I got lazy and skipped a 40,000th journal.
School has been in full swing for a good three months now, the term is over and now it's time to sit back, relax and become even more unmotivated to do anything that requires effort. My motivation to listen to music has been in a mood swing, there are weeks where I'll listen to 200+ plays of an artist in one week and then I'll hit a couple weeks or so where the total combined plays are around the area of 200. I've been flip-flopping between watching videos and movies on Netflix to sitting and listening to music while playing tetris obsessively. I feel like I haven't been paying as much attention to my collection as I usually do, but some artists are still getting some major love <3.
As well, contributing to the overall play count is the use of my new Zune and the program Zenses. I've taken a few drives back between Grants Pass and Portland, Oregon and a good four hours of music one way gives you plenty of plays when you're constantly hitting up all your favorite songs along the way. It's definitely helped me creep up to the 50,000th mark quickly, I was tired of being jealous of the iPod toting bastards being able to scrobble their mp3 tracks, it seemed like an unfair advantage.
Anyway, enough babble.
I hit 50,000 tracks just yesterday listening to On and On and On on repeat... on and on and on. So congrats to them. And note that while my top ten may be interesting, I find the activity that happens below in the Top 50 to be more exhilarating. I may make note of such bands that are creeping slowly upward.
Top 10 Artists at 50,000 Plays:
A Perfect Circle - (1,048 plays)
From first for more than 20,000 plays down to 4th place in my 30,000th track journal, here they are clinging to the number 10 spot. I don't have much hope that they'll go anywhere from down, although I'm sure if they came back together for a fourth album I'd steal some listens. They're more of a nostalgic act for me, they were part of my teenage angst, if I had anyway. There's memories attached to their music, as corny as all of this may seem especially to a band like this. I've got a special place for them. They were different from the Three Days Grace and Linkin Park bullshit that I had thought was the epitome of good music, A Perfect Circle had themed albums and allegories, metaphors, etc in their lyrics. Sneer you may, but they really did open me up to trying and finding new music to listen to, with A Perfect Circle, I dared to believe there was more out there. (Position: -6)
Favorite Track(s): 3 Libras, Orestes, The Noose...
9) Jeff Buckley (1,058 plays)
Much of the plays were done freshman year in college about two years ago now? I became obsessed and he stayed at about 750 plays for a good year. His music still often reminds me of the crisp air of fall and the bustle of a Portland park block. The reason he's crept up to this mark is the deep, passionate love I feel for Hallelujah and how I can never, ever skip it if it may come on shuffle, even if it's already been listened to on the particular binge. He's got a beautiful voice and it hurts to think about how his life was cut short. Posthumous record, Sketches For My Sweetheart, The Drunk will never come close to touching the perfection and sheer beauty that is Grace. It's not his fault, I know, but luckily with all of the live records and bootlegs people seem to scrounge up, I've got plenty to feed my Jeff Buckley frenzy. As a sidenote, I also tracked up plays with Jeff to pass up A Perfect Circle. Give 'em the boot! (Position: -1)
Favorite Track(s): Hallelujah, I Know It's Over, Forget Her...
8) Pixies (1,111 plays)
Surfer Rosa and Doolittle nearly have the same amount of plays, they're both amazingly good albums. Bossanova is fine but Trompe Le Monde got a little too... what word am I looking for, I'd hate to say boring? Anyway, I can only imagine what it would have been like for a college student like me being in the 1990's when Alice in Chains, Nirvana, R.E.M., Radiohead and Pixies were all out releasing new music for the alternative genre. I can almost taste the angst. I haven't found much willingness to seek out music by Frank or The Breeders and any other connected artist. There was a period of time where all I could listen to was the Pixies, was it last summer? In any case, it was and still is good, noisy music... Sonic Youth is just noise ;D. When the mood strikes me, I may take a good long listen again. Nonetheless, there will always be catchy songs to accompany me on the road. (Position: -2)
Favorite Track(s): Caribou, Broken Face, Where is My Mind, Monkey Gone to Heaven, Hey, etc...
7) Depeche Mode (1,149 plays)
I still blame college and my friend Will for this one. Introduced to synth pop, post-punk, britpop, god forbid any other pops or punks or brits... that you can think up, I became exposed and in some cases, addicted. They became something to listen to while studying, I still love Songs of Faith and Devotion, Music for the Masses and Violator. I can't help it. They're still another one of those artists that I need to be in the mood for, but when they come on, you bet I turn that shit up. (Position: -4)
Favorite Track(s): Higher Love, I Feel You, Little 15, Enjoy the Silence...
