Archive for December, 2006

My Year in Music

December 31, 2006

musicmontage.jpgOne of the things I love most about iTunes is the ability to see statistical information about personal use.

Prompted by Gray Charles’ recent question regarding which artist besides Taylor Hicks have folks discovered this past year, I decided to investigate who and what I had been listening to from January to December ’06.

I first thought of the three full albums I purchased this past year…KT Tunstall’s “Eye to the Telescope,” John Mayer’s “Continuum,” and Taylor Hicks’ “Taylor Hicks” (of which I actually purchased three copies).

I also thought about all the singles I downloaded (and there were LOTS)…Gnarles Barkley, Ray Lamontagne, The Be Good Tanyas, Nerina Pallot, Regina Spektor, etc…

Instead of trying to remember all the downloading details of the last 12 months, I decided to use my little iTunes options to see EXACTLY what soundtrack I lived by in 2006.

I set my controls to “Play Count” and looked only at songs I added to my music library this past year.

After heavy computation (clicking the mouse exactly thrice)…here is what I learned…


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Of course, these aren’t all the songs I listened to this past year…just the ones new to my iTunes library in ’06 that were played 10 times or more.

It’s not surprising that all of the songs I listened to 95 times or more were sung by Taylor Hicks…with “Trouble” being the top played (152 times). But what IS strange to me is that all of the songs in the 95 to 152 range were performed by Taylor during his stint on American Idol. I would have thought some of his live bar performances (pre-AI) or his previously recorded stuff would have been in the upper play count strata…but not so. Curious.

Anyway, KT Tunstall joins Taylor as one of my top listened to artists. Her “Stoppin’ the Love” is a top play count for me at a whopping 93 times.

Granted…I discovered both Taylor and KT at the beginning of the year…so these higher play counts make sense.

The real stand out is Nerina Pallot…whose “Sophia” was just added to my music library on Oct. 24 after my friend Peggy sent it to me. My copy of “Sophia” is already up to 67 plays. The song is absolutely beautiful. Download it here.

Another stand-out is “What Have They Done to My Song, Ma” by Melanie Safka. This little gem was sent to me by our dear Shrewspeaks. It’s reached a play count of 47 since I added it to my library on Oct. 22. Download it here.

Next to join in the high play-count ranks are Regina Spektor and John Mayer. I have to thank Ash for introducing me to Spektor and thank Double D and NOLAgirl for encouraging me to buy the new Mayer album. Both artists have been so enjoyable to listen to.

Ray Lamontagne and Gnarls Barkley’s versions of “Crazy” can be found next wafting between all my Taylor songs. Then comes Dar Williams with “The Christians and the Pagans” and Nikka Costa with “Till I Get to You.” I have Gray Charles to thank for introducing me to all these lovelies.


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The next artist to appear on my list is Fiona Apple…from some live recordings done in 2002. I don’t even remember where I got these songs…but they’re great. Here’s “Blue Skies” for you to enjoy. I’ve played it at least 27 times…and still lurve it.

Others that I’ve really enjoyed (all thanks to Gray)…Robyn Hitchock’s “The Wind Cries Mary” (written and first performed by Jimi Hendrix), “Trouble” by Ray LaMontagne, “You Are so Beautiful” by Billy Preston, “Jerusalem” and “Tiger Woods” by Dan Bern, and “Untouchable Face” by Ani Difranco. And from my brother Ben…”Multiply” by Jamie Lidell.


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Finally, two of my newest favorite artists are The Be Good Tanyas and Hem. If you haven’t listened to them…please check them out. They’re truly wonderful. Here are “Human Thing” from the Tanyas and “Jackson” by Hem.

I’ve also put together an iMix (posted below) of selected artists and songs listed on my 2006 Soundtrack. If you have iTunes…buy a song for .99…which, to me, is quite the bargain. If you don’t have iTunes…go get it…it’s free…and it’s wonderful.

All I have to say is…wow…what a great year.

I can’t wait to see what new music is in store for me in 2007.

Happy New Year to all my Monkbots! Happy listening and blogging in the year to come.