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  • Year 8 and the end of an era?

    Set 8 2014, 20:32

    It's the 8th of September which means that it's time to write my yearly journal. It feels a bit strange to write here on last.fm - a website which I barely visit any more. This place used to be very active some years ago but it seems like I'm not the only one doesn't visit it regularly. The site appears to be less popular and slowly dying. Last.fm is becoming less relevant and is today probably mainly used to store data about listening habits. The music streaming market segment is dominated by other companies who are doing a better job at staying fresh and being relevant, while it seems like last.fm is more stagnated and starts to feel more and more like an abandoned ship. I remember that last.fm was barely accessible some months ago and that it took forever to load pages.

    Ok, that's enough of depressing thoughts for now, time for some statistics. My total scrobbles is currently 139109 which is 11091 more than last year. I scrobbled 10527 tracks last year which means that I roughly scrobbled 500 tracks more this year. I find this a bit strange because it feels like I barely have listened to music over the past year. One reason for this is that my laptop broke down and that I lost access to some of the music that I used to listen to, for example my Roy Harper collection, and that I have instead mainly listened to untagged flac files. However, if you go back and look at my older journals you'll notice that I somehow used to listen to 15000-20000 tracks per year, which is a lot more than I have listened to in the last few years. Roy Harper has somehow moved past Derek and the Dominos on my overall chart with 3906 vs. 3846 scrobbles. Tame Impala has also moved up on the charts. They are a group which I rediscovered last year and a group that I'm still listening to quite regularly, mainly live bootlegs but also their relatively new live album Live Versions.

    Led Zeppelin is however unquestionably still my favourite band and is the artist that I have listened to the most over the years, even though I don't listen tot them as frequently as I used to do. The statistics show that I scrobbled them 504 times fewer than last year but they are still my #1 most scrobbled artist with 25037 scrobbles, which is 1233 more than last year. A possible reason for this change could be that I listened to more untagged bootlegs this year. Led Zeppelin has been releasing remastered versions of their studio albums earlier this year and will continue to do so over the next six months. That is per se not very interesting but the added bonus tracks are, even for hardcore fans like me. There has so far been two completely new songs, with La La being the most interesting one. I know that more unreleased songs exist so who knows what will be released in the next few months?

    I did in my previous journals mention that I probably won't be here for the 10th year anniversary. I now think that I might actually stay around as long as I can, but who knows, this might be my last journal before they take down the servers?
  • Sunday the 8th

    Set 8 2013, 21:24

    Another year has passed since my last blog post. Time flies by quickly and it feels like I was writing my last blog post last week. I’m sitting here trying to remember what music that I have listened to, that I had not heard of last year. One of the artist that comes to mind is Orchestra Baobab which is a 70’s band from Senegal. I have no idea what they are singing about but they got a quite cool sound which is very hard to describe. It's nothing like the relaxed music by Ali Farka Touré or Toumani Diabaté. Some of the songs sounds more like they could be used for the Monkey Island series.

    My total scrobbles are at the time of writing 128018. This means that I have scrobbled 10527 track this year, but the actual sum should probably be 5000 more. As usual I listen a lot to bootlegs which I haven’t tagged. I’ve also listened a lot to streamed music from the website Grooveshark and a majority of the songs haven't been scrobbled.

    Led Zeppelin is, and will probably always be, on the number one spot on my overall charts with 23804 scrobbles, which is 1737 more than last year. It also means that I have listened to 132 (scrobbable) Led Zeppelin tracks more than I did last year. My prediction that their reunion show at O2 would be released officially came true and I did listen to the album Celebration Day quite a bit when it came out. Another cool Zeppelin related thing, that surfaced earlier this year, was the Led Zeppelin II multitracks. It’s very cool to be able to listen to the separate tracks of WLL, Ramble On, Heartbreaker and WIAWSNB and be able to listen to things that didn’t make it to the final mix. I remember that I played around with the multitracks quite a bit and I did for example a acoustic mixdown of Ramble On.

    One artist that I’ve listened to a lot lately is Tame Impala and their albums Innerspeaker and Lonerism. I remember listening to the band some years ago but I did for some reason completely forget about them. I then saw their concert at Glastonbury on youtube and remembered how awesome the band is. My favourite song at the moment is Alter Ego (which sound a bit like the song Fredag by the Swedish band Dungen) from their first album. I have even downloaded some audience recordings of their concerts earlier this year. They are no way near as good as Led Zeppelin were live or have the same they chemistry but I’m really loving the extended version of the songs Be Above It and Half Full Glass Of Wine.