6) Nickel Creek (1,170 plays)
I love all their albums. Seriously. While I definitely favor Why Should The Fire Die? for such strong, aggressive and emotive songs as well as the delicate and heartbreaking, there's still much to love in albums This Side and Nickel Creek. People may complain that "newgrass", bluegrass and the like is just the art of showing off how fast you can play the mandolin, but a virtuoso like Chris Thile can make a slow song sound just as intricate and difficult as something as fast as an instrumental track like Ode to a Butterfly. I don't have enough room to boast and brag about this group, other than I was pointed in this direction after having seen Punch Brothers live and shaking the hand of Mr. Thile. Mmm, he can come back to Stumptown anytime. (Position: N/A - New)
SOME Favorite Track(s): Helena, Can't Complain, Jealous of the Moon, Lighthouse's Tale, Out of the Woods, Spit on a Stranger, When in Rome....
5) Manic Street Preacher (1,265 plays)
I don't necessarily feel like listening to them other than the occasional referral back to Your Love Alone is Not Enough because I love Nina Persson so fucking much. That track alone spawned an interest in The Cardigans and spread into more singer/songwriter indulgences in my music collection. They're an interesting group that refers to hundreds of pop culture icons, books, movies, etc. While they've had their share of hit and misses and while they'll never come to the United States as far as anyone can see, the up and coming album featuring lyrics from the "late" Richey might cause some more plays. But it'll be awhile, I don't imagine these guys going up much in my charts. And listening to their older albums, it can sound pretty dated =\. (Position: -4)
Favorite Track(s): Your Love Alone is Not Enough, A Design for Life, La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh), Yes, So Why So Sad, Wattsville Blues...
4) Broken Social Scene (1,293 plays)
Ah, my good ol' Canadian Indie Supergroup. I've loved them since I first listened to Anthems of a Seventeen-Year-Old a good.... wow, was it about 5 years ago? I feel old now. Either way, I'm seeing them again in Feb., it might be more of a full ensemble than the Kevin Drew leadin' sausage fest that it was back in October of 2007, not that I minded of course ;D. What can I say, I love You Forgot It In The People above all, although the Kevin Drew solo album comes in at a good second. Broken Social Scene was always like the red-headed stepchild to me. I love it, but it really just can't compare to the latter and that's okay. I support what they as an ensemble do and often find many of the side projects somewhat interesting, I just want another full cast album again. Someday? (Position: +5)
Favorite Track(s): Lover's Spit (Bee Hives version), I'm Still Your Fag, All My Friends, It's All Gonna Break...
3) The White Stripes (1,302 plays)
When I get in a White Stripes mood, fuck can I listen to the shit out of them. My friends ask me my favorite song, it's impossible... much like it is for Nickel Creek. So many of the discography is amazing, it's hard to even pick a favorite album. And well, you can't necessarily say this is a bad thing. They're just, well... amazing? Even if I'll never forgive Meg White for fucking me out of the live experience. As far as I hear, there's talks of a new album in works and you can bet I'll be back on ticketmaster refreshing the page until tickets open up for sale. (Position: 0, Same)
Favorite Track(s): Little Acorns, The Big Three Killed My Baby, Hello Operator, Offend in Every Way, The Union Forever, There's No Home for You Here, Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground, Blue Orchid, Little Ghost, Instinct Blues, A Martyr for my Love for You, Rag and Bone, ah fuck this....
2) Menomena (1,307 plays)
I can't wait for their new album coming out in 2009, let's hope. I can't wait until I'm twenty one so I can stopped getting fucked out of their Doug Fir shows. I've seen them twice live, I've played Foosball with Brent and Justin as well as got a picture hanging on my wall <3. Living in Portland definitely has its perks and I love all three of these fuckers. Seeing them in 2006 at the Crystal Ballroom's birthday bash for free and unknowingly hearing Friend and Foe being performed live for one of the first times, I fell in love. It's been a good, long relationship and it'll only continue to blossom. (Note, the farther I've gone up the list, the more I go, who the fuck could be next?) (Position: N/A - New)
Favorite Track(s): My My, Strongest Man in the World, Air Aid, Weird, Polo, Monkey's Back, Rose...
1) The Frames (1,317 plays)
All three top artists, if not top ten, are close to one another and it's all one big battle to the top. So far, Glen clenches the race because after viewing the movie Once, cliche I know, I delved into his world and picked up as much of his music (and Marketa's) as I could grab. And still grabbing. He's amazing live, he was kind enough to drag a fan on stage. He also charms me with the mouth of an Irish man, fucking right. What else can I say? Lyrics off of all albums, although I like to avoid Another Love Song and Dance The Devil, they're always so intimate, so personal, it's easy for me to actually sit down and take notice rather than let the words wash over me. And in a rarity, it's close but I'd have to say Set List has to be one of my favorite albums out of The Frames' discography. And as I side note, I had listened to about 1,000 tracks in three months. Yeah. I was obsessed. (Position: N/A - New)
Favorite Track(s): Friends and Foe, Say It to Me Now, Red Chord, Fitzcarraldo, What Happens When The Heart Just Stops, Happy, When Your Mind's Made Up, and.... *drum roll* Falling Slowly, duh....
