I keep track of what music I’ve been listening to on my computers through the year, and at the end of each year I like to produce a compilation of ten tracks representing what I’ve heard. (More than ten tracks is wearing for people to listen to. I learned this by ploughing through a friend’s Top 25 one year).
I listen much more to whole albums than to individual tracks, so what I’ve done is to pick the top ten albums that I listened to the most in 2011, as recorded on the two computers where I listen to most of my music. (So these counts don’t include listening in the car or on the iPod.) I limited it to no more than one album per artist, and I skipped compilations. Then from each of those ten objectively selected albums, I subjectively picked one song that I felt was representative.
Over the next few days, I will be writing a brief post on each of those top ten songs, in reverse order. (I think several short posts should be easier to digest than one big one, as I did last year.) Although I was aware that I’d been listening to (and playing) a lot of folk music this year, I was surprised at how strongly that genre turned out to dominate the top ten albums: all but two of them are “folk music” for some reasonable definition of the term — though they are very different from each other.
… and finally
Back at the Forest Folk Club last night, and for the first time ever my wife, Fiona, was with me. I sang three new songs: Paul Simon’s nostalgic lament Still Crazy After All These Years (with most of the chords correct, but not all); The Beatle’s hallucinogenic ramble Strawberry Fields Forever; and Lucy Kaplansky’s deceptively cheerful stalker-song Don’t Mind Me.