Note: I've been thinking about music a lot lately. This might not be the only post on the subject... I love geeking out over my last.fm stats. I play my ipod all the damned time, and I have been "scrobbling" my tracks to last.fm since 06/06/2006 (awesome date, eh?). Anyway, I felt like doing some musical naval gazing. Perhaps the folks out there (all four of you?) will chime in with some music they are loving right now...
I pay way too much attention to my artists rankings, I'm sure, but it's something fun for me and it keeps me listening to music, which is a good thing, if you ask me. As an example, and to get the topic of conversation started, take a look at my top artist list for the last week:
Some highlights and reasons behind the list:
- I fell hard for Frightened Rabbit (Amazon) after hearing a song of theirs on the NPR All Songs Considered podcast. The show in question was a review of the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, which sounds like it was pretty damned good.
- Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears (Amz), Eli "Paperboy" Reed & The True Loves (Amz), and JD Thompson (Amz) are all suggestions from my brother-in-law. All three are awesome and recommended.
- Al Green (Amz) and Leonard Cohen (Amz) are good cuddly bed time music. Badly Drawn Boy (Amz) is good sleepy bed time music.
- Loch Lomond (Amz) opened for Blitzen Trapper (Amz) when we saw them recently.
- Tom Waits (Amz) is friggin' Tom Waits. He's my all-time #1 artist. Period.
- Fanfarlo (skip Amz - buy from them) is a recent discovery that I haven't put down yet.
- Modest Mouse (Amz) has some new-ish stuff on the wires.
- Portastatic (Amz) and Neutral Milk Hotel (Amz) are things I decided to revisit after hearing the All Songs Considered show commemorating the 20th anniversary of Merge Records -- one of my favorite labels.
- The Dodos (Amz) was something else I thought I should give an extra listen.
That's the stuff I've been playing a lot recently, then. There's also a very long tail to this chart because a lot of the time I just play a playlist I have set up called "Been a Long Time" which is automatically filled with music I haven't played in the last 3 months. That playlist -- or my "The Best Stuff" playlist featuring 5-star tracks -- is probably responsible for some of the Tom Waits tracks, actually.
So what's the longer picture? Let's look at the past six months:
I'll be honest, things start getting a little watered down at this point. I have several stand-by artists and playlists for bed time listening and a lot of them top the charts in the long run.
- The Decemberists (Amz), Andrew Bird (Amz), Leonard Cohen, Bon Iver (Amz), and Loney, Dear (Amz) are sleepy time artists, but also got boosted because we saw them live in this time span.
- Others in the bed time rotation: José González (Amz), Elliott Smith (Amz), The Avett Brothers (Amz) (though some of their songs are a bit too energetic), Van Morrison (Amz) (Holy crap! Van the Man's official site gets blocked for malicious software! Wikipedia linked instead...), Townes Van Zandt (Amz), Iron and Wine (Amz), and Bob Dylan (Amz) (mostly "Blood on the Tracks" and "Desire").
- Van Morrison, Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, and Leonard Cohen are also just regulars in my rotation. I'm surprised Joni Mitchell (Amz) isn't on the list.
- José González, Alice Russell (Amz), The Avett Brothers, and Loney, Dear also show up because they are all recent discoveries that I really latched onto for extended periods of time.
- Public Enemy (Amz) just should be there. I'm glad they are.
And finally, let's check the overall picture since the middle of 2006:
Some of these (The Innocence Mission (Amz) in particular) are definitely over-inflated due to the bed time effect, but I actually tend to and fiddle with this chart occasionally by playing an artist I feel deserves to be higher on the list, etc.
Tom Waits, Elliott Smith, Bob Dylan, Luna (Amz), Van Morrison, Pixies (Amz), Buffalo Tom (Amz), Townes Van Zandt and Leonard Cohen are legitimate favorites of mine. I really know their music. The others are maybe not the intimate favorites the others are, but they are definitely favorites.
What are your favorites? Right now or all-time, let me know. I'm curious.