Statistics on My Music: The 2014 Update

Each year I appraise my music listening habits based on previous year's using the Last.fm Scrobbling service. For interest, I have been doing this since 2010 (though the 2010 post is broken now). for the respective years, click the links below:

2011 - 2012 - 2013 

Once again thanks to Last.fm.

And so, 2014.

The past twelve months have been quite the journey. I've started doing a radio show for one, I am now a dad, and since the last update I've gotten married as well, which shows you how far back this goes. 2014 has been a bit of a landmark year to be perfectly honest, and the listening habits have actually not changed too much since last years update.

I still have a phone that actually scrobbles, Google Music, Spotify and iTunes all scrobble each play I make, and a bit change is that I found a plug-in for Chrome that scrobbles pretty much every music site I can listen to stuff on, including Google Music, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and even Youtube, so that'll help the stats. In fact, this past 12 (okay, actually 13) months might be the first ever where almost every single play has been scrobbled. Pretty neat.

When I started these posts back in 2011 I had a total of 50894 plays. In 2012 this had increased to 65214, and then last year I hit 79244. At the time of writing this I have managed 92089 plays (at 09.51am, 13th September 2014) which means that an increase of 12845 plays, which is actually down year on year, with each year between being around 15000 plays. That's odd isn't it considering that I think that I've been recording almost every play this year?

Well the thing is that has only been the case since around March when I discovered the plug in. Before, almost all my listening at work, which is done trhough Google Play Music, was being lost into the ether. So there's a lot of plays that will have just been vanishing. The numbers aren't why you're hear though, so let's do this:

Top Ten Artists of All Time

  1. Boards of Canada - 3479 (EQUAL) +869 plays
  2. Belle and Sebastian - 1706 (EQUAL) +82 plays
  3. The Walkmen - 1503 (EQUAL) +36 plays
  4. The Twilight Sad - 1324 (EQUAL) +90 plays
  5. Idlewild - 1300 (EQUAL) +88 plays
  6. Interpol - 1260 (EQUAL) +48 plays
  7. Wild Beasts - 1251 (NEW ENTRY) 
  8. Mogwai - 1188 (DOWN) +102 plays
  9. Elbow - 1143 (UP) +182 plays
  10. Radiohead - 1055 (DOWN) +64 plays

So, that makes for not very interested reading, at first glance does it? Oh look, Mark's played Boards of Canada a lot, what a surprise. But there's a story in that chart. See, I've maintained that the top ten overall is not that important because... well, it doesn't change much. And over the years it hasn't really. Back in 2011 nine of the ten artists were in the list that are there in 2014, so my musical tastes must have barely changed right? Well, that's the thing - look at the number of plays the rest of the top ten got excluding Boards of Canada and Wild Beasts (the only new entry) - a total of 682 plays, which is only 5% of the total plays I have made in the past twelve months. 

What that means is that Wild Beasts are the only artist to make a change, whilst the rest really didn't move. Boards of Canada had a total of 6.7% of the plays this year alone, and the other eight artists managed only 5% together? That's a big shift. A big change. 

The headline grabbing news is that fucking finally The Smiths have dropped off the top ten list. It has taken years - I noted in 2013 that they had only been played a total of 68 times in four years, not played once since 2013 (still on 1042 plays) and they're still sitting just outside the top ten in eleventh place ahead of Deftones. 

Top Ten Albums of All Time

  1. Boards of Canada - Geogaddi 741
  2. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest 644
  3. Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children 605
  4. The Walkmen - You & Me 529
  5. The xx - xx 496
  6. The Phantom Band - The Wants 483
  7. Wild Beasts - Smother 430
  8. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 402
  9. The Twilight Sad - Forget the Night Ahead 355
  10. Errors - Have Some Faith in Magic 352

This list has no real meaning these days, as I've noted in the past, but it's worth noting the one-two-three by Boards of Canada. I however feel sorry for The Campfire Headphase, who misses out on the top ten, and sits at 12th with a paltry 344 plays.

So, on to the good stuff.

