Wednesday, July 25, 2007

top 100 thingies

Having read Joe. My. God.'s post about the Time magazine top 100 albums list, I of course followed his link to the list, to be confused/bemused/disgusted/entertained. (I didn't put that link in this post, because I'd far rather direct random readers' attention to Joe. My. God. than to freaking Time magazine.)

Because it's Time's list, it's obviously suspect. There are albums on the list that really have to be there (Rubber Soul, Abbey Road, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Moondance, Kind of Blue, Joshua Tree, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road), and definitely artists who have to be there (Talking Heads, R.E.M., Neil Young), but as often as not they seem to be picking the obvious, rather than the best or even the most influential. I refuse, however, to fall into the trap of arguing with their list, because that would grant them the power to canonize that such lists aim for. Besides, I've never thought it made any sense whatsoever to argue about what should or shouldn't be in the canon. I once put together a list of 10 jazz records everybody should hear, put 12 on the list, and wrote about why you should hear them. But I did it mainly to tell someone something, and secondly for the sake of the exercise for myself. Sometimes it's fun to write about music (or indeed to dance about architecture).

It gives me an idea for a list of my own, a more comprehensive list than Time's:

Doc Nagel's Top 100 Things

I don't know if I'll be able to sustain this list, but I'll make it an occasional series (like the list of people not allowed in the house). Today, let's start with #100 and #99.

100. Binder clips. I just love 'em. Terribly useful gadgets, low tech, can hold together paper, chips bags, flour sacks. Can be used in place of clamps of various sorts in (if you'll pardon the pun) a pinch.

99. Jelly beans. I just love 'em. I especially like purple and red jelly Brachs jelly beans, but the oranges are good too. I've never been overly fond of Jelly Bellies, not least of all because of their connection to Ronald Reagan, but also because they're just not what I'm looking for in a jelly bean. Except the tangerines and the coconuts, which are sublime.

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