For a couple of days the epistemology of list making has bugged me. I’m proud of my contribution to Pitchfork’s “The People’s List.” After a couple of strained revisions — more revisions than I’ve ever subjected to one of my improvised taxonomies — I produced a top twenty about which I can say reflects how I thought about music since 1998. The standard caveats apply: thanks to the relentlessness of new music release schedules and the discovery of older catalog albums, I don’t listen to all these albums often. Fever and Comicopera I think I’ve heard twice in the last eighteen months. But fuck it.
The list also reflects a new reality: I can share few of the albums I love with friends. Live friends — the ones I see a couple times a week. The extent to which we keep vital details about the composition of our tastes and worldview from our friends, I’ve found, is a sad reality of aging, in which definition I fold in “marriage, kids, moving away.” More so with film and books, sure, but my music listening and how it intersects with the lives and tastes of my friends is — to use a word I despise for its un-euphonic qualities — increasingly balkanized. Two years ago I documented this tendency in a long post called “On Queerness.” It’s incumbent on me then to either court new friends who appreciate New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) or seduce older ones.