Archive | March, 2021

WAP Grammys 2021 Performance is Not Empowerment or Feminism–It’s Misogyny

16 Mar

Visibility is imperative. Pushing norms is progress. But disguising the objectification of women for the male gaze as empowered feminism is super-problematic, and that’s what is happening here. Cardi b and Meghan Thee Stallion’s Grammys 2021 performance was supposed to push boundaries, and shock. And it did! Madonna pushed boundaries of female sexuality with her cones and simulated sex scene prior to this. But I see the Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke twirking on all the negative YouTube videos for ‘top 10 cringe moments’, ‘celebs that are problematic’, ‘people who got cancelled’, etc, etc… And let’s not forget how Janet Jackson was ENDED over a fraction of a sec of nipple pasty action at the Superbowl. Can you say, double standard?!

Anyway, I keep seeing a lot of arguments for the merits of this song/performance because it matches what men do. Men have scantily-clad women on their videos, demean women as “bitches” (and far worse) in their lyrics, talk about sexual acts in explicit detail, and are “pimps” when they rack up the number of women they conquer. So people are arguing it’s cool that now women can do that too.

Except here’s the thing:

Feminism isn’t doing whatever you want or being as disgusting as men, it is breaking away from objectification, truly empowering the individual self and collective group of women.

Joining in on objectification of women is not empowerment!

em·pow·er·ment (N)- Authority or power given to someone to do something. “individuals are given empowerment to create their own dwellings” the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.

This performance isn’t about women owning their bodies, sexuality, or controlling the narrative. This is women selling their image in a package that men like in order to make money and gain fame in the small niche that female rap artists have carved out.

Women in this patriarchal society have to fit in a box–the Madonna/whore dichotomy. Women in music, already in that narrow box of patriarchy, have to fit into an even smaller box of being a role model to girls while having sexual appeal for the general public. The rap category is an even teenier box a couple of select women have to fit in to keep going. In the end, the box is so small and limited, there is no space left.

People online are praising the performance as visible female sexuality, black women owning their own bodies, and empowerment. Which, I agree might be present (though in this writing, I’ll argue it’s in diluted form). I felt the performance was harmful to women’s progress. What I don’t want to do is add the the terrible narrative that black women’s sexuality is wild/animalistic/scary/out of control that colonialism, racism, sexism, and patriarchy has painted it. I find the performance harmful because it is misogyny in feminist clothing, to borrow the sheep expression.

I know there’s a whole song, and the music video that goes with it. I don’t know much about either so my critiques are based solely on the following video of the 2021 Grammy performance:

My racap of the action:

-A stripper pole-references the men’s domain of the strip club where women take off clothes and dance suggestively for men’s entertainment.
-Cardi B backs up and puts her butt-crack on the pole. Side-note: Butt implants are for men. A women can die getting plastic surgery to enhance her body. Her clothes will fit differently. She will have to move differently, walk differently, lay down differently than she did before putting plastic in her butt. And she may have complications later. Leaking, autoimmune issues, cancer… This is not for a woman’s pleasure–women’s butts are not an erroneous zone, or secondary sex characteristic. A big butt is for men’s pleasure.
-In case the viewer couldn’t put it together, a giant, clear plastic stripper platform shoe flanks the stage. The type of shoe men like to look at, but women have trouble walking effectively in, and certainly running from danger is out of the question in such a shoe. It shows the power dynamic–females are weakened by such a shoe but men get pleasure from them wearing the shoe. Men are in power here. The women are just props for them to use to achieve sexual gratification.
-Other suggestive moves that drive home this is a performance to cater to men’s sexual desire: Splay legs, she grabs/rubs her puss, gyrating hips and doing suggestive humping dance moves. Cardi B elevates and licks her own leg. Countless squats split legged. Laying with legs far apart on the bed. Crawling on the bed. Split legged humping. Laying on her back with split legs. The two women crawl toward each other on bed. They scissor their legs together. [Pet-peeve] this is NOT a thing! I mean, it might technically exist in the way the pile-driver is a thing, but not used in real life, it’s only for porn. This scissoring maneuver is performative and it’s is ignorant/Lesbphobic. As a matter of fact, if two out, butch lesbians did the same move, I’ll bet the reaction would be totally different. Then to finish the show, more split legs.

Here’s the test to know

a) if this is two women owning their own bodies, displaying confidence and empowerment

OR

b) this is a sexually suggestive performance for the male gaze

In the above video and descriptive paragraph, trade out the women for men.

Have you seen men doing a similar performance before? Does it seem like the same type of performance? Would it garner the same reaction?

I’d say fail.

You do not/would not see two men: Dancing on a pole. Licking their own leg. Crawling toward another man on a giant bed. Or scissoring legs together with another man…

This is not women owning their sexuality. This is objectifying & commodifying women for the male gaze.

Research by Calogero has shown that the male gaze can have detrimental effects on women’s self-esteem and self-objectification, leading to increased body shame and a worsened mental state. The male gaze creates a power imbalance. It supports a patriarchal status quo, perpetuating women’s real-life sexual objectification.

So that’s why I don’t like it. I’m not even going to mention being role model for girls, b/c the conservatives always trot that out to shame women. But I will say it would be nice if society was better at recognizing misogyny. I can understand why it’s difficult because it’s ubiquitous and pervasive. But we need to educate ourselves a lot better, because things are still BAD for women. And I would love to see women being successful by truly own their own bodies and sexuality in an empowering way. I hope it happens.

But this was not it.

Taylor Swift’s Catalogue Ranked by Kit10Phish (final)

14 Mar

I ranked all album songs from least favorite to my very most delightful favorite of all the songs!

How I made this list:

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=11721&action=edit

and check out the many (not final) lists for more description

(numbers) are the album/era

(C)atchy, (D)etailed story, (G)aylor references, (I)nstrumentals, (L)yrical complexity, very high/low (N)otes, (P)roduction stands out in a good way, (S)entimental

Skips
Last Place Song:
Superman (3)

Soon You’ll Get Better (7)
(best skip) Epiphany (8)

Mehs
3 boring:
A Perfectly Good Heart (1): I, N
(best boring-meh) The Archer (7): G, L

Mehs
2 Personally Dislike:
The Lakes (8): G, L, N, P
End Game (6): C, G, L, P (terrible feat!)
(best disliked meh) Coney Island (9): G, L, N (terrible feat!)

