Picking the A List

Is that really a rabbit ? ? ?

So, the deadline for the nominations has finished and now I will tell you about how it was for me to pick the list.  Of course I will not be revealing any results or talking about any on the nominations.

When I volunteered I knew that if I made a playlist it would have to be one that represented my taste and interpretation of the topic but also it had to be a representation of RRers contributions also.  So I would have to listen to a lot of tracks ! ! !

When Adam asked me to be the first volunteer,  I realised was that time would be really difficult because of my work and travel schedule, but I had an advantage with the different time zones and the new deadline of Monday.  If I could use this well I thought I could complete the task in time.

The MFF is actually at six o’cock in Friday morning in Japan and that day I did not have to go to work until 10 so I had four hours of  the MFF to check out the first nominations and this time would be very important to use effectively.

It was quite scary to see how quickly the nominations were being made even for a tight topic like rabbits ! ! !

During the MFF I started to listen to the tracks I did not know and then add the ones I liked to a list of possible tracks.   On Saturday morning   I traveled home from Hiroshima where I had been working, and I went through my list which by that time was about forty songs.  I reduced that list to about twenty five  before I arrived home on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday afternoon through to Sunday morning was a marathon where I listened to as many of the tracks as I could that had been nominated that I had not listened to and others I wanted to listen to again.  And of course new tracks were being nominated all the time ! ! !

I got up early on Sunday and listend to the tracks which I had started to think I would use in the list.

By Sunday night  I had a list of about 25 songs that I really liked and was starting to go a little  crazy ! ! !

Nominations closed at 8 in the evening on Monday Japanese time, I needed to be ready with my list before i went to bed Monday as I had  commitments for my stupid job on Tuesday.

So after a late night on Sunday and dreaming of rabbits, I  got up very early on Monday and started the hardest part which was cutting down the list to ten and making a playlist that worked for me and i that maybe people would like to listen to.

I started making playlists and one by one rejecting songs.  It was really so hard as i had to reject songs that that i really liked and every decision was really hard.

Also I had to keep checking on RR to see if any new tracks had been nominated and and to listen to them and then if I liked them I added them into the mixture also.

Of course i did not spend every single moment working on the list.  I would have gone totally crazy and I would not have been able to concentrate and think about it and it would not have been fun.  I went for walks on Sunday and Monday  to clear my head and relax, and I called my dad who was really supportive and gave me some good advice.  But I would not have been able to have other  big time commitments on Saturday evening, Sunday or Monday.

BUT – the dead line from Adam is actually 3 pm on Wednesday, so if you do not have the commitments that made it impossible  for me to anything after Monday, you could spend the time over a longer period,  and it would not be so intensive.  It is not so bad really ! ! !

So, finally I had a list I was happy with and then I needed to write the words for Adam about the playlist and why I liked the tracks.  This was really hard as you only have 500 words which is really not very much so it was hard to try and keep things short.  (especially as I am used to rabbit on) But I finished it in time and sent it to Adam.

Well, it is finished now.  I really hope people like the list, but of course I know not everyone will like it.

It was hard to do it, but it was really fun and I felt that I was contributing to the game and our community in a way I could not have done before so I was proud and nervous at the same time.

I know of course that I could have done better and I am still thinking things like maybe I should have put that track in or left this one out.  But this list is done now and can not be changed.  I know I am going to be tougher  than any of you with my own self criticism ! ! !

I am sure that other people will do a much better job than me in the future and I will do my best to support future volunteers.  I hope that by sharing how I did it I help people even if it is by saying to themselves that they will approach the task differently ! ! !

So support RR – volunteer and be a pioneer  ! ! !

43 thoughts on “Picking the A List

    • Hi SR ! ! !

      Actually I do only had one that I thought I would really like to nomiinate, but of course with the whole Kawaii thing in Japan there are hundreds of tracks by girl idol groups about fluffy bunnies. I would probably have nominated them just to annoy Mr P ! ! !

      The Old Hipster is a pretty cool dad actually ! ! ! He has not been around much lately as my sister is at home for the summer holidays just now.

  1. Phew!! Bravo, Hoshino. So much lapine intensity. I can see you in 20 years time absent-mindedly listening ot the radio and suddenly pricking up your ears, twitching your nose and saying ‘Hold on, that’s a song about rabbits!’

    • Thank you ! ! ! Actually there are lots of tracks I really liked. I did think I would never want to hear a rabbit song again, but it is not true actually.

  2. Brilliant work! It is interesting to read how you made the list, it is a big commitment, thank you for doing it. I look forward to seeing your list.

    • Hi Beth ! ! !

      I think if you have all the time until Wednesday afternoon it is not so bad. I was just stressed a little about time as today I had work commitments and could not really do anything. Also I think it would be more efficient to wait until the nominations close or maybe at least until Sunday, as I had to repeatedly change my ideas as a new track was nominated and this made my way very inefficient.

  3. That’s really interesting, Sakura, thanks…now, why was it I wanted to be a guru myself? Oh yes, to get one of Shane’s T shirts…

  4. Well done Sakura ( whatever the list is like).
    In a way you were the ideal choice for first Guru as you have wide tastes and are less likely than a lot of us to have prejudices against certain bands and genres.

    Sound like you’ve put a lot of work into it ( I knew you would).
    And let’s not forget, people, that Sakura writes in a foreign language too !
    A big round of applause for the effort is due, I think.

