Insert Theme Music Here

Sitting in a radio booth with two coworkers, they asked me, “What kind of music do you like?”

record playerI mumbled a response about Indie music. But the strangeness of that question hit me, probably for the first time. I like a lot of kinds of music at different times, in different settings, for different reasons.

Then the other day, I got this prompt from ThinkKit:

Strike up the band – what was the soundtrack to your year? Was it the music you listened to the most? A certain song that kept reappearing, or worse…that you couldn’t get away from? Or maybe it wasn’t music at all – maybe a podcast, voice, performance, or significant sound played over-and-over. Whatever you heard: we’re all ears!

To definitively answer the question, I decided to use hard numbers, and luckily, Spotify had my back. Using the Year in Music tool, I got these results:

My top 10 tracks

Screen shot 2014-12-20 at 12.35.42 PM

Unexpected stuff here. I don’t remember listening to this Jack White track that much. I got really into Ben Folds, his brand of smart and silly, but I figured his track “Not the Same” would be higher up on the list. Also, I didn’t expect any Hurray For The Riff Raff tracks besides “The Body Electric” would make it onto my top tracks list.

I thought The Fratellis would make it onto this list, maybe the track Lupe Brown, which splices genres, super-verts expectations, and ends on a 60s-ish shredding solo. I also discovered Codeine Velvet Club, a side project by the Fratellis’ frontman, Jon Lawler.

My top artists by season

Screen shot 2014-12-20 at 12.36.34 PMI expected Ben Folds during the summer. Like I said, I got really into that guy. I didn’t know I was so crazy about Margot & The Nukes, although I have a playlist on Spotify called margot rock, and I usually start it off with “O’ What a Nightmare!”

Other highlights

I listen to the most music on Wednesdays, two hours on average. So far this year, I’ve listened to 14,477 minutes of music. Small Town Heroes by Hurray For The Riff Raff was my top album of 2014.

Also, my top genres broke down:

  • 29% Indie Rock
  • 27% Indie Pop
  • 17% Chamber Pop (whatever that means)
  • 16% Pop Rock
  • Indie Christmas (no idea how this happened—I don’t really like Christmas music)

A lot of Indie. It was expected and unexpected. I thought the results would be more diverse.

Back in the day, my guitar teacher, Jim, said I had really eclectic tastes. I’d bring in all sorts of CDs to learn all sorts of tracks—rock, folk, jazz, blues. Maybe it’s time to admit I only like one kind of music. After all, in Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, Chuck Klosterman wrote:

Do you know people who insist they like ‘all kinds of music’? That actually means they like no kinds of music.

I guess, if you ask me what I like, I’d have to keep Indie Rock in the top spot. Then again, the results are based on my online listening, so that doesn’t mean I can’t rock some Count Basie or Duke Ellington on my record player. And when I’m doing some intense creative writing, that’s all I can listen to—a mix of stimulation without distraction.

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