Taking this post and putting it down in terms of numbers rather than pictures, here’s a few more stats about how and what I listened to in 2008.
Number of unique full-length albums I listened to in 2008: 225
Those albums' release dates broken down by year and/or decade:
Broken down by anal-compulsive iTunes genre tags:
Classic Indie: 18
70s Rock: 15
60s Rock: 14
Dinner Music/Jazz: 11
Country, Krautrock: 6 each
French, Garage, Metal, R&B: 1 each
Through my regular “This Week’s Soundtrack” posts, I tracked any and all albums I played from beginning to end at least once during any given week. So a true picture of my listening hours are slightly skewed. For instance, on this week I listened to the Walkmen’s You & Me every day at least once, sometimes twice; everything else I only listened to one time during that week. On the other hand, the list below still feels roughly correct in terms of what I listened to most overall. These are the albums that popped up the most over the course of 2008:
Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs
Fleet Foxes, s/t
Vampire Weekend, s/t
The Ruby Suns, Sea Lion
Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha
Animal Collective, Strawberry Jam
Okkervil River, The Stage Names
Dr. Dog, Fate
Beach House, Devotion
Neil Young, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
Antonio Carlos Jobim and Elis Regina, Elis & Tom
Brian Eno, Another Green World
The Fiery Furnaces, Widow City
The Flatlanders, More a Legend Than a Band
Philip Glass, Glassworks
Holy Fuck, s/t
The Radio Dept., Lesser Matters
Paul Simon, Graceland
The United States of America, s/t
Of these twenty albums, sixteen were purchased in 2008. Armchair Apocrypha was purchased in 2007; Elis & Tom was purchased 2005 or 2006; Lesser Matters was purchased in 2003; and Graceland was purchased in 1986.
This isn’t exactly a proper way to use the numbers, but if you added the “# of weeks played” by artist (e.g., adding Mysterious Production and Armchair Apocrypha together), you get a somewhat better idea of artists I keep returning to, if not specific albums. This version of the list feels more intuitively right to me when I think about what I listened to this year.
Andrew Bird: 25
Okkervil River: 14
Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend: 11
Animal Collective, Paul Simon/Simon & Garfunkel, the Ruby Suns, Neil Young: 10
Elvis Costello, Faust, Four Tet, Philip Glass: 8
The Byrds, Dr. Dog, Brian Eno, Fiery Furnaces, Shearwater: 7
Beach House, My Morning Jacket, Radio Dept., Secret Machines, Spoon: 6
Cat Stevens, the Lovin' Spoonful, and Harry Nilsson all still feel curiously absent. Those are all greatest hits collections + random downloads that I tend to listen to on shuffle; their songs tend to crop up on multiple customized playlists I've made. Those three artists, and probably a few others I'm forgetting, are woven into the fabric of my everyday listening, yet somehow escaped my anal analysis.
This is the last of my exhaustive review of 08. Happy New Year everyone.