Hello all…there’s been so much going on lately but I’m trying hard not to do a general “update” blog where I cram everything into one post…so first I shall update everyone on my most recent project. If you’re on twitter I sincerely apologize for all of the obnoxious tweeting on the subject but I tend to be a bit OCD, especially about my music, and this has consumed me this week! ha!
Let me say this first…to many of you this might sound like a totally ridiculous thing to blog about and if you find that to be the case, no biggie…move on. But I have lots of people in my life that are as obsessive about music as I am (ah hem Eric Craig) and spend hours upon hours organizing their own music;) And there have been lots of friends (mostly through twitter) helping me with this so I wanted to sum it all up for them!
Okay sooooo…..I have alot of music in my itunes and usually when I download or import music, I make sure to alter the “info” tab so that everything is properly organized the way I want it. The one thing I don’t usually think about is the genre. But lately I’ve realized it gets kinda daunting shuffling through my artists. Say, for instance, I am in a folk rock / singer songwriter kinda mood – I have to go from Indigo Girls, to Tracy Chapman to somewhere else…you get what I’m saying? I need all of the music of one genre properly labeled so that when I’m in the mood for that I can simply search by genre and then view all artists in that category. Now, let me say this, if you have an ipod touch or only use your iPhone for music then you wouldn’t get my struggle because it’s easier to jump around using that interface…but I have an old school 3rd gen iPod classic that holds a ton so moving from one artist to another takes a min.
Okay so alot of times the stuff you import comes in with a totally messed up genre label, or none at all, so alot of my music wasn’t properly categorized in that way. Therefore, if I was in the mood to listen to hip hop, I was likely to end up with an Elvis song, or something totally off base, because of the way stuff had been imported. So last saturday I began going through all 813 artists in my itunes and placing them in the appropriate genres. I originally began with a strict 25 but ended up with 33. Initially I was checking the itunes store to see how they classify people but, Good LORD, they only use 23 broad categories and basically everyone gets put into Rock or Pop even if they are the furthest thing from it. For instance, iTunes puts Elvis, AC/DC, The Beach Boys, Marilyn Manson, and Bruce Springsteen all in the same category – um that ain’t workin’ for me! It’s just too broad. I realized I had to narrow things a bit further so, it took me several days, but I finally came up with my final 33 genres. Everything had to go into one of them.
So I embark on placing everyone into a genre. Y’all have no idea how hard this was for me…take someone like Elvis -some of his stuff his blues, some R&B, some classic rock n’ roll, some pop….what do you do??? Or Jimmy Buffet – GOOD LORD. It’s not country, it’s not pop, it’s not rock and roll. Hell, the man has managed to amass a catalog of music in which nearly every song is about a boat, a beach, the ocean, an island, sailing, harbours, docks, the coast, fruity drinks, or fish. That’s some creative songwriting right there. TONS of songs, all essentially about the same thing, but sounding different. So where do you put Jimmy Buffett??? iTunes calls him Rock, wikipedia calls him Singer/Songwriter…I gave him is own category.
So here are the Genres I came up with…I actually did alot of research online and discovered alot of descriptions of music that I hadn’t thought of. I ended up with 33 but will allow myself to expand to 35 if I feel it is necessary to do so. I’m considering adding a Classic Pop category to avoid having “oldies” mixed in with current pop music. Both are Pop but from two totally different times. I just hate to “date” music….some people suggested an “80’s” category, an “oldies” category or a “50’s rock n roll” category… but even in those times, that music still had a genre and was defined as such. I did distinguish between R&B and Soul…placing current artists like Usher in R&B and putting Mo-Town artists, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, etc in Soul. My criteria for deciphering between some of the genres got tricky but I did the best I could. It actually sparked lots of good music conversation between myself, Eric and our good friend Blake!
Here they are:
Alt-Country / Americana
Dance / Electronica
Hip Hop/ Rap
Singer / Songwriter
The process of dividing out Rock into Alt-rock, Southern Rock, Classic Rock, Hard Rock and so forth was probably the hardest part of the whole process…but was necessary. I may not have gotten everything perfect although the definitions are all subjective…but I like the way each of the genres “flows” now and they all seem to have the right feel. I’m sure I’ll continue to narrow things down but for now I’m happy with it. It only took me 7 days. LOL.
Now…you see what I’ve gone through doing this with roughly 8,000 songs… Eric has 24,000 – lord help me when he decides to start this process…
Have a great weekend y’all – enjoy this sunshine!