Music Revisit: 60,000 Scrobbles

Note: This is a follow-up to a post I wrote back in 2012 when I passed the 40,000 Scrobble mark.

It’s taken 9 years, but I’ve eclipsed 60,000 listens, or Scrobbles using Last.fm.  For those who don’t know, this is a site that tracks your listens and provides data and recommendations based on your interests.  However in the years that have passed, streaming services have eaten the lunch of Last.fm’s latter goal and unfortunately it seems the site is relegated to tracking. Given how much data I’ve been pumping into them, I’m glad that CBS is still keeping them around – for the time being.

It’s taken over three years for me to amass the next 20,000 songs, which is probably slower than most given that I listen to podcasts during essentially every commute.  As you’ll see below most of my rankings haven’t changed that much, although there has been a shift in the songs that have become more popular.

Dropped off the list:

  • Pearl Jam, previously at #1 with 475 plays.

10. Ozomatli (517 Plays, New to Top 10). Ozomatli is still a mainstream in my listening, and is my default go-to band when I want to hear some music in Spanish. Top Album: Don’t Mess With The Dragon. Top Tracks: Can’t Stop, La Gallina, Cut Chemist Suite

9. Outkast (557 Plays, Previously #9). If there was one group that I wish would get back together and play music, it would be Outkast. Unfortunately with all things in life: it’s just not that easy. Until then I’ll just need to be comforted by my Andre 3000 playlist.  Top Album: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Top Tracks: Ms. Jackson, Rosa Parks, Hey Ya!

8. Jimmy Eat World (562 Plays, Previously #8). I still haven’t seen them play live yet, and I’m wondering if that window is starting to close.   Top Album: Chase This Light. Top Tracks: Here It Goes, Open Bar Reception, A Praise Chorus

7. Red Hot Chili Peppers (733 Plays, Previously #5). RHCP may have suffered from not being on streaming platforms for part of the last three years. They finally got their stuff together and sre still putting out great music. Top Album: Stadium Arcadium. Top Tracks: Under the Bridge, Soul to Squeeze, Dani California

6. O.AR. (737 Plays, Previously #6). I’ve really liked a lot of their new stuff that they’ve put out. I’m a little surprised that Peace didn’t make it into my top three tracks, given how much I’m listening to it. Top Album: All Sides. Top Tracks: Love and Memories, This Town, Fire

5. John Butler Trio (816 Plays, Previously #7). Their plethora of great new music helped them swap places with RHCP.  I’ve actually done drum covers of Used To Get High and Close To You.  Top Album: Grand National. Top Tracks: Used to Get High, Daniella, One Way Road

4. Five for Fighting (872 Plays, Previously #5). I’m sad that my favorite singer-songwriter isn’t really releasing new material at this point. Top Album: Slice. Top Tracks: The Riddle, 100 Years, Slice

3. Michael Franti & Spearhead (924 Plays, Previously #4). I’m really enjoying the latest stuff that Franti and Spreahead are putting together, with the messages being more in-line with their earlier stuff.  Top Album: Stay Human. Top Tracks: One Step Closer To You, Hey Hey Hey, We Don’t Stop

2. Muse (1,216 Plays, Muse #2). One of my other favorite bands who don’t seem afraid to try different things with different albums. I’ve had a harder time getting into their new stuff, but that has more to do with the fact that they’re releasing so much, so fast. Top Album: Black Holes and Revelations. Top Tracks: Time Is Running Out (another fun drum cover), New Born, Hyper Music

1. Dave Matthews Band (2,812 Plays). No big change except for the fact that I can’t get enough of my favorite band and am hopeful they can release some new material this next year. Top Album: Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King. Top Tracks: Two Step, #41, So Much To Say

Thank you for checking in on this journey with me. Just for kicks, I also grabbed my top 5 favorite songs (statistically speaking) from the last year:

5. Mark Ronson – Feel Right
4. The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
3. Daft Punk – Get Lucky
2. Enrique Iglesias – Bailando (Spanish Version) – my daughter loves this one
1 Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk

New drum cover and more YouTube problems

It’s been nearly a month since I posted my last drum cover, and the busyness of work and life interfered with my goal of posting one drum cover per week.  I was definitely anxious to get another one out there and build momentum, but with the YouTube copyright troubles this one has given me, my momentum is all but dead.

I went and covered one of my favorite Muse songs, “Time Is Running Out”. I nailed it in the third take and am now to the point where editing the video has become the easy part.  I started the upload to YouTube only to find that my version got blocked in some countries – actually one country – the United States.

Confused, I searched for other drum covers of “Time” and found quite a few of them out there.  On one of the more successful ones, I noticed that he raised the pitch of the recording. I went ahead and tried the same thing and made Muse’s Matt Ballamy sound like a woman, but I was hopeful that I’d be able to get my video posted.  No such luck, it got blocked in the US again.