Top Ten Artists (from the last 12 months)

  1. Boards of Canada 871
  2. Hills West 390
  3. Wild Beasts 306
  4. Loscil 282
  5. Tycho 271
  6. Coldplay 249
  7. Liars 248
  8. The Antlers 234
  9. Manic Street Preachers 194
  10. Future Islands 193

As with every year, this is the list that makes the most impressive reading. This is a far more normal list, and actually features a range of artists that I might consider to be a more accurate picture of my musical taste, save for the weird positioning of Coldplay. Not entirely sure why they're there (unless they did a Snow Patrol and was left on over night at somepoint, a possibility). I did listen to the new album (which is shit) but that can't have been 250 or so times.

If I take Coldplay out it adds Tokyo Police Club, which I keep listening to this year as well.

As always, this list is influenced by new albums - this year saw new Wild Beasts, Antlers, Manic Street Preachers, Future Islands, Tokyo Police Club, Tycho and Liars (and Coldplay, of course), with only Boards, Hills West and Loscil appearing without releasing anything new. Hills West was a discovery of a rather rare artist who release a few albums and EPs several years ago. I hunted down links and downloads to the albums and EPs which were all released for free online, which made it fun and difficult to find but worth it. Hills West is probably one of my favourite artists this year, and if you can seek out Step into the Outside.

Top Ten Artists (from the last six months)

  1. Boards of Canada 427
  2. Hills West 398
  3. Loscil 244
  4. The Antlers 336
  5. Coldplay 217
  6. Future Islands 193
  7. Manic Street Preachers 163
  8. Tokyo Police Club 154
  9. Interpol 114
  10. The Phantom Band 109
  11. Dogs Die in Hot Cars 105

So, nothing really amazing there is there? I mean, unlike most years, my last six months reflects also exactly the same 12 month list, which is a bit of a difference. The majority are from new albums, which is probably why they appear. Additionally, Tokyo Police Club have a very very quick back catalogue (some albums lasting 30 minutes tops) which makes smashing through their run times very easy, especially when they are as addictive as TPC actually is. And their new album's fucking amazing.

I put this to eleven as well, hopping over the appearance of Coldplay, as it includes Dogs Die in Hot Cars, one of the bands what had only released one album as great... BUT it turned out they did release a second album - 17 tracks of an album titled Dogs Die In Hot Cars Are Making Pop Nonsense which were released online to let fans remix them. The final project was never formally completed, but the tracks are solid, so I made a ten track album of the "best" songs and then a seven track EP of the rest, and I've played it a lot since.

Wrap Up

Um... this year's a bit boring isnt' it? I mean, the shuffling at the top hasn't changed too much, not as much as I was expecting either, but there is something hidden in the lower reaches of the charts that you can't see.

If you drop into outside the top 20, more eclectic artists start appearing - Tim Hecker, Errors, Tycho. Give them a few more years and they might have displaced the mighty top ten finally.

 

Statistics on My Music: 2013 Update

Each year since 2010 I have written a post in July/August that chronicles the changes in my music tastes over the past year, taking into account listening habits, new artists I have started listening to, and many other things that warp and distort the statistics. It acts as a look back, but also a comparison, to the past few years. For the past three years, click 2010, 2011 and 2012. (2010 is broken, sorry about that).

Final note: thanks to Last.fm for allowing this - I have been scrobbling for a long time (since 2006) and will continue to do so as long as they let me.

And so, 2013.

In previous years my listening habits have been quite different - in Houston I had no access to scrobbling, and in Aberdeen my computer didn't do Spotify. But since moving to Glasgow in August 2012 I have been able to keep my Scrobbling up by virtue of Spotify. However, another big change was my move to Google Music which doesn't natively allow scrobbling, and the two plug-ins I employed to cover that missing functionality don't work anymore.

Interestingly, despite this one thing has changed - I now have an Android phone, which means anything I play is scrobbled, which is pretty intersting. This might in the longrun change things, but so far it's impact has been minimal.

A new feature to start with this year is comparing the number of scrobbles I have done each year, and see how they have changed. Since doing this in 2011, I have gone from 50894 scrobbles to 79244 (22nd August 2013, 11.17am). That's 30000 plays in two years, which is pretty interesting. It also is a big jump - in 2012 I was at 65214 scrobbles, so almost exactly 15000 a year. Pretty neat, huh? I appear to have leveled out, considering between 2006 and 2011 I managed 50000 in five years, around 10000 a year.

