18 votes

Any interest in putting together a Tildes Best of 2020 music roundup?

The final results would look something like this.

Ours here wouldn't be tailored to obscure music like that though, just the best albums of the year with no other qualifications. There hasn't been one on reddit since 2017, you can find the 2011-2017 sets in the archive. The first one was just me putting up 15 albums. I believe the highest number we ever hit was 287 albums. It's heartening when the artists show up to thank you for shining a light on their little corner of the music world, too. A good list is good press for Tildes, it'll make the rounds.

Frankly, the people who were instrumental in those roundups are here on Tildes now, so hitting past 300 isn't outside the realm of possibility, not that we need to get that extreme (it's just fun). There are several new type two listeners here too, so potentially we've already got more music lovers and more help here than we've had doing the previous set. General input from tens of thousands of people like you see on reddit isn't as important to this process as the hardcore music lovers, we'd get like 3 solid recs out of 1000 comments, and small/forgotten /r/letstalkmusic always kicked everyone else's ass when it came to album picks.

These things can be rather a lot of work, which is why they are hard to do. It's not the playlists that eat up the time, though - it's collecting all of the albums and getting enough ears on them to give them the stamp of approval for the final list. The way to make that easier is to get started on it early and spread the work out over several months. That way come November you're looking for late releases and overlooked gems rather than panicking and trying to do it all in a single week. Been there, that's the worst.

The way we'd do it before, we'd run roundup threads on reddit periodically (in several different subs) then sift the comments for album recommendations, listen to them to see if they passed muster. That's hardly necessary on Tildes, especially with the long-lived threads here that bump with activity and never truly lock. We also used a google docs spreadsheet so we could tally everyone's votes up, but that was a major pain in the ass I'd like to skip. Tildes' own votes should be more than enough, and exemplary tags can highlight the must-listen set that goes at the top.

I think the best way to do it is put up a collection thread that everyone who is interested can then bookmark or ignore, and then drop albums in the comments between now and mid-November. No, not in this thread, I'll post a thread for it during the first week of October. We just let that roll and keep dumping new albums into it, listening, and leaving comments there. Come late November I can whip that into a set of playlists in a weekend, that's the easy part.

I enjoy doing this because it's been my experience that most music publications would rather argue about what numerical order the same 50 albums should be in than round up all of the best and let the listeners decide for themselves. They also have an incentive to pimp bands that are industry darlings or that they are being paid to boost in the recommendations. We don't.

So, are you folks interested in getting the ball rolling on this in October? Leave a comment if you are interested in contributing (even if it's just a single album) so we can get a sense of how many people are down for this before we get started. If there isn't enough interest we can try again next year. I'd also like to invite the folks who have done this before to share their experiences, you know who you are. ;)

11 comments

  1. [2]
    cfabbro
    Link
    I'd definitely be down to contribute, listen to the suggestions, and help out... but TBH, I think this pre-post feels a bit unnecessary and probably won't be a good way to judge the potential...

    I'd definitely be down to contribute, listen to the suggestions, and help out... but TBH, I think this pre-post feels a bit unnecessary and probably won't be a good way to judge the potential participation. I say just throw up the suggestion collection topic regardless of the response here, and see how that goes.

    6 votes
    1. Amarok
      Link Parent
      I just wanted to sort out the methodology and gauge interest before we get started. Someone out there might have some clever ideas to improve things, and that's always worth looking into.

      I just wanted to sort out the methodology and gauge interest before we get started. Someone out there might have some clever ideas to improve things, and that's always worth looking into.

      8 votes
  2. [2]
    bilbodwyer
    Link
    I'd definitely be keen! I've been doing my utmost to listen to more new music this year, and I have a fair few albums I'd want to put forward for sure :)

    I'd definitely be keen! I've been doing my utmost to listen to more new music this year, and I have a fair few albums I'd want to put forward for sure :)

    4 votes
    1. Amarok
      Link Parent
      Groovy. I've maybe ten albums so far and a list of another 20 or so I haven't fully absorbed yet that might make the cut, but I've barely begun digging into the crop of 2020 yet. So far mine are...

      Groovy. I've maybe ten albums so far and a list of another 20 or so I haven't fully absorbed yet that might make the cut, but I've barely begun digging into the crop of 2020 yet. So far mine are just from the new releases of a couple thousand artists that I follow on Spotify (and that's mainly the alumni of the previous l2t bestofs).

      It'll be so refreshing to do this here with a voting system that actually works and gives honest numbers in the vote count. I'm so glad not to have to deal with obscurity anymore too, we had to cut a lot of albums in the past due to that requirement and it's one less silly thing to worry about this time.

      5 votes
  3. [2]
    Bauke
    Link
    I'm down! One thing I am concerned about though is the 30 day limit on voting, if it runs longer than 30 days then any suggestions that are older than that won't be able to get more votes.

    I'm down! One thing I am concerned about though is the 30 day limit on voting, if it runs longer than 30 days then any suggestions that are older than that won't be able to get more votes.

    4 votes
    1. kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Maybe we could run two different cycles: October for list gathering where people submit items, and then everything goes up in a voting thread for November (or the same cycles but pushed into...

      Maybe we could run two different cycles: October for list gathering where people submit items, and then everything goes up in a voting thread for November (or the same cycles but pushed into November/December)?

      I like the idea of having the "vote' entries all going up at once rather than over time so early entries aren't advantaged, but that would also lock out any end-of-year releases from consideration.

      4 votes
  4. kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    I love this idea! Count me in. My additions will be relatively limited as I've only been genuinely focusing on music for a month or so, and my tastes trend very heavily towards pop which tends to...

    I love this idea! Count me in.

    My additions will be relatively limited as I've only been genuinely focusing on music for a month or so, and my tastes trend very heavily towards pop which tends to value good singles over good albums, but I love community events and am happy to contribute in whatever way I can.

    4 votes
  5. krg
    Link
    I'm down... Hmm... guess I gotta listen more. Edit: Nevermind. There's quite a bit from 2020 that I've listened to. Jesus, this has been a long year...

    I'm down... but, off the top of my head, there's like only 1 album that dropped in 2020 that I've listened to. Hmm... guess I gotta listen more.

    Edit: Nevermind. There's quite a bit from 2020 that I've listened to. Jesus, this has been a long year...

    4 votes
  6. [3]
    kfwyre
    Link
    Any updates on this, Amarok? October is fast approaching!

    Any updates on this, Amarok? October is fast approaching!

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      Amarok
      Link Parent
      I was planning to put up the collection thread on October 1st (Thursday) and then let it run until December 1st. Then we do another thread that day to take stock, and for collecting the late...

      I was planning to put up the collection thread on October 1st (Thursday) and then let it run until December 1st. Then we do another thread that day to take stock, and for collecting the late December releases and other bestof lists. The final collection goes up with playlists and nice formatting on Jan 1st.

      6 votes
      1. kfwyre
        Link Parent
        Sounds great! I'm looking forward to this.

        Sounds great! I'm looking forward to this.

        1 vote