Frustrated, I was about to delete my video, but found that it was already getting a few views and even a comment from users in other countries, so I decided to leave it be.  I’m trying to dispute the blocking on the video, on the grounds that this video is for educational purposes for other drummers, but I’m not too helpful that my dispute will be successful.  We’ll see.

Look, I get that Muse’s record label and publisher is acting within their designated rights here, and that these drum covers are on pretty shaky ground.  What sucks here is that there’s some kind of double-standard with the same freakin’ song.  After already being burned by my Kanye cover, I’m pretty leery about putting in the work of practicing and recover a song, only to have it immediately flushed.  Seeing the number of “Time” drum covers that I can see, I assumed that the labels saw this as a promotional vehicle for their music and were happy to collect ad revenue from the videos. It looks like I was wrong.

I guess for now I’ll stick to the more obscure songs or spend some time which researching which labels are cool about covers.  However in the meantime, this process is royally broken.  By the time you discover the end result, it’s too late and you’ve already wasted your time.

Luckily my original video has found a home on Vimeo:

Vimeo has a really nice platform and some great tools, and my video may still be up because of their “security through obscurity” model – but YouTube is where I’ve been trying to grow my channel.  However, with half of my videos now crippled by these blockings – I don’t have much to show for it.

40,000 Scrobbles & Counting

Note: This is a follow-up post to a follow-up post, when I Scrobbled 29,000 songs back in May of 2010.

Back in December of 2006, I heard of this site known as Last.FM that tracked the music you listen to and offered recommendations based on those stats. While I rarely take advantage of the radio stations and streaming, I am fascinated by the data my “Scrobbles” bring.  Two years ago I jumped the gun and eagerly published my list before I reached 30,000 songs, so after patiently waiting for 40,000 I am eager to see how much musical tastes have changed over the last two years and 11,000 songs.

Dropped Off the Last List:

  • Gym Class Heroes (363 Plays, Previously Ranked #10).  This dropped all the way to #13.

#10: Pearl Jam (402 Plays, Previously not on the list). When the Pearl Jam Twenty documentary came out last fall, I binged on their music for a month straight. If I were to put together a Mt. Rushmore of albums of my teenage years, Ten would have to be on there. Top Album: rearviewmirror (greatest hits 1991-2003) Top Songs: Daughter, Given To Fly, Even Flow.

#9: OutKast (476 Plays, Previously at 7).  Andre 3000 is one of those renaissance men who seems to do anything besides what he does best.  OutKast has fallen down on my list simply because they haven’t produced anything relevant in nearly 6 years.  Top Album: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below Top Songs: Ms. Jackson, Rosa Parks, Hey Ya!

#8: Jimmy Eat World (502 Plays, Previously at 6). Not much to say here, except that this is a solid band that I still want to see live some day. Top Album: Chase This Light Top Songs: Here It Goes, Open Bar Reception, A Praise Chorus

#7: John Butler Trio (562 Plays, Previously at 9).  I think these guys haven’t even peaked when it comes to their music, each album gets better and better. Top Album: Grand National Top Songs: Daniella, One Way Road, Used To Get High

#6: O.A.R. (565 Plays, Previously at 8).  Another band on my “Need to see Live” list, their newest album King, is really good. Top Album: All Sides Top Songs: Right on Time, War Song, This Town.

#5: Red Hot Chili Peppers (594 Plays, Previously at #3).  RCHP was a band that I definitely missed these last few years, and am glad that they’re back with I’m With You, but these guys need to get their stuff together and get on Rdio, which is how I’m consuming 90% of my music today. Top Album: Stadium Arcadium Top Songs: Under the Bridge, Soul to Squeeze, Dani California.

#4: Five For Fighting (613 Plays, Previously at #5). John Ondrasik has got to be the classist musician out there. Top Album: Slice Top Songs: The Riddle, 100 Years, Slice.

#3: Michael Franti & Spearhead (728 Plays, Previously at #4).  When I last wrote about them, I was hoping that their next album would be like their earlier stuff. Sound of Sunshine is as good as you can get, producing one of my favorite songs in Hey Hey HeyTop Album: Stay Human Top Songs: One Step Closer To You, Hey Hey Hey, People in tha Middle.

#2: Muse (842 Plays, Previously at #2). Whether it’s working out, coding or having a party, Muse is a great soundtrack to life. Top Album: Origin of Symmetry Top Songs: New Born, Hyper Music, Time Is Running Out

#1: Dave Matthews Band (2011 Plays, Previously at #1). 2012 looks like to be a big year for them, with an album supposedly coming out sometime before December. Now if they would just come back to Denver… Top Album: Big Whiskey and the Googrux King Top Songs: Two Step, #41, Crash Into Me

Thanks for indulging me in the vanity of looking at my listening habits.  If you’d like to check out some of my statistically favorite songs, I’ve created an Rdio playlist.