    Last year I promised to try to change my listening habits. This was something that I must have forgotten seconds after I published that blog post. Instead I did what I always do, which is to listen to the same old music that I normally listen to. So I’m not going to make any promises this year. It will be interesting to see what music I might have discovered a year from now.
  • No. 6

    Set 8 2012, 21:09

    It's Saturday, September 8th, 2012. A date that I just noticed that coincided with my join date here at last.fm and I then remembered that I always write a journal to summarize the past year's statistics.

    I will this year's journal short, mainly because that I haven't been around here much the past few months. My music taste have stagnated too now when I think about it. I've been listening to artist like Roy Harper and Django Reinhardt instead of searching for new music.

    I some research to refresh my mind and noticed that I've been listening to new (for me at least) music by artists like: Paul Simon, Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane, Maggie Bell, Stone the Crowes, bob hund and Bad Liquor Pond. Jimmy Page also released two new albums which I listened to quite a bit when they came out. New music from Jimmy Page? In a way it was but I had heard both before. Death Wish II was a remaster and the muddy sound of the bootleg recording of Lucifer Rising was gone (which was both good and bad) on the first official release of the Lucifer Rising soundtrack. I also remember listening to a new release called Glimpses by The Yardbirds. It was a multi disc compilation with some new outtakes and live performances with a young Eric Clapton on guitar which had never been out before. Quite interesting but not something that I listen to very often.

    The New Yardbirds, or Led Zeppelin is still on the unbeatable number one spot on my overall chart with 22,073 scrobbles, which is 1599 more than last year. The word is that there will be something new on the Led Zeppelin front very soon, most likely an official release of the O2/reunion/Ahmet tribute concert in 2007. So I guess that the Zeppelin scrobbles will rise a bit when that one finally comes out.

    Zeppelin's 22,073 scrobbles is roughly 18,7 percent of my total 117,491 scrobbles, of which 11,301 were from the past year. 117,000+ scrobbles is quite a lot when you think about it, but I feel that I for some reason have listened to less music than I used to do some years ago. I doubt that I'll be here for my 10th year anniversary but I promise that I will try to change my listening habits intill next year's journal.
  • Five years at last.fm!

    Set 8 2011, 21:44

    Five years is a long time when you think about it, but it sure doesn’t feel like that long. Normally my yearly journals are a disguised way to feature and save the past year's statistics for the future. This year I’m cutting that part short and I’ll instead mainly talk about what my membership here at last.fm has meant to me musically. But first some statistics: I have scrobbled 106,190 tracks over the past five years. This is 16,137 scrobbled tracks more than last year. It’s also roughly a 1000 more than last year's numbers but that’s understandable considering that I spent five months in Austria where there I had little time to listen to music. Earlier this year I crossed the magic 100,000 scrobbles mark with Led Zeppelin’s song Thank You. Led Zeppelin is also on top my charts with a total of 20,474 scrobbles which is 2582 more than last year.

    My music taste and the artists that I was listening to when I first joined last.fm five years ago wasn’t very diverse. I was mainly listening to artists that in some way was connected with The Yardbirds; e.g. Led Zeppelin, Cream and Eric Clapton. I had just started at a university in September 2006 and I think it was thanks to better broadband in my new apartment that lead to that my music taste started to be more eclectic.

    I think the semi-bootleg Live Yardbirds! Featuring Jimmy Page was the first recording that I got my hands on and I remember thinking how good the live arrangement of I’m a Man was. Looking back I also realise how little I actually knew about the music that I was listening to at the time. My collection of live recordings, mainly by Led Zeppelin, started to grow. This can be seen by looking at the charts where a live version of White Summer by Led Zeppelin lies high in the charts. It’s also thanks to some of my favourite live recordings that I started to listen to their albums. For example a recording of Derek and the Dominos from the Electric Factory in 1970, which contains superb versions of Why Does Love Got to Be Sad and Let it Rain. These two made it clear how good the band was and this inspired me enough to buy the Layla And Assorted Love Songs album.

    Another advantage with high speed Internet was that I was easily able to get my hands on a number of game soundtracks which I had listened to when I was younger. Grim Fandango, The Gone Jackals album Bone to Pick which is featured in Full Throttle and perhaps most importantly the OST to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. The latter featured some very interesting acoustic guitar oriented songs, which I at the time had no idea who was playing. It turned out to be Django Reinhardt. This finding did one way or another (in combination with the other music I was listening to) lead to that I started to listen to guitarists such as Joscho Stephan, José Feliciano, Bert Jansch (and Pentangle) and Davy Graham.