Top Ten Artists of All Time
1. Boards of Canada - 2610 (EQUAL) +815 plays
2. Belle and Sebastian - 1624 (EQUAL) +137 plays
3. The Walkmen - 1467 (EQUAL) +128 plays
4. The Twilight Sad - 1234 (EQUAL) +113 plays
5. Idlewild 1212 (UP) +147 plays
6. Interpol 1155 (DOWN) +111 plays
7. Mogwai 1086 (UP) +199 plays
8. The Smiths 1042 (DOWN) +3 plays
9. Radiohead 991 (UP) NEW ENTRY
10. Elbow 961 (DOWN) +23 plays

Compared with the changes year on year, this year is the one that has had the least number of changes to my all time top ten. Only one new artist, Radiohead, appears compared to last year at the expense of Arab Strap, who have dropped to 14 over all with 891 plays, a change of +38 plays. An intersting statistic is that Boards of Canada added 815 plays this year alone, almost as many as Elbow have scrobbled since 2006, which is quite something. This is because a) they released a new album and b) I finally got a hold of the last album of theirs that I was missing. But it's mostly because of a). Tomorrow's Harvest is absolutely my favourite album so far this year.

If I assume that I scrobbled 15000 plays in the year, Boards of Canada makes up 5.4% of that alone, which is quite something.

Just missing out on the tenth spot is Deftones, which are sitting with 949 plays, only one album's play through off being in the top ten. They'll probably be there next year.

Another final note is The Smiths. As I noted in 2011 The Smiths were only played between 2010 and 2011 65 times. In 2011 to 2012 it was zero plays all year. This year, they managed three. And yet, since 2010 and over four posts, they've still managed to keep onto their top-ten spot, which shows how far ahead they once were.

Top Ten Albums of All Time
1. Boards of Canada - Geogaddi 575
2. Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children 534
3. The Walkmen - You and Me 521
4. The XX - xx 488
5. The Phantom Band - The Wants 433
6. Wild Beasts - Smother 427
7. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 388
8. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest 356
9. Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights 341
10. The Twilight Sad - Forget the Night Ahead 337

Okay, so this chart, like last year, is really only here for posterity. It does highlight how influential Tomorrow's Harvest is - 356 plays in the last year is pretty good, but that's all time. And... the album was released... 73 days ago. So that's 356 plays in 73 days, or just under five tracks played every single day. That's insane.

Top Ten Artists (from the last 12 months)
1. Boards of Canada 815
2. Deftones 329
3. Tim Hecker 240
4. Mogwai 199
5. Local Natives 196
[6. Snow Patrol 195 (See Note Below)]
6. Tycho 188
7. Errors 182
8. Jimmy Eat World 181
9. My Bloody Valentine 176
10. Travis 176

Note: Snow Patrol was an error a few weeks ago:


This is, as always, a bit more representative of my musical tastes than the all-time list. It's notable to see the number of Deftones, Tim Hecker and Mogwai scrobbles here, all related to new albums released (Koi No Yokan and Les Revenants OST, and for Tim Hecker, the purchase of a new album by him). Also worth noting, I guess, is that Local Natives' score has been boosted by Connie being a big fan of the album too, much in the same way that Wild Beats' were boosted in the same way.

So what about the past six months?

Top Ten Artists (from the past six months)
1. Boards of Canada 712
2. Local Natives 193
[3. Snow Patrol 191]
3. Mogwai 133
4. Queens of the Stone Age 124
5. Jimmy Eat World 101
6. Brand New 99
7. Tim Hecker 93
8. The National 93
9. Vampire Weekend 93
10. Conquering Animal Sound 90

Of those, numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 8, 9 and 10 are all new albums released in the past few months. In that bunch there's only one interesting one to note - Brand New, who haven't released an album since Daisy in 2009 but I have been listening to their 2006 album The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me a lot because it's a beast.

Wrap Up
Some final thoughts - this might not be interesting to you, but it is to me and I am a fan of looking at these metrics and seeing where my listening has gone. I don't stay aware of the listening at the time, but when ever I start to write these posts I do look back, have a think, and wonder if the charts are a reflection of what I have been listening to. As other years have stated, the six and 12 month charts are far more interesting, not weighted down by the past.

