Sunday, November 8, 2009

Long play

Ah, November. Just like every year since I got my official music geek merit badge, the start of this month means one thing - it's time to get crackin' on my end of the year list. All the music releases of the year of our lord 2009 scramble in my brain as I try to sort through and figure out my favorites. There's still a few things I need to hear, some records I need to spend more time with and tons of others that I already know are contenders, I just don't know how they fit yet.

A friend recently remarked that, this whole "digital age" thing has really had a huge impact on the role of the full length record. Some bands are swearing off the long play format for future releases. Many more are putting out their best material spaced out over several EPs (some of which never see physical formats but are digital only offerings) rather than blowing their musical wad (did I just say that?) on one expensive to make, hard to sell and increasingly difficult to market hard copy product.

So is it really fair to judge the best music of the year based on full lengths only? Probably not. But I've given it a lot of thought, and for me, it just raises the bar for what I'll consider for my list, and makes me more appreciative of records that are solid and worthy of consideration. Does that mean some really great music might get left out? Maybe so... but I like parameters. And really, who's to say I won't look at the evidence and see I need a "best songs" or "best EPs" list as well? Only time and the extent of my OCD will tell! But as long as I have enough contenders before me, I'll stick with the album format for my main year end list while recognizing that not that far down the road, such a criteria could very well be an anachronism.

That said - any recommendations of stuff you think I should check out are welcome.

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