Analyzing My Top 10 Artists (Since 2008) On Last.fm
I am a fiercely loyal scrobbler. I joined last.fm in March of 2008 and I’ve been scrobbling everything I listen to, as much as possible, ever since. Here is my top 10, as it stands, currently.
1. The Beatles (865 plays)
2. The Rolling Stones (643 plays)
3. Elvis Costello (395 plays) + Elvis Costello & The Attractions (146 plays) = (541 plays)
4. Death Cab for Cutie (452 plays)
5. R.E.M. (436 plays)
6. The Smiths (351 plays)
7. Beach House (305 plays)
8. The Cure (303 plays)
9. The Replacements (280 plays)
10. Los Campesinos! (260 plays)
That my top 3 most played artists are from decades very much past is certainly telling about my tastes.
I wrote a book in which one short interlude extolled the virtues of the service, but since then I’ve found the way I use it has changed dramatically. I rarely use it to check up on other people — to assess their taste in music or find new things to listen to. I rarely use it for music recommendation. I now use it largely to track what I’ve listened to on Spotify. I use it to organize myself.
Even though I use several apps on Spotify to discover music, I find myself largely doing Google searches for things I should listen to and dumping them into playlist on Spotify. My next most common behavior is to find something on another website I want to listen to and mark it on Spotify by dumping it in a playlist. While their apps are helpful in finding new things, they’re not especially helpful for old things I’d be interested in. Lately I’ve searched on Google for most under appreciated jazz and best bossa nova albums.
Now I use last.fm to track what the hell I listened to and liked. If it was a random new track, found via an app or a playlist, or something old by an artist I’d not previously heard of, I can go back and find it again on last.fm. Because Spotify doesn’t offer any satisfactory way for me to do that.
Prediction: Bat For Lashes, who is presently #13 on my list, will rocket into the top 10 with the release of her new album in October.
And I have seriously got to start listening to somethings that will knock the Smiths off the list. That was largely for research for my book, I swear. I’m not that sad. Although the Cure being right up there might indicate otherwise.
Amazingly, Fiona Apple, who is in my top 5 artists of all time, doesn’t even break the top 50 in my list. I thought she would with her new album, which I love, but I find myself unable to listen to it. It’s too jarring. It puts me in a weird, dark mood. I appreciate its beauty but it’s not the kind of thing I can put on and then interact with other people after. It’s also not the kind of thing I can listen to just one bit of.