fun with musical taste and identity

In my intro theory class yesterday I did an exercise using PollEverywhere to evoke associations between musical taste and identity. I played four musical pieces and asked the students to type free-text responses to “What kind of people like this song?”. Their responses were lots of fun, and I present them below in raw form for your enjoyment, interest, and comment.

Continue reading “fun with musical taste and identity”

quote of the week

In a political science dissertation for which I was on the committee, I came across the following quote from Aristotle’s Poetics. I freely confess to never having read this or virtually any other of the Classical canon, so I had not seen it before. I liked it, and reproduce it here – more comment, perhaps, later.

And since music happens to be one of the pleasures, and virtue is a matter of enjoying, loving, and hating in the right way, it is clear that nothing is more important than that one should learn to judge correctly and get into the habit of enjoying decent characters and noble actions. But rhythms and melodies contain the greatest likenesses of the true natures of anger, gentleness, courage, temperance, and their opposites, and of all the other components of character as well. The facts make this clear. For when we listen to such representations are souls are changed. But getting into the habit of being pained or pleased by likenesses is close to being in the same condition where the real things are concerned (1340a15-28).

best of alternative 2009

It’s time again for the year-in-review lists, and here is my fave of faves, Husband’s 2009 Best of Alternative Music list (iTunes link–should take you to the Canadian store*). I’ve mentioned before that Husband is a long-time list maker, and this was a good year for this genre.

I was also going to point out how much more awesometastic the Canadian list is than the American one (which is usually more boringly mainstream), but then I found out that the US store doesn’t even have a Best of Alternative list! It’s a tragedy for all the Rob Gordons of the world, who would be dying to spend 100+ hours to make such a list and donate it to Apple just for the love of music. And lists.

*To get to the Canadian store, click the little flag circle at the bottomest right on your iTunes main page.

new year’s eve

Husband says that each holiday is my favorite, and there is some truth to that (except you, Valentine’s Day–drop dead!). But I especially like the New Year’s holiday, with all its promise to mark the passing of time, remember the good stuff and/or hope for a fresh start.

I would love to celebrate, but do you have any idea how hard it is to find a babysitter for New Year’s Eve? Yikes. All the young babysitters are out, as they can’t stay up that late. The older babysitters are partying themselves, especially up here where youngsters can join us oldsters in bars at only 19. Those in-between are hot commodities, and our go-to guy was booked by the time we asked. Normally, I would have given up there, because really, who needs to stay up past midnight? But this year, a beloved band, Woodhands, is in town, right here in the Hammer. (You may remember them from this summer at the Apple store in Montreal.) They rock, and they are nice, and we really want to go to their show.

And then, behold a New Year’s miracle! a nice gesture from a friend, who offered to host Kid on a sleepover with her kids, whom Kid loves very much. It’s his first sleepover ever, but I am confident it will go well, as Kid’s motto is Have Sheepie, Will Travel.  And we’ll even get to go to dinner before the show. Hello, 2009! It’s going to be a good year.

countdown to the montréal apple store opening

Husband twitters that there are five people in line for the grand opening of the shiny new Apple Store in Montréal, which begins this evening at 5pm. It is the first store to open in Quebec, and it comes at a time when iTunes has more francophone content than ever.

Husband has arranged a number of live performances from bands and solo musicians to kick off the store opening, and starting tomorrow when The Stills play, there will be a month-long music spree there on the 2nd floor of the store, right next to the genius bar. The events recall a time when record stores were a place people would hang out and you could sometimes see a local band play for free–the nostalgic side of digital music.