Thursday, April 05, 2007

Updating The Top 50...

I spent some time this week (finally) updating the Top 50 (or 75-ish) album list on the Pop Kulcher website. I hadn't exactly abandoned the damn thing, but I set it up when I was first introduced to the web just over a decade ago and, aside from a few periodic changes since then, have pretty much left it there for the occasional reader who inadvertently bumps into it. Still, I don't want it to become one of those embarrassing relics you stumble across while haphazardly surfing, full of amateurish design choices and dead links, so I do try to take a look at it every year or so. I've gotten about 2/3 of the way through it so far, updating a few things:
  1. Making a unified color scheme for the whole list, rather than changing colors every 15 albums, which seemed cute at first but now looks kinda fugly;
  2. Increasing the size of the album cover scans (as graphic size is less of an issue in the era of broadband than it was when I first set up the site and we were all dialing up AOL);
  3. Deleting dead links (and geez there are a lot; very sad when you think about it -- got me to reminiscing about the web of 2006, when everybody on the planet was rushing to build a website dedicated to his/her favorite band; where has everybody gone?); and
  4. Making sure the links to audio samples on work, except for out-of-print albums with no online samples (which, alas, made me realize how many of these great albums are out of print. I mean, really, the Reivers' debut, Translate Slowly? There is simply no reason on God's green earth for that to be selling for $60 on eBay rather than for $13 on Oh, well, what can you do?)

When I get through this, I do plan to make some substantive changes to the list, for the two or three of you still around. Move some stuff around to reflect my current listening patterns (which, sad to say, seem to be evolving towards mellower fare, with some of the harder-edge stuff taking a back seat to classic rock faves -- yeah, ever since I hit 40 last summer, it's been all downhill). Also swapping out some selections (i.e. while I used to prefer Matthew Sweet's fine, poppy 100% Fun, I'm spending more time with the more respected Girlfriend -- which is actually a bit edgier, so take that prior comment with a grain of salt).

Plus, I do have a handful of additioanl albums I'll be adding. Yes, Television's Marquee Moon finally gets its due -- while I've long thought of it as more of a critical pick than something I care to listen to very often, I do find myself enjoying it more and more over time. Plus Amy Rigby's Diary of a Mod Housewife, the best album I've bought in a long time (albeit one that took me about 10 years to get around to discovering), and the rare album that had me rushing out to buy an artist's entire back catalogue. That Amy, she's the bee's knees, no doubt about it. Also planned: some Uncle Tupelo, Judee Sill, and more. Probably still no Led Zeppelin, so the idiots out there who periodically flame me for my taste will just have to keep flaming away.


At 8:51 PM, Anonymous trevor evans-young said...

Just so you know friend, your little "top 50 albums list site" changed my life when I found it 3 or 4 years ago. It is where I first found out about New Zealand lo fi, Guided by Voices, Yo La Tengo, and Squeeze, among others (though Sonic Youth was already my favorite band). To hear you are updating it means so much man, and in a way you have inspired my website at

I know it can be easy to think no one cares any more, but trust me, you always make more of an impact than you realize in life just by putting forth the effort. - Trevor e.y.

At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll actually chime in too. Your top 50 site came around at a time before the endless array of music blogs and online zines-- when there were only a handful of record review sites out there (Prindle, Wilson and Alroy, etc), but that was just when I was finishing high school/entering college. So those sites (and yours) actually had a pretty serious impact on my expanding music tastes. I still come back here every few months to see if you've added features or updated it, so yeah, don't think that no one is reading!

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

me too! i've visited this site once in a while for years!! it's a bit alarming how similar our tastes are, except i like "who are you". are you going to add "endless wire" in and give it a grade? ;-)


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