The Music I Listened to in 2018 (#50-25)

In 2018, I listened to over 1,700 different musicians (and +10k unique songs.) At that scale, this list of my top 50 artists only represents about 3% of the total that I heard. So what the hell are numbers worth, anyway? As much as you can learn from recorded statistics and quantification, some of the most essential things in life will still slip through, uncaptured. When it comes to music listening, that means: a Blues Traveler radio sing-along in my wife’s car; the walk-up music just before a home run at Nationals Park; hours of spinning A Charlie Brown Christmas on vinyl. Spotify doesn’t know about or remember any of those moments, but I do. Likewise, some of the best concert performances I saw this year – Florence & The Machine, Snarky Puppy, and the Wu-Tang Clan – were by artists who aren’t on my ‘most listened’ list, but who …

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More Trips to the Record Store

Part 1. One of the first rules of writing is knowing your audience. I think this rule was established before the internet existed, because in 2018 when I publish a blog post, my audience is Google’s search algorithms. It’s dirty knowledge that I wish wasn’t true, and it keeps me from publishing posts more often. If someone like myself (someone without oodles of readers) wants what they’re writing to be found, we have to game the machine – this far in, I should have already mentioned: Wimbledon, Demi Lovato, Hailey Baldwin, and Mamma Mia 2, because that’s what people searched for last week. But I tuned out of Wimbledon after Federer lost, I haven’t even seen Mamma Mia 1, and who is Hailey Baldwin? I kind of know my audience, if my audience is the algorithms, but I don’t like my audience. Not liking your audience can make a person …

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Wolf Alice performing at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC

The Music I Listened To in 2017: (#24-1)

I listened to 544.66 hours of music on Spotify this year – about 13 full-time workweeks – and captured all the data with The ranking is ordered by how many times I listened to a song by the artist, with #1 claiming the most listens. My top 50-25 artists were published in the last post. So here, without further ado, are the rest of them. My #24-1 most listened artists of 2017: 24. Anderson .Paak .Paak may have crept into the top 50% of my artists this year on the strength of his NPR Tiny Desk concert alone. I probably watched it 30 times this year. His record ‘Malibu’ is great too. 23. Jon Hopkins Surreal soundscapes that thrive on simplicity. Hopkins can have an impact as strong as an artist who goes five times as loud because of the clarity of his compositions. 22. Eric Satie When I …

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