What I Listened To In 2007

January 27th, 2008

Overall I listened to 19178 tracks in 2007, which is back up near my 2005 number, after being down to 15988 in 2006.

Then, two lists. First, the list of 2007 releases that I listened to, cut off at 5 listens to match my arbitrary cut-off from last year. It could be used as a rough approximation of my “Best of 2007” list, but only as a last resort, since even pro-rated play-count for the year is still only one part of the “best” equation.

That gives me a list of only 17 albums, ranging from 4 to 12.5 listens. Last year, I had 31 albums, ranging from 4 to 17.7 listens. So for some reason I spent a LOT more time last year listening to current-year releases than I did this year. Especially when you factor in that I had more overall listens this year.

This point is emphasized by my second list, which is the list of non-2007 releases that I listened to. This year, the first item on List 2 would be #1 on List 1, whereas last year, my top List 2 release would have been #11 on List 1. In other words, my most-listened-to album in 2007 was a 2006 album, whereas that wasn’t even close to happening in 2006.

I guess that must be saying that 2007 was a “bad year” for me. Or, 2006 was an exceptionally good year.

On the other hand, List 2 contained 37 albums 2006, but only 21 this year. The relative shortness of both lists this year makes it seem like I just listened to less music overall, even though the total numbers contradict that. The only explanation I can come up with is that I spent a lot of time at work this year listening to music on “Shuffle By Album”. If I’m consciously picking albums, I probably tend to think of albums that I’ve listened to recently, so that means my listens get concentrated on a relatively small subset of my collection. But if I let iTunes choose from my collection randomly, that means a lot of my listening time goes to the deeper and older parts of my collection, and it ends up being spread out more. So I probably had a lot more albums this year with 1 or 2 listens than I did last year. But I should probably run a report to check that, to make sure these anomalies aren’t just an error in my scripts somewhere.

Listens to 2007 Albums
Grinderman – Grinderman – 12.5
Agua de Annique – Air – 10.8
Rotting Christ – Theogonia – 9.4
Nightwish – Dark Passion Play – 9.2
Novembre – The Blue – 8.8
Mael Mórdha – Gealtacht Mael Mórdha – 6.3
Alcest – Souvenirs d’un autre Monde – 6.3
Baroness – Red Album – 6.1
Aesma Daeva – Dawn of the New Athens – 6.1
Yearning – Merging Into Landscapes – 6.1
Thurisaz – Circadian Rhythm – 5.9
Primordial – To The Nameless Dead – 5.4
Iced Earth – Framing Armageddon – 4.9
In Vain – The Latter Rain – 4.5
Therion – Gothic Kabbalah – 4.3
Tomahawk – Anonymous – 4.2
Helloween – Gambling With The Devil – 4

Listens to non-2007 Albums
Disillusion – Gloria – 14.6
Rodrigo y Gabriela – Rodrigo y Gabriela – 11.9
Gotan Project – Lunático – 10.6
Aghora – Formless – 10.2
Shearwater – Palo Santo – 9.6
Estradasphere – Palace of Mirrors – 9.1
Califone – Heron King Blues – 8.9
Cursive – Happy Hollow – 8.7
Red Sparowes – Every Red Heart Shines Towards the Red Sun – 8
Tyr – Eric The Red – 7.9
Aterciopelados – Oye – 7.8
Disillusion – Back To Times Of Splendor – 7.2
Arcturus – Sideshow Symphonies – 6.7
The Gathering – Souvenirs – 6.5
Isis – Oceanic – 6.2
I – Between Two Worlds – 6.1
Chingon – Mexican Spaghetti Western – 6
Saturnus – Veronika Decides To Die – 6
Negura Bunget – OM – 6
The Dresden Dolls – Yes, Virginia – 5.9
Calexico – Feast Of Wire – 5.9
Hammers Of Misfortune – The Locust Years – 5.8
Dengue Fever – Escape From Dragon House – 5.7
Solefald – Red For Fire – An Icelandic Odyssey Part I – 5
Blind Guardian – A Twist In The Myth – 5
Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy – Relic Dances – 5
Novembre – Dreams d’Azur – 5
Kultur Shock – We Came To Take Your Jobs Away – 5
Noumena – Absence – 5
Ours – Distorted Lullabies – 5
Maudlin Of The Well – Bath – 5
In The Woods… – Omnio – 5
Dir en grey – Withering To Death. – 4.9
Tabla Beat Science – Live in San Francisco at Stern Grove – 4.9
Grey Skies Fallen – The Fate Of Angels – 4.9
Del Castillo – Brotherhood – 4.9
Compilation – Ethiopiques 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale, 1969-1974 – 4.9
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus – 4.9
Peeping Tom – Peeping Tom – 4.9
Dredg – Catch Without Arms – 4.8
Orphaned Land – Mabool – 4.4
The Old Dead Tree – The Perpetual Motion – 4.4
Ambulette – The Lottery – 4.4
Helloween – Chameleon – 4.4
On Thorns I Lay – Orama – 4.3
Novembre – Materia – 4.3
Sigh – Gallows Gallery – 4.3
Enid – Seelenspiegel – 4.2
Gamma Ray – Sigh No More – 4.2
Novembre – Classica – 4.1
Oceansize – Effloresce – 4.1
Rotting Christ – Triarchy Of The Lost Lovers – 4.1
Enslaved – Blodhemn – 4
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Murder Ballads – 4
Rage – Black In Mind – 4
Dead Silent Slumber – Entombed In The Midnight Hour – 4
Demonoid – Riders of the Apocalypse – 4
Skyclad – A Semblance Of Normality – 4
Gamma Ray – Insanity And Genius – 4
Alice In Chains – MTV Unplugged – 4
Skyclad – The Answer Machine? – 4
Primordial – Storm Before Calm – 4
Helloween – Pink Bubbles Go Ape – 4
Novembre – Novembrine Waltz – 4
Intronaut – Void – 4
Rotting Christ – A Dead Poem – 4
Searing Meadow – Corroding from Inside – 4
Agalloch – Pale Folklore – 4