    Last.fm had back in 2006 a free radio station where you were able to listen to music that was similar to the artist that you had in your own library. I remember listening to a live version of Hey Joe by Roy Buchanan and being amazed of how good he was and Gustav Holst and his amazing The Planets Suite. A suite which I later realised that Jimmy Page had used portions of in the lengthy Dazed and Confused medley. There are more examples but my memory of what I found that way is a bit fuzzy. I have since upgraded the (now premium accounts only) radio station with Spotify and Grooveshark which offers free music streaming services.

    The radio station and the other streaming services have however not been the only source for new music. I’ve been in contact with a few other last.fm members over the years, which have been giving me music suggestions and trading music in one form or another. I started to listen to Tinariwen this way but most notably The Brian Jonestown Massacre which Av4lanche after some tough convincing managed to sell in to me. I did similarly manage to introduce the amazing Roy Harper (along with some other artists) to him.

    The university studies also brought a few new additions to my music library. A friend of mine was (and still is) very into the band Dark Tranquillity which I also started to listen to along with some other heavy metal bands in the same vein. Another more bizarre find was the Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté whom I in a way found thanks to a guest lecture by an English teacher from Gambia. He talked lengthy about the instrument and what it stood for in his country. It turned out that Toumani had recorded one album together with Ali Farka Touré whom I knew of from before. That album has along with the follow-up, which was released two years later, become two of my favourite records.

    I don’t know how the next five years will be like but I sure hope that there will be more of these strange contacts with music in the future. Until next year...
  • A trip down the memory lane

    Set 8 2010, 21:47

    It's now the time of the year when I write a new journal where I go through and try to analyse what have happened (musically) in my life over the last twelve months. To go straight to the point, there haven't happened that much musically this year. There were some new bands as predicted but not only Them Crooked Vultures like my latest journal mentioned and my charts didn't stagnate as predicted either. Well, at least not if you look beyond the top 50 artists on my charts...

    I travelled to Austria the same week as I wrote last year's journal and it's that five months long stay that is fresh on my mind rather than what music that I listened to during that time. Yes, I very reluctantly admit that I know the lyrics to Das geht ab by heart but for the rest it's more or less the same as it was before I left.

    I saw Lee Davison Trio in the jazz club Republika in Prague, experienced classical music at the beach of Donau, not the mention a handful of Austrian and German bands whose names I have sadly forgotten. These short detours from my usual music taste are however nothing that have directly affected my charts here at last.fm but which have affected me in other ways. There were however no big changes to my charts after I came back to Sweden either.

    Artists who already where there got either more, or less listening time over the year. The Swedish band bob hund, Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté from Mali, the British folk musician Roy Harper and Jeff Beck with his newest album Emotion & Commontion still fresh in mind, have all strengthen their position on the charts.

    If you take a closer at the more statistical function of my last.fm account then you will see that I just have passed the 90,000 line with a total of 90,053 scrobbled tracks. This is 15,178 more plays compared to the 74,875 total scrobbled tracks that I had one year ago. Led Zeppelin stood for roughly 15% of last year's scrobbled tracks and they do now have 17,892 total scrobbles which is 2693 more than last year, although there would have been a lot more if you count all of the live concert which I haven't Id-tagged. The situation of my other top artist remains almost the same. The before mentioned artist Roy Harper has taken place seven on my top ten list, but the other bands (The Yardbirds, Derek and the Dominos, Cream, etc.) have rather secured their places in my charts rather than gaining better positions.

    There are no new artists in my Top 50 list but that's not very surprising under the circumstances. There are however some new artists that I have been listening to during the past year but which couldn't get the 390+ scrobbles which is needed to even make it into the list. We have Pat Metheny and his mechanically controlled music. Quite amazing how you can record music using traditional instruments without having to rely on humans to play them, you just program the machines to play the wanted patterns and then you're done. It's also worth mentioning Joscho Stephan, a guitar whom I've been listening a lot to recently. He walks in the footsteps of Django Reinhardt, another guitarist that I frequently listen to. Another guitarist that many don't know about, but most likely have heard is Mick Taylor. I first heard him thanks to the albums he did with John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers and it wasn't until later that I realised that many of the songs that I like by The Rolling Stones features him. The Stones have got increasingly play time over the last year and especially the live recording commonly know as Brussels Affair, which features some insane playing by Taylor.

    I'm sure that there are more new artists but these are the ones that I remember mostly as I take stroll down the memory lane. I normally end my journal with a couple of lines about how I think the future will be but this year I'll settle by simply saying that only time can tell what I will be listening to during the year that will follow.
  • Three years of diversity?

