This year I bought LOTS of albums. I don’t know if it’s the most albums I’ve purchased in one year since writing these blog posts or even since keeping track of Scrobbles. I do know that while I listened to my music randomly, in general, I did also listen to entire albums whenever I purchased one. Sometimes I’d listen to the album a few times and other times I’d take the album purchase as an opportunity to review the artist’s previous work. I know that was the case with Five Iron Frenzy (although that was also concert prep as I mentioned a few days ago), Relient K, I Fight Dragons, and Fall Out Boy. It was a very fun year for me, musically. Kacey Musgraves, for example, was a reminder that country music doesn’t have to suck. Disclosure made me realize that I could still like loop-heavy electronic music. I hope that I can continue to explore new sounds in 2014.
1. Five Iron Frenzy (645 listens) – As mentioned both up top and a couple days ago, many of these listens were preparatory for the November Concert. However, they remain one of my favorite bands and I anticipate a lot more listens to my favorite FIF songs in 2014. I like nearly every track of of Engine of a Million Plots, but I really like “Someone Else’s Problem”:
2. The Beach Boys (406 listens) – Listening to the Good Vibrations compilation brought me back to my childhood. As I’ve mentioned before, when we were kids we only listened to the oldies station. (Kinda the only station we were allowed to listen to) Listening to Pet Sounds allowed me to experience the brilliance behind the band I’d only known for pretty cheesy (but fun!) surfer singles. It’s a shame everything fell apart when it did – but you could say the same about a lot of bands.
3. Chance the Rapper (394 listens) – I’ve spoken a lot about how much I thoroughly enjoyed Acid Rap. It is almost single-handedly the album that made me believe in the creativity of rap music again. I know you could say this about almost any genre of music, but the rap stuff that gets played on the radio had become so cliche and so trite that I had all but given up on it. Chance shows what can transpire when you don’t have The Machine dictating what you produce and don’t slavishly imitate it.
4. I Fight Dragons (335 listens) – A lot of my I Fight Dragons listens revolved around excitement with the Kickstarter. Doubtless the number of listens would have been higher had the album come out on time. Still, I am extremely excited and impatiently waiting for it to arrive next summer. I played the heck out of Kaboom! so I think I’m probably going to take a break from that album for a bit.
5. Relient K (314 listens) – Again, a lot of listens to the new album. Tellingly, I didn’t play it at all from October to December. Not a bad album, but it just didn’t stick with me like the others did. Perhaps time will change this. We’ll see.
6. Anberlin (267 listens) – Another group where most of the listens are from the new album. It reminds me of how much I enjoyed the others (I can’t believe I bought the first album when I was a sophomore in college – nearly a decade ago!) I’m going to have to be sure to add some Anberlin to my 2014 music rotation.
7. Frank Ocean (253 listens) – I still enjoy Chanel Orange, but I’m also ready for something new. As is always the case with the artistic medium, I’m afraid the sequel won’t be as good. Like movie studios and book publishers, sometimes they can seek refuge in the comfort of the known. I’d like him to be able to continue to expand his voice as well as maintain the witty humor of this album.
8. Fall Out Boy (240 listens) – It’s funny, every quarter when I write one of these, I think about (and often write) how much I enjoy Fall Out Boy and resolve to listen to them more. I rarely deliver, but I blame that on my large collection. I have so much to listen to and not enough hours in the day in which to listen to it. (Especially considering there are certain albums, FOB not included, that I am forbidden to listen to in front of Danielle) Thus my love of Amarok’s dynamic playlists to keep me from the paralysis of choice. Whenever I have to choose who to listen to on Google Music I never think of bands like Fall Out Boy. Luckily Google has their auto-mixes to help me out there.
9. Anamanaguchi (225 listens) – As I mentioned a couple days ago, LOVE LOVE LOVE the new album. Hope there’s new stuff or another free live album this year.
10. Garfunkel and Oates (195 listens) – I’m done with these two for a while. Like any other comedic entertainment – you have to take a break so the jokes don’t get stale. I love me some comedy, but there’s a good reason Weird Al isn’t on this list. I even went on my Amazon wish list and removed any other of their songs. I recommend it to others, but I think I’m done for a while.
11. Jonathan Coulton (169 listens) – Nearly all of these came from excitement over the Code Monkey Save World kickstarter. Can’t wait for the albums that come out from that Kickstarter. The comic’s pretty great, too.
12. Lana Del Rey (163 listens) – Really like her music, but Danielle really played out the albums in addition to my listens. Lana (LANA…..LANAAAAAAAAAAAA!) needs to come out with that next album soon.
13. MC Frontalot (155 listens) – Listened to a bunch of this early in the year. I’m surprised that it made the top 15, but considering the number of singles I listened to – I’m not too shocked.
14. Jim Guthrie (152 listens) – Went through a bunch of his albums early in the year. Like Fall Out Boy, this is an artist I need to spend more time with.
15. Alan Menken (143 listens) – As I mentioned a couple days ago this came out of nowhere to #15 thanks to Scarlett’s requests for The Little Mermaid and Aladdin sountrack songs.