Artists Dropped Out of the Top 10:
Tool, The Arcade Fire & John Lennon
Artists New to my Ten in this Journal:
Nickel Creek, Menomena, & The Frames
Other Artists Who May Rise (Not Necessarily into the Top Ten of Course):
* Jenny Lewis
Acid Tongue may be a little more rock than grass in comparison to her solo effort with The Watson Twins, but I fell in love with tracks such as Trying My Best to Love You, Pretty Bird and the aptly titled, Acid Tongue. It's a beautiful album with a bluesy, live feel. May I listen to more? Well 338 plays, position 36 with one album doesn't hurt and when I get into a crooning mood, I often reach (or type n' search) for this one.
* Ryan Adams
I've been into alt-country and while Drive-By Truckers may have introduced me into the genre, Ryan Adams kicked my ass into it. You can't listen to Oh My Sweet Carolina and not think that Emmylou Harris doesn't sound gorgeous along with Adams. He might be a pretentious piece of shit who fights with the likes of Jack White but I'll still support the fucker. He may very well creep into the top 10 unless someone sneaks by. 813 plays, position 14.
* Clint Mansell
I'm not sure how he's not in my top ten yet, I've been obsessed with The Fountain soundtrack since the day it came out, and personally I believe it surpasses or at least perfectly compliments this visually stunning film by Darren Aronofsky. I can't wait to get my hands on The Wrestler score, if it isn't out already. He's the perfect collaborator with both Aronofsky and the Kronos Quartet, apparently Mogwai. They make such beautiful, amazing music all together, it hurts. 754 plays, position 16
* Nine Inch Nails
After seeing them, or I guess him, in concert at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon a couple weekends ago... I have to admit it was fucking amazing. People can diss them for the industrial sound or the "stupid" lyrics, what have you. But god dammit, I want to fuck Trent Reznor. He's so god damn great to his fans, he's innovative in the dying music industry and so .... talented. He can play more instruments than you, me, your dead grandma and dog combined. Yum. I vote there'll be more plays and NIN will climb the charts. 459 plays, position 25.
A new album is in the works. Lord knows when it'll be out in 2009 but I'm hoping when they go on tour to support it, I'll be able to see them in whatever venue they end up in. I love Johnathan Bates and I've got a hoard of b-sides and rare recordings I have yet to truly sit down and listen to. It's a good chance these guys will creep forth, I'm surprised they haven't, really. 796 plays, position 15.
* The Beatles & John Lennon
I can't help but accept their influence, their presence, their greatness (and yeah, it's all fucking conformist and cliche but frankly, who gives a damn? It's music). And with the lyrical content, the recording techniques, the vocals, the... everything. Fuck it, both artists will get more plays. it's a given. 998 plays, position 11 and 749 plays, position 17.
* Punch Brothers
Newgrass, acoustic, folk, mandolin symphonic beauty... whatever you want to title this band, just let it be known that Chris Thile makes sweet, sweet love to my ears. I'll be seeing them again in February down in Eugene, OR so I'll be bound to listen to more of Punch. I just wish that they had more to listen to, I guess I could always sift back to more of Thile's solo albums.... or find b-sides and bootlegs ;D. 104 plays, position 105
I've avoided them, not entirely sure why. Much as I have with Ween and Pavement or artists such as Nick Drake. I'm like a backwards music elitist. Or maybe just an asshole. But ever since that fateful day my Zune decided to play On and On and On on a drive to Grants Pass and I didn't switch it, it's been a lust-filled romance. Alt-country has been very much present in my listening habits and Wilco should maintain as one of the headliners. 100+ plays in the past couple days. 180 plays, position 68.
* The Swell Season
I love Glen Hansard. I love Marketa. That's all that needs to be said. 380 plays, position 32.
* Colm Mac Con Iomaire
He's the new Wish You Were Here album when I need to just space out, study and relax. He's the new Fountain soundtrack when I want to calm down and find serendity. He was amazing live with The Swell Season, an amazing member of The Frames. Irish storytelling with his beautiful, sweet, sweet music. I know I'll just pump more plays out of this album so I felt it was necessary to take note. <3 244 plays, position 52.
Top Ten Tracks at 50,000th:
10) Clint Mansell - The Last Man (80)
9) Jeff Buckley - Lover, You Should've Come Over (86)
8) Mellowdrone - Fashionably Uninvited (89)
7) Menomena - Air Aid (90)
6) Menomena - Weird (92)
5) Menomena - My My (98)
4) John Lennon- Working Class Hero (101)
3) Manic Street Preachers - Your Love Alone Is Not Enough (106)
2) The Cardigans - Live and Learn (110)
1) Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah (113)
Thanks for reading. =)