    Set 8 2009, 18:33

    I can't believe how quick time passes by. It has now been three years since I joined last.fm on a (sunny? I can't remember any more) September day soon after I had moved to my new student apartment. I remember that I had red about this place in an article in the local Metro newspaper which I by chance picked up at the train station. I thought last.fm sounded interesting and decided to join some days later. I guess I'll write this years journal about the same things as usual: To see how my listening habits have changed during the past year.

    Last year I started my journal with writing that "This year I feel that my taste have changed and have become more broader than it was just three or four months ago". What I didn't know at the time was that this was nothing compared to what happened in early 2009. Spotify is the cause of this big change and it can be described as a free radio station where you choose what you want to listen to. There are relatively much to choose from and you can listen to a whole album in one go if you like.

    The new additions to my library this year thanks to Spotify: Les Paul, Lightnin' Hopkins, Keb' Mo', Taj Mahal, Mike Bloomfield, She & Him and the latest addition Max Roach just to mention a few. Though I have mainly been listening to, for me, new albums by artists that I previously are familiar with, for example B.B. King, Django Reinhardt, Ginger Baker, Robert Plant and some 20 other artists. That's quite a lot but there are still lots of stuff left to discover.

    It hasn't been happening much on the Zeppelin front this year, except for numerous new and old live recordings which I have listened more or slightly less than last year. Osaka in 1971 and the European tour in 1973 are among those who have got increased listening time this year. I guess this will change in October when John Paul Jones (Ok, Them Crooked Vultures) new album comes out and replaces Zeppelin in my play list for a while.

    I have mainly been listening to a show recorded on June 1st, 1968 when it comes to The Yardbirds and particularly the nice psychedelic medley "I Wish You Would/Hey Gyp" which features one of Page's best pre Zeppelin guitar solos. The whole concert (and the gig from May 31 the same year) is very interesting and instructive if one wants to understand where the ideas for the songs on LZ1 originally came from. Led Zeppelin did in fact pass the 15,000 mark in August this year and has at this moment 15,199 registered scrobbles, or 20% of my total plays! Though I'm not sure if that is something to be proud of or worried about...

    74,875 tracks have been scrobbled at this point which is 18,700 more than last year. What exactly have changed on my overall top list then? Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Jefferson Airplane have all passed Eric Clapton on his, now very stagnated, place with 999 scrobbles. Not very surprising really but still a interesting thing to note. Clapton's old bands, Cream and Derek and the Dominos are however securing their places on the list more and more for every month that goes by.

    The newer additions to my top 50 list this year are as I predicted last year: Davy Graham and the great Ali Farka Touré who has just recently made it Top 48. He would be higher if the album In The Heart Of The Moon by Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté would have been scrobbled under the same name. The album features some very nice Kora inspired music and I warmly recommend it to anyone who likes music and .

    It's hard to say what the following year will feature on the music front since I'll be on my way to Austria later this week and will be staying there for over four months. The too small laptop hard drive (they always are!) will prevent me from listening to whatever I want to, but I guess that I have eight months after my trip to recover and try to restore my last.fm lists from total stagnation :P
  • What I have done the past two years…

    Set 8 2008, 17:31

    …when talking about my music taste that is.

    Today it is two years since I joined last.fm and where these years have gone is a question that I can’t answer since it feels like it was yesterday it all happend. Almost precisely one year ago I was writing a journal similar to this where I described how my music taste had changed over the year. This journal will head in the same direction and is going to reflect my thoughts about the year that has passed.

    This year I feel that my taste have changed and have become more broader than it was just three or four months ago. Two years ago it mostly consisted of British bands such as The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, Cream, with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. The last three mentioned names were the key objects of my collection and 80% of it was related to them and bands they used to play in. "Not very open minded" would probably be the first comment one would say and I can’t agree more. I honestly can’t understand how I could go on without getting bored of the music I was listening to.

    Oh wait a second, that’s just what happened. I have stopped to listen to Clapton’s solo albums but he is with 999 plays still on a 6th place on my “Top artists” list. This shows one of the problems with last.fm; if you stop to listen to an artist that is high in the charts it’s almost impossible to get them out of there without resetting the charts. The only artist that has managed to pass Clapton during the year is The Firm (Jimmy Page & Paul Rodgers) with about 1160 scrobbles.

    The band that still is in the lead is Led Zeppelin with astonishing 12,500 scrobbles which is 22% of my total 56,175 plays. This is quite impressive considering that I only own three of their officially released albums but on the other hand not very strange when you realize that 80% of the songs that has been scrobbled here are live or studio bootlegs.