Updated Top Concert Listing: 10-6

After going to the Muse concert last weekend, it occurred to me that it has been over 5 years since I’ve posted a "Top Concert" listing.  Since 2005 I’ve been to 22 concerts, bringing the count above 40.  I’ve mapped out the dates and locations, went through pictures, listened to the music and invoked the memories to try to put together my list of top 10.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Dave Matthews Band, Folsem Field, Boulder, CO [2001] – Any concert that makes it’s way to a featured double CD is a good one.  I remember driving down to this concert, experiencing rain the whole time.  Wyclef Jean opened, and it rained pretty much throughout his show. Then he started playing “Perfect Gentleman” and the rain stopped. That was the first time I heard that song, but now whenever I hear that synth-string intro all I can think about is the sun breaking through over the Boulder mountains.
  • Queens of the Stone Age [2005] – This was a fun concert, but it was especially memorable for only one reason – it was the first date with my wife.
  • Five For Fighting Acoustic [2009] – Bethany and I experienced Fogo de Chao before the show – which is always a memorable experience.  The show was intimate, and a really memorable experience, but because this wasn’t my first acoustic Five For Fighting show, I can’t put it on this list.
  • And now, onto 10-6:

    #10: Spearhead & John Butler Trio, Red Rocks, CO [2007]

    SpearheadJBT
    You’ll notice that a lot of these shows on this list are at Red Rocks, arguably the best concert venue in the US.  Bethany and I took my mom and uncle, so that my uncle could experience Red Rocks for the first time.  Seeing two of my most favorite bands pair up for an amazing show at an awesome venue will always crack the top 10 list.

    #9: Muse, Pepsi Center, Denver, CO [2010]

    Muse

    The “live” introduction of a band that has quietly become my #2 favorite bands warrants a place on this list.  If you want to see why it ranks, check out my post.

    #8: The Police, Pepsi Center, Denver, CO [2008]

    I fell in love with the Police after high school and throughout the early 2000’s if I was asked “If you could go see any band, regardless of time period, who would it be?”, my answer would be the Police.  In 2008 Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland made me put my money where my mouth is. The raw energy these guys portrayed, over 25 years after they were touring, was unreal. I also was introduced to Sting’s son’s band, Fiction Plane.

    #7: Dave Matthews Band, Home Depot Center (LA), [2004]

    This was originally #5 of my 2005 list, but still relatively holds up over the years.  This was the first time I traveled to see a band, to the beautiful beaches – no less.  I’ve seen DMB 15 times, and this was probably one of the best set lists I’ve ever heard.

    #6: Michael Franti & Spearhead, Fillmore Auditorium (Denver), [2003]

    Originally #4 of my list, this still remains one of my favorite shows.  A big group of my friends went down to this show, many hearing their music for the first time.  This was my first time seeing them live, but left me hungry for more. I also fell in love with the Fillmore, making this my favorite indoor place to see live music in Denver.

    That does it for #’s 10-6.  Stop back tomorrow for #’s 5-1!  I’d also love to hear which shows are on your top 10 list, or even top 5?

    Seeing Muse

    Last night I went to the concert that we’ve been waiting 10 months to see – Muse at the Pepsi Center.  We originally bought tickets last December for a show that was supposed to happen in April, but a day-of-concert snowstorm postponed the show until October.  I’ll have to admit, with as much time that passed between buying the tickets and going to the show, I had a hard time getting excited about going – especially considering that Muse is #2 on my Last.fm list.

    Once we got there, all that changed.  Muse definitely made it worth the 10 month wait, putting together a set-list that was top-tier.  With the exception of New Born, Assassin and Hyper Music, they played every song I wanted to hear. 

    The stage was something else. Passion Pit opened for them playing in front of these three pillars, then when they finished the area in front of the pillars remained empty while the bands seemingly switched.  When the concert started, the covers came off the pillars, revealing the three band members in each one of them.

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    The pillars moved up and down throughout the concert, eventually lowering the members down to the ground. At one point, they moved a baby grand piano onto Matt Bellamy’s pillar, moved it back up and once it came back down they replaced it with standing drums between songs. It was a total treat.

    The visual experience was complimented with the pillars being video walls, in addition to lasers and lights flashing across the arena.  At one point, giant eyeball balloons floated down and surfed along the crowd.

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    Lastly, no concert experience would be complete without the attendees providing the entertainment.  In this case it was by a middle-aged woman who spent the whole concert passionately/interpretive dancing.  Not to be ageist, but if this lady was a 15-year-old girl, I probably wouldn’t have given it a 2nd though – but the fact that she was pushing 40 made it all the more awesome. My favorite part is when she actually started doing jumping jacks.

    This amazing concert gave me cause to revisit my list of top concerts and see where Muse fits amongst them.  I’ve compiled a list of over 40 shows that I’ve seen over 10 years, and am in the process of ranking them. I should hopefully that that post coming later this week.

    In the meantime, what are some of your top concerts you’ve been to?  What aspects make it a great concert?