50,000 Tracks Scrobbled: A Retrospection

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Jun 8 2008, 2h11

I scrobbled my 50,000th track on 3rd June 2008, the lucky track being La Mort d'Arthur. When I started scrobbling in 2006 I took the habit of writing a journal when I hit the milestones of 5,000 or 10,000 scrobbled tracks and so on. I was too lazy to keep on doing that, however, so 10,000 tracks was my last milestone journal - up until now.

So, for the occasion, I wanted to write something about my current top artists: how I discovered them, why I like them or whether I even like them that much anymore. I did this mostly for my own enjoyment but if you find something you'd like to comment on, please do.

This journal deals with my top 10. I plan on writing something about the rest of my top 50 too, but I might still be a bit too much of a lazybones to do that.

The "top songs" mentioned after each artist are my most played songs according to my charts, not necessarily my favourite songs.

Top 10

1. Iron Maiden (1,793 plays)

Ah, the mighty Maiden, my number one from the day one in Last.fm. I haven’t had an obsession like that with any other band since. My love for Maiden seems to be of a lasting sort. The strongest obsession has faded but I most definitely still like them very much.

I got into them around 2004, largely thanks to my brother who bought Dance Of Death which soon became my favourite album. Up to now I’ve bought all their studio albums except Virtual XI. Recently Iron Maiden has taken its place as my favourite Maiden album, followed closely by such masterpieces as Somewhere In Time, Piece of Mind and aforementioned Dance of Death. I’m also happy to say that they’re still making some real quality music as A Matter of Life and Death proved.

I still haven’t seen them live. I live in a godforsaken place in Northern Finland, and travelling to Helsinki or Tampere to see them would ruin my student budget. Sort of a consolation was that Paul Di’Anno actually did a gig in this godforsaken place last October (on my freakin’ birthday too, cheers Paul!). I’m a well-known Bruce worshipper but I really really really like Paul’s vocals on the first two albums and I prefer his versions of classics like Phantom of the Opera or Running Free. Hearing Remember Tomorrow live meant a ton to me because it’s one of THE songs in my life.

Top song: Journeyman (52 plays)
Finally Journeyman has taken its righteous place at the top of my Maiden charts. It was one of the songs that got me into Maiden and it’s also one of my favourite songs ever. I can’t quite explain why I like it so much, it’s just very captivating, atmospheric and beautiful. For me there's no ranting about Maiden without mentioning Hallowed Be Thy Name which is also among my all-time favourite songs.


2. The Ark (1,393 plays)
I discovered this endlessly lovable band thanks to their infamous participation in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007. I can’t believe it’s only been a year... Their music has become a very essential part of my life. Really, it’s more than music to me. It reflects my whole philosophy of life. It’s all said in songs like It Takes A Fool To Remain Sane, Ain't Too Proud To Bow, The Most Radical Thing To Do or Father of a Son.

they've forgotten how to play
maybe they're afraid to feel ashamed
to seem strange
to seem insane
to gain weight
to seem gay
I tell you this
that it takes a fool to remain sane


Those words are especially dear to me. I keep repeating them in my head whenever I'm feeling nervous or stupid (which is often, haha).

Top Son: The Most Radical Thing To Do (59 plays)
This song has brought me into tears more than once. The most radical thing to do / is to love someone who loves you / even when the world is seemingly telling you not to / I don’t know what’s wrong or right / but I know what’s worth a fight / the most radical thing is to do what your heart tells you to That is, according to my experience, pretty damn true, and extremely beautifully put.


3. Mokoma (1,204 plays)

I’ve been listening to Mokoma since 2003 or 2004, but I didn’t become a hardcore fan until the release of Kuoleman laulukunnaat in 2006. It’s an album about a break-up, and I was going through one myself back then, so it really hit the spot. I’ve seen Mokoma live three times thus far and they are one hell of a live band. In my opinion, they are the best metal band singing in Finnish and among the best Finnish metal bands period. I like the heavier, more death metal like sound they’ve adopted in their latest albums. Marko Annala is a good and versatile vocalist, great lyricist, and he has one of the coolest beards in the scene. :P

Top Song: Valapatto (49 plays)
This is a real kick ass song, especially live.


4. Burzum (929 plays)

My first touch with Burzum was via some Last.fm tag radio in August 2006: the first Burzum song I heard was the 25-minute ambiental minimalism known as Rundgang um die transzendentale Säule der Singularität. I was instantly impressed. Next thing I searched for Dunkelheit in YouTube and spent the night listening to it on repeat. Burzum made it quickly to my top 10 and was my gateway to the soundscapes of black metal and dark ambient, later on to noise, drone and other sweet stuff.

