Tom’s Perenially Inaccurate Top 10 of 2013

Each year, we go through the frustrating shambles of listing the top ten tracks in my iTunes. Here we go.

1) The National, “Pink Rabbits”
=2) David Bowie, “Where Are We Now?”
=2) Foals, “My Number”
4) Vampire Weekend, “Step”
=5) Arcade Fire, “Reflektor”
=5) Arcade Fire, “Afterlife”
=7) St Vincent, “Birth In Reverse”
=7) Vampire Weekend, “Ya Hey”
=9) The National, “Demons”
=9) Vampire Weekend, “Diane Young”

Some interesting wrinkles… the fad for releasing one track in advance has caused two problems. One of which is that, if the pre-release and album versions of the song “Reflektor” are counted together, they are easily the song I’ve listened to the most. But as they’re two tracks, they come in at joint fifth and joint eleventh.

We’ll have the same problem next year, I’ll warrant, with “Birth In Reverse”, from the unreleased St Vincent album.

Good albums this year, weren’t they? I found The National a bit patchy and Janelle Monae a bit less electrifying than her previous one, but Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend and Everything Everything were all extremely strong albums. And the David Bowie one was a revelation. That kid’s alright.

Here’s the list, limited to one track per artist:

1) The National, “Pink Rabbits”
2) David Bowie, “Where Are We Now?”
3) Foals, “My Number”
4) Vampire Weekend, “Step”
5) Arcade Fire, “Reflektor”
6) St Vincent, “Birth In Reverse”
7) Everything Everything, “Cough Cough”
8) Daft Punk, “Get Lucky”
9) Destroyer, “Maria De Las Nieves”
10) Janelle Monae, “QUEEN”

The iPrune continues. We’re now down to 26830 songs over 135.57gb. And my iPod has recently stopped syncing. Thanks Apple.

And here’s the all-time list (last year’s position in brackets):

=1) Queens Of The Stone Age, “Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret” (1)
=1) Spoon, “Finer Feelings” (2)
=1) St Vincent, “Actor Out Of Work” (3)
4) Arcade Fire, “Ready To Start” (4)
5) Queens Of The Stone Age, “Go With The Flow” (5)
=6) Bracket, “Trailer Park” (5)
=6) Rolling Stones, “Tumbling Dice” (new entry)
=8) Beck, “Hell Yes” (new entry)
=8) Foals, “Cassius” (9)
=10) Death From Above 1979, “Romantic Rights” (new entry)
=10) Interpol, “The Heinrich Maneuver” (new entry)

There we go. See you next year.

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Tom’s Continuingly Inaccurate Top 10 of 2012

(Previous years: 20112010, 2009, 2008)

Persisting with an annual charade that stands up to no scrutiny, here are the ten most played songs from my iTunes that were released in 2012.
=1) Rams Pocket Radio – 1&2
=1) Smoke Fairies – Let Me Know
=3) Django Django – Default
=3) Fiona Apple – Anything We Want
=5) Ben Folds Five – Michael Praytor, Five Years Later
=5) Frank Ocean – Super Rich Kids
=7) Ben Folds Five – Draw A Crowd
=7) Fiona Apple – Valentine
=7) Grouplove – Party Hard
=7) Standard Fare – Suitcase
Splendid albums from Frank Ocean, Fiona Apple and Ben Folds Five. Good ones too from Muse, Graham Coxon and Django Django. Could do with a couple more big hitters in 2013 – big hopes for the Foals album in February.
In memoriam, it was very sad to lose MCA. What a guy.
I’ve done a bit of an iTunes prune (iPrune?) this year, after my 160gb iPod filled up, so we’re now down to 27,488 songs over 136gb. (Sorry again, Cooper Temple Clause.)
Here’s the overall top ten, with last year’s position in brackets:
1) Queens of the Stone Age – The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret (3)
2) Spoon – Finer Feelings (1)
3) St Vincent – Actor Out Of Work (1)
4) Arcade Fire – Ready To Start (new entry)
=5) Bracket – Trailer Park (4)
=5) Queens of the Stone Age – Go With The Flow (new entry)
=7) LCD Soundsystem – Drunk Girls (4)
=7) Wilco – Company In My Back (6)
=9) Clearlake – Widescreen (new entry)
=9) Foals – Cassius (new entry)
=9) The National – You’ve Done It Again, Virginia (6)
=9) Spoon – Don’t You Evah (new entry)
The first year at number one for QOTSA. Quite happy with the list overall.
That’s your lot. See you next year for even less science.

Tom’s Persistently Unscientific Top Ten of 2011!

