A couple of days ago, I decided to have a crack at importing all my music into iTunes. I’m not sure why. The CD’s all live next to the stereo, and the laptop speakers sound crap. But it’s an exercise. And it’s reminded me of a whole lot of musics I had forgotten I owned. Gems like Sandpit, and Oliver’s ’10 minutes away’.
I’m about halfway through, sitting close to 10gig so far (I seem to have lost alot of CD’s somewhere in the past) and I have noticed a rather strange thing: If I were to make a Smart Playlist of “All music that is not of the Genre ‘Alternative & Punk'” I am left with one (yes, just one) album. Something appears to be rotten in the state of Gracenote.
I’m not averse to having some ‘Alternative & Punk’ music in my collection – some of my best friends are ‘Alternative & Punk’. But it seems to me that someone, somewhere, has painted the musical genres with an enormously wide brush. A quick flick through my ‘Alternative & Punk’ collection shows The Underground Lovers (Melbourne indie pop/electronica, surely?), Velo-Deluxe (indie-rock, anyone?), and The Knack. I could probably handle the first two being classified as alt.punk. I’m happy to embrace ‘punk’ as an attitude, I’ll happily wear a ‘Ween ist Punk’ t-shirt, but I draw the line at The Knack. The Knack were really the antithesis of the Punk movement. The Knack were also performing about 10 years before the youth were first branded as ‘Alternative’.
I don’t really know whether the problem lies with Gracenote themselves, or if it is just the ‘Intrepid Little Websters’ who categorise their own music and it gets propagated back up the line, but it’s just plain silly.
Take bands like The Steinbecks (disclaimer: I am a member) and the Sugargliders: I know they would be happy to be thought of as punk, but they are not. They are Pop. Pure and Simple. Call it ‘indie pop’ if you like, to avoid the Gweneth, Britney and Fergie baggage.
But if it’s bad enough that everything is alt.punk, what about my one maverick album, that refuses to stand in line, who could it be, and what genre does it lie in?
Stephen Duffy’s ‘Music in Colours’ featuring Nigel Kennedy. In the genre of Classical. That’s right – one of the founders of Duran Duran, a master of 80’s pop, and the wildest child of the Symphonic set – Classical.
I am out of steam, I can marvel no longer at this madness – I need to save my energy for the long job of reclassification.
Have you noticed any genre madness in your collection? Have you spent hours trying to rectify the problem? Let me know, I don’t want to be alone in this dark, cold place.