My twelve months with RR

Hello everyone

If you don’t mind, this is a slightly self indulgent post, so feel free to stop reading at this point if you are not interested.

This week marks a year since I started playing Readers Recommend. Its been a lot of fun, and I wanted to share a few thoughts about it, including revisiting the six A listers that I have had since I began playing.

Several years ago I had stumbled across the RR blog, when I was google searching something about a song, I can’t really remember, but I didn’t really pay much attention. I got whatever I was searching for and moved on without giving it much more thought. In more recent times though, the Guardian had launched their Australian news website, which is largely the UK version with a little bit extra Australian content. So in June 2014, I was on the main page of the website looking at the news of the day, when I saw a link to Readers Recommend, songs about taxis, and decided to follow it and add some thoughts of my own.

The first song I ever nominated was Flagfall $1.80 by You Am I. Although that was, in my mind, an excellent on topic suggestion, the guru had another approach and it didn’t make the A list. But what did strike me was that I was immediately met with a sense of inclusiveness and friendliness from a number of RR regulars. In particular, people like DarceysDad, Beltway Bandit and Tincanman (and maybe others, I forget), took the time to welcome me. DsD even took the time to click on the link and listen to my song, and he provided me with my first ever dond, for a song that he didn’t even know before I suggested it!

I was really struck by this amount of kindness – music fans have a particular reputation for being quite snobbish, and intolerant of others musical tastes, but on RR, there seems to be a lot of mutual respect, and if you don’t like something, you tend to keep that to yourself rather than slag off others nominations…I really like this element of the community, all music tastes are welcome and not judged. And there has been so many examples of genuine care of support over my time here – to name but a few, the kind words directed to Peter Kimption, DsD and sonofwebcore following the loss of loved ones, really shows that this is so much more than just an internet forum.

My first A list would come two weeks after I started playing, for  the topic of murder. This was a popular topic, easily making it over 1000 posts, and I thought I had no chance, so I was quite surprised to read Marco’s column and find Paul Kelly’s God Told Me To on the list. It’s the song of a religious fanatic who kills in the name of god. Wonderful stuff.

My second A lister, would come not long after that on the topic of making things. I was supremely confident about this one, as I had read many of the other suggestions and didn’t think they were enough on topic. So I thought my suggestion – Seasick Steve’s Diddley Bo, was going to be a shoo-in. It turned out it was, but this was a very bad lesson to learn, as there is no such thing as a shoo-in in RR land, and there has not been a time since then when my confidence about the merits of my suggestion has equated to getting an A list.

Towards the end of July 2014, still a novice to the game, I decided to take a guru stint, and so I was at the helm for the Jones and Joneses topic. The topic suggestion was all mine, and it was quite interesting to watch some of the regulars reaction to it. Chinny thought it was an odd topic, Maki felt it gave him no opportunities to nominate flamenco music, Beltway was almost ready to nominate pop band Aqua…but nonetheless, there was some great song suggestions, and I produced a column that I was quite happy with.

Fast forward a month, towards the end of August, and A list number three came along, but one I am a little sheepish about. The topic was precious stones, and although some good songs had been mentioned, many of them just mentioned stones in passing. I thought there was a definite opportunity to get an A lister this week. I was searching for lyrics for a song I had nominated, and I came across Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris’s track I Dug Up a Diamond. I listened to it, and I liked what I heard, so I decided to nominate it. I am still a little sheepish about receiving this A lister, as it wasn’t a song that I knew previously, and it is questionable about whether that was truly in the spirit of the game. But I do like the song…so it was a genuine recommendation.

My fourth A lister came in September, and it was Paul Kelly again, this time for the topic of Justice, and From Little Things Big Things Grow. This week was also notable for another reason, as I also got my first B lister – Johnny Cash’s “Jacob Green”.  What an interesting pattern – to have four A listers before you got your first B lister.

