Nov. 9th Reviews / Getting older...

For the fourth time in five weeks, I managed to write six reviews. As mentioned last week, I'm trying to make it a habit until the end of the year.

With my birthday being this weekend (32! Does that make me officially old?), I was again wondering how my musical interests will change over the course of the next ten and even twenty years. In thinking back to what I really liked when I was twenty years old, my tastes have changed so drastically that I wonder how much of the music I listen to now will even be in my collection in a decade. Does anyone else ever ponder this thought? Will you still listen to power ambient when you're 50? Can you see yourself getting sick of certain styles?

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I didn't dare listening to the Joanna Newsom until finding out your opinion. A 9. That's all I needed to know.

Happy Birthday Aaron, I hope to be as cool as you when I turn 32. Will every year that pass tame our tastes? I certainly think they do. I can't listen to most of the harsh stuff I listened a pair of years ago... and Im only 20!

Happy Birthday then ! No worries about your tastes anyway, we love you reviews !
I must agree on the Twilight Sad, I just love it. Two of the things I recently bought were the last releases from Intr-Version Records Avia Gardner "Mill Farm" and the excellent new Amute "Sea Horse Limbo" which really deserves a shot (and so does the Avia too !). Both are quite hard to find where I live(Italy) but are worth it.
I also ordered the KTL album on Mego which is really disappointing to me... On the other I finally decided to buy the new Contriva and FS Blumm releases on Morr. I was quite seduced by the FS Blumm one as always. I am going to check the Joanna Newsom !

A 9/10 for Joanna Newsom, that must be one of the highest ratings you’ve given a regular album this year! I too have been pretty amazed by this album so far. At first I wasn’t really too sure of the Van Dyke Parks string arrangements. They seemed a little too dramatic but after a while they settled in really nicely. Its easily one of my favourite, more pop oriented records this year.

It will probably be among many top 10 lists this year as its accessible enough to reach a relative large audience but oozes so much quality and sophistication that its still appealing to the more “advanced” listener (whoever that may be). Very good review also! Although I don’t think I agree with you on that Ys (now I finally know how to pronounce it….) is a better album than The Milk-Eyed Mender.

I would like to add the sunnO))) & Boris collaboration "Altar" as an album you may have missed.

It is an amazing album, totally different from each bands normal output and features tonnes of guest musicians

It is worth buying for the track "The Sinking Belle" alone.

For the record, I'm 35. When I was in high school I was crazy about The Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, New Order, Love & Rockets, Cocteau Twins, Bauhaus, Joy Division, etc. In college I got way into shoegaze and spacerock. 15 - 20 years later (damn, has it been that long?) and as I type this I've got Sun Ra's Magic City on the turntable and was previously listening to the new Charalambides over and over. I really think this kind of stuff that I listen to now is just an extension of that same fascination that I had with those early experiences of discovering music.Texture, emotion, inventiveness, disembodied sounds, looming ambience, music as an opiate, etc. that's what piqued my interest in a new band then and now I suppose.
The new Tim Hecker record could be classified as a Shoegaze and Albert Ayler's Witches & Devils record is as spooky and dissonant as those Joy Division songs.

It's funny you ask, because I just pulled it out the other day for the first time in awhile and the batteries were totally dead.

I replaced them and got it up and running, though. I don't play it nearly as much as I used to (even replacing my iPod with it in certain situations), but I'll definitely take it out once in awhile, and I think it may work into the live setting of a future (hopefully nearer rather than far) musical project that I'm working on.

Aaron, related to your Robert Henke review; I was wondering, do you still actually use the Buddha Machine that you reviewed a while ago?

x-post <i>finally, to the 50 yr old, i am so jealous of you going to neurosis...</i>

hehheh. caught neurosis & jarboe at neumos in seattle in jan 2005 and the show was amazing. apparently neurosis are getting ready to go back in the studio wit albini in the new year and this show will have some new tunes.

I always like to imagine what music will be like over the next 25 years or so. If you think of all that has happened since the invention of Rock n roll, it is pretty exciting

just turned 34 two weeks ago. while my listening tastes have changed dramatically over the years, i have always been very open to music. i've always said to myself and friends that there are 2 kinds of music; good and bad. as much as i love stars of the lid, i also really love the locust. the last concert i saw was k-os a canadian hiphop artist. and the last two cds i listened to were john coltrane - ascension and led zeppelin - physical graffiti.

finally, to the 50 yr old, i am so jealous of you going to neurosis...

Are you sure you ought to have these philosophical ponderings going on already at your age? I mean come on, 32 is still pretty young. At least young enough to be in a band and still be cool. ;-)

I admit though. Sometimes I also wonder (still being 24) about what I'll be listening to in the distant future. It was only 6 years ago when I was still listening to hiphop and britpop! During those 6 years my tastes have changed dramatically. Hiphop became jazz and shortly after that ambient. And britpop became americana and postrock. All of those kind of mingled up and lead me to psychedelia, folk, drones, stoner, bluegrass, contemporary classical, etc. So looking back its pretty amazing what can happen in such a short period of time. Who knows what will happen in the next 6 years.

