out as a disc jockey and converted this into rock & roll stardom. Sexism in a lot of older rock songs bugs me, but I just can't get mad at 'Chantilly Lace'. It's too fun and nice and exuberant; I'd much rather get into it instead. Billy "Crash" Craddock. "American. Had a big following in Australia in 1960's as a rock singer. "One Last Kiss" was a number one. Turned to Country as a second phase of his career in USA in 1970's on." That's his entire biography and at this point I finally put a few things together. Yes, the compilation these tracks are from was released in Australia. Possibly an entirely Australian compilation of hits which would explain why the Melbournian Ann & Johnny Hawker got on a compilation of rock music from a period when hardly any Australian acts had made it big overseas. It also suggests that probably hardly anyone I know has ever heard 'Cinderella Rockafella'. I am being continually surprised to learn that songs I consider part of my mental landscape growing up are actually quite local and not international. I tend to assume all music is foreign by default, unless played on didgeridoo. Bloc Party. 'The Prayer'. I was uncertain of this song until I read the lyrics while reading it (I still can't hear the first line of the chorus properly). But now, oh! Shivers. This is one of those songs I would try recommending to people for a reason I've tried describing before, an attempt to share the emotional experience a work evokes. It's an electric song. I could dance to it and arc lightning.... or so it feels. 'I Fought The Law' was one of the songs when I was growing up. While performing these acts of sorting I discovered why I never encountered other hits by The Bobby Fuller Four: "Just as "I Fought The Law" became a top ten hit, Bobby Fuller was found dead in a parked automobile near his Los Angeles home. The police considered the death an apparent suicide, however many people still believe Fuller was murdered. He was found with multiple wounds all over his body and covered in gasoline leading many to speculate that the perpetrators fled before they could set the car on fire. He is buried in the Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles." Get a big enough collection of musical artists and you'll build up a collection of unfortunate, unpleasant, or bizarre deaths. Or a large enough collection of anyone, but musicians are the people I've been the most bulk exposure to life stories for. Bobby Vee. 'Devil Or Angel'. I cannot ever hear this song without thinking of Grease. Apparently he is touring Australia this year. At this point I notice the Canadian playlist is being a bit weirdly eclectic, within available limits. Barenaked Ladies, fine. Then 1950s group The Beau-Marks with 'Clap Your Hands' (mainly known to me via Sweep from The Sooty Show, Brad Smith's 8-bit rendition of The Dark Side of the Moon and a track by Bran Van 3000 which I don't really understand. Now that's fascinating. According to the only people who had more charted hits in the 1960s than Brenda Lee were Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and The Beatles, and yet I don't know who she is. The songs are familiar enough though, and her voice is strong. Can believe she has been so successful, definitely, and I am curious. Sometimes, it seems like every rock group was trying to get a dance named. I suppose that's good marketing, if you can get people demanding they play your dance? The Twist, Twist & Shout, Peppermint Twist, Wilbury Twist (well... and that's just the twists) As yet, Buddhuza is the only artist in my collection from Georgia. I don't know of any others, but I know I would like more of his music. Buddy Holly sounds different from when I was a child. I can only assume he has changed, as I couldn't have. Getting reacquainted, however, definitely still loving. Not regretting. Foot-tapping, even. Buddy Knox... lotta Texans in here... And that shall bring us back to C. I suppose I shall continue another time.