I like the music of Burzum for its captivating atmosphere, the perfect symbiosis of raw and beautiful. I also like Varg’s vocals very much, especially on Hvis lyset tar oss - in my opinion, they are one of the most important things to make Burzum’s sound so distinctive. Hvis lyset tar oss is a masterpiece of atmospheric black metal. I also like Det Som Engang Var very much but all in all Filosofem is the Burzum album I love the most. The atmosphere is perfect in songs like Dunkelheit or Erblicket die Töchter des Firmaments. Filosofem is a great album for daytime relaxation and it works as a wonderful escape to the world of sleep at night. Out of the post-Filosofem albums I really like Dauði Baldrs, especially Móti Ragnarokum, but I’ve never really got into Hliðskjálf.

Top Song: Rundgang um die transzendentale Säule der Singularität (74 plays)
Am I a poser or what? Could be, but anyway, I love this song. It’s amazing how it justifies its length and manages to keep my interest through the whole 25 minutes of repetitive synth ambient. I always listen to it all the way through. It’s also one of my favourite songs to fall asleep to.


5. Kotiteollisuus (855 plays)

In 2006 I wrote in my journal that Kotiteollisuus is a falling star on my charts. That was obviously just some passing phase; I rediscovered them in December 2006, saw them live for the first time in April 2007 and again in March this year, and right now I probably like them more than ever. Their latest album Iankaikkinen is very good and they are among my favourite Finnish bands. Their music is very simple and straightforward heavy rock, catchy, honest and touching.

Top Song: Kaihola (48 plays)
A very typical Kotiteollisuus song and rather addictive. My favourite song would be the epic Satu peikoista.


6. The Doors (853 plays)
[fangirly rant]
It begun on a freeway from Rome last July. The day was hot, the car was going fast, and then the radio started playing Light My Fire, and I was all but on fire by the sheer delight of being and feeling so alive. Once I got back to Finland (to cold and gloomy Finland I might add) I got The Very Best Of compilation of The Doors. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2008, however, that I really got into them.

I just bought The Soft Parade on vinyl because I simply love the album artwork. As for my favourite album, it’d probably be the S/T or Strange Days ... or L.A. Woman. And I really love Morrison Hotel too. Yep. Decisions.

Isn’t it only natural to be obsessed with The Doors when you’re young, your emotions running high, struggling to make the most of your life and somehow trying to make some sense of it all? I bet it is. At least that’s my excuse. All the pseudo-philosophy aside, their music is just downright beautiful. With a voice like his, Jim Morrison could be reciting a cookbook and it would still sound mesmerizing. Mostly for that very reason, I like An American Prayer too. If someone dares say ‘pretentious’, I’ll bite. Here’s a review I almost totally agree with, most notably with this part: "I mean, who else but James Douglas Morrison can tell about lament for his cock, planning murders with bleeding virgins and Indians bleeding to death on a highway without sounding like a jackass? Come to think of it, he was a jackass anyway. But a genius jackass, that is."
[/fangirly rant]

Top song: Light My Fire (66 plays)
Listening to the organ solo just before falling asleep makes me think ‘okay, I could die happy now’. As for my current The Doors favourite, I can’t really say. When the Music’s Over has certainly become one of my favourite songs ever.


7. Björk (755 plays)
I got into Björk quite accidentally in Spring 2007 when I was browsing randomly in Last.fm as I always do. I stumbled across Björk’s page and spent some wonderful nights listening to her albums which were fully streamable back then. After a while I bought Post which is probably still my favourite Björk album. I adore her style, musically and visually.

Top Song: One Day (30 plays)
Funnily enough, this is actually also the first Björk song I’ve ever heard: it was featured in my English textbook when I was 13. We listened to it in class and it remained in the back of my head through the years so it must have made an impression on me already back then. It’s not my favourite Björk song but it’s really good and inspiring piece of music.


8. Sentenced (754 plays)
I’m actually quite surprised that, after all these years, Sentenced remains among my top artists. Out of my top 10, they’re the band I’ve been listening to for the longest time. My brother (bless him!) got me into them around, I don’t know, 2003 maybe, and I’ve liked them continuously ever since. It’s quite rare for me to remain a loyal fan of any artist. I tend to get easily excited by an artist, go through an intense phase of love and obsession, and then get somewhat bored with them, only to re-discover them some time later and start the whole cycle of excited-obsessed-bored all over again.

My love for Sentenced, on the other hand, has been unwavering. I like their catchy tunes, cheesy lyrics and the comfortably hoarse voice of Ville Laihiala. Crimson was the album that got me into Sentenced but lately The Cold White Light has become my favourite out of their discography with Laihiala. On a side note, North From Here is an extremely good death metal album.