Most people think I’m kidding when I say that I was listening to Coldplay’s debut album only 6 years ago… Age might be a good explanation though. I was 18 at that time when I started to get interested in other genres than hiphop and britpop. When you reach a certain age you start to broaden your horizons and start to explore your own personality through different mediums. It might be the people you hang around with, the study you’re doing or the books you’re reading. For me it was mostly music and movies. I was already into both of them, but I felt that they were no longer sufficient to match with my personal interests. I was eager to discover new things. Things less superficial. So I dived into them, pretty much all the way to the bottom, met lots of interesting people and went on from there. Of course you only realize these things afterwards and only then can you recognize a certain pattern.

Oh well, enough of my ramblings… Happy birthday Aaron!

i grew up listening to all sorts of music,and have never really had defined tastes. i know what i don't like,but am always finding new sounds i enjoy.

been a fan of isis for the last 3 or 4 years,but only as of late have i dived head first into metal. swallow the sun,katatonia,darkspace,moss,my dying bride & agalloch.

although i still listen to alot of indie and electronic music. saw bonnie prince billy in portland and vancouver,and will be catching neurosis & the grails later this month in seattle.

really,i think my preferences go in cycles. i am actually curious how long my buying habits will continue. i still pick up 15-20 cds a month and i will be 50 next april.

Roughly 12 years ago is when I really started getting into electronic music. I started out with about everything on the Warp Artificial Intelligence series (first Autechre album, early Kenny Larkin, their two compilations by the same name), as well as The Orb, Aphex Twin, and stuff like that. Amazingly, it's still some of the electronic music I go back to most. On the other hand, it seems like there's a lot of mid-period electronic stuff (late 90s, early 00s) that doesn't hold up quite as well for some reason or another.

Fifteen years ago, I was listening to pretty much any popular early 90s "alternative" I could get my hands on, as I was just going through my first real musical awakening. Some of that stuff still gets play (New Order, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, some R.E.M., etc).

Seems like some stuff in my collection feels more timeless, like Steve Reich and of course classical like Gorecki, Debussy, etc. I'm sure I'll still be listening to other stuff that I love now in fifteen years, but I guess there's no way of telling.

Oh, and Neil, your 40-year birthday listening extravaganza sounds insanely detailed and very nerdy, in a good way. :)

Thanks for the b-day wishes, everyone. I'm going to eat the heck out of some Indian food buffet to celebrate.

I'm 38, by the way, so 50 is still a way off...40, on the other hand, looms large.
I'm already in the process of selecting the songs I want to play on my 40th. A shortlist of 300+ so far, and I've barely scratched the surface. It might have to be a whole weekend.

I wouldn't say that my tastes have changed, but that I've broadened my scope, and acculmalated a greater interest.
But I guess it's true that I rarely listen to the music of my teenage years and youth nowadays. [80s UK chart music, mainly: Human League, Depeche Mode, Associates (although "Sulk" is still an amazing album), OMD, ultravox, etc.] I do still listen to more acquired tastes from my late teens and early twenties [Cocteau Twins, Cindytalk, Dead Can Dance - a lot of 4AD, actually], and around the same time I got caught up in Sub Pop [Mudhoney were always the best band on that label].
These days, it's more post- and ambient-rock, but with a healthy amount of noise and avant stuff thrown in, So it's Mogwai, Explosions, the Resonant label, and acts like Birchville Cat Motel, Acid Mothers Temple, Hototogisu.
Also, there are literally hundreds of small & cheap CDR labels that are producing some incredible music [Dead Sea Liner, Curor, At War With False Noise, Left Hand Recordings, etc.]
Will I still be listening to the same stuff when I'm 50? I hope so, and a lot more besides.

hey, i ve been following your site for quite a bit now and i always enjoy it. i realized ive changed my musical tastes a lot in the last ten years. I'm 30 years old and ive been listening to everything i consider intersting in the last two years. I opened up a lot and the internet for sure gives you the chance to go everywhere and discover new stuff. When i was 20 you couldnt take away my pearl jam cd from my player. now i dont even remember the last time i was listening to some pure rock...

Well, happy birthday. I am 32 as well, and every now and then I think back to how my tastes have changed over the past dozen years or so. Back then, it was all about metal and industrial and nothing but. In fact, I only listen to a few bands regularly that I was into back in 93 and 94 (notably Autechre and Scorn plus a few others). Now, aside from a few bands you could call "metal" such as Kayo Dot, Isis, Red Sparowes and Jesu (and I have always loved Godflesh), I'm much more into atmosphere (which the above bands have in scores) and melody. The other big change is my appreciation of the musical experience in general. Listening to vinyl exclusively is the greatest symptom of that, as I find that it becomes a more tactile, ritualistic experience to listen to a record, maintaining the media and equipment as I have never had to with CDs and CD players. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what I'm into in another dozen.

Granted I am only 25, but I have noticed over the past month or two that I have felt a disconnect from a large part of my collection, and actually last weekend purged nearly seventy-five CDs from my collection (many of them 'hyped' releases when I was still buying a lot of stuff that was the new flavour...I feel so icky saying that too).

I have noticed my music choices shifting a bit, but I think I've noticed more my priorities changing, and focusing more on creating a future with my girlfriend than buying CDs. I'm not going to stop buying CDs, but I am going to make smarter choices when buying them.

As for listening to ambient or drones when I am fifty, who knows. I hope more than anything else, I am not hoping that Jan Jelinek or Gas or Ellen Allien will be playing a reunion tour so I can hear all of his/her 'greatest hits' live. That is what I am more hoping for...