Tuesday, November 9, 2010
What was your favorite song this year? Five years ago? Ten years ago? Twenty?

This question reminded me of a service that last.fm offers (used to offer?) where they’d make you a chart that looked like this, showing your music listening habits, once you were a subscriber for a couple of years:

Since I have never really moved from Pandora to that service, I am sadly missing such a sweet graph.

As for songs, I think my favorite song this year is King of Anything, by Sara Bareilles.  It’s pop-y, has a strong female singer (generally I am favorable toward repeat listening of such singers), and actually has a real story to tell with the lyrics, not just a fairytale.

Five years ago was 2005 – I was living in Boston, working at Lincoln Laboratories.  Although I believe the song came up previous to that year, one of my favorite songs from that era was Accidentally in Love, by Counting Crows.  Counting Crows has consistently topped my list of bands (probably top 3 overall), in part because of our college association with Round Here, and in part because their lyrics are just absurd.  I remember Accidentally in Love being the iTunes Free Song of the Day the first day I had iTunes installed on my computer.

Ten years ago was 2000 – I was at Caltech as a sophomore.  I don’t think I was doing much driving that year (I could be misremembering, but I recall having a bike, so it’s less likely I had a car), but I do recall hearing Everything You Want, by Vertical Horizon, on the radio.  We’ll call that my favorite from that year.  This does point out the fact that when I am listening to the radio because I am driving a lot, I am much more connected to music than otherwise.

Twenty years ago was 1990 – I was a small child in Phoenix, Arizona.  I recall listening to a lot of my parents’ Oldies but Goodies cassettes, especially since they would play them loud in the house when cleaning was going on.  Let’s go with Rocky Mountain High, by John Denver, since I recall hearing it clearly and I associate it strongly with camping outings we took up in northern Arizona every once in a while.