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Posted: June 28th, 2010, by Marceline Smith

So, I just had a bit of a minor rage incident and finally deleted all the contents of the Genre field for all my music in iTunes. It was someone marking a track’s genre as ‘Other’ that finally pushed me over the edge but it’s been a long time coming. It’s partly the endless rows of ‘Rock’, ‘Pop’ and, ugh, ‘Alternative’ that make my music collection look so much more boring than it actually is, and partly the thought that someone might think I myself chose some of the more cringeworthy genres – AlternRock anyone?

In some ways it’s an eye-opener, a peek into the life of people whose music collections are so tedious they put Mogwai and Tortoise in a genre of Unclassifiable, or people so rockist they think Saint Etienne are Classic Rock. For all that, there have been some great moments – Christmas Song by Mogwai marked as ‘Holiday Music’, The Pastels as ‘Twee’, a live Joanna Newsom track simply as ‘Awesome’ (I disagree but applaud the enthusiasm) and The Teardrop Explodes as ‘Pop-Psicodelico’ (um).

I’m thinking of doing as many have and re-using the Genre field for record labels unless anyone has any better suggestions? And please share any moronic/hilarious genres you’ve come across yourself.

Marceline Smith

Marceline is the fierce, terrifying force behind diskant.net, laughing with disdain as she fires sharpened blades of sarcasm in all directions. Based in Scotland, her lexicon consists of words such as 'jings', 'aboot' and 'aye': our trained voice analysts are yet to decipher some of the relentless stream of genius uttered on a twenty-four hour basis. Marceline's hobbies include working too much and going out in bad weather.


3 Responses to ‘Other’

  1. Jason

    thats funny. I hate to admit it (and probably shouldn’t) but I am currently “massaging” my Last FM charts because one of my highest ranking artists and many of my highest ranking tracks are STILL my accountancy revision tapes from four years ago. Damn, if only my iPhone was linked to the account, it would properly represent my tastes although at the moment it would just reflect the routine manner with which I currently listen to the same set of podcasts on my daily train journey to London (those and Mission Of Burma)

  2. Simon P

    Good on you for taking a stand against the tyranny of the genre. I don’t even have the genre column switched on in my iTunes, it’s not something that I find useful. But you’ve made me interested to see what’s there, so, let’s have a look.

    Some of the more interesting ones (I’m not going to bother mentioning all the hilarious mis-matched pre-set genres like Booty Bass or Christian/Gospel):
    Desconicido (seems to be Spanish for ‘unknown’)
    Freak Folk (this upsets me, and I’m 100% sure that I didn’t put that there)
    General New Age (whoever put that tag on a John Fahey mp3 should be shot in the knee)
    Hauntology (??)
    Horror Jazz (I think this might have been my idea)
    Melodic Death Doom
    Mental Illness
    Miscellaneous (whoever put that there has plumbed new depths of pathetic and wants hanging)
    Other (I have lots in this celebrated genre – in fact, flicking through them, I could make an awesome Best of Other compilation)
    Piss Up (I definitely didn’t put that there)
    Reserved (for what?)
    Sui Generis (yeugh)
    That and/or Other (the inclusion of the and/or elevates this into the realm of the brilliant)
    Unclassifiable (the range of artists within this regrettable category only goes to show how stultifyingly unimaginative some people are. How hard did they try to classify Movietone or Tim Hecker, for instance, before giving up? Not very, is the answer)
    Unknowable (this is even more astonishingly defeatist that Unclassifiable)
    Whiskey and Pisscore

    So, less ridiculous than I expected. I wouldn’t have been surprised to have seen an occasional post-nu-shag-2-bit-dark-wank or post-post-post-post-neo-post or sleazecock mingecore or tech-frump 48k bliss-bag or whatever. Maybe I’d already been through and deleted those ages ago, I don’t remember.

  3. Marceline Smith

    Simon, I have missed you. Thank you for that list. I’m really kicking myself for not doing a best of Other compilation myself now.

    Jason – why isn’t your iphone connected to your last.fm? mine is, and the reason why my stats are even more skewed since I don’t have a whole lot of choice on my iphone since it takes approx 5 months to sync.