Top Song: Keep My Grave Open (41 plays)
Ah, I really like this moody track from Down.


9. Scandinavian Music Group (750 plays)
I attented a small festival in summer 2006 to see Egotrippi and ended up discovering a band I liked even more: Scandinavian Music Group. For a long time they were a sort of an exception to the rule in my top 10 by being the only non-metal band up there. I like them especially for their lyrics, to which I can often relate.

Top Song: Valmis (37 plays)
I see myself in this song.


10. Cradle of Filth (747 plays)

How on earth are they still in my top 10? This is a very good example of what my sudden obsessions can do. CoF is this high on my charts mostly due to a two-week obsession in May 2007 when I all of a sudden started to like them after years of disliking them. I still listen to them occasionally and I don’t really dislike them but they are way too high on my charts.

Top Song: Nymphetamine (Overdose) (36 plays)
I think it’s actually a very good song, atmospheric and catchy. My other favourites would be Lovesick For Mina, A Gothic Romance (Red Roses for the Devil’s Whore) [yay for long song names!] and Suicide and Other Comforts.


Out of my top 10, Iron Maiden, Mokoma, Sentenced and Kotiteollisuus are bands I used to listen to already when I registered to Last.fm. Back then I would've never predicted a top 10 like this. And taking a look at my whole top 50, there are even more and bigger surprises. But more on that later - or then again, maybe not. :)

Comentários

  • trumanb

    Sori, että varastan näitä, mutta mun pitäs kai ittellekin tehä tällainen :D Noin muuten, niin aika mieletöntä, miten The Arkista on tullut sun top 2 -bändi, kun vasta silloin Euroviisuissa tutustuit siihen. :O Mäkin silloin kuulin The Arkkia ekaa kertaa, mutten tykänny The Worrying Kindista. Vasta sitten syksyllä, kun alkoi koulu, niin yksi luokkakaveri tutustutti mut The Arkkiin ja ihastuin. :)

    Jun 8 2008, 7h34
  • Porpentina

    Varasta toki :D Oon huomannut, että näitä tällaisia on kiva lukea sitten myöhemmin ja katsoa, miten maku on muuttunut. The Arkin nousu ihan suosikkibändien joukkoon oli tosiaan hillittömän nopeaa. Kaiken lisäksi olin siihen aika vielä melko yksipuolisesti vain metallin kuuntelija enkä uskonut voivani oikeasti ihastua The Arkin kaltaiseen musiikkiin. En miekään siitä The Worrying Kindista niin hirveesti innostunut, mutta bändi vaikutti kuitenkin kiinnostavalta, ja tuo It Takes a Fool to Remain Sane tais olla sitten se, josta fanitus toden teolla alkoi.

    Jun 8 2008, 11h26
  • trumanb

    Mun suosikkibiisit on ehdottomasti "The Most Radical Thing To Do", "One Of Us Is Gonna Die Young", "Prayer For The Weekend" ja "Death To The Martyrs" :P

    Jun 8 2008, 16h44
  • Porpentina

    Oi, Death to the Martyrs on huippu! [i]You sorry ass![/i] :D The Ark on kyllä mulle se bändi, jonka eniten haluaisin nähdä livenä. Mutta eihän mulla ole rahaa matkustaa keikoille jonnekki helevetin Helesinkiin tai Ruisrokkiin tai muualle kauas. Ja silloin kun on varaa käydä etelässä, niin ei siellä tietenkään sillon ole mittään fiksuja keikkoja. Niin prkl. :P

    Jun 10 2008, 16h54
  • trumanb

    Patikkamatka Helsinkiin! Tulee halvaksi. Varaat vain aikaa riittävästi.

    Jun 12 2008, 11h25
  • Rautarutto

    Hyvin mielenkiintonen journal ja kehumpa ohimennen myös top-50 artisteja, mainion monipuolista :D

    Jun 12 2008, 13h01
  • Porpentina

    Kiitoksia, Rautarutto. Mulla on kauhia into tutustua mahdollisimman moniin eri musiikkityyleihin ja melkein kaikista olen myös löytänyt jotain fanittamisen arvoista :D

    Jun 17 2008, 13h12
  • obskuric

    What an enjoyable read! I don't know any of the Finnish bands with Finnish lyrics/vocals you mention here, but, judging from the other bands, I might have to check out some of them. And maybe once I'll reach my 50'000th scrobbled track I might do a similar journal... maybe...

    Jun 21 2008, 15h39
  • Porpentina

    Thanks for reading & commenting :) I think these kinds of journals are a very nice thing to read after a couple of years to see how your taste has changed. Hmm, you should give Mokoma a listen, they are really good even if you don't understand the language.

    Jun 21 2008, 20h59
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