  5. Thanks for the insight into your task Sakura and for taking time to do that as well as pick the list and do the write up. Looking forward to Thursday, do we know what time it will be out or will it continue to be a movable feast?

  6. Just to add my own thanks for your dedication and hard work – hope I do as well when my own turn eventually comes! Trepidation has now set in…..

    I would not have thought that there were so many songs abouot rabbits, and am looking forward to seeing your list!

    • Hi Suzi ! ! !

      Do not worry I do not think it is so bad. My problem was I had to finish so soon after the nominations finished because of work stuff. With the full time it will not be so manic ! ! !

  7. Well done, Sakura chan. I had a smaller and less time-critical go at this when I did my piece for the Graun on the demise of the in-paper list. That taught me a grest deal about how much commitment would be required for the resident guru, and I admire you for grasping the nettle and going first here.

    I do intend, once I’ve got my feet back under the RR table and solved my tech issues at home, to put my name forward to Adam for a week, but I fully intend to make it a week when I know I’m not otherwise working. Making sure that happens will be challenge enough, I fear.

    Looking forward to Thursday again, and I haven’t been able to say that for a long time.


  8. Brilliant work Hoshino, hats off to you for being the first to enter the holy fire, where traditionally, as in the first bar-b-que, you get burned. I trust it was just a light singe, and I’m sure we will all support whatever your choices are. Your dedication and enthusiasm are an inspiration to us all !

  9. Well done Sakura, I’m looking forward to reading your column and seeing your selection. I’ve got myself down for a guest guru stint for the week where topic goes out on Thurs 6th Sept so I am really interested in hearing how others go about the task – after having read yours, I am a bit concerned that I won’t be able to do it with the same diligence and thoughtfulness that you have, but we will see!
    Where there any things that made it difficult? e.g. if no link was provided, did you seek the track out anyway or push to the back?

    • Hi Beltway Bandit ! ! !

      THe biggest problem for me was spotify. It is blocked in Japan and so if the track only had a spotify link I had to try and find it somewhere else. Nearly always I could find it but sometimes I had to download from a free MP3 site or something, but really only once or twice.

      It was definately easier if there was a link to an easy site like YouTube or something ! ! !

    • Well done Sakura. I’m really glad it’s you who has started the ball rolling as I think you have such a broad taste and are so enthusiastic about RR that you’ll inspire others.

      I hope you don’t mind me hijacking your blog to post this reply to BeltwayBandit..

      I’ve been in touch with Adam and he’s said that he’ll send the topic the day before it’s published. That’ll give me some time to think about what I might be looking for as regards the theme – if any. If I do have any ideas on the theme, I’ll post my ideas on the main blog asap. Shoehorns are always perfectly acceptable.

      As for how I compile the list he wrote: “it’s entirely your call how you go about it”.

      That was in reply to me saying that I might not be able to listen to all the noms the week I do it and because of that it might be centred around my taste. However, I did a dry run this week and I got through a lot more than I expected, so no worries on that score.

      I also said I’d appreciate a narrow topic and he said he’d try. Of course, I realise that what’s narrow for some is broad for RR land.

      I’ll also write up my RR work process (I had offered to do that already). I’ll post it on the results blog the day after you get your topic.

      I’ve actually planned four different ways to approach the write-up and I doubt it’ll be the standard 10 to 12 songs.

      Cheerio for now.

  10. Oh god, I emailed Adam last night throwing my hat into the guru ring – I’m regretting it now, hearing how much work (and agonising!) is involved! Well done, Sakura chan. I hope (and expect) that people will be much less critical of your final selections than you fear. And if you get ANY GRIEF, you know that we Spillers have your back and will come down on whomever is responsible like a ton of bricks!


    • Thank you Bish ! ! ! You are very kind ! ! !

      I am looking forward to your week already ! ! !

      It was only so intesive for me as I needed to finish everything before Monday night (Japan time) if you have until Wednesday 3 pm it should not be so difficult ! ! !

  11. Not just first in the queue for Guru, but in your second language, and loads to do at work, AND a thoughtful ‘Spill piece with excellent idiomatic use of the ‘R’ word ! We will all face different challenges but it’s helpful to know how you went about it, thanks Sakura !

    • Hi DP ! ! !

      Thank you for the kind words! ! ! !

      I hope that you find my experice useful. I am looking forward to you week ! ! !

  12. Hi Sakura. Total respect for your dedication to the task. Looking forward to your list and article. I don’t care who or what is in the list, I just think you will have done a brilliant job, with unimpeachable integrity.
    P.S. I’m looking forward to hearing the music.

  13. Interesting to read about how you went about it. Congratulations on being a pioneer. (The list and column are published now and it’s terrific!) Looking forward to taking a stab at it myself, though it appears a bit daunting!

    • Thank you Marco ! ! !

      I am happy you liked the list in the end ! ! !

      I think if you can use Tuesday also it would not be so bad. The problem for me was I had to finish on Monday because of my stupid job.

      Thank you Marco – I am sure you will enjoy it when you do it ! ! !

  14. Wow, Sakura. That’s a lot of dedication to RR! Thanks for sharing your methods: I bet subsequent compilers will find the information very useful. Great playlist too by the way 🙂

  15. Hi there

    This is a completely random question, but I have to ask it: How do I post here? I honestly don’t know how and have been trying to figure it out for weeks! The “manual” doesn’t explain how to do so and I’m baffled lol. All I can seem to do is comment on others posts.


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