And so it begins…

I’ve always had a fascination with Top (insert number here) lists – any of them: the Top 100 Albums of All Time, the Top 50 Movies made in Nebraska, the Top 23 Artists of the Iron Age – I’ll read any of ‘em. I’ve also told Kerrie more times than she would bother count that I was going to write one of my own, someday.

And without further adieu, here it is!

Okay, I’ll be clearer. I think that one of the best ways to get to know someone is to look at their CD collection – not just the CD’s that they bring in their car, but what CD’s lay on their shelf, in their room, hidden away where no one can see. I believe that the music that someone listens to has a lot to say about what kind of person they are. Maybe this is a shallow way to form an impression, but it’s always worked. With a glimpse inside a music collection you can find examples of your friend’s disposition, their ideals, their idea of beauty or dynamics, and, most important of all, whether or not they have that rare Coldplay EP that you’ve been looking for since it came out.

It’s all very Rob Gordon of me to make lists, and all very difficult to do at the same time. Everyone’s taste change over time. Everyone finds themselves growing out of touch with music they used to listen to, like seeing an old friend and having nothing to talk about except an almost unrecognizable old past. And this is what makes a list like this hard – there’s bias, even between a persons old music tastes and new music tastes, that confuses the importance of those albums that used to hold a special place in the heart but now only sit on the shelf because you could never think of getting rid of them.

My list, my 100 favorite albums of all time, will come in the next few weeks, in between more pressing issues, like how the Pacers could have possibly lost to the Knicks this past weekend, or whether or not anyone cares anymore about Bill Murray (I still do!), and will be presented in either ten parts (ten albums each) or five parts (twenty albums each). It will span the past eight years, starting in 1997 when I went to college with a solid backing of Sunny Day Real Estate’s Diary and Texas is the Reason’s first EP, the CDs that changed my listening ear from REM/Pearl Jam fan to Revelation Records fanatic.

You’ll find that the list will be extremely slanted towards two “eras” in my music life – the 1997-1999 “emo” era, where I listened to lots of Texas is the Reason, The Promise Ring, and other Jade Tree type bands, and the more current 2001-2003 era, where I listened to lots of Radiohead, Modest Mouse, and other college radio type bands.

The best part, though, is that there won’t be a chance for argument. It’s my list, of my favorite CD’s. You may disagree with whether or not you think a particular album is good, but there’s no way you could say “that shouldn’t be on the list” because this isn’t the list of your favorite CD’s. It’s mine. That’s as comfortable as a list like this can get.

But please, argue your choices if you want. I love hearing about why people don’t like what I like. It gives me a chance to be cranky and sensitive, and God knows I need more reasons to do that.

This was lovingly handwritten on March 1st, 2005