It is intersting to note that outside of the 600+ plays extra that Boards of Canada racked up in the last six months, I have been listening to a lot of new stuff that won't be captured here, such as Loscil, Apparat, Talvihorros, and many many more - these are electronic artists. Actually, Loscil appears at 17th place (past six months) with 71 plays, and others such was When Saints Go Machine, Fuck Buttons, Jon Hopkins and Applescal appear further down the list with numbers higher than 60 plays.

I enjoy writing these, and I hope someone likes reading them.

Google Play Music - The Cloud Player I've Always Wanted

I’ve been a major proponent of Spotify for years, and I love every inch of it’s streamy goodness. However, as someone who loves music and will endeavour to expand my musical tastes for the foreseeable future, Spotify has one major downfall – the lack of some of my key favourite artists. If Spotify was to ever replace my hard drive, I’d lose quite a few artists and albums I feel are too important to lose. 

So, I waited.

I waited until someone gave me one of two options; one, a cheap method of setting up my own server and cloud music upload system or two, a good service designed for music listening in mind.

iTunes is where my music is stored, for better or worse, and it launched a service similar to what I wanted only last year – iTunes Match and iTunes in the Cloud are two parts of a service that would let me load all my music onto Apple’s servers and then play it anywhere. Or so you’d think. See, even though I’d have all my music on their servers, I’d have to install iTunes to access it, or play it on my iPhone. And even then, it doesn’t stream it strictly, instead downloading it and caching it offline. Not exactly what I want.

Then there’s Amazon’s system, but even then I didn’t fancy paying for something just yet. I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea.

Google’s Play Music then is the obvious next option. It allows free uploading of 20’000 tracks (I have 11’000ish in my library) and the playing of it anywhere, via a web app in the browser, or via third party applications on the iPad and iPhone. So, this weekend I decided to take the plunge and upload all 90Gb of music to their servers. It’s taken a long time, for sure, but it’s a one time thing.  

Now, I have used it a bit now and am slowly falling in love with it for the reasons below;

It’s free. I mean, it’s free like all Google things are, and maybe it won’t be for all the time, but as a solution that meant I could see if it would work, it was the best.

It works. I can use it in Chrome, Safari on the iPhone, in Firefox on the work PC (for now), and via an app on my phone and iPad. Without any problems either. It’s been utterly seamless.

It lets me have Last.fm scrobbling. This is very important to me. I thought at first it wouldn’t, which would’ve been a deal breaker, but serendipitously the app I downloaded updated this morning to allow it, and via some finagling with Greasemonkey and this cool add-in, Firefox scrobbles too. This sealed the deal for me.

I can re-download my library, if I need to. This means that not only is it a streaming service, but also a kind of free back-up service. Pretty neat. I wouldn’t use it as a back-up though, you never know when Google will stop you from doing that.

It’s free from Apple. I love Google’s services. Gmail is brilliant, Google Maps is wonderful, and now Google Play Music. But then you wonder why I don’t have an Android phone, or an Android tablet – but that’s the thing. Despite being entrenched in Google’s services I am also built into Apple’s ecosystem too. To leave for another would lock me out of all I have before. In fact, this is the best way round, I think. I have Apple’s device and OS but with Google’s services, and none of the Android hassle. Not that there is much now, natch, but moving away from a mobile OS, especially when I’ve had iPhones for 5 years now and own a MacBook, an iPad, and a second iPhone, it’d be mental to leave. But the point is that Apple’s stuff just doesn’t work the way I want it to, and it’s great that Google supports my wishes.

It’s early days, sure, but so far having all my music online, for me to stream on any device, anywhere, at any time, is feeling so much like the future I want it’s scaring me. Google Play Music is fantastic.

Notes: It converts your music to MP3 at 320kb, including lossless stuff. For streaming that’s fine, but if you have a lot of FLAC stuff (I don’t) then you might not like that aspect of it. Also it does take ages to upload your stuff despite doing some matching of artists. It’s taken me 3 solid days of uploading to put 11k on, with around 4k matched. It’s a one time thing. And yeah, I don’t think O2 has been too happy – they’ve been throttling back my Xbox and Facetime connections quite a bit. Turns out uploading 90Gb isn’t exactly their favourite thing in the world.