Mehs
1 Exactly Meh:
It’s Nice to Have a Friend (7); D, G, L (Ambiguity bothers me; weird production)
The Other Side of the Door (2): I, L, N
A Place in This World (1): I, N
Right Where You Left Me (9): C, G, L, N (repetitive)
(best exactly meh) The Outside (1): I, N (weak)

OK3 = nearly meh (final)
OK-3B BOTTOM OF LIST:
Tell Me Why (2): C, I, N = 3b (thin voice & a bit generic lyrically)
Sad, Beautiful, Tragic (4): C = 3B (both blah and bummer)
Superstar (2); D = 3B (zzzzzz)
I Almost Do (4); C = 3 (too needy/pathetic/un-feminist. Yet catchy)
(best OK-bottom of nearly meh) Jump Than Fall (2): C, I = 3B

OK3 = nearly meh (final)
OK-3A = TOP OF LIST:
The Other Side of the Door (2); C, I, L, N = 3A
Innocent (3): C, I, N = 3A
Last Kiss (3): C, D, N = 3A
The Best Day (2): C, D, = 3A
(best nearly meh) Fearless (2); C, I, N = 3a

OK2 = exactly neutral
OK-2B = BOTTOM OF LIST:
Peace (8): C, D, G, L = 2b (hate pulsing; lyrics condescending(?))
Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince (7); C, D, G, L, N = 2b (don’t care for HS/politics mixing & end chant is too much. But lots of good one-liners)
I Wish You Would (5): C, G = 2A
It’s Time to Go (9): C, D, G, L, N = 2B
Illicit Affairs (8); C, D, G, L = 2B
August (8); C, G, L = 2B
(best OK-bottom of exactly neutral) A Place in the World (1): C, I, N = 2B

OK2 = exactly neutral
OK-2A = TOP OF LIST:
The Way I Loved You (2): C, D, I, N = 2A
False God (7): C, G, L = 2A
Breathe (2): C, G(?), L = 2A
Dorthea (9): C, D, G, L, N = 2A
Happiness (9): C, D, L = 2A
Seven (8); C, D, G, L, N = 2a
(best of OK-exactly neutral) Long Live (3): C, D, I, N = 2A

OK1 = almost good
OK-1B= BOTTOM OF LIST:
Mary’s Song (oh my my) (1): C, D, I, N = 1B
This Love (5): C, G, L, N, P = 1b
I Think He Knows (7): C, G, L, P = 1b
(best OK-bottom of almost good) London Boy; C, D, L, P = 1b

OK1 = almost good
OK-1A= TOP OF LIST:
New Romantics (5): C, D, G, L, N, P = 1A
Hey Stephen (2): C, D = C2
Call It What You Want (6); C, G, L, P = 1A
Tied Together w/a Smile (1): C, D, I, N = C2 (less repetition, some more notes & instrumentals
Gorgeous (6): C, D, L, N, P = 1A
King of My Heart (6): C, L, N, P = 1A (ENDING)
Change (2); C, I (@ END!), N = 1A
Back to December-acoustic (3): C, D, I, N, S = 1A
(best OK-almost good) Cornelia Street (7); C, D, G, L, N = 1A

Good c = almost OK
Gc2 = bottom of category:
State of Grace-acoustic (4): C, L = C2
Begin Again (4): D, I, L = C2
The Last Time (4): C, I = C2 (weird collaboration)
(best Good-bottom of almost OK) Cold as You (1): I, N = C2

Good c = almost OK
Gc1 = top of category:
22 (4): C = c1
Untouchable (2): C, I, N = C1
Come in w/the Rain (2): C, I = C1
All Too Well (4): D, I, L, N = C1 (almost a powwow beat; and yup I did rank it this low)
Starlight (4); C, I = C1
(best Good-almost OK) Sparks Fly (3); C, I = C1

Good b= exactly good
Gb2 = bottom of category:
If this was a Movie (3): C, D, I, N = B2
Never Grow Up (3): C, D, I, N = B2 (problematic sentiment)
’tis the damn Season (9): C, D, L, B2
You are in Love (5): C, N = B2
Stay Beautiful (1): C, I, N = B2
Treacherous-demo (4): C, G(!), L = B2
Cardigan (8): C, D, G, L = B2
Red-demo (4): C = B2
The Last Great American Dynasty (8): C, D = B2
How You Get the Girl (5): C, D, G = B2
(best Good-bottom of exactly good) White Horse (2): D, I, N = B2

Good b= exactly good
Gb1 = top of category:
Everything has Changed (4); C, N = B1
Holy Ground (4): C, D, G, L = B1
This is Me Trying (8): C, I, L(!) = B1
Afterglow (7): C, P = B1
Treacherous (4): C, G(!), L =B1
Daylight (7): C, G, L, N = b1
Come Back…Be Here (4): C, N = B1
Mirrorball (8): C, G, L = B1
I’m Only Me When I’m w/You (1): C, I(!) = b1
Forever & Always-piano (2): C, I, N = B1
The Lucky One (4): C, D, N, = B1
(best Good-exactly good) Fifteen (2): C, D, I = B1

Good a= almost awesome
Ga2 = bottom of category:
This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (6): a2
Welcome to New York (5): C, D, G, N, P = A2
Me! (7): C, G, I, N = A2 (yup, I ranked it this high–it grew on me)
Wildest Dreams (5): C, N, S = A2 (sexy)
Delicate (6): C, D, G, L, P = A2
So It Goes…(6): C, G, P, L, N = A2 (sexy lines)
Mine-pop (3): D, I, N = A2
Clean (5): C, G, L, P = A2
Tim McGraw (1): C, D, G, I, N = A2
Champagne Problems (9): C (bridge), D, G, L = A2a
(best Good-bottom of almost awesome) Betty (8): C, D, I, G, L = A2a (catchy, & swelling instrumentals)

