Well, the first thing to say is, to all you once and future guest gurus, that you can have your own special Guest Guru T shirt from Shane, and he’ll do them any colour and size you want (so long as they’re on his list) so as to make you feel super special! Which of course you are anyway, and especially me, because mine is the first one ever.
I’ll just say a little bit about the process I used as guru for Songs For Your Teenage Self. When Adam emailed me with the topic I was a bit worried, because I thought it was going to be huge, and I wondered whether I’d be able to cope. Well, it was huge, but not quite in the way I’d expected, and I found it quite easy to cope with the number of songs recommended.
From the very first I knew I was going to have to set some criteria, and the first one was to give good justis…which many of you responded splendidly to, and not because I’d said so, I’m sure! That’s part of what made it such a brilliant week – the other part being the music itself of course.
I started listening to the recommendations straight away, and pretty soon I realised I was going to have to make lists so as not to leave anything out. (I also found, to my surprise, that the Spotify list and the box were no use, because the songs in there were in a different order and I would keep finding myself listening to things I’d already heard.) So I had a list called A, a list called Maybe, and a list called No; and I listened straight through the blog in chronological order. Not everyone posted links – especially not during the TFF of course – but I found that didn’t matter because nearly everything was on YouTube. There was one track I couldn’t find at all and I had to send to Japan for it, but other than that they were all online. I would set the song going and then pull up the lyrics so that I could make quite sure the song was on topic.
Now, I’m aware there’s been some concern about me not listening to every track all the way through, and I’m sorry about that, but really and truly if I could tell that the song wasn’t on topic after I’d read through the lyrics, I would stop listening and move on. On the Friday evening I noticed there were songs coming through that were about giving advice and I decided that wasn’t really what was wanted (and in any case, we’ve already had songs about advice); and neither were songs that were about looking back to one’s own teenage years, so I posted a comment about that. DarceysDad, that’s why your Outfit didn’t get considered, even though I love it to bits as you knew I would!
Finally a word about personal taste. There have been criticisms of gurus in the past (especially JonD) that they only choose songs they already like, the corollary of this being that “Xxxx will never get listed because Xxxx doesn’t like them.” I have said that myself, though possibly not in public. I hope you are surprised by my A list – it certainly surprised me. I had never heard of dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip, nor of Patrick Stump; and though I did know about Withered Hand I never supposed I would find myself loving his music. You just never know till you really listen.
(I hope you also noticed that I picked the Byrds’ version of My Back Pages over Dylan. If anyone had really wanted to float my boat, though, they’d have recommended the version from Dylan’s 30th Anniversary Concert, as you’ll understand when they get to the second verse. EC alert, by the way.)
So there you go. Thanks for a great week, and I’ve put in for another turn because I enjoyed it so much.