2017 In Music

Before January 2018 gets away from me, I’d like to reflect on the last year of music. Unlike in previous years where I pulled the data from Last.fm automatically and then ran a bunch of queries on it separately, this year I went completely lazy-like and automated just about the whole thing! My job requires near-constant writing of Python code, so that certainly helps.

First of all, the total tracks we listened to throughout the year: 5716. I don’t have the numbers from last year to compare for this metric, but I’m reasonably certain this one has gone up. We now have an Amazon Echo Dot in the home office and a full-sized Echo in the kitchen, and both of them are hooked up to Spotify. The kids and the wife both are not shy about queuing up stuff there!

Which artists did we listen to the most?

Radiohead takes the cake here, and almost completely because of A Moon Shaped Pool. I adore that album and find myself reaching for it when I feel my anxiety level creeping up. Thom Yorke does a wonderful job vocally and the whole thing just resonates with me.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are no stranger to music lists of mine, but this year they’re on there primarily for the Vietnam soundtrack they did for PBS. It’s awesome and roped me in pretty quickly. Plus, it has the whole no-vocals-with-heavy-beats kinda feel to it, which I dig for distraction-free working.

Ramin Djawadi is pretty high up there for the Game of Thrones Season 6 soundtrack. It’s a TV series unlike any other and it has the tunes to back it up. I’m a huge fan of Light of the Seven especially. I loved season 7’s offering also, and can’t wait for what he does in season 8.

Dinosaur Pile-Up is a newcomer this year. I saw them mentioned in a Reddit thread about the Foo Fighers and the lack of good rock, so I decided to give them a listen and became hooked. I can’t really describe their sound well, but think of how Ozzy Osbourne would sound if he wasn’t all drugged up and also had much better pitch control. I don’t know - that doesn’t do them justice. Just listen to them.

How many different artists did we listen to?

We listened to 852 different artists in 2017 versus 502 in 2016. That’s a big leap, and I’d attribute it to Spotify’s amazing playlist generation capabilities. Now more than ever before I am trusting this service to crank out jams that I will enjoy again and again. The tech behind all this stuff is fascinating and it’s obviously working - I just hit ‘play’.

How many tracks did we listen to per month?

Sometimes I can associate life events to this chart, but this year I really can’t. There’s the general downwards tilt around the holidays when I switch over to streaming from Soma.fm for the funky Chrismas music, but otherwise I don’t have any idea. There are two huge spikes for March and August - maybe I was head-down programming something magical at the time? Who knows.

Which artists did we listen to the most by month?

The big notable here is Mac Quayle, who is the composer for the television series Mr. Robot. Kristin and I started watching it in December and fell in love immediately. It satisfies our need for dystopian stories! It also doesn’t hurt that it has a major hacker component to it as well.

How many different artists did we listen to per month?

I like to look at this one just to get a gauge on whether or not I’m falling into any ruts. With the kids manning the Amazon Echo, that isn’t very likely these days and the numbers show it. I am a little surprised that December is lower than usual. I probably forgot to hook up Soma.FM to scrobble during that time. Usually the family rocks the Christmas themed channels pretty hard throughout the month.

Which song did we listen to the most?

The song Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth takes the cake for the most often-played song this year. We played it 18 times. It’s my go-to “pump me up” song, so it’s really no surprise it took the top prize. It doesn’t matter if you’re angry or not. There’s just something about Dave Mustaine’s gritty, snarling voice that really gets your blood pumping.

Which album did we listen to the most?

The album at the top of the hill this year is The Social Network by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. I’ve mentioned it before, but it is pretty much my default coding album. Whenever I need to zone in on some code for work or for Xonotic, that album is playing in the background. I’ve listened to it so much that I fall into a unconscious groove, so in that regard it acts as ear muffs for the outside world. Nice, nice, nice.

So that’s it for the year in 2017! It was another good one, and I have Soma.FM and Spotify to thank. It’s so nice to be living in an age where I can carry around millions of songs in my pocket. It sure beats loading up SD cards all the time.