Wednesday Graveyear: 2012 - the Year in Music



I like music. 2012 has been a very good year, in my opinion, and my top five albums were difficult to discern. However, as people like lists (and I like lists), here is my top five albums of the year. Also presented neatly as a take-away playlist on Spotify, Wednesday Graveyear: 2012 TopAlbums. Click the link or play in-browser here.
  1. Errors – Have Some Faith in Magic
  2. Deftones – Koi No Yokan
  3. Loscil – Sketch from New Brighton
  4. Arrange – New Memory
  5. The Walkmen – Heaven


Also some notable entries from this year:

Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin – Instrumental Tourist
RM Hubbert – Thirteen Lost and Found
The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know
Grizzly Bear – Shields
Shearwater – Animal Joy
Beach House – Bloom
Liars – WIXIW
Tall Ships – Everything Touching
Gravenhurst – The Ghost in Daylight

 
All of the above (and many more) appear on the Wednesday Graveyear: 2012 Top Tracks playlist, to take-away too and play in-browser here.

Hope you’ve had a good year too. And yes, the Wednesday Graveyard: “Live” will return, I promise. Probably over the Christmas period, for a January 2013 release.

Statistics on My Music: The 2012 Update

Previously 2010 and 2011. (Both worth reading).

As has become a tradition of sorts, here I present the third and most recent update on my musical statistics. As always, I am indebted forever to the wonderful world of Last.fm, a site that has been tracking my music since August 2006, but properly since 2008 really. So, where are we as of August 2012?

I now have 65’214 plays on my account. That’s a massive 14’230 more scrobbles than this time last year. There’s a massive reason for this; I started to use an app called iScrob on my iPhone that in real time updates the Last.fm scribbler as to what I am listening to, over the data connection. It’s a godsend. If it weren’t for that, then I’d be probably down a substantial amount of plays. It also solves the problem of scrobbles on the move and in the car being lost to the ether. It has impacted my listening polling a lot.

Interestingly, between 2010 and 2011 I added almost 15’000 scrobbles. Meaning that in the last 13 months (whoops) I have actually added less than I normally would. I am actually unsure as to why this happened. It probably has been that I’ve had intermittent Spotify access. Who knows.

Onto the meat of the article!

Top Ten artists of all time
  1. Boards of Canada 1795 -EQUAL
  2. Belle and Sebastian 1487 -EQUAL
  3. The Walkmen 1339 -EQUAL
  4. The Twilight Sad 1121 -UP
  5. Idlewild 1065 -EQUAL
  6. Interpol 1044 -EQUAL
  7. The Smiths 1039 -DOWN
  8. Elbow 938 -UP
  9. Mogwai 891 -DOWN
  10. Arab Strap 853 -UP

So looking at that compared to 2011 there are a few big changes. The biggest is that when you look at the numbers… I’ve not really added that much to the artists’ totals. Boards of Canada were top last year with 1712, and in 12 months I’ve only added 83 plays – not even a full run through of their entire discography! Same for Belle and Sebastian – barely any plays more than 2011. It is worth noting too, however, that the number 3 artist has managed to close the gap a bit. The Walkmen have been able to post 284 plays in the year. A pretty impressive tally and putting them in touching distance of the second spot. Here’s the main thing to take away from the chart – The Smiths ended having no plays scrobbled all year. None. They’ve dropped from fourth to seventh in my all-time list with no plays. That’s impressive. And I noted last year that from 2010 to 2011 they only had 65 additional plays. So in 25 months they’ve been played 65 times. And are still in the top 10!

It points out something inherently wrong with my all-time list and it’s that it’s weighted with the past. Nothing on here shows my love for something recently. If something can be in the top 10 two years running with no additional plays, there is something wrong.

Note: Radiohead dropped out of the top ten this year. Interesting.

Top Ten albums of all time
  1. Boards of Canada – Geogaddi 549
  2. Boards of Canada – Music Has the Right to Children 533
  3. The Walkmen – You and Me 482
  4. The XX – xx 472
  5. The Phantom Band – The Wants 423
  6. Wild Beasts – Smother 386
  7. Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 385
  8. The Twilight Sad – Forget the Night Ahead 333
  9. King Creosote – Bombshell 331
  10. Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights 315

This list is redundant really. The only thing of note in this list is that it shows the presence of Wild Beasts. This list is so remarkably similar to 2011’s it’s quite disturbing. Hopefully some change will have happened in the other lists.