Good a= almost awesome
Ga1 = top of category:
Mine (3): C, D, I, N = A1
Haunted-acoustic (3): C, I, N, P = A1
Getaway Car (6): C, D, G, P = A1
Death by a Thousand Cuts (7): C, D, G, L, = A1b
Gold Rush (9): C, G, L = A1b
tolerate it (9): G, I, L = A1
Cruel Summer (7): C, G, L, N = A1b
Red (4): C, I, L, P = A1
New Year’s Day (6): C, D, I, N =A1
Cowboy Like Me (9): C, D, G, I, L = A1
willow (9): C, G, L, N = A1 (so effing catchy!)
Dress (6): C, G, L = A1 (SEXY)
Haunted (3): C, I (!), N, P = A1a
Teardrops On My Guitar-RADIO (1): C, I, L, N = A1 (sounds almost the same to me)
(best Good-almost awesome) Teardrops On My Guitar-POP (1): C, I, L, N = A1 (more beat & echo)

Awesome- 3 BETTER THAN GOOD:
All You had to do was Stay (5): C, N = 3
Evermore (9): C, L, N = 3
Stay, Stay, Stay (4): C, D, S = 3
Bad Blood (6): C, N = 3
The Moment I Knew (4): D, N = 3
(best Awesome-better than good) Ours (3); C, L, N = 3

Awesome-2 SOLID AWESOME
2b = bottom of list:
You Belong w/Me (2); C, D, I, N, S = 2b
I Forgot that You Existed (7); C = 2b
Girl at Home (4): C, N = 2b
Our Song (1): C, D, I =2b
Paper Rings (7): C, D, G, P = 2b
No Body, No Crime (9): C, D, L (pronoun/subject) = 2a
Closure (9); C, G, L, P = 2b
The 1 (8): C, D, G, L = 2b
Wonderland (5); C, G, L, N, P = 2b
(best Awesome-bottom of solid awesome) Ivy (9); C, G, L = 2b

Awesome-2 SOLID AWESOME
2a = top of list:
my tears ricochet (8): D, L, P = 2a
Mad Women (8): C, L, N = 2a
Out of the Woods (5): D (bridge), G, L = 2a (is this car crash real? who and when? major gay closet vibes)
The Man (7): C, G, L = 2a
Invisible String (8); C, D, L = 2A
You Need to Calm Down (7): C, G, S = 2a (the 3 things being compared aren’t related? enthusiastic!)
Back to December (3): C, D, S(!) = 2a
Blank Space (5): C, G, L, N = 2a
(best of Awesome-solid awesome) I Knew You Were Trouble (4); C, N, P = 2a (subtle-moag)

Awesome-1 ELITE
1b= bottom of list:
Love Story (2-TV): C, D, I, N = 1a (same except staccato reme-o & fa-ding)
Love Story (2): C, D, I, N = 1a (her 1st crowd favorite, but rom-com effect w/princess stuff & severe heteronormativity)
Dear John (3); C, D, L, N = 2a
Enchanted (3): C, D(!), I, N, S = 1b
Better Than Revenge (3): C, D, I(!), N, S = 1B (sounds like Paramore; problematic mean-girl stuff, but it was a time)
Exile (8): C, G, I, L, N = 1b
Dancing with Our Hands Tied (6): C, G, L, N, P = 1b
Marjorie (9); C, G, L, P, S = 1b (I love the sentiment more than the song. Intense memories of my Grandma, thanks Taylor, for that)
(best of awesome- bottom of elite) Long Story Short (9): C, G, L, P = 1b

Awesome-1 ELITE
1a = top of list:
Style (5): C, G, I, L, N, P = 1a (who is she talking about, what car crash is referenced, is it real?)
Lover (7): C, G, L, S = 1a
Shake It Off (5): C, N = 1a (love the sentiment, & catchiest of ever!)
I Did Something Bad (6): C, N, P = 1a (moag is the star here)
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (4): C, I, P = 1a
Look What You Made Me Do (6): C, P = 1a (exciting like several songs w/in 1 song, I don’t trust nobody bridge)
The Story of Us (3): C, I, S = 1a ( like the next chapter, the end)
Picture to Burn (1): C, I, S = 1a
Shoulda Said No (1): C, I, N, S(!) = 1a
…Ready for It? (6); C, G, N, P = 1a (sexy sounds & moag)
(4th best song) I Know Places (5): C, G, L, N, P = 1a

–and the top 3 songs in the entire catalogue (in my opinion):
*Don’t Blame Me (6): C, G, L, N(!), P = 1a (that moag! She sings her ASS off! Probably the best, barring sentimental favorites)

You’re Not Sorry (2): C, I, N, S(!) = 1a

(My #1 song) Mean (3): C, L, S(!) =1a (after all the listening I learned sentimental really does trump every other characteristic.)

Taylor Swift Album & Song Ranking Procedure (science behind the catalogue ranked last to first)

10 Mar

This is the result of ranking each album by song. What I mean is I ranked each song on the album awesome, good, OK, meh, or skip. The ranking is what I like! It’s not technical, it’s not based on song complexity or singing–just my opinion. But my consistent opinion. I listened and checked each of these lists until my opinion didn’t change, and the songs were locked into their ranking. For the album ranking, I counted up the number of songs in each group. The albums with the highest amount of awesome songs were ranked the highest.                 

awesome       good to ok             meh              skip

1989                      7                     5                           4                    0

speak now            7                      5                           4                    1

red                        5                      13                         0                    0

folklore                  6                      9                            1                   1

Evermore 6 8 0 1

reputation            5                       8                           2                   0

fearless                  5                       8                         4                   1

self-titled               5                       6                           3                    1

lover                       4                       7                           4                   3

P.S. I think the above chart might have changed a little after I ranked each individual song. I’ll have to update it after the catalogue ranking is posted.

Then I took it further. I wanted to rank every song in Taylor’s catalogue (album songs only). I started with the awesome, good, OK, meh, skip playlists from the album ranking, then narrowed those groups into smaller groups.

For example, I took the awesome list and ranked those songs into 3 groups within awesome: Elite, exactly awesome, and almost good.

I did this with all 5 of the original playlists.

At the same time, I marked the song characteristics.

(C)atchy

(D)etailed story

(G)aylor references

(I)nstrumentals

(L)yrical complexity

very high/low (N)otes

(P)roduction stands out in a good way

(S)entimental

Some of the lists were still overwhelmingly large, so I split them in half

like top of the elite-awesomes and bottom of elite-awesomes.

