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    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    Catching up: Dec 2012

    It's been a fuck of a long time since I've updated. Well fuck that shit. I wasn't inspired. So I'm back to fire off my observations on my listening habits since... what was it, April 2011? So what've I been listening to, and what are my top picks for 2012? Let's find out...

    My current top 8 artists, as of 12/12/12:

    ...looks more or less exactly the same as I left it. That's why I haven't been updating. The plays are all way higher, but it's still the same artists, albeit in a slightly different order. Sun City Girls overtook Xiu Xiu for the #2 spot, which makes sense 'cause their discography is so massive that there's always something to reaquaint yourself with at any given time. Jefferson Airplane and Ennio Morricone both overtook Neil Young & The Beatles. Makes sense, I guess. Why not?
    So what about the rest of my top 35?

    Funkadelic is the newest contender, coming in at #10, previously not in the top 35 at all. Fact is, I tried to get to know funk in 2011, which pretty much consisted of listening to a lot of early Funkadelic. Ravi Shankar also shot way up the list, to #12, as I tried to grab hold of the entire Ravi Shankar Collection--I'm a sucker for thematic packages (I'm looking at you Criterion Collection). Sly & The Family Stone is a new entry, at #14, also owning to my funk fixation. Matt Berry is a new entry at #19, owing to the strength of his album Witchazel, which I listened to every day on my walk to work in the spring of 2011. It also suffered from some weird scrobbling problems, so may be over/underrepresented, but I tried to account for it (cut plays of some songs, left others). Everything else is just rearranging desk chairs on the Titanic.
    The Easy to read scorecard:

    1. Sublime Frequencies
    2. Sun City Girls (+1)
    3. Xiu Xiu (-1)
    4. The Byrds
    5. Jefferson Airplane (+2)
    6. Ennio Morricone (+2)
    7. Neil Young (-2)
    8. The Beatles (-2)
    9. Sonic Youth (+2)
    10. Funkadelic (New Entry)
    11. Melvins (-2)
    12. Ravi Shankar (+22)
    13. Papoose (-3)
    14. Sly & The Family Stone (New Entry)
    15. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (+6)
    16. Scrapbooker (+2*)
    17. Silkworm (-5)
    18. Dangereus (-1*)
    19. Matt Berry (New Entry)
    20. Wiz Khalifa (-7)
    21. Ghostface Killah (-5)
    22. Bob Marley & The Wailers (+5)
    23. Fugazi (+5)
    24. Madlib (-10)
    25. Patton Oswalt (-10)
    26. Unsane (-7)
    27. Pavement (+4)
    28. Flight of the Conchords (-6)
    29. The Mighty Boosh (-3)
    30. Dinosaur Jr. (-5)
    31. Bear McCreary (-11)
    32. Sebadoh (-8)
    33. The Jesus Lizard (-10)
    34. Gil Scott-Heron (-4)
    35. Bob Dylan (-6)

    Which begs the question, who fell off the leaderboard entirely?
    Todd Barry, Janelle Monae, and Crystal Castles were all knocked off this year (or so). The list is an indication that I've mostly been listening to new stuff, with some heavy-hitters thrown in, as evidenced by those who increased their position. Those who fell down the list are likely going to keep on that trajectory, as their past strong showings were likely the result of listening fads that couldn't be sustained in the long term. Those artists whose work is best and most consistently reprsented on this list are those with strong back catalogs, or write lots of short songs.
    Stay tuned for an upcoming post highlighting what I consider to be THE BEST RECORDS OF 2012 (DIY OR DIE).

    *Full Disclosure: I am in these bands, and have manually removed certain scrobbles, because I don't want to be seen as playing favorites, conflicts of interests, whatevers.

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    2011, The First

    Back again, as if you cared. I hope you do. Nobody reads this. Otherwise someone would comment, or email me, or give me SOME indication that I'm not just indulging myself.
    So sheer self-indulgence then. Story of my life.

    So who've I been listening to the most over the past 3, or so, months since I last posted? Well! Let me show you:

    Honestly a bit surprised to see Ghostface up there. I think it might be due to a scrobbling error, but since Ghostface is awesome, I'm not gonna look in to it.
    Otherwise it's pretty heavily laden with the classic psych I've been listening to especially recently. Heavy hitters The Byrds and Jefferson Airplane make their appearances, as does heavyweight champion Sublime Frequencies, who just *never* stop getting listened to, at least a lil bit. Otherwise some big ups for Seam, who've never appeared on any of my lists before. Even that count doesn't do them justice, since one of their albums just doesn't scrobble at all. *shrug*

    So how does this all affect the leader board?

