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Practice one new art skill for 10 hours

Practice ten new art skills for 1 hour each

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Starting in 1959, Billboard has published its Hot 100, declaring the top 100 most popular songs of that respective year. As of February 17th, 2024 I have listened to them all. Yes, really. Why? Well, back in February of 2020 I decided that I might need something to occupy a lot of time... for no particular reason. So, I looked up the list for a random year (2002), listened to Avril Lavigne's Skater Boi, and the rest of the songs from that year. And then I picked another year (1988) and then another one (2012). Whenever I had some spare time, this is generally what I did, alongside other things - reading, playing games, etc. Eventually the pandemic did end, and while I wasn't done... I was too far in to quit. I hate leaving my super projects incomplete.


So I kept on going and going and going. And as of yesterday, I finished listened to "Mary Jane's Last Dance" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the last of like... over 6,000 songs. I don't know the exact amount of songs. A lot of songs rechart (which was a big problem with years like 1997 and 2022 specifically), and many songs (especially during the 90's) charted with a b-side, like Elton John's Candle in the Wind 1997/Something About the Way You Look Tonight, which I always ranked separately unless it was specifically a medley.


The process was simple, I'd pick a random year, skipping around intentionally so I couldn't get too sick of any era's oversaturated genre (70's disco, 90's soft-rock, 50's doo wop, 00's ringtone rap, etc). Then I'd listen to all of the songs that I know, which depending on the year could have been between 5 songs and 30 (or 0 in some cases). And I'd rank each song between 1 and 10. And then, I'd listen to the rest of them, figuring out where to place them essentially in between the songs I already knew (it's easy for songs to run together or not know exactly where to place them in a marathon setting).


4-5-6 Rankings: I'm not going to remember this in five minutes, let alone tomorrow.

7 Ranking: I like it, but I'm not going to seek it out again.

8 Ranking: Yeah, I'd willingly seek this one out again.

9 Ranking: This is something that I might want to download immediately (not that I did that.)


3 Ranking: This song I legitimately did not like. It's a "turn off the radio" if I hear it again.

2 Ranking: If a song makes me say "ouch" it goes here, basically.


To get a 1/10, there are a few things you can do. Number one, you can sound like absolute dog shit, like Jason Derulo's "Wiggle" or Kelis' "Milkshake. Number two, you can be absolutely disgusting - either ethically like with Jason Aldean's "Try that in a Small Town" & Lil Wayne's "Bitches Love Me", or disgusting in the traditional way, like Timbaland's "Carry Out" or Justin Bieber's "Yummy." Or, you could be exceptionally stupid, like The Floaters "Float On" or Randy Newman's "Short People" (yes, he had a hit). Or, you can be exceptionally lazy. Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful" is my favorite example of that, but a more famous example is James Blunt's "You're Beautiful."


To get a 10/10, the "simplest" way is to sound really really good. Like with Edgar Wright's "Frankenstein"; Earth, Wind, and Fire's "Serpentine Fire"; or The Mission Impossible theme. Yes, it charted. And yes, it does sound better than you remember (even if you like it). You could also be a towering deep and literary masterpiece like Coldplay's "Viva la Vida"; My Chemical Romance's "Welcome to the Black Parade"; or Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2). And of course, a lot of songs got 10/10 because they made me have the feels. Matchbox 20's "Unwell"; Rod Wave's "Tombstone"; Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." Yes, I am in the process of making a top 100 and bottom, for like a video. (In my spare time). If for no other reason than... to prove I did this.


You might also notice that... if I didn't have eclectic tastes beforehand... I uh... certainly do now. There were a ton of styles and genres that you couldn't imagine getting on the radio today - pure funk; disco, metal, grunge. And I'd be lying if I didn't say I had my own biases. Much of music is about taste, after all. And lemme tell you, at this point I cannot stand doo wop, soft rock, or R&B. And, of course, there are a lot of genres that I gravitate towards, liking synth, funk (which I discovered), folk, even punk. And of course, I will fully admit to being biased against some artists. For some, it's based on the sound of their music, like with Nicki Minaj or Cardi B. And for others, it's because of the artists themselves. R. Kelly very rarely scored very high on my list, I wanna say.


I do also want to say that I think I liked more music than I didn't. I mean, most stuff is going to be between 3-7/10 no matter what the era is, but the score I gave the most was 7/10. You know, "it's alright. I don't mind this." Which is... better than I was expecting with the year I started with. 2002 was not a good year for music. It wasn't as bad as say... 2005, 1974/1975, or 1959, or... 2022. But it wasn't a standout like 2012, 1985, 1966, or 1979. 1985 is my favorite year in music by the way. So many classics, A-ha's "Take on Me" Bryan Adams' "Summer of '69"; John Parr's "St. Elmo's Fire"; Katrina & The Waves "Walking on Sunshine" which is a song I often forget is as good as it is. I'm glad Bowling for Soup invented the year.