There’s more. Once the lists were manageable, I tried to put the songs in order on each list. This required a lot of listens. I would put the songs on each different group in order, then listen to each different section to make sure the list was accurate. If there was any changes on a section (at least one song moved), I’d mark the list to double-check.

I listened from the bottom to the top, each different group from skip all the way up to awesome, marking any sections with song changes.

If there was a change I would listen to that section again later. I listened over and over until no songs needed to be moved.

Well, I finally finished today! After the holiday music, I started this project so it’s been a long time coming. As soon as I format the lists, I’ll post it up. Hope you enjoy!

Taylor Swift: AWESOMEs (not final)

7 Mar

1 = awesome elite
2 = awesome solid
3 = awesome better than good
a = top of list
b = bottom of list

Awesome-1 ELITE
a = top of list
Don’t Blame Me (6): C, G, L, N, P = 1a
I Did Something Bad (6): C, N, P = 1a
I Know Places (5): C, G, L, N, P = 1a
Look What You Made Me Do (6): C, P = 1a
Lover (7): C, G, L, S = 1a
Mean (3): C, L, S =1a
Picture to Burn (1): C, I, S = 1a
…Ready for It? (6); C, G, N, P = 1a (sexy sounds)
Shake It Off (5): C, N = 1a (not much substance, but catchiest of ever!)
Shoulda Said No (1): C, I, N, S = 1a
The Story of Us (3): C, I, S = 1a
Style (5): C, G, I, L, N, P = 1a
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (4): C, I, P = 1a
You’re Not Sorry (2): C, N, S = 1a

Awesome-1 ELITE
b= bottom of list
Better Than Revenge (3): C, D, I, N, S = 1B
Dancing with Our Hands Tied (6): C, G, L, N, P = 1b
Enchanted (3): C, D, I, N, S = 1b
Exile (8): C, G, I, L, N = 1b
Long Story Short (9): C, G, L, P = 1b
Love Story (2): C, D, I, N = 1a
Love Story (2-TV): C, D, I, N = 1a (same except staccato reme-o & fa-ding
Marjorie (9); C, G, L, P, S = 1b (I love the sentiment more than the song)

Awesome-2 SOLID AWESOME
a = top of list
Back to December (3): C, D, S = 2a
Blank Space (5): C, G, L, N = 2a
Dear John (3); C, D, L, N = 2a
I Knew You Were Trouble (4); C, N, P = 2a
Invisible String (8); C, D, L = 2A
Mad Women (8): C, L, N = 2a
The Man (7): C, G, L = 2a
my tears riccochet (8): D, L, P = 2a
No Body, No Crime (9): C, D, L (pronoun/subject) = 2a
Out of the Woods (5): D (bridge), G, L = 2a
Speak Now (3); C, D, N, S = 2a
You Need to Calm Down (7): C, G, S = 2a

Awesome-2 SOLID AWESOME
b = bottom of list
The 1 (8): C, D, G, L = 2b
Closure (9); C, G, L, P = 2b
Girl at Home (4): C, N = 2b
I Forgot that You Existed (7); C = 2b
Ivy (9); C, G, L = 2b
Our Song (1): C, D, I =2b
Paper Rings (7): C, D, G, P = 2b
Wonderland (5); C, G, L, N, P = 2b
You Belong w/Me (2); C, D, I, N, S = 2b

Awesome- 3 BETTER THAN GOOD
All You had to do was Stay (5): C, N = 3
Bad Blood (6): C, N = 3
Evermore (9): C, L, N = 3
The Moment I Knew (4): D, N = 3
Ours (3); C, L, N = 3
Stay, Stay, Stay (4): C, D, S = 3

Indigo Girls: AWESOMEs (not final)

6 Mar

1= elite awesome
1a top ever songs
1b = exactly elite
1c = better than your avg awesome
2= solid awesome
2a = top of list
2b = bottom of list
3 = better than good
3a = top of list
3b = bottom of list

IG AWESOME-ELITE 1
1A top of the top

Become You (BY): C, I, L, P, S = 1a
Closer to Fine (ST); C, L, N, S = 1a
Closer to Fine (1200): C, L, N, S, U (pennywhistle?) = 1a
Compromise (LwUoCSO): C, I, N = 1a
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright (SDtBD): C, L, N (harmonies), S, U (Brandi!) = 1a
Fill It Up Again (AtWLI); C, L, N, S = 1a
Galileo (RoP): C, L, P, S = 1a
Go (LwUoCSO): C, I, L, N, P = 1A
Kid Fears (ST): C, L, N, S, U (feat Michael Stipe) =1a
Prince of Darkness (ST): C, L, N, P, S =1a
Pushing the Needle Too Far (NIS): C, L, P, S = 1a
The Rise of the Black Messiah (OLD): C, I, L, N, P, U (haunting) =1a
Second Time Around (SDtBD): C, I, L, P, S, U (live = more emotional) 1A
Watershed (NIS): C, L, N, S = 1a

AWESOME-ELITE
1B (exactly elite)

Become You (SDtBD); C, L, P, S, U (accordian?) = 1b
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (1200-live @ atwood): C, L, N, P, U (feat artists, drumming) = 1b
Chickenman (1200): C, I, L, N, P, U (harmonica?) = 1b
Cold Beer & Remote Control (SDtBD): C, L, N, P = 1b
Deconstruction (BY): C, L, N, S = 1b
Devotion (SDtBD): C, L, N = 1b
Fugitive (LwUoCSO): C, I, N = 1b
Galileo (1200): C, L, P, S = 1b
Go (CoNS): C, I, L, N, P, U (talking about activism in background, chanting) = 1B
Hammer and a Nail (NIS): C, L, N, P, S = 1b
Happy in the Sorrow Key (OLD): C, I, L, N = 2B (ENDING!)
Happy Joyous Hanukkah (HHD): C, I (BASS!), L, P, U (mandolin?) = 1B
I Feel the Christmas Spirit (HHD): C, I, L, N, U (blue grass) = 1b
Joking (1200): C, I, (bass @ end) L, N, P, S, U (false ending) = 1b
Kid Fears (SDtBD): C, L, S, U (feat Shreena Mead sounds good) = 1b
Land of Cannan (ST): C, I, L, S = 1b
Least Complicated (1200): C, L, N, P, S = 1b
Love of Our Lives (PatBB): C, L, N, S = 1b
Moment of Forgiveness (BY): C, L, N, S =1b
Moment of Forgiveness (SDtBD): C, L, N, S = 1b
Money Made You Mean (DOD-live): C, I (banjo-wow!), L, P = 1b (don’t like plosives)
Pushing the Needle Too Far (1200): C, L, P, S = 1b
Second Time Around (PatBB): C, I, L, P, S, U (harmonica?) = 1B
Tangled Up In Blue (1200); C, I, L, N, P = 1b
World Falls (1200-live): C, L, N, S = 1b
World Falls (LwUoCSO): C, I, L, N, P = 1b
Yield (BY): C, I, L, N, S = 1b
Yoke (BQS): C, I, L, P, S = 1b

