masthead image

WRONG NOTES: a blog of ear reverence

Wrong Notes collects posts on music, art, culture and fun stuff. Also included: news about the Ear Reverends.

1,000 Recordings

I've had a hectic past few weeks of work in the day job, but a lot of it actually has been music-related.

Some might not know, so I'll note that I make websites by day. It's a traditional life really—by, day I sit by the anvil and bang work-song-rhythms as I forge the web for merchants and artists alike. And, at the end of the day, in recognition of the quality of my craft, I'm paid—not a king's ransom, mind you, but enough to keep me in guitar strings and working patch cables. With some frugality and patience—and when good fortune smiles upon me, I find I can even afford the occasional indulgence, like another microphone. And, so then, by night, I sing and play.

Anyway, over the past few weeks, I've finalized work on, and launched, two huge (or, soon to be huge) music-related websites. I'll describe the first one in a second post, and the second one here (ha!):

1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die is a soon to be released book, by NPR music critic Tom Moon. We've designed, built and now launched the first part of the 1,000 Recordings website, which is mostly just Tom's blog. There's a lot more to the website that will be online in a few weeks—at the very least, as you can imagine, there will be a page for each of the 1,000 Recordings.

I've had the pleasure of reading some of the book, and I am really excited about it—about what it's about. As I think you'll feel when you read Tom's blog posts, Tom writes interesting things about interesting music. So you can imagine this book that has 1,000 interesting reviews / essays about music—it's a cool thing.

One of the things touched on in the book, obviously, is how Tom selected the 1,000 recordings—why he chose certain things, given the challenge of selecting exactly 1,000 recordings. I think this provides an interesting reality-check on the so-called "taste maker" ideal that gets applied to mainstream media outlets, record labels and popular critics. There's really a lot more too it; and the "taste" are really many "tastes" that no one source can "make."

I'll save a bigger critique of the "taste maker" ideal for another time. But, my favorite quote currently on the 1,000 Recordings website is this one from Tom Waits:

Your collection could be filled with nothing but music from Ray Charles and you'd have a completely balanced diet.

We never really understand what we need to hear until we really hear it. We often need others to help us really hear it. But, that's totally different than who we need, or don't need, to tell us about what to listen to, or why some recording is popular or supposedly important. I'm excited about this book because I think it recognizes this distinction.


When I was 17 or so my music collection was limited to about 15 cassettes.  I was able to keep listening to that small a diet by refocusing my attention to different aspects of the music. 

Which makes me think of how active listening can be.  You choose what you’re interested in.

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

Comments are now closed on this entry.

nearby posts:




. . . the new music player is very coming soon and such . . .