    The top three artists remain as unchanged as ever, but here we see Neil Young taken down from his perch for the first time in a [ra]coon's age, as the battle for fourth place really heats up between The Byrds, Neil Young, The Beatles, and Jefferson Airplane. When I sync my iPod later today, these numbers'll change yet again. Things are getting interesting. Ennio Morricone seals the deal with 8th place, well enough behind the fierce battle for 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th place. Ennio's sneaky though, and when he gets play, he plays hard. But how solid is his 8th place? For that, we'll have to look at the top 35:

    As you can see, Melvins and Papoose aren't too far behind Mr. Morricone, but when we look at the historical trends in the case of those two artists, we can see that they're plays have remained relatively unchanged in the intervening months. They're essentially on their way out, but they're still a good ways ahead of their nearest competition. Unfortunately Sonic Youth is playing the long-game, and I expect them to slowly creep their way up the charts, while Wiz Khalifa is a spring player, and likely to get some heavy play in the upcoming months.

    So who are the artists who have entered the top 35 in the past 3 months?

    And the full list of place positions as of Apr 1, 2011:

    1. Sublime Frequencies

    2. Xiu Xiu

    3. Sun City Girls

    4. The Byrds (+5)

    5. Neil Young (-1)

    6. The Beatles (-1)

    7. Jefferson Airplane (-1)

    8. Ennio Morricone (+2)

    9. Melvins (-2)

    10. Papoose (-2)

    11. Sonic Youth (+1)

    12. Silkworm (+2)

    13. Wiz Khalifa

    14. Madlib (+1)

    15. Patton Oswalt (+1)

    16. Ghostface Killah (New Entry)

    17. Dangereus (New Entry*)

    18. Scrapbooker (-7*)

    19. Unsane (+2)

    20. Bear McCreary (-3)

    21. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

    22. Flight of the Conchords (-4)

    23. The Jesus Lizard (-4)

    24. Sebadoh (-4)

    25. Dinosaur Jr. (-3)

    26. The Mighty Boosh (-3)

    27. Bob Marley & The Wailers (-3)

    28. Fugazi (New Entry)

    29. Bob Dylan (-3)

    30. Gil Scott-Heron

    31. Pavement (-6)

    32. Todd Barry (-5)

    33. Janelle MonĂ¡e (+2)

    34. Ravi Shankar (-4)

    35. Crystal Castles (New Entry)

    So congratulations to the new entrants to the top 35: Crystal Castles, Fugazi (who are really more of a re-entrant)The Dangereus (re-entrant), and Ghostface Killah (probably another re-entrant himself). Dangereus performed as predicted, sprinting to #17, despite their being handicapped (by me), and they're not done yet, either. Fugazi are down for the long haul, so I'd expect them to slowly creep up, just like Sonic Youth. Ghostface, on the other hand, has a number of albums I haven't seriously delved in to, yet, and when I do I predict he could even end up cracking the top 8. He's a good ~200 or so plays behind Ennio, but it seems totally feasible to listen to that much Ghostface. I mean, he just fuckin' rules, namean?

    Falling out of the list, we have: John Fahey, Hossein Alizadeh, Grateful Dead, and Shellac. At this point in the year, I don't want to make any predictions here, especially considering the paucity of new releases gracing the playing field.

    *Full Disclosure: I am in these bands, and have manually removed certain scrobbles, because I don't want to be seen as playing favorites, conflicts of interests, whatevers.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    2010 In Review

    I don't wanna explain my shit.
    Realistically, I spent *way* more time listening to old music than I did music released during 2010. Maybe it's because I'm old and bitter, but it's not like I'm just harping on the musics of my youth, but have rather been blown away by new (to me) material that's decades old. I don't feel like the bulk of contemporary artists are making the same caliber of music. Except Janelle Monae (and Joanna Newsom, even if I don't find myself listening to her too much).

    Albums of the year:
    1. Janelle Monae - The Archandroid
    2. Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me
    3. Wiz Khalifa - Kush and Orange Juice
    4. Xiu Xiu - Dear God, I Hate Myself
    5. Aziz Ansari - Intimate Moments For A Sensual Evening
    6. Ariel Pink - Before Today
    7. Die Antwoord - $0$
    8. Julian Lynch - Mare/James Black - CMYK
    9. Sleigh Bells - Treats/Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles (II)
    10. Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here?

