Violent Femmes – Add It Up

I don’t think I’m going to have nearly as much to say this time around as I did in last year’s Simple Math. I once again fell short on plans to expand my writing venues (though, as usual, there is stuff brewing which may or may not come to fruition), but that said, I compensated by greatly expanding the sorts of pieces I wrote this year over at PropertyOfZack. (As always, links to everything I’ve written here). It’s been comforting to see the site grow along with me, to see our staff grow and mature and, along with that, allow me to range further afield from the bread-and-butter reviews writing. I actually see myself doing more reviews this year – I rather miss digging into a piece of work in detail like that – but all the actual listening involved is terrible time-consuming, time I find myself less and less willing to dedicate. Domesticity is really underrated, isn’t it?* I greatly enjoy having the freedom to spend time outside the review rubric, and I plan to continue taking advantage of that.

*There is one bit I need to work on for myself – when I’m hanging out w my fiancee (feels great to type that, btw!) I need to get more OK with ignoring her to work on writing. It’s not any pressure that she’s ever put on me, it’s merely that I feel neglectful when I’m ignoring her in favor of my own work. It’s silly and I need to get over it.

I would like, this year, to start writing more for other outlets, just as I said I would last year and the year before; it’s the stuff that comes before the writing that keeps holding me up. Perhaps I really need to commit to exploring my options more, and to knocking on doors – they ain’t gonna open themselves. One Week One Band was a blast, and I want to keep pushing myself on that sort of thing as well – I’ve had a couple ideas in the past for true deep dives – either a) writing my way through a band’s catalog (see either my friend Will Stegemann’s A Year Of Billy Joel or the great Matthew Perpetua’s REM blog Pop Songs 07-08 for some ideas), or else b) working on a book / extensive series of articles similar to Steven Hyden’s marvelous Whatever Happened To Alternative Nation (though, as is typical of me, probably regarding subject matter about which I’d prove not just the author but also the majority of the audience). Perhaps by actually announcing it here I’ll motivate myself to do more than think about it and begin at least putting some preliminary content down.

I also totally failed on last year’s pledge to listen to fewer podcasts; indeed, it only got worse this year. There’s such a glut of content out there, good content, that it’s literally impossible for me to keep up on it all, and the truth is a lot of times I enjoy listening to music discussion (or some of the other stuff I keep up on via podcast, like sports and tech) even more than I enjoy listening to the music being discussed. I do want to listen to more music in 2014, but I think what I really need to do is to just listen to what I enjoy and resolve to not give myself unnecessary agita over it. I started listening to music because I enjoyed it; if I’m listening to podcasts because I enjoy them, I shouldn’t feel any sort of angst over that. If someone wants to pay me for my listening time, I’ll listen to what I need to; outside of that, my plan is to simply take pleasure in listening to whatever pleases me.

So how did I spend my listening time this year? As of December 31st, 2013:

  • By my count, over the course of the year I listened to 139 LPs, EPs, 7″s, splits or comps released in 2013.
  • There were 1,588 songs released in 2013 added to my iTunes this year.
  • In total, songs from 2013 added to my iTunes library this year received 2,293 plays. I had an additional 544 streams on Spotify. In total**, I had 2,837 plays this year.**I also had a number of plays via YouTube and Bandcamp, unfortunately I don’t really have a way to tally them.
  • My albums with the most track plays were***:
  1. Kanye West – Yeezus (136)
  2. Fall Out Boy – Save Rock And Roll (90)
  3. The Summer Set – Legendary (71)
  4. Transit – Young New England (67)
  5. Little Bombs – New Album Demos (49)***as always, this skews toward albums I reviewed / was planning to review. Excluding Legendary and Young New England, Sparks The Rescue – Truth Inside The Fiction (35) would have been next up
  • My most played songs were****
  1. Cassadee Pope – Good Times (17)
  2. Fall Out Boy – My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (15)
  3. Kanye West – New Slaves (14)
  4. Kanye West – On Sight (14)
  5. Kanye West – I’m In It (14)****I honestly have no explanation for that Cassadee Pope track – I can’t even remember what it sounds like. It might be a scrobbling error. Moving past tracks where the whole album received a great deal of play and on to true® singles, The Reign Of Kindo – Feeling In The Night and Francis & the Lights – Etc. both clock in at (11).
  • I attended 58 individual shows this year, along with 2 days of Skate & Surf, 34 shows over 6 days of SXSW, 1 day of Governor’s Ball, 1 day of Warped Tour, 3 days of Riot Fest Chicago, 14 shows over 3 days of CMJ, and 5 shows during a Las Vegas trip, for a total of 118 shows.
  • At these shows/festivals, I saw (by my inexact count) 309 different sets played.
  • While I only wrote 3 album/single reviews this year (along with 7 lighthearted Christmas reviews), I refocused much of my writing time to other music-related writing. I wrote 1 live performance review, took part in 28 interviews, wholly authored 2 feature pieces and contributed to 29 others, filed 8 pieces from SXSW and 1 from Riot Fest, contributed entries/blurbs to 23 POZ Staff Playlists, and wrote 17 pieces on The Maine for One Week One Band. It’s easily the most writing I’ve done in a year yet.

The full list of albums and EPs from 2013***** that I’ve listened to this year, alphabetical by artist, is after the cut.

