Letters from Somnolescent

 

Category: Reviews

Even more strong opinions, these about specific things instead of spergy, abstract ideas.


September 24, 2020

Ranking Spotify’s Top 50 Songs Named “Undone”

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Song titles are funny. They’re usually hardly unique, and tons of bands from all across the music spectrum have songs with the exact same title. Spotify’s search is an absolutely useless landfill for this stuff; the song you want will invariably be so unpopular that 200 other identically-titled songs (and in some cases, artists and albums) will come before the one you want. Lovely.

The inspiration for this one came about when I realized I actually know three different songs with the title “Undone”: the Failure song, the Weezer song, and the Josh Joplin song. When I checked through Spotify search, it turned out to be a very popular song name indeed.

So in short, I got curious enough to add the 50 most popular ones to a playlist, listen through, and rank them. I originally wanted to do every single song on the platform named “Undone”, but that’s just not feasible. Even the top 50 was a solid three hours worth of music, and has been hell to put together.

Alas, the Joplin track didn’t make the top 50; if it did, it would’ve probably ranked at #2. Nonetheless, we’ve got a lovely mix of yeehaw music, white girl piano pop, boppy electronica, acoustic torment, Backstreet Boys, and even a few artists who might not even exist. We’re starting at the bottom here, so apologies for the rampant negativity at first. It does get better. Here we go…

Tags: music,

August 17, 2020

Vaders and Venetian Blinds: A Review of “Racing the Beam”

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Racing the Beam cover art

I’ve said before that I don’t read a whole lot of books. Not to say I don’t have a few on my radar, it just takes me a while. Same goes for video games; I have plenty to play, but I’m usually too busy off in my own world to try them out. Given that it looks like the US will open back up some time after the heat death of the universe (read: plenty of time to myself), I’ve been trying to rectify that.

Today’s topic is one that combines both these worlds in a really curious way: meet Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost’s Racing the Beam.

Tags: 70s, technology,

November 23, 2019

End it Someday: Looking Back on With the Lights Out

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With the Lights Out

It’s been 25 years, 7 months, and 19 days since the death of Kurt Cobain. You might remember him as the singer and guitarist for Nirvana, who later ended up trying pellet-flavored Pez in his greenhouse. He’s pretty much been canonized as the last great rockstar, and eh—I don’t care. I love Nirvana, but I don’t care.

It’s also been 15 years since the release of a little three-CD-one-DVD Nirvana treasure trove of B-sides, live tapes, and rehearsals came into the world. With the Lights Out was the first official look into the home demos and leftovers that went into producing Nirvana’s three proper records. It’s a fascinating little document with a lot of history—and a lot of flaws.

Join me as I ramble about my history with the boxset, its highs, its lows, and where I think it sits in the Greater Nirvana Canon as a Sacred Text or something.