is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
Not since shortly after college have I felt particularly comfortable with broadcasting my taste in music. To be sure, I have deep-seated biases towards certain artists and musical genres and probably no shortage of opinion on what ‘good music’ is, so it’s not as if I would be at a loss for words.
But by and large I’ve come to learn that music can be such a misleading indicator of who a person is. Forming an idea of someone’s character based on his or her musical preferences is a bit like meeting a person in a nightclub; what’s communicated over the din of loudly played music and under the cover of strategically dimmed lighting is often not an entirely accurate portrait of who that person is in the light of day.
The Media Is the Message
For instance, there are people whom I consider to have essentially atrocious music libraries, and many of them are unquestionably smarter, more successful and more cultured than me. And then there are those whose eclectic, impeccably curated music libraries I might covet; many of those people are bores or bastards. They usually dress better than me, too.
All the same, in response to suggestions by readers in response to my post about Last.fm, I’m going to go out on a limb and reveal some of my recent favorites — going back into last year, to give a slightly broader sense of my listening habits — to see what we can make of this idea that people are better recommendation engines than machines. And I’m going to do so without commentary — I’ll leave that up to readers!
- “Baby 81” by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
- “Teenager” by The Thrills
- “Can’t Go Back” by Papercuts
- “We Are the Pipettes” by The Pipettes
- “News and Tributes” by The Futureheads
- “Tromatic Reflexxions” by Von Südenfed
- “West” by Lucinda Williams
- “Jarvis” by Jarvis Cocker
- “Into the Plateau” by Delorean
- “The Con” by Tegan & Sara
Okay, readership, let’s see what you have to say. Let me know what I could be rockin’ to.+