And I'm sure there's one question that immediately comes to mind. Is music worse now then it was before? I mean, music goes through ups and downs all of the time. It was really bad in the late 50's, and early 60's when only a select few like Elvis and the Beach Boys were making real music. Then the Beatles came along and changed what mainstream music was. Decade later, we're in the discotek. And when disco died, there wasn't anything to replace it for awhile. But eventually the 80's started in earnest. Of course, even that overstayed its welcome. Nirvana changed the game (again), and no one else knew what to do so things were bad for awhile.


But I know what you mean. Is music worse now then it is like... "when I was growing up" or was it nostalgia. Yes. Yes, it was. Like, I can say it objectively as I possibly can. I'm talking specifically from like 2008-2013. That was an amazing time for music. Not all of the music was great. For every Party Rock Anthem we had to deal with a Sexy and I Know It. But the bad music was at least interesting. Interestingly bad songs aren't... too common these days (they still exist, but we're not getting them every other week).


But more to the point, music was fun in that era. We even had fun. The band fun. "Some Nights" is one of the few times in my life that I was floored by a song on the radio, in a "the radio actually plays songs like this." In a way that I'd imagine people hearing "Don't Stop Believin'" or "Bohemian Rhapsody" might've thought back in the day. Lady Gaga and Katy Perry were in their prime. Songs like "Born This Way" or "Teenage Dream" will probably be remembered deep into the future. Musicians were towering forces of personality.


While we still have superstars like The Weeknd, Billie Eilish, or Taylor Swift, they're not as common. And Taylor Swift was from that era and just managed to outlast time. And there are still songs made today that I think will last forever, "Blinding Lights" or "Heat Waves" are the ones we're complaining now are overplayed. Also, the charts are swamped with old music; like... just straight up taking old music. Bebe Rexha's "I'm Good" is the infamous example, but there's been a ton of sampling of older stuff. Older stuff straight up charting and such, especially Christmas music. Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas" has been on like... 3 lists so far. Also, country is the mainstream genre today. Personally, I love country music. You'll see more than a few on my best list. But generally when country is "winning", music is in not the greatest place. Last time it had significant airplay was in the early 2000's, because it was so gosh darn patriotic.


So... what happened? Some might argue that... life got more depressing, so our music reflected that. While that might be true to some extent, 2008-2013 weren't... the best years for "the world." It was the Great Recession, everyone was pretty broke. People were listening to songs about the club without being able to afford going to the club.


Honestly, I think a big part of the reason is that Lorde told us to stop having fun. "Royals" was a major song that was basically a deconstruction of all of that opulent idealistic stuff, because ... fantasy shouldn't be fantastic. We shouldn't have any escape from reality. (I like "Royals", I just don't like its influence in hindsight). There was also "Blurred Lines", which not only fucked up music copyright, but was really gross, and made everyone want to do anything that was as far away from that as possible. I can't prove anything, obviously. But those are the two big songs I remember changing the course of things.


Either way, it kills me going back in time and watching videos about music from the era. Hearing people complain about "club shit", and wanting "anything else." I'll take a thousand more Party Rock Anthems before even 1 more Jvke's "Golden Hour." Also, a side effect to all of this is that I'm never gonna be able to take another "worst song" list seriously... ever again. Way too many of you all neglected to put Young Nudy's "Peaches & Eggplants" on your 2023 list.


But seriously, in most cases, the "most hated songs of all time" just... aren't that bad. I look at lists and stuff, and what do we have. Starship's "We Built This City." Have you heard Nicki Minaj's Starships? The Beach Boy's "Kokomo"? Their cover of "Rock & Roll music" is far worse, and if you want stupid, try Henry Nilsson's "Coconut." I see Meatloaf's "I Will Do Anything for Love" on a lot of worst lists, and uh... if you hate that song, you are not going to like my best list, lol. I think it's a masterpiece.


Best lists I'm more forgiving on, in that front. Because I do get that music is all taste and stuff. Because, believe me, I am going to put a ton of stupid shit on the best list. Look, if you don't believe that the theme from Mission Impossible is one of the best songs to ever grace the world, you can spend 4 years listening to every song ever, lol.


