That Was The Year That Was (In Music)

Last week I posted my 2018 reading report from Goodreads; not long after receiving the Goodreads book report, I got a music report from Last.fm, a site which, once upon a time, I used quite a bit for streaming and discovering new music (“Neighbor Radio” was a favorite feature of mine). Sadly, some years ago Last.fm was acquired by CBS, and subsequent feature changes (and by “changes” I mean “deletions”) gradually turned the service into a steaming pile of crap. Maybe that was CBS’s fault*, or maybe it would have gone in that direction anyway, but whatever the reason, nearly everything I once used it for (and I actually subscribed, for a while, paying actual cash dollars) disappeared. No more desktop listening client. No more neighbor radio. No more real web listening client, either; the last few times I tried it, all it did was play crappy versions of songs that it apparently found on YouTube or something. Yet one aspect of its old functionality lingers on: The AudioScrobbler, which keeps an eye on what I listen to, so that Last.fm can make artist suggestions on those occasions when I briefly return to the smoldering wasteland that was once a decent web site. And this year, they sent me a recap of what I listened to in 2018. And even though this is by no means a music blog, I figured I would share their findings.

As with the Goodreads book report, there doesn’t seem to be a good way to embed the Last.fm report, so I took screen shots of the relevant portions. First, the “Dashboard” section of the report:

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 1.47.01 pm

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 2.01.07 pm

So, yes, according to Last.fm, I didn’t discover very many new artists or new albums this year. This is because I still use an iPod, so what I’m listening to is mostly what I already have. Perhaps, Last.fm, if your service had not turned to crap, I would be discovering more artists these days. Some artists that I found by way of Last.fm include Texas (currently my #1 Last.fm artist of all time), The Pierces, Melanie C (okay okay, she’s Sporty Spice, so sue me, I didn’t know that at first), and E Nomine, all of which are in my All-Time Top 50 Artist List. So, Last.fm, my recent lack of new music discovery? That’s on you.

And, yeah, we didn’t go to any events or shows in 2018. But if Fleetwood Mac hadn’t kicked Lindsey Buckingham out, maybe we would have.

BTW, I swear I did not listen to “Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?” three times in one day. What kind of weirdo do you think I am?

Anyway, in addition to the dashboard, and some stuff that I doin’t really care about and that Last.fm would want me to pay for, like my “trending tags” or whatever, they also have charts of my top artists, albums, and tracks for the year:

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 1.48.43 pm

So my #1 track was a-ha‘s immortal pop confection “Take on Me”:

and my #3 song was White Lung‘s borderline thrash metal get-in-the-car-and-drive-fast anthem “Dead Weight” (the video for which is preceded by an epileptic seizure warning, and believe me, they are not kidding about that):

So, yeah you would hear those two songs back to back on the radio all the time, right?

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 1.48.22 pm

There’s White Lung again. I must really like that album of theirs since I listened to it 81 times. Of course, the fact that the whole thing is like 32 minutes long helps make it easy to listen to multiple times.

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 1.47.49 pm

This year (as most years) I seem to have listened to a lot of Plumb. The fact that I like Plumb so much confuses the hell out of Last.fm and other recommendation services, which keep suggesting I might want to listen to various other Christian musicians. Note to the Internet: I don’t especially like Christian music. I just like Plumb. And, uh, Flyleaf. And some Joy Williams. And my mom’s local singing group of course. But that’s it!

Oh, and, by the way: I don’t know who that guy is at #9, but it’s not the Fisher I listen to. This is my Fisher:

fisher

 

Sorry, #9 Fisher dude. You may be pretty, but you’re not pretty enough.

* I’m blaming CBS.

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