    My love for live music can also be seen when you look at the new additons for this year. Roy Buchanan, Jefferson Airplane, Beck, Bogert & Appice and Fleetwood Mac is the first artists that comes to mind just to mention a few. Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green era) have become one of my favorite bands and that has a lot to do with their genius to lead guitarst Peter Green. He is at the top alongside with Clapton, Page, Beck and Hendrix if you ask me, be sure to check him out if you haven’t heard about him before!

    This journal was supposed to be about the new stuff that I have found in the last twelve months and not a boring statement of what I used to listen to. Metal and death metal is two genres that I’ve started to listen more to and two of my favorite band at the moment are Dark Tranquility and At the Gates. This means that I have accomplished one of the goals that I set one year ago; to start to listen more to music.

    To sum this journal up I would say that many of the changes in my music taste has to do with me playing more and more on my guitar. I feel that I have to go back to the roots, i.e Davy Graham, Bert Jansch and all the American blues guitarists, before I can move on and learn something new. To the next year I predict that the acoustic guitarist, the ones just mentioned and Ali Farka Touré, will get better places in the charts so that it doesn’t look as narrow minded as it does now. More metal band will probably pop-up on the way as well.

    This is the end of one long journal and to answer the question I asked last year; No, I won't find a band that can take Zeppelin's place but who knows, perhaps in the future...

    (How nice to start the new year with a lie :p)
  • One year at last.fm

    Set 8 2007, 22:57

    The day that was the final destination for my account here at last.fm has arrived. The purpose when I signed up for this one year ago was to find out how much music one listens to in one year and by which artists. Looking back in time, or one year to be exact and see what taste I had then and the amount of music I listened to compared to know has been an interesting study. Here follows a review of how my taste in music has changed and what I think about the charts so far. But first a quick introduction of what kind of music I used to listen to and had in my collection one year ago.

    My collection at the time was very limited. It was to a great degree connected to the British group The Yardbirds, that is, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, but I also had stuff by Dire Straits, The Dubliners, Bruce Springsteen, music that is very different from British rock and blues.

    Shortly after I joined last.fm I bought Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and the Dominos, which has become on of my favorite albums. I have also discovered some of their shows from 1970 which to me, and many others, was the height of Clapton’s career. His jamming is outstanding and outshines the style he has chosen to take on his present material. Eric Clapton is represented in as many as six places in my yearly top list, with John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers as the latest addition. Clapton can however not take Jimmy Page’s place as the most occurring artist in my charts. He is one of my favorite guitarists which can clearly be seen since he is “mentioned” in whole nine places. The latest addition to my collection when it comes to Jimmy Page is his only solo album Outrider which shows that he still can rock even though he has clearly left his days a superstar behind.

    Led Zeppelin is the band which I have listened to most since the counting started one year ago and already then they were the number one. The only thing that has changed since then is that I have started to listen to more live concerts. I would estimate that about 80% of the songs that has been scrobbled to last.fm are live which shows clearly in my overall top tracks where Led Zeppelin’s version of White Summer has a seventh place.

    My appreciation of live music can be seen in all my charts and that is probably a big reason to why bands like Cream, Derek And The Dominos, Page & Plant and Heart are so high on my charts. What I really like when I take a look at my charts and see that just above 25,000 tracks have scrobbled during this year, is that not all of them are and . I have also found some rare bands over the year. The one that I am happiest about is the album Bone to Pick by the American heavy metal band The Gone Jackals. Some of it was featured in an adventure game called Full Throttle by Lucas Arts, which was one of my favorites when I was younger. The album is one of the best I have ever heard and I really recommend that everyone gives it a listen, you will not regret it. Game soundtracks like the one by The Gone Jackals are something that I really like and of course have not the fantastic soundtrack from Grim Fandango went me by.

    Enough analysis of the past and stuff that I have listened to; now it’s time to look forward and see what great bands that are next to the corner. Who knows, perhaps a new Led Zeppelin is to be found?

    (On a second thought, no I don’t think so but perhaps a top ten placing in my charts material :P)
  • Finally, 10000 tracks!

    Feb 22 2007, 17:43

    It took some time but I think I made it with style with Tangerine or to be more exact the version they played 1975-05-25, which is known as the last Earl's Court show.

    This must be one of my favorite Led Zeppelin tunes. Luckily, Jimmy decided to record this old Yardbirds song with Led Zeppelin, Tangerine is much better than the original.