Sunday, June 29, 2008

Missing in Action

The fun for me about the RR blog is discovering new stuff or stumbling over something long forgotten.  I'm not that interested in the final 10, given the capricious nature of the selection process.  It seems to me that you could print the RR blog, give it to a blind monkey with a pin, and arrive at an equally hit or miss playlist each week. Despite this, the A-Z holds up remarkably well. A lot of popular contemporary artists are missing though (Coldplay, Keane, Snow Patrol, Moby).  Not "cool" enough? Not the right theme? 

Anyway, here's a playlist with 5 of my favorite missing artists; which of your favorites are missing in action?

31 comments:

ejaydee said...

Off the top of my head, I would say Wu-Tang Clan, Os Mutantes, Caetano Veloso. Until recently, Aretha Franklin was missing, but she's in now. Artists missing from the A-Z was the theme of some of the compilations for the Northern Social.

Blimpy said...

There's a number of bands whose lyrics aren't really about anything, but have fantastic music, who will never ever make it in to the RR A-Z.

I would now name some of these bands, but I better check the A-Z before looking like a fanny. . ..

(2 seconds later) ...Like Ride for example (even though they have been nom'd from time to time, but never got onto the list)

Blimpy said...

Or My Bloody Valentine.

Blimpy said...

Or Cyndi Lauper.

steenbeck said...

And Toto Too?

fp said...

GIven Paddy MacAloon's gifts as a lyricist, I would say it's high time we got the Sprouts in there. Right Toffee?

Blimpy said...

Toto really should have made the Africa RR list, why they didn't is a mystery that parallels the Marie Celeste, The Bermuda Triangle, The Mayans, Keane's popularity, Why there's no Lupper, The Pyramids' ability to sharpen a razor, Why cats purr, What Blimpy looks like, Whether Dark Matter really exists, What Scarlet Johansson whispers to Bill Murray at the end of Lost In Translation, Jack The Ripper's identity, Richey Manic's whereabouts, Who Harry's Dad Is, and Jogging.

ejaydee said...

I've got the answer to some of these: Lupper is the Early birds Special, Blimpy's got a bit of a twisted face, and it looks like it's framed by a record cover.

ToffeeBoy said...

Too bloody right, fp - Paddy McAloon is a lyrical genius and the absence of a single Prefab Sprout track on the A-Z is an absolute outrage! I know Dorian had a hard line anti-McAloon policy but we don't know about Maddy yet.

I agree with what Blimpy said about bands whose "lyrics aren't really about anything" but that certainly doesn't cover Prefab Sprout - I know some of my weekly Sprout nominations are pushing the boat out a bit but most weeks you can put a fairly good case up for a nom or two.

Our time will come...

ToffeeBoy said...

Also unacountably missing in action:

Ben Folds
Microdisney
Shack
Martin Stephenson/The Daintees
Aztec Camera
Gilbert O'Sullivan (star of this year's Glastonbury - really!)

...and of course...

the mighty Dean Friedman

DarceysDad said...

You can't blame either the 'cool' factor - Busted are in the A-Z, Nine Inch Nails are not, and who of us can really claim to have heard the Rev AW Nix before Heaven & Hell week?

- or the 'bloody awful' tag - William Shatner, Spinal Tap, Team America, even HMHB aren't exactly the most competent of musicians, but they're all in -

for an artist's exclusion, but there are some still excluded that are really beginning to wind me up too:

Shack are frequently mentioned, including here; Iron Maiden (I'm NOT a fan particularly, but they're) one of the biggest-selling, imitator-spawning bands of the last quarter-century; The National (now up to stage headliner status, I see); The Jayhawks, or Little Feat who are on my stereo as I type, absent from the A-Z yet The Band & Johnny Cash are beloved of RR-ers; Ice-T; Lyle Lovett; Pearl Jam; Rickie Lee Jones; Hothouse Flowers; Misty In Roots; Thin Lizzy ... I could go on for hours.

Let's face it people, our work here is NOT finished!!

Proudfoot said...

Wow D'sD, that's some list. Thin Lizzy? Ice T? Little Feat? Rickie Lee?
Can I add Bert Jansch, X-Ray Spex, Gentle Giant, Steel Pulse, Santana and the Glitter Band?

steenbeck said...

I think Maddy and Dorian do (did) a pretty good job sorting through all the suggestions to come up with 10. I wouldn't want to do it. And this is from someone who rarely gets a song in and frequently hasn't heard of most of the songs that make it.

Surely we all want to see the music we love in there...I don't think ATCQ is there, and the soulquarians are completely unrepresented (Mos Def, Talib Kweli, roots...oh wait, Common is there isn't he?) I feel like if it's someone I really love I want to get a song in by them even though they're already in the A-Z. I'd love to get a Cab Calloway or Mississippi John Hurt song in because I love them so much--but they are already in there, so it's not some kind of oversight.

ejaydee said...

ATCQ aren't on there, neither are Kings of Leon, Hot Chip. Still, overall it's more diverse than I ever imagined it would be when I took a quick, cursory glance at the first RR column and decided it wasn't for me...

nilpferd said...

