Shfl Update, June 2
Ethio Jazz, NWOBHM, Depeche Mode, and new reviews by Philip Freeman, Sasha Frere-Jones, Alex Riggs, and Jeff Treppel
A Boards of Canada overview by Sasha Frere-Jones
Alex Riggs on Tony Molina, Sugar, The Flaming Lips, Eric Chenaux, Pedro The Lion, tUnE-yArDs
HIM, Accept, Giant Brain, Napalm Death, Discordance Axis, Striker and Bloodstar by Jeff Treppel
Philip Freeman with Roberto Roena y Su Apollo Sound, E.U., Trouble Funk, Héctor Lavoe, Ángel Canales, and a great go-go soundtrack
If you’ve ever listened to Mulatu of Ethiopia, or if you haven’t do, and then check out this guide to Ethio Jazz by Megan Iacobini de Fazio. If nothing else don’t miss the Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou Ethiopiques volume.
Jeff Treppel on the clunkily-named yet glorious New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
Ned Raggett wrote a great appreciation of Depeche Mode, including a lot of solo work that I hadn’t heard. I’ve been listening to Construction Time Again all week.
So the recommendations underneath albums — the ones underneath the “Who also suggested” header — ever use them? These are chosen randomly too — when the site is updated they’re generated afresh. They’re sampled from the set of albums that share a tag and at least one of the recommenders. Since my tags are, to be charitable, somewhat loose, you get some pretty odd suggestions — but by the same token, you sometimes get some genuinely surprising suggestions that are pretty good. Sometimes they’re really probably too surprising though, like underneath Depeche Mode’s Some Great Reward there’s Judas Priest, Harry Nilsson, and Aphex Twin. And the Commodores. But I like all those bands. Maybe they’re good suggestions? I dunno. Probably if I just looked up Depeche Mode I’m not in the mood for Judas Priest. But…maybe?
Looking into it it’s pretty clear that Judas Priest was sampled because it shares the ‘british’ tag — that’s probably stupid. How to alter this stuff is not complicated — I just change the population suggestions are sampled from. I could make it so suggestions are never sampled from locality tags…if I find an album without a locality tag…like here’s one, Rising, by Rainbow, fucking incredible album…let’s see…OK, Fu Manchu, Iron Maiden, Steely Dan…The Band…yeah, those are all perfect?
Anyway, I’m not gonna change that. I like it. In fact I was just listening to Depeche Mode and now I’m listening to Judas Priest. Turns out I was in the mood for Judas Priest.
The little ‘Save’ button that allows logged-in users to save lists of new reviews was busted, should be fixed now. Please do let me know if you notice any bugs or unexpected behavior, I’m terrible at QA.