***** I think these are all 2013 releases; I did my best to cull out stuff released prior, but no promises.

  1. Against Me! – True Trans
  2. Alkaline Trio – My Shame Is True
  3. All There – All There
  4. Allison Weiss – Say What You Mean
  5. Andrew McMahon – The Pop Underground
  6. Balance & Composure – The Things We Think We’re Missing
  7. The Band Perry – Pioneer
  8. Betty Who – The Movement
  9. Beyonce – Beyonce
  10. Big Sean – Hall Of Fame
  11. Boys – Demo 2013
  12. Brett Detar – Too Free To Live
  13. Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal
  14. Butch Walker – Peachtree Battle
  15. Cartel – Collider
  16. Cassadee Pope – Frame By Frame
  17. Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap
  18. Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe
  19. Citizen – Youth
  20. Conditions – Full Of War
  21. Dads – Pretty Good
  22. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
  23. David Bowie – The Next Day
  24. Daylight – Jar
  25. Deafheaven – Sunbather
  26. The Dear Hunter – Migrant
  27. Defeater – Letters Home
  28. Depeche Mode – Delta Machine
  29. Desaparecidos – Anonymous / The Left Is Right
  30. Drake – Nothing Was The Same
  31. Edelweiss – Honduras
  32. Fall Out Boy – PAX AM Days
  33. Fall Out Boy – Save Rock And Roll
  34. Follakzoid – II
  35. Francis & The Lights – Like A Dream
  36. Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart
  37. The Front Bottoms – Talon of the Hawk
  38. Gin Wigmore – Gravel & Wine
  39. A Great Big Pile of Leaves – You’re Always On My Mind
  40. Haim – Days Are Gone
  41. Have Mercy – The Earth Pushed Back
  42. The Here And Now – Born to Make Believe Part 1
  43. The History of Apple Pie – Out Of View
  44. I Is Another – I Is Another
  45. Icona Pop – This Is… Icona Pop
  46. Into It. Over It. – Intersections
  47. Jay Z – Magna Carta… Holy Grail
  48. Jimmie Deeghan – Cheap Therapy
  49. Jonny Craig – Find What You Love and Let It Kill You
  50. The Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law
  51. Justin Bieber – Believe (Acoustic)
  52. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience
  53. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience – Part 2 of 2
  54. K. Flay – West Ghost
  55. Kanye West – Yeezus
  56. Katy Perry – Prism
  57. Kitten – Like a Stranger
  58. Kitty – D.A.I.S.Y. Rage
  59. Lacey Caroline – Songbird
  60. Lady Gaga – Artpop
  61. The Limousines – Hush
  62. Little Bombs – Strange / My Oxygen
  63. Little Bombs – Subway Rat Bite
  64. Little Bombs – New Album Mixes
  65. Lorde – Pure Heroine
  66. Lydia – Devil
  67. The Maine – Forever Halloween
  68. The Maine – Live at Flying Blanket Studios
  69. The Maine – Live in Sao Paolo
  70. Man Overboard – Acoustic Covers Vol 1
  71. Mansions – Doom Loop
  72. Mayday Parade – Monsters in the Closet
  73. Miley Cyrus – Bangerz
  74. Moving Mountains – Moving Mountains
  75. Murder By Death – As You Wish: Kickstarter Covers
  76. My Bloody Valentine – mbv
  77. My Chemical Romance – Conventional Weapons
  78. The Neighborhood – I Love You.
  79. Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks
  80. Olafur Arnalds – For Now I Am Winter
  81. OMD – English Electric
  82. Panic! at the Disco – Too Weird To Live, Too Rare to Die
  83. Paramore – Paramore
  84. Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold
  85. Paul McCartney – New
  86. Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt
  87. Pentimento – Inside The Sea
  88. Polyenso – One Big Particular Loop
  89. Puig Destroyer – Puig Destroyer
  90. Pusha T – My Name Is My Name
  91. Raine Maida – We All Get Lighter
  92. The Ready Set – I’ll Be Waiting
  93. Real Friends – Put Yourself Back Together
  94. The Reign Of Kindo – Play With Fire
  95. Rhye – Woman
  96. Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines
  97. roboteyes – roboteyes
  98. A Rocket to the Moon – Wild & Free
  99. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels
  100. Sainthood Reps – Headswell
  101. Savages – Silence Yourself
  102. Shone – Heat Thing
  103. Sleigh Bells – Bitter Rivals
  104. Smallpools – Smallpools
  105. Sombear – Love You In The Dark
  106. Some Stranger – Some Stranger
  107. Sparks The Rescue – Truth Inside the Fiction
  108. Squid the Whale – Four More
  109. The Story So Far – What You Don’t See
  110. The Strokes – Comedown Machine
  111. Suede – Bloodsports
  112. The Summer Set – Legendary
  113. Tancred – Tancred
  114. Tegan & Sara – Heartthrob
  115. Their / They’re / There – Their / They’re / There
  116. Tilian – Material Me
  117. Title Fight – Spring Songs
  118. Tommy & The High Pilots – Only Human
  119. Touche Amore – Is Survived By
  120. Transit – Young New England
  121. Twenty One Pilots – Vessel
  122. Twin Forks – EP
  123. Twin Forks – Tour EP Vol 1
  124. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
  125. The Venetia Fair – Every Sick, Disgusting Thought We Have In Our Brain
  126. Vinnie Caruana – City By The Sea
  127. Washed Out – Paracosm
  128. Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt
  129. Whitewaits – An Elegant Exit
  130. William Backett – Genuine & Counterfeit
  131. William Beckett – The Pioneer Sessions
  132. William Control – Live In London Town
  133. William Control – Skeleton Strings
  134. The Wonder Years – The Greatest Generation
  135. The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – Whenever, If Ever
  136. Young Statues – Age Isn’t Ours
  137. 2 Chainz – B.O.A.T.S. II: Metime
  138. The 1975 – The 1975
  139. VA – See A Little Light: Bob Mould & Friends In Concert