||We will take turns writing the essay about how algorithms have no soul,|
||and about how you and your best friend played "Sister Christian" or "HUMBLE." in a car,|
||"Backseat (feat. Carly Rae Jepsen)"
||on a road,|
||in a moment of crisis or redemption,|
||and this is what we mean by discovery,|
||songs as encapsulations of personal connections,|
||"New Slang (triple j Like A Version)"
||songs that reach you as the culmination of crescendoing waves of context.|
||"Pretty Fucking Sick (Of It All)"
||Pretty Fucking Sick (Of It All) +1
||And of course, yes, when this happens, it is invested with transcendent and enduring power.|
||But that power is not the power of music, it is the power of human connection itself.|
||"All That Heaven Allows"
||The song is a transmitter, a sigil.|
||Live at Third Man Records 2
||Songs work for this, but they are not the only thing.|
||Eating pupusas by a bus stop outside a foreign hospital on the way to your honeymoon;|
||The Naked And Famous
||"Punching in a Dream - Stripped"
||misheard lines from movies you saw together when you were 10;|
||"Crack My Heart"
||a lamp you bought your father;|
||"Across the Sea"
||things you grew up or gave up or rose up together with:|
||"Elixir of Life"
||this is not discovery, it is the assignment of personal significance to unclaimed objects.|
||In Ohtli Tonalli
||These moments are momentous, and should be treasured,|
||but they are exceptional by their nature.|
||You cannot fill all your days with honeymoons or first lamps,|
||"En Fallen Jätte"
||and if this is the only way you think it counts to discover new food, you will eat insularly.|
||If you want to discover music because you love music, you have to actually seek out music.|
||The Atlas Moth
||If you care about reaching people you don't already know, you have to listen to some of them sing.|
||Algorithms are not a goal,|
||"Passing the Gates"
||no more a substitute for people|
||The 3rd Attempt
||"Into the Light"
||than a screwdriver is a soulless substitute for inviting your friends over to turn a screw with all of their loving and meaningful fingernails.|
||"Balancing the Dark"
||To discover, you must explore,|
||Mist of Misery
||"Tortured by Solitude"
||Fields of Isolation
||must bring back something that your friends don't already know.|
||Sisters of Suffocation
||Maps are exploration technology.|
||Oceans of Slumber
||"The Decay of Disregard"
||Some of our maps are drawn by individual hands,|
||Wonders of Nature
||"To the Tops of the Hills"
||as they all used to be,|
||Sins of Sincerity
||but we now also have ways to elicit maps from collective patterns in the footsteps of travelers.|
||Miracle Of Sound
||"Force of Nature"
||This is all "algorithms" means:|
||you are curious what other people know,|
||and you realize that interviewing them individually|
||won't tell you what they think everybody already knows.|
||It means, like tool-use always means, that you're trying to accomplish something.|
||I have, since about when I first gained control of a radio knob, been trying to explore music.|
||Friends are a wonderful and largely ineffective way to do this,|
||"Major System Error"
||unless you have a lot more friends than I do,|
||The People The Poet
||"Where the Dandelions Roar"
||or your friends have tools.|
||Making friends is slow.|
||Making and discarding a hundred fractionally different friends in search of a better one is not how friends work.|
||The soullessness of algorithms is their defining mercy.|
||Your friends cannot be optimized, you have to love them how they are.|
||"Chin up (feat. Azuria Sky)"
||Life Overseas EP 4
||Your algorithms, on the other hand, you can change.|
||Gesu no Kiwami Otome
||Your tools can be sharpened.|
||My best exploration tool is a pile of obsessively tinkered-with math that takes|
||"Dancer in the Hanabira"
||years of my encoded listening behavior,|
||"South Side Suicide"
||and millions of other people's listening patterns|
||"Leave Take Lend"
||and the list of 10,000+ new releases that come out every week,|
||Camino, Fuego Y Libertad
||and finds 400-600 new songs that people who know some of the same things I know know.|
||"Två mörka ögon"
||These are not exactly recommendations, but they are a statistical approximation of what I might know if I had relative omniscience.|
||Songs of Boda
||They are like revisiting every place I have ever traveled, every week.|
||"Children (triple j Like A Version)"
||They are, in a sense, not discovery, exactly, but an exploratory inertia,|
||or the diligent part of exploration that comes after initial discovery.|
||I go through them.|
||I do this every week, because every week there are more songs.|
||Most of them, I do not like, no matter how much evidence there is suggesting that I might,|
||Benji & Fede
||but this was always true of the things my friends liked,|
||or the reviews I read in Q or Decibel,|
||or the songs George Gimarc or WFNX played.|
||Escape the Fate
||"I Am Human"
||Most of your steps take you nowhere new yet.|
||"Save My Life Tonight"
||I know I once thought of this as a reductive process,|
||The New Age
||of scouring the world for candidates to be winnowed and discarded and juxtaposed in the quest for top 10s and poll votes and desert-island nightmares,|
||"BISC044: CCL Part One"
||but I have gradually realized or acknowledged or come to believe that exploration is not an advanced level of scavenger hunt,|
||"Running Away from Love"
||it is an emotional integration of perpetual movement and curiosity.|
||"Together On The Outside"
||Making History 5
||I don't sift 500 songs a week down to 80 on the way to picking 10 a year,|
||Jotain Palaa 4
||I do it because 80 is about the number I have time to fall in love with in a week before the next week happens,|
||"Duelo de titanes (con El Drogas)"
||without wearing headphones while I'm walking my daughter to school,|
||"If You Go (triple j Like A Version)"
||or in place of sleep.|
||"Paperplanes (triple j Like A Version)"
||The destructive urge to summarize has metamorphosed into an expansive compulsion to hear more.|
||You don't have to want to live or listen this way,|
||but it didn't used to be possible to live this way.|
||You don't have to fly around the world. You don't have to eat things you can't pronounce, to see if the flavor changes your mouth so you can.|
||"Maging Superhero - From "The Gandarrappido: The Revenger Squad""
||But I want to. Maybe you want to. It's becoming possible to try.|
||We Invented Paris
||So I try. I try to make tools that make it possible, and then I try them to see how well they work.|
||"Sto Theo Me Paei"
||They work badly, but surprisingly well. They work rather dramatically better than whatever else you're doing.|
||If you reject these things, these astonishing unprecedented levers made of math, you are only stating that you never cared about the results in the first place.|
||Novi Miligram Grmi! 2
||But if you cared enough to ask the friend who actually knows some new songs, you care enough to let math help, too.|
||If you wake up and want today to be anything other than a meticulous replica of yesterday, you care enough.|
||We Deserve This
||And if you care, these equations and queries and algorithms and songs are on your side.|
||"There's Only Two of Us Now"
||If you care, there are a million songs waiting to reach to you, waiting to be shared with your friends, waiting to just play.|