Top Ten artists from the last 12 months
  1. Errors 323
  2. Wild Beasts 307
  3. Tycho 304
  4. The Twilight Sad 300
  5. The Walkmen 269
  6. Liars 256
  7. Slow Club 252
  8. Beach House 247
  9. Why? 216
  10. The Mars Volta 164

So the above is a new list. The first two lists show that they have rarely changed. My listening habits have, but not yet with the impact needed to change dramatically the top listings on my list. Fun stat: only 20% of the “All Time” artists appear in the “12 months” lists, and all of the plays in the top 10 from the past 12 months make up only 80.4% of the plays of the top two “All time” artists. This shows you the weighting of the list.

Good to see some artists appearing in there; Beach House, Why?, Liars, and Errors – probably my most listened to 2012 album, and slowly becoming my favourite of the year.

If that’s the last 12 months… what does the last 6 months look like?

Top Ten artists from the last 6 months
  1. The Walkmen 266
  2. Beach House 246
  3. Liars 232
  4. Wild Beasts 208
  5. Slow Club 184
  6. Modest Mouse 155
  7. Why? 145
  8. The Twilight Sad 143
  9. The Antlers 130
  10. Arrange 119
So there’s a tiny bit of shuffling there, but mostly it’s interesting to see that a few other artists creeping into the lists – Arrange and Antlers for example.          

As I mentioned last year, this gives you a good idea of what I have bene listening to and what I actually like. Don’t believe the top 10 at the top of this post. I have listened to so much different music in the last few months – I actually think that for the first time in years, and maybe ever, my top five favourite albums are guitar devoid. Liars’ new album, Errors, Arrange’s New Memory, Twin Shadow… the guitar is less and less important in my listening habits. That said, The Walkmen still appear. It’s interesting though to see the shift.

These posts are always interesting to me, so I hope they are slightly interesting to you. I will be restarting the Wednesday Graveyard: “Live” in the coming weeks, so if you like my music taste then you should be listening to them when they are released.

Notes:
- Notice the propensity of artists that released music in 2012 - Mars Volta, Walkmen, Errors, Twilight Sad, Liars, Beach House, Antlers, Arrange...

See you in 2013.

Statistics on My Music: The 2011 Update

Last year I wrote a post that was dedicated to naming (and shaming) those artists which I had listened to the most since 2006 using the tracking site Last.fm.  I am still using it, on my Mac and my iPhone.  The biggest change this year so far has been that Spotify, that syncs directly, has had to cache its scrobbles because I don't have a dedicated internet connection on my iphone; this might have distorted the results slightly but not by much.

This time, I have a total of 50894 scrobbles (as of July 16th 2011).  I am currently listening to Arab Strap, so the numbers will change slightly during the drafting of this post - if you want the up to date list, click here and see my Last.fm profile.  Why not friend me?  It also means that in the last year, I have added 15'000 new tracks to my scrobbles.  Quite a feat.

My current overall artists:
1. Boards of Canada 1'712 UP
2. Belle and Sebastian 1'394 DOWN
3. The Walkmen 1'055 UP
4. The Smiths 1'039 DOWN
5. Idlewild 973 DOWN
6. Interpol 945 DOWN
7. Elbow 840 EVEN
8. Mogwai 835 UP
9. The Twilight Sad 791 UP
10. Radiohead 741 UP

We have lost Modest Mouse, Manic Street Preachers and Arab Strap from the top ten (Arab Strap and Modest Mouse are 11 and 12 respectively).  Also, Radiohead and The Twilight Sad are finally in it, reflecting much more my current listening.  In fact, if you notice that the distance between Boards of Canada and Belle and Sebastian, you see that compared to last year, the distance between 1 and 2 is greater; there was only 27 plays between them last year compared to around 360 this time.  Quite a jump.

Also, interestingly, The Smiths have only had 65 plays all year.  That's a massive drop year on year.  I have very rarely listened to The Smiths all year.  I have moved on quite a bit.