(Previous years: 2010, 2009, 2008)

As previously stated, I’m building a masterpiece in my iPod – currently 27,855 items occupying 137.34 GB.
We’re reaching a tipping point here, people, where my iPod is struggling to cope. I’m going to have to do some trimming soon. That probably means jettisoning that Cooper Temple Clause album. Sorry, Cooper Temple Clause.
Each year, I make an unsatisfying auto-playlist of the songs that are dated that year in my iTunes, and rank them in order of most listened to. Here’s this year’s list.
1) Uberlin – REM
2) Downtown – Destroyer
3)= Stuck On The Puzzle – Alex Turner
3)= Blue Eyes – Destroyer
3)= Savage Night At The Opera – Destroyer
3)= Wake Up – Jason Pegg
7)= Poor In Love – Destroyer
7)= Civilian – Wye Oak
9)= Make Some Noise – Beastie Boys
9)= Song For America – Destroyer
A simultaneous “Hooray!” and “Boo hoo!” for the departing REM – probably my favourite band ever. I’m glad Uberlin is a splendid last hurrah on a mostly-great album. Probably the best album of the year was PJ Harvey, but it was just so bleak. Therefore the simply wonderful, neon-lit, sax-solo-covered, deeply-uncool Kaputt by Destroyer is my favourite album of the year. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do. It’s superb.
Honourable mentions for those not mentioned in the list above go to St Vincent, who made a stunning album a bit too late in the year for consideration; King of Limbs by Radiohead which was alright, wasn’t it?; the Lonely Island for making some pretty good songs on a patchy album (less of the homophobia next time, chaps!); and Wilco, whose The Whole Love is their best album since A Ghost Is Born. YES! In your face, everyone else who’s already said that! I’m saying it too!
It was a good year, I think. There’s lots I have yet to discover. No time. I got married instead of listening to music. Sue me.
Here’s my current All-Time Top 10, with last year’s chart placement in brackets after it:
1)= Finer Feelings – Spoon (non-mover)
1)= Actor Out Of Work – St Vincent (last year’s number 2)
3) The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret – Queens of the Stone Age (non-mover)
4)= Trailer Park – Bracket (new entry)
4)= Drunk Girls – LCD Soundsystem (new entry)
6)= Romantic Rights – Death From Above 1979 (non-mover)
6)= Tightrope – Janelle Monae (new entry)
6)= You’ve Done It Again, Virginia – The National (last year’s number 3)
6)= Tumbling Dice – The Rolling Stones (new entry – probably a re-entry, actually)
6)= Company In My Back – Wilco (non-mover)
6)= Good – Ghostface Killah (non-mover)
Pretty pointless, all in all.
This year, I don’t think I know of any new albums coming out. Maybe there won’t be any. That would be interesting, eh? I’m hoping to do something a bit musicky this year. Watch this space. It might actually happen.
(EDIT: Oh, and I’m on this ThisIsMyJam thing – come hang out, music-lovers…)

Tom’s Highly Unscientific Top Ten of 2010!

As you may remember from either last year, or the year before that, I’m building a masterpiece in my iPod, currently 26,611 items occupying 131.35 GB.

Each year, I make an unsatisfying auto-playlist of the songs that are dated 2010 in my iTunes, and rank them in order of most listened to. Here’s this year’s list.
1) Ready To Start – Arcade Fire
2)= Drunk Girls – LCD Soundsystem
2)= Tightrope – Janelle Monae
2)= Cousins – Vampire Weekend
5) The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
6)= Zebra – Beach House
6)= I’m Not Living In The Real World – Belle & Sebastian
6)= Trouble Come Running – Spoon
9)= Shutterbugg – Big Boi
9)= Anyone’s Ghost – The National
I think there have been many many strong albums this year, a million times better than 2009’s lacklustre crop. As well as the nine albums represented above, there were strong showings just outside the Top 10 for the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack (“Threshold” by Sex Bob-omb), Sufjan Stevens (his “All Delighted People” ep in particular), and the Hold Steady’s “Heaven Is Whenever”. Good job, 2010! Keep it up, 2011.
And here’s my all-time Top 10 on iTunes, with previous year’s placing following it.
1) Finer Feelings – Spoon (non-mover)
2) Actor Out Of Work – St Vincent (new entry)
3)= Friends – Led Zeppelin (last year’s number 9)
3)= You’ve Done It Again, Virginia – The National (last year’s number 3)
3)= The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret – Queens of the Stone Age (non-mover)
6)= Romantic Rights – Death From Above 1979 (new entry)
6)= Blood On Our Hands – Death From Above 1979 (last year’s number 2)
6)= I Want This Cyclops – Destroyer (last year’s number 8)
6)= Florida – Modest Mouse (last year’s number 4)
6)= You Got Yr Cherry Bomb – Spoon (new entry)
6)= Don’t You Evah – Spoon (new entry)
6)= Company In My Back – Wilco (new entry)
6)= Good – Ghostface Killah (new entry)
See you next year, pop pickers! (Fingers crossed that the R.E.M. album will be any good!)

Tom’s Highly Unscientific Top Ten of 2009!

As you may remember from last year, I’m building a masterpiece in my iPod, currently 24,664 items occupying 118.12 GB.