The Dresden Dolls / Two Ton Boa @ The Vic

January 5th, 2008

The first band was from Washington state, had a blond singer with a powerhouse voice (including a shocking falsetto), and performed a cover of “White Rabbit”. But no, it wasn’t Nevermore, it was Two Ton Boa. This particular singer was a girl, and her bandmates were two bass players (sometimes one swapped with her to play keyboards) and a drummer who had genuine garbage can lids for cymbals (the few times I saw him actually hit them, they made a rather unremarkable sound). Some of their songwriting wasn’t so hot, but then at other times they’d really rock out and grab my attention pretty well. The singer is the obvious highlight (the Jefferson Airplane song was a perfect choice for her voice), but there was something slightly off-putting about her presence. However, her lyrics all seemed a bit dark and twisted, so maybe that’s the point. Probably won’t go run out and buy their albums, but I wouldn’t mind seeing them again. They said it was the largest crowd they’d ever played for (it was a sold-out show at the 1400-capacity theater).

Then we had a dancing troupe come out and do some sort of non sequitur performance called “Yes, Juliet” that involved lots of simulated sex performed to Britney Spears’s “Toxic”, for some reason. A bit amateurish, but damn entertaining.

Then it was a time for a 17-year old singer-songwriter and Dresden Dolls fan to get up and do a solo song on acoustic guitar/vocals. Turned out to be a mildly creepy stalker-song (“Yes Amanda Yes”?), but she had a very good voice and did a fine job of performing under what must have been fairly terrifying conditions, so much respect to her.

Then it was time for yet another fantastic performance by The Dresden Dolls. I’ve now seen them enough where it’s clear that I’ll never get tired of it, both because they perform so well, and because every performance is new and different. This time they did two new covers I hadn’t seen before, six(!) originals that aren’t on their albums, and even the “classics” sounded fresh, with things like an extended jazzy jam worked into “Mandy Goes To Med School”. And the improv instrumental intro to “Half Jack” seemed like the best, darkest, and most frightening version I’ve heard so far, but I think that every time I see them play it. As much as I enjoyed seeing Amanda play with Estradasphere a couple months ago, it was great to see her back again with Brian, because they have that history, and dang, can that guy play the drums.

Contrary to my belief after that Amanda solo show, the band was still able to get involved with the crowd at this big sold-out venue: during “The Gardener”, Amanda walked through the crowd in front of the stage from one side to the other, eventually ending up in one of the balcony boxes. And then during the encore (“Fight For Your Right (To Party)”), they invited the audience onstage, and it seems like nearly 100 people joined them, which started making Amanda (on drums) a bit nervous about lawsuits, and caused Brian’s guitar to get cut off halfway through, as he was absolutely engulfed by the masses surrounding him.

As usual, the crowd was totally lifeless during the songs, but between them, was cheering like mad (a group of teenage girls behind me nearly blew my ears out before and after “Coin-Operated Boy”)


In The Flesh [Pink Floyd]
Girl Anachronism
Mrs. O
Missed Me
Ultima Esperanza
Coin-Operated Boy
Glass Slipper
The Gardener
Sorry Bunch
A Night At The Roses
Mandy Goes To Med School
Sex Changes
Half Jack

(You’ve Got To) Fight For Your Right (To Party) [Beastie Boys]
Bad Habit