For the worst list, I am consulting with my friends and such, to make sure the worst stuff really is that super worst. And I don't just go with gut opinion. I am doing my best to like normalize for genre and tastes on that.


Another big question is... who are my favorite artists throughout all of this? There are some of the obvious ones - Beatles, Queen, Bon Jovi, Guns & Roses, Michael Jackson, Elton John has probably the best track record out of any artist, with only a single 1/10 ("Island Girl"). I got a new appreciation for Billy Joel, Adele, and Journey. Discovered that I really like Tina Turner's music. My favorite discoveries though, artists I had never experienced before, we The Goo Goo Dolls; Melissa Etheridge; Earth, Wind, and Fire; and Suzanne Vega. Those are the artists that I am definitely going to be exploring more of now, I think.


-------------------


So... the alternate, who are my least favorite artists ever. Well... this is about to get touchy, lol. Well, let's start with a choice that won't be controversial.


R. Kelly is one of the worst artists in history. He has "I Believe I Can Fly" and a collab with Lady Gaga. Normally, I'm one for separating the art from the artist - you know, I can enjoy Smooth Criminal, no matter what the truth is with the Michael Jackson allegations are. With R. Kelly though... he kind of is... the same guy on record as off the record. He's got a bit of a Chris Brown problem.


Lemme see here, one of his hits is "Bump 'n Grind." Lyrics: "My mind's tellin' me no, but my body, my body's tellin' me yes" More lyrics: "I don't see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind (with a little bump and grind)." Yes, Mr. Kelly. That is the problem. That is why you were arrested.


And it's every one of his songs that is like this. He has a song entitled "Down Low (No One Has to Know)" which uh... it's going to be hell picking which one of these songs goes on the worst list. Oh wait, he has another song "You Remind Me of Something." Lyrics: "You remind me of something/I just can't think of what it is/You remind me of my jeep." He's the kind of guy who is so bad as an artist that you have to wonder how he ever was famous even before the allegations.


Throughout all of this, I had to deal with all kinds of artists who were accused of this or that, or even convicted in some cases. But none of them had this problem to this extent.


Of course, if you want it more... based on just the music, some of my least favorite artists are Justin Timberlake (his music is worse than you remember), Connie Francis (someone from the 60's), Paul Anka (also from the 60's), Unk (2000's), Darryl Worely (worst country guy), Ray Stevens, Sonny Bono, Chris Brown (obviously), Lil Wayne, The Four Seasons, Nicki Minaj, Bad Bunny, and my least favorite artist as an artist is Drake.


Drake is the artist that I respect the least. And it's... ironic, I guess since he has the most hits. More than anyone else. More than the Beatles. More than Guns' Roses. More than Michael Jackson. He's on more than 60 songs from like 2010 and onward. He has some of the best hit making potential ever. And he uses it to make droning monotone 4/10 shit almost every single time. He can make good music - "Take Care" is an amazing song - but that's the problem. Because every other time he's just sleepwalking through a song. Him being so popular in the later 2010's is one of the major reasons that the later 2010's was one of the worst times in music. Like... listening to every popular song/artist in modern history, his popularity baffles me.


Even with everyone else, even if I hate them, I know their appeal. I can't stand like any Nicki Minaj song, but I understand her appeal. She has a ton of personality. Where Drake... uh... not so much. And don't worry. Only 1 song per artist is going to be on each list. I'm not counting features in that, so he might appear more than once; but only one of his songs goes on the list.


---------------------------------------


Before I go, I'll leave you with the weirdest song of the entire lot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUg8B1VA0Bs This is a song by a nun, Sister Janet Mead. It is the Lord's Prayer. As in... literally just the prayer. Set to a pop rock beat. 86 on the 1974 list. I kind of like it, lol, just because it's so weird. I'm never going to forget it, at any rate.


So, I am uh... fully willing to answer any question, lol. I obviously haven't heard every song in history. But if you've ever heard it on the radio... I probably have too.

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YAY!!! FEBRUARY 19TH IS MY 20-YEAR

DEVIANTART ANNIVERSARY!!! 😻 😻 😻

Da Start Date

OMG!!! I cannot believe this it is my DeviantArt 20th Anniversary. Wow! February 19th, 2004 is the day I joined DeviantArt 20 years ago. And from the screenshot above that I got from Archive.org, it looks like I joined at 1:23 PM. A lot has changed since then. I don't remember how I came by DA though. At the time, DA was only 3 years old, not 4 yet, because DA's birthday is August 7, 2000. Anyway, a lot has changed since then. Over the years, I began my Clubs and, later on, most of them were converted into Groups.


