Intro, let’s go: For 2015, I’m recapping what I read, watched, wrote and listened to and whatever else. This isn’t a favorites or best, it’s just what happened to me in the cultural landscape. Music and podcasts are first, bam.
My listening has definitely skewed from music-first to podcast-first. Very rarely do I listen to music in the car anymore, instead I’m playing a podcast. But I do listen to music at my desk while working and I used Spotify the most this year to stream not only some of my favorite songs, but a really wide swath of bands and stuff that I find. Spotify is more representative of my music listening habits than anything in my iTunes account.
Spotify has a personalized Year in Music web app, which is where I found my most listened-to bands and music. Sign in and try it out.
Most Listened-To Bands of The Year
1) Into It. Over It.
2) The World Is A Beautiful Place and I’m No Longer Afraid to Die
4) Sufjan Stevens
5) The Gaslight Anthem
I really got into Into It. Over It. this year after seeing him open up for Mineral last year. I bought Intersections and started focusing on the lyrics. I have listened on/off to The World Is…for the past two years, but they really crystallized as one of my new favorites after seeing them at August’s Wrecking Ball Festival in Atlanta and then I saw them again in November in Nashville. They have a broad sweeping sound with some older emo tempo changes, which I like a lot. Desapericdos is kinda funny–I never really listened to them 10 years ago when their first album emerged, but then I heard they were coming out with a new one and I got into both of them–so much so I felt silly for never listening to their first one at all. I’m not a huge Conor Oberst fan, but he’s grown on me this year. I think I like his punk rock the best. Sujan Stevens is not what you think it is–yes, Carrie and Lowell came out this year which was an okay album for me, but I kept going back to Age of Adz, that crazy bombastic record. I like his big stuff better than his quiet stuff. The Gaslight Anthem has no explanation except they’re one of my favorite bands, I know most of their songs and it’s like comfort food.
Most Listened-To Albums of The Year
1) Read Music / Speak Spanish by Desaperecidos
2) Intersections by Into It. Over It.
3) Proper by Into It. Over It.
4) The Age of Adz by Sufjan Stevens
5) Pets Hounds by Pet Symmetry
Well, three of these are bands Evan Weiss is in, so I’m a big fan I guess. Pet Symmetry is another side band of his, in addition to his main gig as Into It. Over it. As mentioned above, the only surprise is probably Age of Adz. I don’t think I can even name a song on there, but I enjoy working to that music.
Side note: I’m not going to list them out, but my top 5 tracks were all from the Read Music / Speak Spanish album.
Other bands I enjoyed this year (but no stats!): You Blew It!, Dads, Free Throw, Kendrick Lamar, Snowing, Glocca Morra, The Wonder Years, Sorority Noise
Total Artists Listened To: 422 different artists
Total Tracks Listened To: 3,085 different tracks
Okay, wait: Playlist of my top 100 tracks in 2015
My favorite podcasts are interview podcasts, but because I’m a good neighbor, I like story-driven ones on occasion.
A new one to me that I got into this year was the Absolute Punk Podcast, now coined Encore with two guys from absolutepunk.net. They’re mostly about punk and indie music, but they dive into pop culture and probably too much about Apple Music for my taste. But they give me a high flyover of music that I generally like so adding them to my listening diet has been great.
I also really liked Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald on the Grantland Network and now The Watch. That’s where I get my fix for movies and TV stuff.
Others I listen to regularly: Bill Simmons (NBA only episodes), The Bad Christian Podcast, Bret Easton Ellis, The Village Church, Midtown Fellowship, The Lowe Post, You Made It Weird, Other Ppl with Brad Listi and Neighbors.
I definitely need to expand in 2016. This is the first one I’m diving into.