And so, here I was in September, having only been playing for a three months, I had stats of four A listers, and one B lister. I know that has in the past been a week’s work for some of the champions of this game, but I still thought it was a reasonably respectable effort, especially considering that by the time I am able to get to the game each week (due to time differences), most of the really low hanging fruit has already been nominated.

But then the A list drought started, and I wouldn’t get another A lister until January. I did however, pick up some B listers along the way – five of them in fact, and so my record of having more A listers than B listers disappeared. One of the B listers I am particularly proud of was getting USA for Africa’s “We Are the World” B listed, for the topic of excess. I still think it was a great effort to get a charity song that was made to raise money to fight famine (which is probably the polar opposite of excess) onto the list. This probably remains the single best justification for a song suggestion that I have written so far…and one of my proudest moments when bluepeter’s B list post comments acknowledged me by name saying it was a great justification.

So onto that January A lister – Billy Bragg and Wilco’s Hot Rod Hotel for the topic of hotels. A great tale from the Woody Guthrie lyrics, which tells the story of a disgruntled hotel employee who quits after having to clean up after some particularly disrespectful hotel patrons.

And then, another run of five B listers in a row before I managed to pick up another A lister – and it was trusty Paul Kelly again, for Beautiful Promise. Bluepeter described this song so well in his write up when he stated it was “hauntingly simplistic”.  A much better description than the one that I had used in my nomination of it.

During twelve months of joining in, I have also migrated across to the Spill here, and have enjoyed participating in the earworms segment (although I have been a bit slack recently – both from reading and providing links), and then I even found the facebook page, and a further opportunity to interact with all these lovely music lovers from across the world. You never know when you will end up having a conversation about music, children, cricket or even Fosters beer!

So to all of you people, thank you for allowing me to join in with Readers Recommend, on the mothership and also the Spill and the Facebook page. Well not just joining in, but for making me feel so welcome. It really is an honour to be a part of this community. I have spent many a time in the office when I should be working, or at home when I should be sleeping, reading the posts, and trying to come up with that perfect A list suggestion. Or indeed worrying that although I have that perfect suggestion, I don’t have the words to articulately justify why it is the perfect one…

So if you have made it through this post by now, and are still interested, I have included a youtube playlist of my A list songs to date. May there be many more to come.

Deanofromoz – vital statistics (up to RR Building songs – June 4th 2015)

  • A Listed songs – Six (2014 = 4, 2015 so far = 2)
  • B listed songs – Eleven (2014 = 5, 2015 so far = 6)
  • Number of times a  multi lister (A and or B) = three times (justice, seduction, itinerants)
  • Times as guru – one (Jones and Joneses)

Cheers to Readers Recommend!

24 thoughts on “My twelve months with RR

  1. It is a good community, deano, I’m glad you’ve joined it and congratulations on all your A and B listers! I’ve obnly ever had one A lister but that was on my 50th birthday (aeons ago) and it was Roy Harper, a long-time favourite, so I’m hoping for another on my 60th in 4 years time …

  2. Blimey, that looks like a pretty impressive tally for 12 months, Deano – well done! I’ve been far less present on the Mothership in the last few years, but there was a time when I was proper addicted. I kind of miss it… And you’re right, community members there and here are, by and large, remarkably respectful of others’ tastes (and aware of the subjectivity of their own!).

  3. I’ve never done that well in getting my noms zedded. I think that when I was posting on RR before I had six A listers and a couple of B listings and I’ve had one A listing since I started posting again as CaroleB999.

    A pretty poor set of results, really, but I don’t think that my musical tastes are that popular in the overall scheme of things.

    • its not really about the results anyway Carole. I know some people come to learn new music, and there is an element of that for me, but I actually like the challenge of trying to think of songs in my collection that fit the topic. Its a bonus if someone else likes them

      • I occasionally used to take a perverse pleasure in thinking of tracks that I knew the guru of the day wouldn’t like, but would have to listen to. This went wrong when I nominated KC’s Starless and it ended up be a B lister (on the Darkness theme, I think).

