And then - The Book. That’s our big project, currently in its very earliest stages. Right now we're just trying to envision what it’s gonna look like: How big it’ll be, what format (hardcover? softcover? something to display on your coffee table? to read on the toilet?), how many of the many thousands of aQ-reviews we can fit in, which ones to include and then how to organize ‘em all… The reviews that we select will then need to be edited (slightly), re-proofread, fact-checked, and annotated - yep, we’re planning on appending a sentence or two in italics or something to some (most?) of them, giving them more context, or putting them in a now-perspective, like, “What were we thinking? This album is terrible!” or “Why didn’t we mention the hidden bonus track?” or "Utterly don't remember this record at all but it's obvious I wrote the review, what's wrong with me?" Stuff like that. But better.
Under consideration also are other value-added features, like mini-essays on sub-genres and best-of-lists and bits from guest contributors and a cd compilation or download or 7”… Lots and lots to think about. Input & ideas encouraged, please let us know what you’d like it to be like.
But that’s getting way ahead of ourselves. Right now, still conceptualizing. To just get a grasp on the scope of the project & all the material we’re gonna be working with, we figure we need to start re-reading ALL the the reviews from the lists #1 through #502. That’ll take a while! To begin with, we’ve dug up the big three-ring binders that we used to have on the counter long ago in the shop, that were stuffed with print-outs of the first 250-or-so lists. That’s five large binders just for those lists alone - quite a stack:
So, we’re now carefully going through 'em and taking notes on releases/reviews that jump out as being essential, stuff that’s gotta be in the book (The Conet Project! Sensational! Sounds Of North American Frogs! Kathy McGinty! Feuhler! The Electric Lucifer! Shevalreq!), also getting ideas about possible ways to group reviews together if we go that route, how much revision is gonna be necessary, etc., etc.
It’s a weird moving-forward and yet at the same time diving-back-in feeling - been stirring up lots of nostalgia readin’ through these binders. Fun, though, and it's been reminding us to listen to a lot of things we hadn’t in a while, which is always good.
Also super good - we’re pleased to report that an ideal aQ-lovin’ indie rock luminary (and New York Times best-selling author) has already agreed to write the foreword, and we have also lined up a talented person to do the design! (Names withheld for now just to be secretive and in case somebody changes their mind.)
Also, not regarding the book, but also speaking of progress, congrats to our successors Stranded for getting their brand new website up recently and putting out their first few weekly email updates these past several Fridays. Not quite the old aQ-list, but they did include some fresh reviews in each update, some written by former aQ-staffers, so that’s a start!
And our pal Ken's long-in-the-works documentary about aQuarius is also progressing (he's probably happy we gave him an ending!), he's recently been posting some clips from it online, like this one...
Lastly, nothing to do with progress, but we thought we'd stick this tidbit in here as well: Kirk just alerted us that the new album that just came out by next-level rap group Clipping. includes samples from The Conet Project. (Hopefully they’ll have better luck with that than did Wilco.)
My two cents on The Book: the bigger, the better! I hope you include ALL the aQ 'recommended' releases, staff picks, etc that appeared on the old website (along with any new essays/updates/features you wish to share)... You guys put an insane amount of effort into those lists (which have shaped my music listening habits for YEARS, btw) - this book should preserve all that wonderful writing for posterity. Like everyone else reading this blog, I truly miss the weekly aQ lists - but I'm thrilled you guys continue to share your musical insights via W...DYLI? Keep up the great work!!! Can't wait for the day I see that 'pre-order' button on my screen... ps From the looks of those binders, there might need to be more than one book!ReplyDelete
Jay, thanks for your input & kind words! Pretty sure it'll be a big book, yeah!Delete
Any chance of getting an aQ shirt? Are any still floating around. Can't wait for the book and doc. Loved getting the emails. Glad I was able to stop in once while I was on my honeymoon.ReplyDelete
Hey Ryan, thanks for the nice note! Right now, no shirts left, sorry.. but if we arrange to have more made (or find some) we'll let you know!Delete
Would be great if your old website stayed up. It shouldn't redirect to Stranded's current site. I'm already suffering separation anxiety - The reviews/lists should never be taken down!ReplyDelete
Yeah, that's unfortunate; wasn't up to us. However, Stranded already are incorporating some of our old aQ reviews onto their site, and at at some point in the future might possibly put an archival version of the old aQ site back up.Delete
In the meantime, via the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine you can still find the most recent cached version of the old aQ site here:
Now, the search function won't work, nor the audio samples. But still it's something...
Thanks for the reply and that link! That is better than nothing I suppose. I mean, it is such a valuable resource to people like me, and imo Stranded are kinda taking advantage of the site's traffic. I'm sure they are a fine shop in their own right, but there will never be another aQ.Delete
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