AWESOME-ELITE
1C (better than your avg awesome)

Get Out the Map (SDtBD): C, L, N, P = 1c
Go (SDtBD): C, I, L, N, P = 1C
Heartache for Everyone (AtWLI): C, I, L, S = 1c
Hope Alone (BY): C, L, N, S =1c
Howl at the Moon (LL): C, I, L, N, U (tribal) = 1c
Land of Cannan (SF): C, L, N, S, U (harmonica) = 1c
Last Tears (DOD: C, L, N, S = 1c
Little Perennials (DOD): C, L = 1C
Make It Easier (SF): C, I, L, N, P = 1c
Money Made You Mean (DOD): C, I, L, P = 1c
Philosophy of Loss (CoNS): C, I, L, P, S = 1c
Rock and Roll Heaven’s Gate (SDtBD): C, L, N, P =1C
Salty South (SDoBD): C, I, S = 1c
Scooter Boys (SotS): C, L, P, U (wail) = 1c
Second Time Around (PatBB-acoustic): C, L, P 1C
Shame On You (SotS): C, L, N, P, S, U (road block trippin’ break-down) = 1c1
Shame On You (SDtBD): C, I, P, U (cajin instrument) =1c2
Shit Kickin (LL): C, I, L, P, U (choral backing) = 1c
The Wonder Song (HHD): C, L, N, U (country) = 1C

AWESOME-SOLID
2A

1,2,3 (NIS): C, N, S = 2a
All the Way(DOD): C, L, S = 2a
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (1200): C, I, L, P = 2a
Chickenman (LwUoCSO): C, I, L, N, P = 2a
Cold Beer & Remote Control (CoNS): C, L, P, S = 2a
Driver Education (PatBB): C, L, S = 2a
Fill It Up Again (SDtBD); C, L, S = 2a
Joking (RoP): C, L, P, S, U (false ending) = 2a
Least Complicated (SO): C, L, N, P, S = 2a
Sugar Tongue (SDtBD); C, N = 2a

AWESOME-SOLID
2B

Chickenman (RoP): C, L, P, U (harmonica?) = 2b
Dairy Queen (AtWLI): C, I, S = 2b
Faye Tucker (CoNS): C, L, N, P, U (laugh, chanting) = 2b
Get Out the Map (SotS): C, L, N, P, U (banjo?) = 2b
Hand Me Downs (NIS): C, I, L, S = 2b
Heartache for Everyone (SDtBD): C, L = 2b
I Believe in Love (DOD): C, L, S = 2b
I Don’t Wanna Know (SF): C, I, N, U (harmonica?) = 2b
I’ll Change (PatBB): C, L, S = 2b
It’s Alright (SotS): C, L, P, S = 2b
Learned It On Me (OLD): C, L, N (harmonies) = 2b
Olympia Inn (OLD): C, P = 2B
Run (DOD): C = 2b
This Train Revised (1200-live): C, I, N = 2b
Touch Me Fall (SO): I (really rocks at end) = 2b

AWESOME-BETTER THAN GOOD
3

Favorite Flavor (LL): C, L = 3
Love’s Recovery (ST): C, L, N, S = (don’t like Emily’s deep singing) = 3

Taylor Swift GOODs (not final)

5 Mar

a= almost awesome
b= exactly good
c= almost OK
1 = top of category
2 = bottom of category

a= almost awesome
1 = top of category

Cruel Summer (7): C, G, L, N = A1b
Cowboy Like Me (9): C, D, G, I, L = A1
Death by a Thousand Cuts (7): C, D, G, L, = A1b
Dress (6): C, G, L = A1 (SEXY)
Getaway Car (6): C, D, G, P = A1
Gold Rush (9): C, G, L = A1b
Haunted (3): C, I (!), N, P = A1a
Haunted-acoustic (3): C, I, N, P = A1
Mine (3): C, D, I, N = A1
New Year’s Day (6): C, D, I, N =A1
Red (4): C, I, L, P = A1
Teardrops On My Guitar-POP (1): C, I, L, N = A1
Teardrops On My Guitar-RADIO (1): C, I, L, N = A1
tolerate it (9): G, I, L = A1
willow (9): C, G, L, N = A1

a= almost awesome
2 = bottom of category

Betty (8): C, D, I, G, L = A2a
Champagne Problems (9): C (bridge), D, G, L = A2a
Clean (5): C, G, L, P = A2
Delicate (6): C, D, G, L, P = A2
Me! (7): C, G, I, N = A2
Mine-pop (3): D, I, N = A2
So It Goes…(6): C, G, P, L, N = A2
This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (6): a2
Tim McGraw (1): C, D, G, I, N = A2
Welcome to New York (5): C, D, G, N, P = A2
Wildest Dreams (5): C, N, S = A2

The story and detailed writing really puts many of these this high on the list.

b= exactly good
1 = top of category

Afterglow (7): C, P = B1
Come Back…Be Here (4): C, N = B1
Daylight (7): C, G, L, N = b1
Everything has Changed (4); C, N = B1
Fifteen (2): C, D, I = B1
Forever & Always-piano (2): C, I, N = B1
Holy Ground (4): C, D, G, L = B1
I’m Only Me When I’m w/You (1): C, I(!) = b1
The Lucky One (4): C, D, N, = B1
P Mirrorball (8): C, G, L = B1
This is Me Trying (8): C, I, L(!) = B1
Treacherous (4): C, G(!), L =B1

b= exactly good
2 = bottom of category

Cardigan (8): C, D, G, L = B2
How You Get the Girl (5): C, D, G = B2
If this was a Movie (3): C, D, I, N = B2
The Last Great American Dynasty (8): C, D = B2
Never Grow Up (3): C, D, I, N = B2 (problematic sentiment)
Red-demo (4): C = B2
Stay Beautiful (1): C, I, N = B2
’tis the damn Season (9): C, D, L, B2
Treacherous-demo (4): C, G(!), L = B2
White Horse (2): D, I, N = B2
You are in Love (5): C, N = B2

