further notes on a critical manifesto

tastes great, less filling

Since it seems appropriate given recent posts, here are the 14 most-played tracks by Steven over the last three months, according to last.fm. Last.fm doesn't catch everything I play … the server is down once in awhile, and it only counts songs played on the computer … but other than that, it doesn't lie. This is what I've been listening to, not what I want you to think I've been listening to. I'll list them in alphabetical order by artist, since with one exception they've all been played the same number of times:

The Amboy Dukes, "Journey to the Center of the Mind"

The Arcade Fire, "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)"

The Beatles, "If I Needed Someone"

Eric Clapton, "Everybody Oughta Make a Change"

Bob Dylan, "Tangled Up in Blue"

Fleetwood Mac, "Oh Daddy"

It's a Beautiful Day, "White Bird"

Nils Lofgren, "Some Must Dream"

Joni Mitchell, "Big Yellow Taxi"

Van Morrison, "Into the Mystic"

Ann Peebles, "I Can't Stand the Rain"

Johnny Rivers, "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu"

The Spinners, "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love"

Cat Stevens, "Sad Lisa"

So, what do I really listen to, as opposed to what I claim I listen to? Nearly every artist has their roots in the 60s. There is no hip hop, and only one song out of fourteen by what could be considered a 21st-century artist. Outside of the occasional 70s R&B and that one 21st-century song, my taste preferences, based on the above, are locked into place, four decades in the past.

I'm 53 years old. When my father was 53 … (doing the math) … that would have been 1977. He and my mom (four years younger) were from the Age of Sinatra, and as far as I can remember, that was still what they listened to in the late-70s. Somewhere in there, they started watching Lawrence Welk, which was kinda like Age of Sinatra with all the edges smoothed out. Mostly, their musical tastes were formed in the Swing Era, which makes sense since they met, dated, and were married in the mid-40s. But (and my siblings can correct me if I'm wrong), their favorite music, the stuff that would have made their own Top 14 last.fm lists if such a thing existed, was 50s Nelson Riddle-era Sinatra. Their musical taste preferences were two, maybe three decades at most, in the past.

In other words, when it comes to music, I am more of an old fogey than my parents were. Now that is depressing.