Now, I’ve been worrying about this list. As you may remember, I make an auto-playlist which lists my top ten most listened to tracks that were, according to my iTunes, released in 2009. This has several flaws. One, it means that tracks that were in no way released in 2009 get into the chart (“Lewis, Mistreated” by Radiohead is in the Top 20 despite it being released fourteen years previously). Two, tracks released earlier in the year fare better that ones released later in the year, as they have a chance to be listened to more. Three, iTunes doesn’t (I believe) allow you to find out how many plays you’ve given a specific track in a specific year. This is understandable. It’s borderline obsessive at best.

Again, the Top Ten is basically made up of four or five albums. Last year it was The National, Vampire Weekend, TV On The Radio, Black Kids and Fleet Foxes. This year, well… take a look.

1) “Actor Out Of Work” by St Vincent
2) “Black Rainbow” by St Vincent
3) “Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood” by St Vincent
4) “Lion In A Coma” by Animal Collective
5) “I’m On A Boat” by The Lonely Island w/ T-Pain
6) “Don’t Upset The Rhythm” by Noisettes
7) “Never Forget You” by Noisettes
8) “No You Girls” by Franz Ferdinand
9) “Punch You In The Jeans” by The Lonely Island
10) “Uprising” by Muse

Allowing for only one track per artist, the Top Ten looks like this…

1) “Actor Out Of Work” by St Vincent
2) “Lion In A Coma” by Animal Collective
3) “I’m On A Boat” by The Lonely Island
4) “Don’t Upset The Rhythm” by Noisettes
5) “No You Girls” by Franz Ferdinand
6) “Uprising” by Muse
7) “Not Fair” by Lily Allen
8) “Lewis, Mistreated” by Radiohead (seriously!)
9) “Runaway” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
10) “Time’s Arrow” by Jason Pegg

Which is good as it gets in Jason Pegg’s amazing opening track from his bafflingly great solo album, but which is bad as I bought that album on the 22nd of December and it’s at number 37 in the proper, non-artist adjusted chart.

Anyway, maybe iTunes will update by next year.

One thing that will be okay, though is my current all-time Top Ten!

1) “Finer Feelings” by Spoon – NON MOVER
2) “Blood On Our Hands” by Death From Above 1979 – NEW ENTRY
3) “You’ve Done It Again, Virginia” by The National – NEW ENTRY
4) “Florida” by Modest Mouse – NEW ENTRY
5) “The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret” by Queens of the Stone Age – NEW ENTRY
6) “Dancing Choose” by TV On The Radio – NEW ENTRY
7) “Widescreen” by Clearlake – NEW ENTRY
8) “I Want This Cyclops” by Destroyer – LAST YEAR’S NUMBER 6
9) “Friends” by Led Zeppelin – LAST YEAR’S NUMBER 4
10) “Tumbling Dice” by The Rolling Stones – NEW ENTRY

Overall, it’s been a terrible year for albums. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs were disappointing, the Noisettes were good but upsetting, The Lonely Island’s album was the patchiest thing ever, and Muse was kind of okay, but a bit ho-hum (much better than Black Holes & Revelations, though).

Top albums though, were Jason Pegg‘s album (which is, I think titled “Jason Pegg’s Album“) and St Vincent’s “Actor”. Both of which were generally brilliant.

In 2010, I’m looking forward to the long-gestating Clearlake album “Dark Blue” and Vampire Weekend, and hopefully something amazing that will surprise me. Fingers crossed!

Tom’s Highly Unscientific Top Ten of 2008!

I’m building a masterpiece in my iPod, currently 21,987 items occupying 100.95 GB. FACT.

Using the highly unscientific principle of making an auto-playlist of songs listed by my iTunes as being released in the year 2008 and sorting it by number of times played, I can show my Top Ten of the year!

This is highly unscientific as my iTunes is really rubbish at recording years. For instance, both “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by U2 and “Teenage Kicks” by the Undertones were apparently released in 2008.

This list also gives songs that were released earlier in the year a greater chance of being listened to, so again… unscientific.

With all that in mind, here’s what I’ve been listening to in 2008!

1) “You’ve Done It Again, Virginia” by The National
2) “A-Punk” by Vampire Weekend
3) “Dancing Choose” by TV On The Radio
4) “DLZ” by TV On The Radio
5) “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” by Vampire Weekend
6) “M79” by Vampire Weekend
7) “Listen To Your Body Tonight” by Black Kids
8) “Ragged Wood” by Fleet Foxes
9) “Red Dress” by TV On The Radio
10) “Campus” by Vampire Weekend

UPDATE: See the top ten in VIDEO FORM!

… and here’s my current all-time Top Ten!

1) “Finer Feelings” by Spoon
2) “Easy/Lucky/Free” by Bright Eyes
3) “Don’t You Evah” by Spoon
4) “Friends” by Led Zeppelin
5) “Arc Of Time (Time Code)” by Bright Eyes
6) “I Want This Cyclops” by Destroyer
7) “Suffer For Fashion” by Of Montreal
8) “Gronlandic Edit” by Of Montreal
9) “A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger” by Of Montreal
10) “Neon Bible” by Arcade Fire

Now, I know it looks like I only own 6 albums, and the other 21,000 tracks are entirely useless. But I promise you, there shall come big exciting developments in the year to come.

I hope.