All of these are so catchy!

c= almost OK
1 = top of category

22 (4): C = c1
All Too Well (4): D, I, L, N = C1 (almost a powwow beat)
Come in w/the Rain (2): C, I = C1
Sparks Fly (3); C, I = C1
Starlight (4); C, I = C1
Untouchable (2): C, I, N = C1

c= almost OK
2 = bottom of category

Begin Again (4): D, I, L = C2
Cold as You (1): I, N = C2
Hey Stephen (2): C, D = C2
The Last Time (4): C, I = C2 (weird collaboration)
State of Grace-acoustic (4): C, L = C2
Tied Together w/a Smile (1): C, D, I, N = C2

Indigo Girls: GOODs (not final)

4 Mar

ig good
a= almost awesome
b= exactly good
c= almost OK
1 = top of category
2 = bottom of category
i = top of almost awesome
ii = bottom of almost awesome

The groups were too big so I had to narrow them down to a, b, and c almost awesome, exactly good, and almost OK respectively.  Than those groups were too big so I did 1 as top of their category and 2 as the lower part.  And still, some of those groups were too large so I split those into top and bottom (i and ii). 

 

a= almost awesome
1 = top of category
Philosophy of Loss (CoNS): a1 ugh–this song.  It’s a secret song only.  And the song it’s attached to is on a different ranking list, so it’s always harder to rank…  I did it after I published this post.

a= almost awesome
1 = top of category
i = top of almost awesome
Beauty Queen Sister (BQS): a1i
Believe in Love (SDtBD): a1i
Blood & Fire (ST): a1i
Burn All the Letters (SotS): a1i
Center Stage (ST): a1i (ending)
Collecting You (BY): a1i
Fugative (SDtBD): a1i
I Don’t Wanna Know (1200); a1i
Kid Fears (LwtUoCSO): a1i
Land of Cannan-radio single (ST): a1i
Last Tears-acoustic (DOD): a1i
Love of Our Lives (LwtUoCSO): a1i
Midnight Train to Georgia (1200): a1i
O Holy Night (HHD): a1i (high difficulty notes)
Our Deliverance (BY); a1i
Rock and Roll Heaven’s Gate (DOD): a1i
Sugar Tongue (LwtUoCSO): a1i
Tether (SDtBD): a1i
You and Me of the 10,000 Wars (NIS): a1i
Yoke (LwtUoCSO); a1i

a= almost awesome
1 = top of category
ii = bottom of almost awesome
Airplane (RoP): a1ii
Angels We Have Heard On High (HHD): a1ii
Closer to Fine (SDtBD): a1ii
Cut it OUt (SotS): a1ii
Damo (LwtUoCSO): a1ii
Faye Tucker (CoNS): a1ii
Fugative (SO) = a1ii
Happy in the Sorrow Key (LwtUoCSO): a1ii
Lay My Head Down (DOD); a1ii
Little Perennials-live (DOD): a1ii
Secure Yourself (ST): a1ii
Three County Highway-live (DOD): a1ii
Tried to be True (ST); a1ii
World Falls (NIS): a1ii
You’ve Got to Show (BY): a1ii

a= almost awesome
2 = bottom of category
Able to Sing (LwtUoCSO): a2
Crazy Game (SF): a2
Free in You (AtWLI): A2
Damo (BQS): a2
Galileo (LwtUoCSO): a2 (good, but I like original better)
Gone Again (CoNS): a2
Leeds (SotS): a2
Let it be Me (RoP): a2
Love of Our Lives-acoustic (PatBB): a2 (stronger singing)
Making Promises (BQS); a2
Pendulum Swinger (DOD): a2
Romeo and Juliet (RoP); a2
Shed Your Skin (SofS): a2
Southland in the Springtime (NIS): a2
Starkville (BY); a2
Strange Fire (SF): a2
Sugar Tongue (PatBB): a2
Tether (AtWLI): a2
They Won’t Have Me (DOD): a2
This Train Revised (SO); a2
Three County Highway (SDtBD): a2
Three Hits (RoP): A2
Trouble (CoNS): a2
Watershed (SDtBD):a2 (5d, live singing = less)
Welcome Me (NIS): a2
What Are You Like (PatBB): A2

A lot of the songs in this section remind me of Seattle ZooTunes.  Whatever year I went it seemed like they played most of these.

b= exactly good
1 = top of category
Change My Heart (LL); b1
Down by the River (1200): b1
Elizabeth (OLD): B1 (DETAILED STORY)
Fleet of Hope-acoustic (PatBB); b1
The Girl w/the Weight of the World in Her Hands (NIS); B1
Jonas and Ezekiel (1200): b1
Jonas and Ezekiel (RoP): b1
K.C. Girl (LL): b1
Keeper of My Heart (NIS): b1
Love of Our Lives (SDtBD): b1
Mariner Moonlighting (BQS): b1
Muster (LL): b1
Ozilline (CoNS): b1
Ozilline (SDtBD): b1
Reunion (SO): b1
Run (DOD): b1
True Romantic (PatBB): b1
What Are You Like-acoustic (PatBB): B1
The Wood Song (SDtBD): b1
Woodsong (LwtUoCSO): b1
Your Holiday Song (HHD); b1

b= exactly good
2 = bottom of category
Come a Long Way (LwtUoCSO): b2 (ending!)
Dead Man’s Hill (SO): B2
Digging for Your Dream (PatBB) = b2
Fly Away (SDtBD): b2
Get Together (SF) = b2
Ghost of the Gang-acoustic (PatBB): b2
I’ll Change-acoustic (PatBB): b2
Nashville (RoP): b2
Peace Tonight (CoNS): b2
Perfect World (AtWLI): b2
Sorrow and Joy (LL); b2 (WTF is this song about?)
Southern California is Your Girlffriend (OLD): b2
True Romantic-acoustic (PatBB): b2
War Rugs (LwtUoCSO): b2
We are Together (CoNS): b2
Wild Horses (SDtBD); b2
The Wood Song (SO): b2

c= almost OK
1 = top of category
Come a Long Way (OLD): c1
Digging for Your Dream (SDtBD): C1
Dirt and Dead Ends (DOD): C1 (BLEAK)
Feel this WAy Again (LL): c1
I’ll Be Home for Christmas (HHD): c1
It Really is (A Wonderful Life) (HHD): c1
Love Will Come to You (RoP); c1
Salty South-acoustic (PatBB): c1
Something Real (AtWLI): c1
Spread the Pain Around (OLD): c1
Walk Away (SF): c1

