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Rick's List Music Lists Edition

It's time for various print and online media "music writers" to start publishing their year-end Best-Of lists, a practice I find essential for my own edification. To wit: I like to read them so I know what NOT to listen to.

If that reeks of snidery — a noun I just made up and which I happen to think is better than "snideness" (which of course is the actual term) — so be it; I'm perfectly happy to invent words and, for that matter, assemble my own lists, which I then read and say, "That guy seems to know what he's talking about. I think I'll listen to those artists and songs and see how that works out for me."

And usually it works out pretty well.

Wait! I think I want to side-step and compose a list about more alternatives to "snideness":

(We already have) 1. Snidery (noun) — the state of being snide. ex: "Koster's music lists and his disdain for other arts writers' music lists reek of snidery."

2. Snideishness (noun) — mocking in similar fashion to "snideness" but with an extra "ish" thrown in for emphasis. ex: "His aura was suffused not just with snideness but, to make matters even more unpleasant, also with snideishness."

3. Snidititry (noun with a distinctive first syllable rhyming with "lid" instead of "lied") — a truly superlative form of snideness; like, being REALLY snide. ex: "His was the height of snidititry."

OK, as I was saying, we'll soon have annual music lists from hip people, and by March we'll all have forgotten them. What bothers me even more, though, are those "eternal" lists that continue to pop up. "The 100 Best Rock Songs Ever" or "15 Albums You Cannot Live Without" or "History's 10 Best Bassoonists."

(I Googled "10 Best Bassoonists" and found "Greatest Bassoonists Ever," which is from Ranker — an online group of geniuses who presumably make nice livings coming up with lists — and contains 51 bassoon virtuosos. Sadly, by the time I got to #30 — Mordechai Rechtman, and you probably knew that — I grew weary of looking at the names of bassoonists regardless of their elite bassoonitry. Because who's going to have a better name than Mordechai Rechtman?)

The point is: About 80 percent of all of these "best ever" music lists are identical. You look at them and say, "Really?! You had Jimi Hendrix as the greatest guitarist ever? That's some food for thought! Are you sure?"

Yes, "Stairway to Heaven" and "A Day in the Life" are toppers. Ditto "Pet Sounds" and "Revolver" and "Blonde on Blonde." I try to rise above this stuff, but here's something I found on a list of "The Top 10 Colleges for Bassoon Performance in the U.S." that I snidely can NOT ignore.

I think I'd swap out Curtis School of Music (#3) with Oberlin Conservatory of Music (#6). Whoever made that list is clearly no Mordechai Rechtman. (Which school is #1, you ask? Why, the Jimi Hendrix School of Bassoonishness.


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