    Honorable Mentions: Tame Impala, Flying Lotus, Gonjasufi, Kanye.
    Full Disclosure: I woulda been way more open to Kanye if he hadn't been the winner of 2010's unnecessary-hyperbolic-acclaim award. Flying Lotus and Gonjasufi are on Warp records, which could have been easily predicted simply by listening to 30 seconds of either, and since I've been listening to Warp records for the past decade, neither were really that new or surprising sounding (to me). They still get honorable mentions, however. I prefer the Gonjasufi, to be honest.
    Tame Impala: nice heavy psych. I like it, but just didn't have enough room on the list.
    Hey, speaking of that list, I just feel that the Sleigh Bells/Crystal Castles are too similar to give separate entries. They've both banging, they've both nasty, they're both one hard-working dude with a charismatic bitch for people to fawn over.
    James Blake/Julian Lynch are both good, both really similar in my mind. Julian Lynch especially is making music that sounds like I could make it at home on my computer. So I am. (Watch for 2011's list to be full of my own projects, natch).

    Naturally I didn't/couldn't listen to everything this year. This is what stands out among what I listened to. I'm gonna keep on being a crank, and submit that maybe some of these artists don't deserve "best of year XXXX" honours, save for the fact that their competition is so weak. Except for Janelle Monae. Unless someone gives me a reason to say otherwise, Imma keep up with my claim that it's the "best album" of the past 5 years or so.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    I don't fucking forget about things (Fall 2010, or 2010.5)

    I just get lazy, that's all.
    Top artists of the past six months:

    Byrds came in at #1, and are presently two plays out of the top 8, nipping at the tails of the flagging Papoose, whose plays haven't been able to keep up.
    Otherwise, Janelle Monae creeps in at the bottom of the top 35, whose lowest-number-of-plays has risen to 364 from 216, where it was when last we checked in.

    Otherwise, if we look at the top 8, we can see it's the same ol' artists, though slightly re-arranged, with Xiu Xiu and the Sun City Girls overtaking Neil Young, with Melvins and Jefferson Airplane overtaking Papoose. The Beatles slipped one position from #4 to #5. We can see a lot of inflation at the upper-echelons, with Sublime Frequencies gaining nearly a thousand plays in that time, and still coming in at #2 for most plays in the past six months.

    With that in mind, let's recap which artists have entered and which artists have left the top 35:
    There are a number of new entries, ten to be exact-ish, so let's give them a specific shout-out: The Byrds, Wiz Khalifa, Unsane, Dinosaur Jr., Mighty Boosh, Todd Barry, Gil Scott-Heron, John Fahey, and Janelle Monae. Let's call them the Freshman class of Fall 2010, shall we? Or maybe we can call it 2010.5? (as opposed to 2010.0?)

    Here is the full list of place-positions as of today, 7 December, 2010.

    Sublime Frequencies

    Xiu Xiu (+3)

    Sun City Girls

    Neil Young(-2)

    The Beatles (-1)

    Jefferson Airplane (+2)


    Papoose (-2)

    The Byrds (New Entry)

    Ennio Morricone (+23)

    Scrapbooker (New Entry*)

    Sonic Youth (-1)

    Wiz Khalifa (New Entry)

    Silkworm (-1)

    Madlib (-6)

    Patton Oswalt (-4)

    Bear McCreary

    Flight Of The Conchords (-8)

    The Jesus Lizard (+2)

    Sebadoh (-4)

    Unsane (New Entry)

    Dinosaur Jr (New Entry)

    The Mighty Boosh (New Entry)

    Bob Marley & The Wailers (-2)

    Pavement (-10)

    Bob Dylan (-1)

    Todd Barry (New Entry)

    Gil Scott-Heron (New Entry)

    Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (-11)

    Ravi Shankar (-3)

    Shellac (-11)

    Grateful Dead (-13)

    Hossein Alizadeh (-5)

    John Fahey (New Entry)

    Janelle Monae (New Entry)

    Let's also take a moment to note those artists who didn't make the top 35 for 2010.5:
    Nirvana, Sir Richard Bishop, Dangereus, J Dilla, Oxbow, The Kinks, Super Furry Animals, Bill Fay, and Fugazi. I personally wouldn't count any of 'em out just yet, and the scouts tell me that the Dangereus might be heading for a championship year in 2011, so keep your ears peeled.

    Otherwise, this'll be the last update for the year, excluding my 2011 round-up, where I list my favorite albums of the year (but not necessarily albums released in 2010).

    Peace out.

    *Full Disclosure: I am in this band, so the number of plays is a bit unfair.

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Week 10-ish

    'cause there was no week 10, apparently.

    ...and that is where we stand this week.

    Monday, February 1, 2010

    Back to the grind

    I'm back. Big whoop. It's not like you emailed me to say "Hey, what's up w/ the not posting?" anyway...

    Plays as of February 1st, 2010:

    And our new leader board, more or less the same. more or less.

    A more comprehensive list.

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    Week 9.5: Moving

    This weekend I was moving. So, y'know, naturally my life is in a state of disarray. I'll not be putting up a post today, but later this week I'll make up for lost time...