I suspect these songs are ranked relatively low bc they’re a bummer.  They all have serious, heavy (very important) topics, but the bleakness just gets to me.  In all this ranking, I learned I prefer upbeat and fast songs.

c= almost OK
2 = bottom of category
Alberta (OLD): c2
Back Together Again (1200): c2
Country RAdio (LL): c2
Everybody’s Waiting for Someone to Come Home (SF): c2
Ghost (RoP); c2
Gone (BQS): c2
Love’s Recovery (1200): c2 (too much brass)
Thin Line (1200): c2

Ironically, Spotify and Lastfm will probably say I listened to this section most.  But only bc I’d either tune out, or it wasn’t clear where they should be ranked on the list…

Taylor Swift: Neutral/OK (not final)

3 Mar

TS OKs
1 = almost good
2 = exactly neutral
3 = nearly meh
A= TOP OF LIST
B = MIDDLE OF LIST

 

OK1 = almost good

OK-1A= TOP OF LIST
Back to December-acoustic (3): C, D, I, N, S = 1A
Call It What You Want (6); C, G, L, P = 1A
Change (2); C, I (@ END!), N = 1A
Cornelia Street (7); C, D, G, L, N = 1A
Gorgeous (6): C, D, L, N, P = 1A
King of My Heart (6): C, L, N, P = 1A (ENDING)
New Romantics (5): C, D, G, L, N, P = 1A

OK-1B= BOTTOM OF LIST
I Think He Knows (7): C, G, L, P = 1b
London Boy; C, D, L, P = 1b
Mary’s Song (oh my my) (1): C, D, I, N = 1B
This Love (5): C, G, L, N, P = 1b

OK2 = exactly neutral

OK-2A = TOP OF LIST
Breathe (2): C, L = 2A
Dorthea (9): C, D, G, L, N = 2A
I Wish You Would (5): C, G = 2A
The Way I Loved You (2): C, D, I, N = 2A
False God (7); C, G, L = 2A
Happiness (9): C, D, L = 2A
Long Live (3): C, D, I, N = 2A
Seven (8); C, D, G, L, N = 2a

OK-2B = BOTTOM OF LIST
August (8); C, G, L = 2B
Illicit Affairs (8); C, D, G, L = 2B
It’s Time to Go (9): C, D, G, L, N = 2B
Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince (7); C, D, G, L, N = 2b (end chant is too much)
Peace (8): C, D, G, L = 2b (hate pulsing; lyrics condescending(?))
A Place in the World (1): C, I, N = 2B

OK3 = nearly meh

OK-3A = TOP OF LIST
The Best Day (2): C, D, = 3A
Fearless (2); C, I, N = 3a
The Other Side of the Door (2); C, I, L, N = 3A
Innocent (3): C, I, N = 3A
Last Kiss (3): C, D, N = 3A

OK-3B = BOTTOM OF LIST

Superstar (2); D = 3B
Hoax (8): C, D, G = 3b (too sad)
I Almost Do (4); C = 3 (too needy/pathetic/un-feminist)
Jump Than Fall (2): C, I = 3B
Sad, Beautiful, Tragic (4): C = 3B
Tell Me Why (2): C, I, N = 3b

Indigo Girls: Neutral/OK Songs (not final)

2 Mar

These are the songs that aren’t meh or skip, but also aren’t great enough to make the goods. They’re A-OK. I split it into 3 parts: OA which are nearly good, OB = exactly neutral, and OC which are just above a meh. Then, I split the 3 groups into top of that list (1) and bottom of that list (2)–just to make it a bit more manageable. The songs within each group aren’t in order quite yet.

IG OK
OA
1

Bitterroot (BY): C =OA1
Compromise (CoNS): C, I, L, N, P = OA1
Ghost (LwtUoCSO): I, L, N = OA1
Ghost of the Gang (PatBB); C, L, P = OA1
In the Bleak Midwinter (HHD): I, N = OA1
Pendulum Swinger-live (DOD): C, L, P = OA1
Prince of Darkness (SDtBD): C, N, P, S = OA1
Rise Up (AtWLI): C = OA1
Three County Highway (DOD): L, S = OA1
Three Hits-live (RoP): C, I, L, P = OA1
Virginia Woolf (LwtUoCSO): C, I, L, N = OA1
War Rugs (BQS): C, I, L, P = OA1 (instruments!)
We Get to Feel it All (BQS); C, I, L, N = OA1
What are You Like (SDtBD); C, I, L = OA1

It was tough narrowing down each group, and it took many, many listens to get the Awesomes, goods, neutrals, mehs, and actually the skips were easy bc you know what you don’t like. And these just weren’t as good as the good-list. But it’s VERY close!

IG OK
OA
2

Caramia (SotS): C, I, L, N = OA2
Come On Home (LwtUoCSO): C, I, L, N = OA2
Crazy Game (SF): C, N = oa2
Don’t Give that Girl a Gun (SotS): C, L, N, P = OA2
Fleet of Hope (PatBB): C, L = OA2
Share the Moon (BQS): C, I, L = OA2
She’s Saving Me (BY); L, N, S = OA2

IG OK
OB
1

Digging for Your Dream-acoustic (PatBB): C, L, P = OB1
Dirt and Dead Ends (PatBB): L, N, P =ob1
Driver Education-acoustic (PatBB); C, L, P = OB1
Fly Away-acoustic (DOD): L, N =OB1

I pretty much like all these songs a lot, but picked better versions of each to rank higher.