It also probably showcases that my Boards of Canada obsession is rather high.

Top ten overall albums:
1. Boards of Canada - Geogaddi 539
2. Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children 470
3. The XX - xx 434
4. The Walkmen - You & Me 416
5. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 360
6. The Phantom Band - The Wants 359
7. King Creosote - Bombshell 305
8. The Twilight Sad - Forget the Night Ahead 289
9. Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights 282
10. Manic Street Preachers - Journal for Plague Lovers 259

Okay, so yeah, I like Boards of Canada (click here for a lengthy article about them what I wrote)and this last year I have almost played everything they have ever owned to death.  I managed to get a hold of all their EPs and even the ultra rare Old stuff tapes, Volumes one and two, so that is why they are at the top.  Indeed, most of the list appeared last year, but have all fallen quite a way - even last years vogue, The XX, dropped places and only managed 145 plays.  Not impressive really.  The biggest drop, of course, was the anomaly of Journal for Plague Lovers; it barely managed 12 tracks, not even a full play through of the album's tracks!  Quite a drop.  Also, notice the entry of The Phantom Band in there: it was released in October 2010, so in under 10 months it has managed to rack up 359 plays - 1 play more more than my top album of all time August 2006 to May 2010.  That is impressive.  That kind of fact is why I use Last.fm and also why I decided to these posts.

Last year I pointed out that the next chart was almost useless; it had mostly track ones; side ones on it.  but never the less, you have to be thorough.

Top Ten tracks of all time:
1. The Phantom Band - O 88
2. The Twilight Sad - Cold Days from the Birdhouse 70
3. The Walkmen - Donde Esta la Playa 59
4. The Walkmen - In the New Year 57
5. The Phantom Band - A Glamour 54
6=. The XX - Intro 53
6=. The Phantom Band - Walls 53
8=. The XX - VCR 52
8=. The Twilight Sad - Reflection of the Television 52
10. The Twilight Sad - I Became a Prostitute 51

Well hello The Phantom Band, nice to see you.  Thanks for coming out.  Less track ones in there than I excepted too, which is  nice to see.  Sorry to see Belle and Sebastian drop out of the list at the expense of The Phantom Band (who appear to be like Barcelona, sweeping the board entirely here) but that is how the chips fall.

As a good barometer, it's nice to check how my 6 Month listening relates to the above charts.  As I pointed out last time, I change my listening habits a lot.  This year's not been so much about The XX and also because I have been scrobbling a lot more frequently, and with better reliability, the numbers above probably fit quite well with my actual habits.

Top ten artists from the last six months:
1. Boards of Canada 765
2. Wild Beasts 424
3. Mogwai 330
4. The Strokes 250
5. Radiohead 248
6. Arab Strap 211
7. The Phantom Band 170
8. Elbow 153
9. Arctic Monkeys 151
10. Found 149

Okay so this is a much better representation of my current musical temperature - it was something of a quizzical thought when I noticed that none of the above charts had had Wild Beasts appear, especially considering that I have been totally obsessed with their most recent album Smother, and their entire back catalogue was picked up by Connie and I.  It is also funny to see The Strokes in there; they were the soundtrack for most of the West Coast American Road Trip, so that makes sense.  Also, there's Arab Strap, pushing up their number from last year and trying to break the top ten - something that will be likely to happen in the coming months as I write a lengthy article about them for Tones of Town.

I am also very happy to see Found stumble bleary eyed into this top ten - look at the company they keep.  You should really check them out if you haven't yet.

As a final note I should point out that over the years my listening has changed a lot, and I have also listened to a lot of music as well.  This means that the artists that I don't listen to, like last years We Are the Physics who appeared in some of the lists when I hadn't listened to them in ages, is less apparent in the lists.  This means very little.  But what it does mean in practice is that my Last.fm recommendations has become very powerful indeed - only in the last few months has it gave me the aforementioned Found, Admiral Fallow, Eagleowl, and others.

Another footnote: in the last week I have found Bandcamp.  I even registered my planned musical project's name (but the less said about that, the better).  On here I have found numerous bands that, in due course, I will talk about probably on Tones of Town.  So keep an eye on there; but Bandcamp is changing the way I find and listen to music by a lot.

See you next year, I guess.