Practical Criticism, No. 67: 2023 Algorithmically “Wrapped”

In episode 67 of Practical Criticism, Rebecca and Ajay surprise each other with songs and compositions drawn exclusively from their respective algorithmically-generated Spotify “Wrapped” playlists! Pieces include Erza Furman’s “Can I Sleep in Your Brain”; Linked Horizon’s “Guren No Yumiya” (from theAttack on Titan soundtrack); Lucy Dacus’s “Night Shift”; The Smashing Pumpkins’s “Mayonaise”; Monteverdi’s “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria”; Phish’s “Cavern” (from Atlantic City, 10/30/2010); CeeLo Green’s cover of “No One’s Gonna Love You” by Band of Horses; and Nirvana’s “All Apologies.” Along the way, the conversation turns to overcoming the All-Roads-Lead-to-Coldplay-Problem of automatic curation, the subtle and the transformative, time changes and genre conventions, unadorned pop and unromanticized classics, the dialectic of sincerity and absurdity, cute aggression and martial pop, fascist aesthetics, narcissistic injury and pathic projection, epics of the ordinary, the strange proliferation of 2-part pop songs, soft edged vs. soft with edges, unleashed elegance, what the machine wants you to listen to, coolness and anomie, the many modalities of anger, musical artifacts and ur-forms, ariosos vs. arias and the nascent opera of the early 17th century, brilliant failures, and, above all, writing soundtracks. Listen to what rises out to shine from the digital (and other) mucks of 2023.

You can download the episode by right-clicking here and selecting “save as.” Or, look us up on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Practical Criticism is produced by Elliot Yokum. If you like what you’ve heard, consider subscribing to Brooklyn Institute’s Patreon page, where you can enjoy access to all past and future episodes of the podcast.

Practical Criticism, No. 67: 2023 Algorithmically "Wrapped"
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