I’ll Be Home for Christmass (HHD); N, S = OB1
Sister (CoNS): L = (too quiet) = OB1
Sugar Tongue-acoustic (PatBB): C, L = OB1
Virginia Woolf (1200); C, L, N = OB1

IG OK
OB
2

Center Stage-live (ST): C, L, P = OB2 (little off-key)
Come On Home (SDtBD): C, L = ob2
Cordova (SDtBD): C, L = OB2
Everything in it’s Own Time (SotS): C, I, L, P = OB2

These are good songs, and in any other catalogue would be ranked that way. But relative to the other good songs, they just don’t hold up as well.


Fishtails (OLD): L, N, P = OB2
Ghost-live (1200): L, N = OB2
Look Long (LL): C, L, N, P = OB2
Soon be to Nothing (CoNS); C, L =ob2
Virginia Woolf (RoP): C, L = OB2

IG OK
OC
1

All That We Let In (AtWLI): C, L = OC1
Fly Away (DOD): C, L, N, P = OC1
If I Don’t Leave Here Now (OLD): N = OC1


Language or the Kiss (1200): L, N = OC1
Power of Two (SO); L = OC1

The fans love these 2, but I find them overrated. I just find them OK, no matter how many times I listen.

IG OK
OC
2

Findly, Ohio 1968 (OLD); L, P = OC2
Language or the Kiss (SO); L = OC2
Closer to Fine (LwtUoCSO): C, I, L, P = OC2 (Emily sounds out of breath; slow)
Hey Kind Friend (SotS): I, L = OC2
Love Will Come to You-live (RoP): L = OC2
Mystery (SO): L, N = OC2
Texas was Clean (OLD): L = oc2

Taylor Swift MEHs (early draft)

1 Mar

This list is not final, and it’s not really in order either.  I made it after the 3rd listen of each song, so there’s been a lot of jostling since then.  But it’s a snapshot in time for the songs that weren’t quite a skip, but were below neutral/OK.

I think I published the skips list without indicating the key:

(numbers) are the album/era

(C)atchy, (D)etailed story, (G)aylor references, (I)nstrumentals, (L)yrical complexity, very high/low (N)otes, (P)roduction stands out in a good way, (S)entimental

Dancing w/Our Hands Tied (6): C, G, L, N, P (Ambiguity bothers me)

Maybe it’s not quite a meh after all, but I am mad at this song.  I want this song to directly say who the subject is, and what is happening.  I find it unfulfilling when the interpretations can be 180 degrees apart.

Tis the Damn Season (9): C, D, G
King of My Heart (6): C, G, N, P
The Outside (1): I, N (weak)

I’m ranking both Taylor Swift’s catalogue and the Indigo Girls simultaneously. And after so many listens to both I noticed something about a few of Taylor Swift’s songs (b/c she wrote them second). I have this theory that young Taylor listened to the Indigo Girls at some point, and a few of their themes might have inspired her:

Fugitive: Song by Indigo Girls (Amy Elizabeth Ray, specifically)

I’m harboring a fugitive, a defector of a kind / And she lives in my soul and drinks of my wine / And I’d give my last breath to keep us alive / Are they coming for us with cameras or guns? / We don’t know which but we gotta run / And you say, “This is not what I bargained for” So hide yourself / For me / All for me / We swore to ourselves we’d go to the end of the world / But I got caught up in the whirl and the twirl of it all / A day in the sun dancing alone / Baby, I’m so sorry / Now it’s coming to you the lessons I’ve learned / Won’t do you any good you’ve got to get burned / Well the curse and the blessing they’re one in the same / Baby, it’s all such a treacherous gain / Hide yourself from me / I said hide yourself from me / All for meOoh! / Ooh! I stood without clothes danced in the sand / I was aching with freedom kissing the damned / I said remember this as how it should be / Oh baby, I said it’s all in our hands / Got to learn to respect what we don’t understand / We are fortunate ones, fortunate ones, I swear / Hide yourself for me / I will hide myself for you / All for you / All for you / I will myself for you / All for you / I stood without clothes I danced in the sand / I was aching with freedom kissing the damned / I said remember this as how it should be

This song brings to mind pretty much Taylor’s whole M.O. of writing about secret love and love that society won’t like. Specific songs I thought of are Out of the Woods, I Know Places and the next meh song on my list:

Treacherous (4): G, L

I like the anxiety and definite closeted vibes going on in the song.  I like the hints that something LGBT is happening here.  But I wish there was more of a hook or something so latch on to.  This one is usually over before I know it.


Right Where You Left Me (9): C, G, L, N (repetitive)
State of Grace (5): C, G, N (weak)
Call It What You Want (6): C, G, L, P (Ambiguity bothers me)
A Place in This World (1): I, N


The Other Side of the Door (2): I, L, N

I think this song has potential.  And I’d love to hear an updated twist on it, or see a newer song that evolves from this, but is better.


It’s Nice to Have a Friend (7); D, G, L (Ambiguity bothers me; weird production)

What. the. fuck is going on in the production of this song?  It’s Englishy, it’s like hunting brass, it is weird.  Just like this friendship-love going on and then there is hand holding.  Which I find non-platonic, but it’s pretty subtle so it just makes the song weird instead of gay…

–Personally Dislike:
Coney Island (9): G, L, N (terrible feat!)
End Game (6): C, G, L, P (terrible feat!)

God dammit!  Why does Taylor always work with these men who bring their own style rather than blending with hers?  It totally ruins songs!  It sounds baaad, and odd within even a very diverse catalogue such as Taylor’s.  Actually, there’s one exception–I do really like the “Lover” remix, but that douche is (internally?) homophobic, so I will not give that streaming clicks to support him in any way.

The Lakes (8): G, L, N, P

This song is pretentious with the analog distortion and it sounds old and kinda British in a ‘high school forcing you to slog through Chaucer’ kind of way.  It evokes poetry analysis nightmares, and I don’t like the forced association to Oat Milk.

–Boring:
The Archer (7): G, L
A Perfectly Good Heart (1): I, N

These aren’t quite skips, but I don’t really like them all that much.  Archer would be better if something more was going on.  Don’t kill the vibe, but do make it punchier.  It’s just zzzzzzzz.