Some general thoughts on music:

For me, music is a positive thing. It's not about suffering.

“Listen, my father’s rich and my mama’s good lookin’, right, and I can play the blues. I’ve never suffered, and don’t intend to suffer.” — Miles Davis

There is so much fantastic music out there, that it would take a lifetime to discover even a fraction of it. I suggest that people who waste time complaining about music they don't like are actually not very interested in music in the first place. You know, those people who bitch and moan incessantly that <insert artist> has sold out, or that <insert label> hasn't put out a decent record since <insert release>, or worst of all, that <insert style> is dead.

Artists don't owe their fans anything. If they want to change styles, that is their choice. You don't have to buy their record.

I buy the records I like, and I listen to them. There is some music which I dislike, but it has no impact on my life, because I don't buy it or listen to it. If a song I dislike is on the radio, I change the station. Problem solved. If no artists are making music I like, then I'll see that as an opportunity to make something which fills the void.



Some music I like:

Here is a list of some artists I like. It's not comprehensive, and almost certainly not ordered properly, but at least you can get an idea of the kind of music I dig.

Below I have listed some of the music styles I like the most, along with a few examples of composers and musicians I like. It isn't that I only know the obvious and most famous examples—it's just that having heard a lot of the rest, I still prefer the classics. But perhaps some of you veteran crate-diggers will change my mind by sharing all your secret weapons with me ;-)

Classical
I like most classical to some extent, including music from the baroque, classical, romantic, and modern eras—with my taste generally leaning toward the romantic. Some of my favourite composers are Richard Wagner, Antonín Dvořák, Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff, Sir Edward Elgar, Edvard Grieg, Gustav Holst, Gustav Mahler, Anton Bruckner, Carl Orff, Piotr Illitch Tchaïkovsky, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, George Gershwin, Giuseppe Verdi, Jacques Offenbach, Modest Mussorgsky, Béla Bartók, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Igor Stravinsky.

Jazz
As with classical, I like most jazz to some extent, including Dixieland, blues, swing, gypsy jazz, bebop, modal jazz, bossa nova, and fusion. Two of my favourite labels are Blue Note and Verve Records, and staples of my daily listening are artists like Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Art Blakey, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Stan Getz, João Gilberto, Astrud Gilberto, and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Recently, I've also started exploring some earlier jazz, and some current favourites are Ruth Etting, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Glen Gray & The Casa Loma Orchestra, Anita O'Day, Gene Krupa, Tommy Dorsey, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Django Reinhardt, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sarah Vaughan.



Funk/Soul/Disco
I like a lot of the classic stuff: James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, Chaka Khan, Quincy Jones, Chic, Giorgio Moroder, Musique, etc. Still discovering a lot of great stuff every day

Electronic
I like a lot of techno and house, but also some ambient, experimental, hip hop, electro, industrial, breaks, etc. I'm not going to bother listing the five million artists that pretty much everyone on Discogs already knows :P

Rock
Rock, hard rock, psychadelic, black metal, prog rock, avantgarde. Probably the least interesting genre these days. If you like some obscure, kvlt, ltd, hipster crap you bought on ebay for ten times what it is worth, then good for you. For me, I prefer Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. I suppose Rush deserve a mention too ;-)

Folk
European folk, country, bluegrass, 'world music', etc. My taste is somewhat Eurocentric, but I like other stuff too, and I'm always open to suggestions. Not a big follower of artists in this genre, and it's hard to say which version of Greensleeves I like the best ;-) To give a couple of examples though, I like some music by Willie Nelson and Fairport Convention.

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My rating scale:

1. Poor
Possibly worth owning for the cover art, but probably not much else. Or perhaps I missed some redeeming feature while I was being bored to death by it. Pointless, blatant rip-offs may also receive this rating.

2. Fair
Somewhat boring, uninspired, or derivative. Maybe an okay release in its style, but not to my taste.

3. Good
Pretty decent release, but does not kick in the door. I use this rating for plenty of records I like.

4. Great
Great release for its style. Something I really like.

5. Amazing
A classic of the style, or just really, really good. I try to use this as conservatively as possible.

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NOTE TO MARKETPLACE USERS:

Sellers:
Grade your records properly!
NM means that the record looks and sounds mint, i.e., it may have been played before, but you can't actually tell.
VG+ means that the record sounds basically perfect, although you can probably tell someone owned it before.
If the record crackles more than a little in the quiet parts, it is NOT VG+.

Buyers:
Give sellers the feedback they deserve: if they're good, make sure you give positive feedback.
If the records were not in the condition described, then contact the seller and tell them so.
If the seller won't compensate you adequately, then give them negative feedback!
Actually listen to the records before you give feedback. Often a record looks VG+ but has more noise than a Brighter Death Now album.
It's up to you to keep sellers accountable.
When you let sellers get away with dubious grading practices, you devalue the grading system and the marketplace for yourself and everyone else.

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