Rather than comment on each of these – many of which have been featured before, I’d just like to comment on the surprises. As I did last year, I’ll be making a Top 15 of 2013 label to apply to these songs. Now I can make a Top 15 dynamic playlist so I can listen to the Top 15 songs of both years (and all subsequent years)
1. Jonathan Coulton – The Princess Who Saved Herself (87 listens): I absolutely love this song, but I had no idea I had listened to it nearly 100 times. That just goes to show how well written it is- it’s hard to tire of listening to it.
2. Frank Ocean – Pink Matter [Explicit] (38 listens)
3. 현아 – Bubble Pop! (35 listens) – Scarlett requested this song a lot, but I can’t believe it was able to cut into the top 15 in just a month. That’s pretty incredible.
3. Frank Ocean – Thinkin Bout You (35 listens)
5. Chance the Rapper – Juice (34 listens)
5. Chance the Rapper – Cocoa Butter Kisses (ft. Vic Mensa & Twista) (34 listens)
7. Chance the Rapper – Lost (ft. Noname Gypsy) (33 listens)
8. Frank Ocean – Bad Religion (32 listens)
8. Frank Ocean – Super Rich Kids [Explicit] (32 listens)
8. Frank Ocean – Pyramids [Explicit] (32 listens)
11. Chance the Rapper – Pusha Man (ft. Nate Fox & Lili K.) (31 listens)
12. Frank Ocean – Sweet Life [Explicit] (30 listens)
12. Chance the Rapper – Smoke Again (Ft. Ab-Soul) (30 listens)
12. Chance the Rapper – Everybody’s Something (ft. Saba & BJ The Chicago Kid) (30 listens)
12. Chance the Rapper – Interlude (That’s Love) (30 listens)
This year I got to two milestone numbers: 65k and 70k listens. As a strange coincidence, my 65 000th song was the same as the 60 000th song: Five Iron Frenzy’s “You Probably Shouldn’t Move Here”. How strange that would end up being the case considering all the random music I listen to. Speaking of random music, AlunaGeorge’s cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin’ Bout You” ended up being my 70 000th listen. It’s a pretty different atmospheric take than the original, which is the kind of cover I like to hear.AlunaGeorge – Thinking Bout You
Top Overall Artists
1. Fantastic Plastic Machine (3,480 listens) – No movement
2. Five Iron Frenzy (2,170 listens) – Up from #4
3. Anberlin (2,082 listens) – Dropped from #2
4. The Beatles (1,876 listens) – Dropped from #3
5. Relient K (1,703 listens) – Up from #6
6. “Weird Al” Yankovic (1,548 listens) – Dropped from #5
7. Gnarls Barkley (1,085 listens) – Almost positive I haven’t listened to them once in the last year and probably for two years, but they remain on the top 15
8. Fall Out Boy (945 listens) – Up from #14 – biggest jump
9. Andrea Echeverri (881 listens) – Dropped from #8. Pretty sure I haven’t listened since 2010.
10. Gwen Stefani (857 listens) – Dropped from #9
11. Tom Lehrer (834 listens) – Dropped from #9
12. DC Talk (815 listens) – Dropped from #11. Don’t really listen to them much anymore, but if last.fm had existed back in the day, they’d probably still be in #1 or #2.
13. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (790 listens) – Dropped from #12. Another band I haven’t listened to in years. (Well, not 100% true – this summer I played a couple tracks for my mom to tell her about some groups that are popular despite having a grating sound)
14. Lostprophets (754 listens) – Dropped from #13. It’s a shame the singer was a paedophile. I try to separate personal lives from the entertainment that people make us. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to participate in a large part of pop culture. But I’m not sure I’ll be able to listen to this music without thinking of the atrocities. We’ll see.
15. Pizzicato Five (616 listens) – No movement. I like them, but like Fantastic Plastic Machine, I can’t listen to too much at once.
Top Overall Songs
Again, it’s crazy that I listened to “The Princess Who Saved Herself ” enough for it to break into the top 15 while none of the other songs in my top 15 made it here. The rest of these are songs that I mostly haven’t heard in years. I think it reflects how much my library has grown since I started Scrobbling.
1. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood (115 listens)
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Over and Over Again (Lost and Found) (113 listens)
3. Fantastic Plastic Machine – Take Me To The Disco [Malibu Mix] (104 listens)
4. Gnarls Barkley – Who Cares (98 listens)
5. Fantastic Plastic Machine – Steppin’ Out (97 listens)
6. Jonathan Coulton – The Princess Who Saved Herself (87 listens)
7. Gnarls Barkley – The Last Time (85 listens)
8. Andrea Echeverri – Quédate (84 listens)
9. Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere (83 listens)
10. Gnarls Barkley – Just A Thought (82 listens)
11. Fantastic Plastic Machine – Love Is Psychedelic (81 listens)
11. Gnarls Barkley – Crazy (81 listens)
11. Gnarls Barkley – Smiley Faces (81 listens)
14. Andrea Echeverri – Amortiguador (79 listens)
15. Andrea Echeverri – Menos Mal (78 listens)
Scrobbles at End of 2013: 71 080
Total Scrobbles in 2013: 10 831. This is the first year I was able to calculate how many scrobbles I listened to in that year, so I’ll be interested in comparing this number next time around.