Clubs/Groups I Started

bsbclub ~ November 7th, 2004

musicals ~ November 8th, 2004

KoolSailorScoutsClub ~ October 10th, 2006

White-Kitties ~ October 10th, 2006

All-Out-Avatar ~ October 18th, 2006

Zutara-fans ~ October 18th, 2006

Ichigo-x-Ryou-Club ~ March 23, 2007

Hiccup-x-Astrid-Cami ~ February 28th, 2014

Parodies-Filks-Songs ~ July 12th, 2014 (Under Construction)

Usagi-x-Mamoru ~ July 12th, 2014 (Under Construction)


Clubs That I Let Go

ff8club ~ 2004 (Dead)

LadyIzayoi ~ 2005 (Dead)


Clubs/Groups I Took Over And Didn't Start Up

CodeGeass ~ November 10th, 2006

nekolisting ~ July 11th, 2004 (Under Construction)


Admin Invite To Group

Badges-of-DeviantART ~ April 2nd, 2010 (Invited to become a Group Admin in March 2020)


Future Group I Might Start Up

The Dragon Prince or Rayllum


That sums up the Clubs/Groups. Initially, Clubs were seperate DA accounts and then you had the option to convert them to a Group platform back in 2010. I converted three of them right away because I think, at the time, I didn't have a subscription and the Group limit was 3. The Group limit was 10 if you had a subscription. 2 or 3 years later, I reached out to DA staff if I could convert my remaining clubs, since I did have a subscription at that time, and they allowed it and convert them for me. I have no idea if DA staff would still do this today and I doubt they would. At the time, it wasn't that long after the initial Group conversions so I think that is why they allowed it. And I'm also grateful that they allowed it in the first place.


I have a lot of fond memories on DA. I was only ever able to buy a membership once or twice with real money. I would usually rely on point donations or winning points from contests. Once I accumilated enough points, I usually used them to renew my DA membership. But there were sometimes when I couldn't afford it and moonbeam13 sometimes graciously awarded me a free membership.


Over the years, I have enjoyed participating in various contests and projects. So here are a few milestones I have achieved. I have participated in every single #HolidayCardProject since 2004. I sincerly hope that that project comes back in the future. I also participated in Fella's Christmas Tree Project 2005 and that inspired me to host the Christmas Tree Project 2020 and Christmas Tree Project 2023. In March 2020, CoolKaius invited me to become an Admin of the Badges-of-DeviantART Group. I continue to enjoy keeping everyone informed about new badges that DA release. I was awarded the Angel Withouth Wings Award in February 2021. Then I was awarded Senior Status in April 2021. I finally got my first Daily Deviation on February 5th, 2023 for my poem/filk Our Love. Then to top it off, I was awarded the pretigious Deviousness Award in July 2023. Wow! I am so honoured and humbled to receive all of those awards and honours. Next, I entered a few contests during the Day of the Deviant event back on November 17th, 2021 and I won few prizes that equaled $750. Wow! I never expected that to happen. Then two years later, that day would also coincedentally be the same day that my dad would pass away on, November 17th, 2023. Sadly, he had Alzheimer's Disease and suffered from it from either late 2020 or early 2021. Anyway, that just sums just about everything up. I am proud of what I have complished and the gifts that DA has blessed me with. The only bad thing that I have to say is the Eclipse rollever. I was never a fan of it and I still don't like Eclipse a little bit but I have gotten use to it. In the old layout, I pimped out my profile with CSS and I had so much fun doing it. At least the widgets that DA have implemented have made up for it mostly. Despite everything, I still love being here and I plan on staying for the long haul. I also think that it is cute that DA sent me an e-mail yesterday to remind me of my 20-year anniversary. Here is a screenshot that I took of it:

E-mail
D87nojz-1c262cfb-3139-4a8e-99df-bc1ae3ddc3e2

I would also like to host a contest and give out prizes. There will be two winners. To enter, simply reply to this post and I will put your name into a raffle. And by name, I mean your username. You do not have to tell me your real name. You can win one of these prizes:

Your choice of either:

~ 420 points

~ A hand-drawn maze

~ A song or poem

~ A digital wallpaper

~ An animated or non-animated profile picture


Those prizes are about all I can offer in terms of my art skills. I used to award a journal skin but sadly with the Eclipse rollever, you can no longer use journal skins and CSS so I can no longer offer to do those. And the deadline to enter will be March 19th, 2024, which is a month after my 20-year anniversary. Feel free to share this contest and tag anyone who you might think would be interested in participating.


Thank you for supporting me and to some of you who I consider my close friends. Take care!

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