To be fair, I think the list choosing is done quite carefully to produce a playlist which scans well and includes some interesting contrasts, so I'd say the blind monkey comment is probably a bit off target. Dorian and Maddy seem to leave the most well known bands off deliberately, making the point that the main reason for the blog is to expose people to things they may not have heard before. I tune in mainly for the banter and the to and fro of the recommending, which always throws up stuff worth listening- I'm not particularly worried that the majority of my favourite artists are yet to be featured in the A-Z.
I think Dorian said once he'd rather judge tracks on their own merits, and certainly he seemed to be resistant to the lobby approach of trying to get particular artists chosen.
And the 'Spill is ready and waiting for anyone who feels strongly enough about their own shunned favourites..

CaroleBristol said...

I rather agree with Blimpy, I think it would be pretty difficult to get Ride or MBV onto the A list basically because their songs are so ambiguous, when you can actually work out what they are even about.

Mind you, I thought that I'd never see the Dead on the list either but Maddy did us Deadheads proud with Touch of grey the other week.

Amazingly, the Cocteaus are on twice and I never have much idea what Liz is singing about at the best of times.

I think that Genesis, particularly Gabriel period Genesis, are going to be hard to get placed too, but I live in hope of seeing The fountain of Salmacis there as a magic themed song.

Shoegazer said...

Perhaps "Blind Monkey" was a little unkind. Although not as harsh as Blimpy on Coldplay et all-- still trying to get my daughter to stop crying and come out of her room.

nilpferd said...

Better she gets over it now, though, rather than carrying those scars with her into adult life ;-)
I feel for you though, Shoegazer, Blimpy can be cruel sometimes.

TracyK said...

You can find out what Scarlet says to Bill at the end of Lost in Translation, it's on Youtube. Kind of wish I didn't know still, it's better in your head.

ejaydee said...

Hmm, now i'm tempted to check it out, but it'll probably ruin it. I presumed he said something so perfect that nobody could write it and it was a better idea to leave it to the audience 's imagination.

Blimpy said...

I must apologise for my coldplay outburst. I have deleted the offending comment. sorry.

maddy said...

a blind monkey would probably get paid a lot more for choosing the top 10 than i do...

i am much too thin-skinned for the internet. bless you, steenbeck and nilpferd, for kind words.

back to print off the 64-song shortlist and stick a few pins in it, a job that alone takes a good three hours...

DarceysDad said...

Ha! Maddy has unwittingly confirmed one of the rumours about music journalism's support troops, namely that those behind the front line are paid sod-all because music is a form that moves us all so much we'd do it for nothing.

In fact . . . [distant small *chink* of penny dropping] . . . we DO all do it for nothing, EVERY FLIPPIN' WEEKEND! The only difference between Dorian & Maddy and us is responsibility. They can't decide not to bother when the kids are playing up; they can't look at a mere song title or artist name and think "Oh I can't be arsed to challenge my preconceptions over THAT"; they're not psychic enough to know which of our nominations we're most passionate about, unless we say so specifically and absolutely every time - umm, I'm more than a little lacking in that regard myself, as any fule kno!

"Too thin-skinned for the internet", Maddy? Fair point, and one we should all bear in mind. Certainly, from my point of view, my 'annoyance' over omissions is more about my personality and lack of vocabulary than over anything Dorian or now your good self has done.

I'll back up what steenbeck said; I wouldn't want the job of writing/heading this column, I'm often overwhelmed at the mere thought of how many songs you have to listen to.

But I'll throw this up for discussion: if it is (a) logistically possible, and (b) not an offence the NUJ will be up in arms over, how about an occasional (holiday?) week being guest-edited / hosted / curated by one of the RR regulars?
It might teach some of us a bit of a lesson (yes I have a mirror in front of me!!)

In true coward-bluffing-bravery-style, I'll stand up first to say I'll gladly take the, um, sixth penalty!!

Shoegazer said...

@ Maddy
Apologies for my clumsy comment - no slight to you intended. It would be impossible for anyone to come up with a top 10 that pleases everyone, especially as the brief is to select a diverse playlist from different eras & genres. I do appreciate what you do. The fact that the A-Z holds up so well shows that you & your predecessor must be doing something right. Your articles about the top 10 are always an enjoyable read.

@Blimpy
Managed to get my daughter out of her room by blasting Toto under her door & promising her tickets to see Coldplay when they play Orlando in November.

ejaydee said...

Nah Dsd, you're up first, you'll be the one that kicks it off. I guess another guest could be JAP, just because he wouldn't need to much listening, since he would probably know them all. I wonder how he'll manage to keep it to 10 though... I've actually thought about this many times before, I didn't think I was the only one.

Mnemonic said...

I murmured something to the effect of using contributors as guest editors at the last social but wasn't taken up on it!

DarceysDad said...

That's probably where my sponge of a random memory got it from, Mn.

And ejay, OK, I'm fir ...

DarceysDad said...

...mly behind you in the queue!

Be the guinea pig? ME?? Not a prayer, mate. My idea of research is to type something into Google twice! [Re - search, geddit? Oh nevermind]

ejaydee said...

I got it and laughed, and then was ashamed of myself for laughing.
I'm guessing most of you research would comprise looking up on iTunes and Guardian would cover it no?

FP said...

Falling off the sofa at the idea of Chris Martin being used to get kiddies to behave. Nice one!

FP said...

Falling off the sofa at the idea of Chris Martin being used to get kiddies to behave. Nice one!