Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Rockaliser 30 Begins

We at Rockaliser haven’t written much lately, but prepare for an onslaught of new material starting tomorrow. Welcome, old and new readers, curious bystanders, and hopelessly lost googlers, to a month-long celebration of awesome music we are calling the Rockaliser 30.

Over the course of July, my colleague Aaron Mendelson and I will be nominating an album each day that we believe ranks among the best music ever made. The process for getting an album into the 30 was simple: we each drew up a list of albums we felt deserved further scrutiny or recognition, and then narrowed our lists down to fifteen entrants each. Between the two of us, that adds up to thirty albums total. Simple math, simple methodology.

The original pitch for this was something along the lines of “mini 33 1/3 books about albums that despite being really good are not very well known, are perceived as too niche-y or eccentric, are not an artist’s most beloved, or have a miniscule cult audience.” This is emphatically not a list of “most underrated” albums, or anything to that effect. These are albums that have been eclipsed, forgotten, misheard, or otherwise not given their propers. Music listeners in 2012 have short attention spans, and these records seem like they’ve slipped through the cracks in our conversations.

Yes, this is another music list, although it’s not in any particular order, and it’s not comprehensive, diverse, or an “edgy” alternative to a Rolling Stone list or anything else. Again, this is purely about what offers aural pleasure in its most concentrated form. Over the course of these next four weeks, expect to see entries that run the gamut from 70’s jazz fusion to twee grunge to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal to the most unlikely of Neil Young LPs (or one of the most unlikely). No matter how these albums are rated in the public mind, in our estimation they deserve to occupy spots next to revered classics London CallingExile On Main St.154Illmatic etc. The Rockaliser 30 is about recognizing the forgotten albums that are as good as those masterpieces. Call it “Left of the Canon,” to bastardize something the young Paul Westerberg said.


Happily, that's not even the end of the July festivities. Stay tuned at the end of the month, when we’ll share some major news about upcoming projects from your Rockaliser scribes. Although those who pay attention to our Twitter account may already have an inkling of what I’m talking about…anyway check back for that.

And start checking, which is this exact same blog at a slightly different and much more memorable URL.

Elsewhere on the web you can find us on This Is My Jam, where you can see what songs we are currently obsessing over, and Formspring, where you can ask us questions, about the Rockaliser 30 or anything beyond—we shall try to answer even the most rambling of queries, and that’s another Rockaliser guarantee.

One more bit of news: we got a big spike in traffic (in Rockaliser terms) when my esteemed colleague’s piece on Eric Clapton’s history of racist invective was linked to in passing by the gossip site Gawker, in Mobutu Sese Seko’s article “Kid Rock Is Soul-Fucking America.” We are of course honored to be included even tangentially in Gawker’s brave ongoing battle against “hipster racism,” whatever that means. That aside, check out the Clapton piece--it holds up.