iTunes, in conjunction with my ipods, track each time I listen to a song. These songs become living entities to me. A song gets counted only if it finishes playing. Being an admirer of numbers and statistics, I feel like a parent rooting it on. I always let the song complete so it gets credit. I want it to matter.
iTunes has a special playlist titled "Top 25 Most Played." As the name suggests, it shows the top twenty-five most played songs.
I take many photographs. A lot of times I take a picture for painting reference, as potential subject matter to be later transferred to canvas. Other times I am inspired by a scene or ambience and want to capture it. I read an interview about the director Cameron Crowe. He didn't take pictures. Instead he would make mix tapes encapsulating the songs during that time period. That became his auditory scrapbook. For me, the top 25 list has become a barometer. It's a snapshot of my life.
What can by gathered from my top 25 list? I have my thoughts. I look at it and know where my head is at.
Tangentially there are other things that I can deduce from my current list….
It reveals my habit of falling into periodic obsessions. I fall into patterns where I'll frequent the same restaurant or listen repeatedly to a few artists. I'll hold the same CD captive in my car's CD player for weeks at a time. And a short time later, the restaurant, artists, and CD will be replaced by new ones. And the process will repeat itself. While the artists I've been listening to are obscure, there isn't much breadth to the list. There are a few that have been hit with heavy listening.
It proves my love affair with Regina Spektor. Oh – how I so desperately long to be the subject of one of her songs.
And song number 25 shows that daddy enjoys a little bit of South American lovin'.
The mellow, moody, and dynamic music implies that I've been pursuing creative endeavors as that style of music always accompanies a moving pen or brush.
It shows the power of getting added to the latest playlist. I create them like I'm making a mixed tape for myself. If a song gets added, it's a golden ticket to the top 25.
What else can be retrieved from my list? Well, depending on the viewer, probably many things. With high accuracy, I can determine a person's entire persona by their tastes in music and movies, and their critiques of what they've seen. If I ask a person how they felt about Lost in Translation, I know everything I need to upon hearing the response.
Just think about how quickly you could know someone if they just shared their top twenty-five list. No more relentless small talk. No more curious glances across the room. You just exchange top twenty-five lists like they were business cards, study them, then take the appropriate action. It's like having five deep conversations all filtered down into eighty words on a half-sheet of paper.
And in a few months my list will change. When I begin training to become an Ultimate Fighter, you will quickly see Slayer's Raining Blood rise in the charts (it is my irrefutable belief that this song has the heaviest opening in the history of music.. if I listen to it in the car I find myself accelerating without being aware of it).
But at this moment in time, this is where my head is at. I now present my list of the top 25 most listened to songs over the last two months:
1.) The Engine Driver - The Decemberists
2.) Why Can't I Forget About You - The Subdudes
3.) The Dress Looks Nice on You - Sufjan Stevens
4.) Hotel Song - Regina Spektor
5.) Better - Regina Spektor
6.) Buildings - Regina Spektor
7.) Samson - Regina Spektor
8.) Fidelity - Regina Spektor
9.) The Funeral - Band of Horses
10.) Hold On Hold On - Neko Case
11.) That Time - Regina Spektor
12.) Ghost of Corporate Future - Regina Spektor
13.) Intimate Controversy - Yovee
14.) Your Honor - Regina Spektor
15.) Bohemian Like You - The Dandy Warhols
16.) On the Radio - Regina Spektor
17.) City Strolling - Yovee
18.) Fell In Love with a Boy - Joss Stone
19.) Summer In the City - Regina Spektor
20.) Under the Milky Way - Shanna Zell
21.) Chemo Limo - Regina Spektor
22.) What a Day - Yovee
23.) Dreamer on the Run - Yovee
24.) Breathe (2 AM) - Anna Nalick
25.) Hips Don't Lie - Shakira