2014 – a year in listening

2014 was the year I made the unplanned, and surprising even to myself, decision to listen predominantly to music made by women. I don’t know why I made the decision, it sounds like rather a naff thing to do and yet that’s what I’ve done for what I think is a whole year (though I’m not sure when I started so can’t be entirely certain). I don’t have expectations of learning or discovering anything from this approach, but it does serve as a way both of narrowing the focus of my attention and of diverting it from what I would otherwise expect to experience. As such I’ve found it worthwhile and therefore, at the time of writing, I continue to adhere to this approach.

Of last year’s albums, I’ve continued to listen to Boards of Canada and more occasionally to DJ Rashad (RIP), Emiliana Torrini, Holden and Julia Holter.

New releases in 2014

Actress: Ghettoville
Anja Lechner & François Couturier: Moderato Cantabile
FKA Twigs: LP1
Jenny Hval and Susanna: Meshes of Voice
Jon Hassell: City: Works of Fiction (Psychogeography)
Kate Tempest: Everybody Down
Laura Cannell: Quick Sparrows Over The Black Earth
Lee Gamble: Koch
Lykke Li: I Never Learn
Me’shell Ndegéocello: Comet, Come To Me
Mica Levi: Under The Skin
Sabina: Toujours
Scott Walker + Sunn O))): Soused
St Vincent: St Vincent

Most listened to artists in 2014

1. Cassandra Wilson (2,199)
2. Me’Shell Ndegéocello (2,115)
3. Marisa Monte (1,451)
4. Billie Holiday (1,271)
5. Colleen (1,030)
6. Céu (1,019)
7. Esperanza Spalding (1,008)
8. Cibelle (895)
9. Emilíana Torrini (682)
10. Janelle Monáe (594)
11. Buika (555)
12. Bebel Gilberto (534)
13. Annette Peacock (443)
14. Laurel Halo (372)
15. Miles Davis (358)
16. Little Dragon (352)
17. Susanna (347)
18. Kraftwerk (286)
19. FKA twigs (282)
20. Lee Gamble (277)
21. Bebo & Cigala (263)
22. Kate Bush (260)
23. Lykke Li (248)
24. Joni Mitchell (233)
25. Micachu (225)
26. Estrella Morente (224)
27. Karina Buhr (214)
28. Tulipa Ruiz (212)
29. Sabina (211)
30. Pat Metheny Group (204)
30. Patricia Barber (204)
32. Bárbara Eugênia (202)
33. Agnes Obel (199)
34. Michael Franti & Spearhead (193)
35. Kanye West (186)
36. Logos (185)
37. Meredith Monk (175)
38. Jon Hassell (174)
39. Marilyn Mazur (171)
40. The Mountain Goats (165)
41. Rhythm & Sound (163)
42. Julia Holter (160)
43. Disclosure (157)
44. Anja Lechner & Vassilis Tsabropoulos (156)
45. Boards of Canada (153)
46. Jenny Hval & Susanna (150)
47. Fatima (148)
48. Eleni Karaindrou (143)
49. Kate Tempest (140)
50. Nico (137)

Seven artists appear in both this year’s and last year’s top 30, exactly the same figure as last time. My top 30 scrobbles last year totalled 16,955, this year it’s 21,521 which is a fairly significant increase, but probably doesn’t represent any overall increase in listening.

Thanks to last.fm

Previous years:

Posted at 12pm on 07/01/15 | no comments | Filed Under: music read on

A decade of listening

“305,757 plays since 15 Dec 2004″

“7,011 Artists in total”

www.last.fm/user/v11v11v

I registered on Last.fm 10 years ago today.

The figures above are reasonably accurate: for pretty much all of that time I’ve been automatically or manually logging the music I’ve listened to.

I check my page on an almost daily basis, I look at the weekly totals mostly.

I think the fascination lies in the marking of something so absolutely ephemeral (the data) and something so important in my life (listening to music).

Once a week a service automatically tweets my top 3 artists.

The presence of these figures undoubtedly influences what I listen to.

It’s clear that statistics influences behaviour.

I’ve used Last.fm frequently in the last couple of years to find new music to listen to via the ‘Similar Artists’ section.

Sometimes I like to express my appreciation for a musician by leaving a comment on their automatically generated page

At other times I like to check the comments of other listeners and note their different languages.

The last time someone left a comment on my page was on 28 August 2013; I receive friend requests only very infrequently now.

Last.fm seemed to stop innovating as a service many years ago – probably when the company was sold by its founders.

I wonder when it will cease altogether.

So much water flowed under the bridge, it’s almost unimaginable.

After 10 years’ listening, here are my 50 most-listened to artists:

1 – Kraftwerk, 8,570
2 – Miles Davis, 6,755
3 – Scott Walker, 6,189
4 – Kip Hanrahan, 4,811
5 – Sigur Rós, 3,722
6 – Steve Tibbetts, 3,315
7 – Rhythm & Sound, 3,102
8 – Billie Holiday, 2,836
9 – Jon Hassell, 2,778
10 – Tindersticks, 2,760
11 – Dino Saluzzi, 2,717
12 – King Tubby, 2,626
13 – Ornette Coleman, 2,442
14 – Jimmy Giuffre, 2,351
15 – Junior Boys, 2,350
16 – Cassandra Wilson, 2,240
17 – François Couturier, 2,217
18 – Robin Williamson, 2,190
19 – Me’Shell Ndegéocello, 2,128
20 – Céu, 2,098
21 – Flying Lotus, 2,083
22 – Autechre, 2,050
23 – John Martyn, 1,984
24 – Zomby, 1,852
25 – Anouar Brahem, 1,834
26 – Stereolab, 1,778
27 – SND, 1,751
28 – Arto Lindsay, 1,735
29 – Jazzanova, 1,656
30 – Brian Eno, 1,650
31 – British Sea Power, 1,630
32 – Bill Frisell, 1,587
33 – Kate Bush, 1,565
34 – Annette Peacock, 1,511
35 – Boards of Canada, 1,489
36 – Marisa Monte, 1,470
37 – Emilíana Torrini, 1,467
38 – Johann Sebastian Bach, 1,418
39 – Arve Henriksen, 1,403
40 – Underworld, 1,382
41 – Marilyn Mazur, 1,283
42 – Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto, 1,219
43 – Scritti Politti, 1,192
44 – Colleen, 1,191
45 – Fluxion, 1,180
46 – Burial, 1,170
47 – Prefuse 73, 1,129
48 – Tomasz Stańko, 1,120
49 – David Bowie, 1,118
50 – John Fahey, 1,064

Posted at 2pm on 15/12/14 | 1 comment | Filed Under: music, personal read on

About

I’ve been writing this blog for quite a lot longer than three years and now I’m finally getting round to writing something in the About page. But what to write? Oh well, if you check the category listings you’ll see what I cover. It’s a ragtag assortment of bits and bobs, anything that catches my fancy really. Unsurprisingly, much of that is music. I much appreciate comments, but whether you feel like making them or not, I hope you find something of interest.

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