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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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the sound of music - or burn season, the band that will not leave me alone
children of dune - leto 1
So I'm back with my Issues in picking music. Which you know, means iTunes Genius and I bond. Genius follows a one percent rule for me--one percent of the music they rec I may eventually like. But I still have to listen to every song they rec, because it could be my One True Song and I don't want to miss it.

Yeah. I know.

However, there's a far more insidious thing that they do in the store--the Listeners Also Bought and the Genius Sidebar. That, my friends, is where I get screwed. Because following that along I end up in the circle of Hell that is Breaking Benjamin (I liked one song ftlog and now I can't get away), Shinedown, 32 Leaves, 10 Years, Evans Blue, Theory of a Deadman, and *shivers* Burn Season.

...to be fair, I have like, five Theory of a Deadman (Nickelback Lite) and three Shinedown, and I tried one from each of the others, except Burn Season. But that's not the point. The point is, all roads lead to Rome--they lead to Burn Season. For months. Goddamn Burn Season. Of which I liked nothing. And no matter how much American Idol, Britney Spears, or apparently, even Jesse McCartney cannot get me away from that album while link jumping, so honestly I'm really beginning to doubt myself.

Fast forward to today, where I found myself in the same cycle, then was surprised by the appearance of Hinter and One Less Reason. Everywhere. And no Burn Season!

Here is the thing--sometimes, I can be convinced I like something even if I'm lukewarm at first play. Okay, that's not working for Burn Season, but after like, fifty clicks and getting One Less Reason and Hinder like, every time, so I figured I was wrong about my own taste and started methodically listening to everything they did. Because it was cross-referencing with half of two of my active playlists. Obviously, I do not know myself as Genius does.

The life lesson I'm taking from this is twofold: 1.) I am the platonic idea of what corporate America is looking for in a customer, because if you just keep throwing the product in my face and tell me I like it, I'll believe you and 2.) Eventually, I am going to like Burn Season, and that makes me afraid.

Adding: I wish I had the patience to screencap. In a row--in a row--three reviews of three different bands mention how much they are like Burn Season as I click along Listeners Also Bought. Why? Why do they think I will like this?

*helpless* Maybe my initial loathing was mistaken? Two of them seem less horribly unpleasant than I remember.

ETA: Closer by Burn Season (youtube link) is suddenly far more listenable than I thought. Please see Life Lesson #2. This cannot end well.

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I once bought an entire Journey album from itunes. I do not feel clean. I'm not sure if this relates or not.

...I was thinking about Faithless today, as I like power ballads and that's supposed to be the best one ever, therefore I should like it? I didn't think I did, but Genius cannot be wrong!

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THIS. I. *hands* I mean, could Genius know me better than I know myself? Do I really like Evan Blue and am just in denial?

Why, hello there, guilty pleasures!

If you're looking for some specific recs for songs to try by Evans Blue and 10 Years from a random stranger, here you go.

Evans Blue is...sort of awkwardly awesome? IDK, their lyrics contain these phrases here and there that fall just short of deep or meaningful, and taken as a whole, the songs are usually one big WTF. And yet I own both their first two albums. (I kind of really like how the lead singer breathes when he sings.) If you want something catchy with a beat, try "In a Red Dress and Alone," "Shine Your Cadillac," "Over," or their one mainstream hit, "Cold (But I'm Still Here)." On the slower-building front, I hold a special place in my heart for "Painted." I can't promise that any of these songs make any sort of coherent sense, however.

Two songs from 10 Years that I enjoy are "11:00am (Daydreamer)" and "Just Can't Win." "Daydreamer" has a very catchy refrain, and JCW has a certain...flow? Cadence? Something.

And yes, Closer does grow on you, though Burn Season as a whole has yet to impress me.

Happy song-hunting?

That's why i love pandora you can tell them that you hate this song do not play it again. Then I find now songs. OR they just play the same songs I love over and over again.

It's hit or miss

...I had a moment like that last night. There was Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream Ben & Jerry's! Now, I do not like ice cream in general, and deeply do not like any of the things actually in this ice cream, and in fact thought ew, but lo I tried it! Because Stephen Colbert Ben & Jerry's.

I have been effectively marketed to. Also, I feel shame.

I listened to Hannah Montana last night and didn't hate it.

*curls up* Now I want ice cream too.

I feel the stockists at my local Wal-Mart are taunting me, having offered Neapolitan Dynamite only once or twice -- just enough for me to have fallen in love with its fudge brownie/Cherry Garcia combo -- and then quit shelving it, whereas they still offer lots and lots of Americone Dream, which, yes, none of my favorite things.

You had to mention Genius, didn't you. *shakes fist*

*hands* Welcome to my musical hell. You know what is on the Genius sidebar right now? BURN SEASON.

I am going to have to learn to like it. *helpless*

Don't know if you've heard of them yet, but Senses Fail are pretty damn awesome. This is the song that got me hooked on them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-agm8XL9fQ

Also, Amber Pacific, Temporary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grGDbDFZtBY which convinced me to listen to them.

See, I really like Breaking Benjamin. But I know exactly one song by Shinedown and none by any of those other mentioned in your third paragraph.

And reccing by shared tastes actually can work -- but there's really got to be the option to offer feedback and say, "Yes, I've got this one," "Yes, this is a good one," "No, never show me this ever again." Amazon for example started getting some interesting results for me after I'd given some feedback on their recs.

Okay, this is only vaguely related in an it's-about-music way, but I wanted to point you towards Emmy the Great's "First Love" (oxoniensis posted it here, which was how I found it.)

It has... hmmm. I'm thinking of how to describe this. It's not just that it mentions listening to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, it uses the hallelujah lines in the chorus/background. Given that you have an entire playlist devoted to versions of that song, I thought you should listen to this, too.

This is why I questionably legally "sample" most of my music and proceed to spend money on only the albums I really like. Usually I end up getting them on vinyl since I already have the .mp3s. Torrents and music blogs are wonderful things.

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