Out of Obscurity

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Score the List 1: Power Pop w/ Optimus Grimes

November 7, 2021

This is a new mini-feature we’re trying out for the first time, though it was intended to accompany the very first episode of OoO.   The idea is to give a very personal review in conversation about a “best of” or “essential” albums list in a particular style for a list from a semi-authoritative source online.


We begin w/ this list of “Essential Power Pop Albums”:  https://www.treblezine.com/10-essential-power-pop-albums/  (If you want to play along, don’t look at the list until after the episode.)


The list is discussed album-by-album, with each cohost giving his or her personal hot take and receiving a numerical score in relation to it.  The scoring is rather complicated, but I hope it’ll eventually be second-nature and easy enough for listeners to tally their own scores.  It also admittedly favors people w/ large collections of physical or digital media rather than those who just stream music (as it should, I say!)


SCORING FOR EACH ALBUM:  Never heard of band & album (-5 pts); Heard of Band but not album (-4); Heard of both but not heard & don't own (0); Heard It (+2); Own It (+10); Own It But Haven't Heard It (+3); Used to Own (and Listened) But Don't Now (+5). Own a different/additional album by the same band +1 each.  Saw live +2 each time, saw frontman live +1 each time.  10pt. bonus if you would have put an album on your own list in the category.  5pt. bonus if you're sure a band that is on the list would be on your list but a different album.


Obviously the goal is to have a positive rather than negative total score by the end, and there can be some competition between the cohosts to establish credibility or even expertise.  Listeners are strongly encouraged to post their own scores in the comments, and congratulations are owed to anyone who can best the cohosts.  You’ll just have to listen to know our scores (no spoilers in the description!) and whether we can keep our heads above water.  I expect some negative scores in the future.


If you’ve read this far, we will say that OG approved of the list more strongly than DJ Poseur, finding 80% in the 20th century to be an unfair bias.  A list of DJ Poseur’s favorite power pop albums would definitely have included Starlight Mints’ debut & a Self album (an actual list is probably not forthcoming, barring popular demand).  Optimus Grimes’ score should get the 5pt. bonus for calling one entry “THE quintessential power pop band.”  I failed to include it b/c this was the first time doing this mini-feature.


Welcome any feedback on whether this is more or less interesting to listen to than our usual mini-feature, The Obscurity Quiz, and if you know a good list (preferably of 10 albums) to use in a future edition.