        I will admit to being somewhat disappointed this week just gone, though. I thought that the A list was pretty bland. I means, Mumford and Sons? Still, it is up to each guru to pick what they think fits and Marco was entitled to pick whatever he wanted. I have zero urge whatsoever to ever be a guru on RR.

  4. Nice one Deano, think you’ve captured a lot of the spirit and the fun of RR there. (Although your cornering of the Paul Kelly market has been noticed – competitive RR players have now acquired his whole back catalogue, just in case.)

    Anyway, enjoy the next few weeks. It’s all going to turn much less friendly once the Ashes starts…

    • Brilliant, Barney, just brilliant!

      And don’t feel at all guilty/sheepish/self-indulgent, Dean, just keep up the good work.

      Cheers.

      • thanks DsD…I bet you didn’t even remember that you were my first dond…but as they say, you never forget your first!

    • Ashes? Oh yeah, I remember them, they are those things the Aussies won 5 nil last time they were contested when everyone was saying the Aussie team was rubbish.

      🙂

      And yes, I have noticed a few people taking more notice of Paul Kelly….my hoping my back catalogue knowledge is still a step above at the moment, despite those of you that are catching up!

  5. You have enriched us with your presence Deano, and I’m not just saying that to curry favour for next time you take the guru’ seat. It’s mostly for that, but not entirely.

    Nice to see some worthy Australians get their just appreciation, too.

    Your enjoyment of your first year shines through in your essay; may you find as much joy here next year as well.

    • ah Tinny, if only you hung around FIFA instead of RR, Sepp Blatter might have been able to keep his job. You forget that I have been here for twelve months now…I know that any compliment that comes from you has conditions attached…hahaha

      Thanks for your kind words, and glad you like my little summation above.

  6. That’s a great assesment of your first year on RR deano and I think that many of us that have stayed loyal to the blog have similar feelings about the comunity spirit and the respect shown among members.
    I joined a while back and don’t have a clue right now as to how many ‘A’ listers I’ve got but I have learnt more about all sorts of music and musicians in my time on RR time than any other in my lifetime. I’ve met and socialised with other bloggers on a couple of occasions and had a great time. And four stints as ‘guru’ has given me even more respect for the people who post on the blog and the knowledge and love they have for music.
    I’ve enjoyed your posts and justifications and hope you continue to bring your enthusiasm to RR for a few yeas yet.

    • thanks bluepeter…as you would have gathered from above you were responsible for a couple of those tracks getting A listed.

      I will be hanging around, you don’t have to worry about that.

  7. Hi deanfromoz, I’ve not been around RR much for ages (various boring reasons), but it’s great to witness your enthusiasm! I discovered Paul Kelly on RR, and ‘How To Make Gravy’ is one of the few songs I ever managed to get listed.

    • thanks Debby. I did notice that there were a couple of Paul Kelly’s in the Marconium before I arrived on the scene…now I know where one of them came from. He sure is a great talent, and with such a wide ranging back catalogue is kind of suited to this game.

  8. Oh, apologies everyone. My last comment, as I read it back, came across as really ungracious and more than a bit mean. That certainly wasn’t my intention when I wrote it.

  9. That’s rather lovely.

    I haven’t been around RR much for a while now (lots of other stuff happening) but it’s made me feel nostalgic for the times when I was a regular. The community is great and one of the nice things is that nobody particularly minds if you disappear for a while 🙂

    May I take this belated opportunity to say “welcome” to Deano.

  10. Top post Dean. Takes me back to my early minor league involvement. I have done a separate post, inspired by your account. A cautionary tale…

  11. I enjoyed your post too. It’s good to read of your enthusiasm for the game.

    As a bit of a jaded participant of late, it’s great hear and remember that enjoyment. It’s cool that you’ve had so many songs chosen. Sometimes it matters and it’s always nice to feel validated, but a bit like Carole, I realise that my taste in music is not shared universally and so I’ve had to content myself with enjoying nominating and make my own lists for my enjoyment.

    Glad to have you in the gang. 🙂

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