Some years back, I stopped caring about precisely tracking every single album I’d ever heard, so I started tagging those albums as “close enough.” While packing up part of my CD collection to move – with less focus on alphabetical ambitions, and more focus on lumping larger discographies into boxes – I was reminded of how alphabetical accomplishments are yet another example of how pursuing perfection paralyzes progress. Is the work good enough? Is it close enough?
I didn’t see as many concerts in 2016 as I did in previous years. Maybe career development, working on this site, and an oversaturation of lukewarm concerts in 2015 dissuaded me? I did see some memorable performances in 2016, intend to attend new venues, and especially want to get outside my concert comfort zone in 2017.
Since 2008, I’ve participated in a game of hearing as many albums released in that year as possible, and I’ve incorporated my own stipulations: no greatest hits albums with an unreleased song, no archival releases by posthumous musicians, and re-releases of albums officially released in another year don’t count. The complete list of the 104 albums I heard is over at my RateYourMusic account.
Concerts can be a gamble. While it’s fun to see the city, getting to some venues can be difficult and there’s a lot of waiting around that can leave you drained, especially if you have to wake up at a decent hour the next morning. Some bands like Van Halen have a terrific early catalogue and are terrible live, yet others like Blondie, X, and especially Willie Nelson might be better now than when they started. Where does Shonen Knife fit in?