Category Archives: What I’ve been listening to in …

What I’ve been listening to in 2016

Here is my now-traditional top-ten list of the albums I’ve listened to the most in the previous calendar year. (See this list of previous entries.)

ukulele

I listen much more to whole albums than to individual tracks, so each year I pick the ten albums that I listened to the most (not counting compilations), 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 the kitchen, or on my phone.) I limit the selection to no more than one album per artist, and skip albums that have featured in previous years. Then from each of those ten objectively selected albums, I subjectively pick one song that I feel is representative.

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What I’ve been listening to in 2015

Here is my now-traditional top-ten list of the albums I’ve listened to the most in the previous calendar year. (See this list of previous entries.) Also in accordance with tradition, it’s ridiculously late.

shure-sm58-live-performance-dynamic-microphone-1024x691

I listen much more to whole albums than to individual tracks, so each year I pick the ten albums that I listened to the most (not counting compilations), 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 my phone.) I limit the selection to no more than one album per artist, and skip albums that have featured in previous years. Then from each of those ten objectively selected albums, I subjectively pick one song that I feel is representative.

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What I’ve been listening to in 2014

Here is my now-traditional top-ten list of the albums I’ve listened to the most in the previous calendar year. (See previous entries for 20132012, 20112010 and 2009.)

Minimoog_11414_05

I listen much more to whole albums than to individual tracks, so each year I pick the ten albums that I listened to the most (not counting compilations), 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 limit the selection to no more than one album per artist, and skip albums that have featured in previous years. Then from each of those ten objectively selected albums, I subjectively pick one song that I feel is representative.

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What I’ve been listening to in 2013

Here is my now-traditional top-ten list of the albums I’ve listened to the most in the previous calendar year. (See previous entries for 2012, 20112010 and 2009.) Note that this is for 2013, not 2014 — I won’t know the final 2014 tallies for another few weeks, and I want to get this out before it’s a whole year late.

drumkit04

I listen much more to whole albums than to individual tracks, so each year I pick the ten albums that I listened to the most (not counting compilations), 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 limit the selection to no more than one album per artist, and skip albums that have featured in previous years. Then from each of those ten objectively selected albums, I subjectively pick one song that I feel is representative.

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What I’ve been listening to in 2009

[This post is adapted from the original text-only version written in early 2010. I’ve edited only lightly. I’m posting it now because I like having all the “What I’ve been listening to …” posts in one place, in a single format.]

This year, I wanted to choose a Best Of collection of songs, in part as a response to my old colleague Alec Turner, who made a Best Of 2009 that was too horrible to contemplate, and left me needing to wash the bad sounds out of my ears.

yamaha-np-31-digital-piano

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What I’ve been listening to in 2012

But Mike, 2013 is nearly over!

True; but I won’t be able to tell you until 2014 what I’ve been listening to in 2013, so this is the moment to publish my much-delayed 2012 list.

vintage-av4-advanced-bass-guitar-sunburstl

Last year, I did this across a sequence of twelve separate posts (introduction, ten individual albums starting here, and a summary). That felt like a bit of a slog, and half of the album posts garnered no comments at all; so this year we’re back to the more compact format that I used for the 2010 list.

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What I’ve been listening to in 2011

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.

Next time: we start with a transitional album by one of the greats.

… 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.