• My best of 2010: artist chart

    27. Dez. 2010, 13:48

    Ascending, with comments and predictions!

    10. The Ting Tings
    I haven't even heard their new single yet, but they've been riding my scrobbles like a rodeo horse since the first time I heard "That's Not My Name". Anxiously waiting for the next album here.

    9. Wolfmother
    I scrobbled and scrobbled, bought the new album, scrobbled some more, and then Andrew Stockdale got health problems and they cancelled the Werchter gig. Next to Ke$ha getting more scrobbles than anyone else in 2010, it was my biggest musical disappointment of the year. At least Cosmic Egg is excellent.

    Tracks of the year: 10,000 Feet, New Moon Rising, White Feather ("dancing pizza!!!"), Far Away (love you, baby)

    8. Elton John
    This is all thanks to one track, I suspect. Strangely enough it's not one of this year's top tracks. Nonetheless it's got its hooks in me, Sugar Bear. Also I can't wait to play "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" again on Guitar Hero this Christmas.

    Track of the year: Someone Saved My Life Tonight

    7. Laïs
    Since I gave my heart to a Belgian woman, more and more artists from the land of chocolate and waffles have won my scrobbles. Laïs are no strangers to my charts. No new tracks have been discovered this year - I simply dig these people. Their version of "Le renard et la belette" is one of my favourite songs of all time.

    6. Muse
    One of my top musical moments of the year was when Muse opened their Werchter gig with "Uprising". Fifty thousand people peed their pants at the same time. It was bliss.

    Tracks of the year: Uprising, Resistance

    5. Editors
    Although In This Light and on This Evening features an unnecessary change of style, it's a good album. "Papillon" has become one of my top Editors tracks of all time.

    The Werchter concert was great, but while some songs impressed me in their live incarnations, others were disappointing. I'm looking at you "Hospital Doors".

    Top tracks this year: Papillon, Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool

    4. Coheed and Cambria
    What the hell?

    3. Green Day
    I stole 21st Century Breakdown and played the kaka out of it. I like it every bit as much as the last album, just as all-consumingly as I like crisps and table tennis.

    The Werchter gig was wild, but there were definitely moments of "whu'?". It has finally been proven that twelve-year-old Belgian girls can't sing "Longview", no matter what it says on their cardboard signs.

    Top tracks this year: East Jesus Nowhere, 21st Century Breakdown, Know Your Enemy, American Eulogy

    2. Suzanne Vega
    Cementing her place as my favourite singer-songwriter, Suzanne Vega reaches for the stars once again. There's no system to my listening. I did discover Songs In Red And Gray this year, and I liked it. The rest is scrobble history.

    Top tracks this year: Songs In Red And Gray,If I Were A Weapon

    (drum roll)

    1. R.E.M.
    Unsurprisingly, 110 scrobbles higher up we find R.E.M. Two years after Accelerate they're strong as ever. Collapse Into Now (scheduled for release on March 7, 2011) will only give them a greater advantage when next year's list comes around. Dare I predict a 200-scrobble advantage?

    Top tracks this year: Discoverer

    Happy New Year!
  • Werchter 2010: my wishlist

    10. Mär. 2010, 10:43

    Since we're moving to Belgium on the First of May, a bright idea popped up: why not go to [event=]Rock Werchter[/event] in July? So I spent my last dime on tickets. I won't set my expectations too high, but it's going to be the single biggest music experience of my life so far, bar none except the R.E.M. concert in '08. Unless they decide to show up on Werchter, of course. Which brings me to this post! An impressive number of yummy bands have already been confirmed: Muse, Phoenix, Green Day, Editors, Rammstein, The Ting Tings, Pearl Jam, Wolfmother, several others and an army of unfamiliar Belgians I'm curious about.

    A bounty of names are yet to be released, and so I present to you my (very, very optimistic) wishlist. I know this won't affect the final lineup in any way, but at least I can gloat if some of them do show up. If you have some wishes of your own, tell me in the comments.

    R.E.M., as always
    The Hives
    Lady Gaga
    Coheed and Cambria
    Dropkick Murphys
    Bad Religion
    Billy Talent
    The Who
    De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig (mwahaha, Bika!)

    Let's see if any of this comes true.

    P.S. If you're going to Rock Werchter this year, don't forget to use the "" tag to create the best Werchter Last.fm radio ever!

  • 2009 recap

    31. Dez. 2009, 12:35

    My beautiful fiancé, northern_soul_, named 2009 her Yevgueni year. Unlike her, I had no particular band to guide me through these past twelve months of music magic. But despair not! For I had multiple cheery highlights I'd love to share with you. Here are my top nine music moments of 2009, in no particular order.

    Hit it, Shaffer!

    1. Getting "Poker Face" stuck in my brain for the one thousandth time
    I'm no lover of pop, female lead singers who mostly get by on their looks or gambling, but the fact is that, months after its release, this song is still churning about in my head as if constantly playing from millions of tiny speakers hidden throughout the world. Also, Lady Gaga's role in DJ Steve Porter's Auto-Tuned recap of 2009 was one of my personal highlights from the video:

    2. Listening to ZZ Top's «Velcro Fly» after reading about it in Stephen King's Dark Tower series
    ...and reading the following quote among the track's shouts on Last.fm: «Everyone here has forgotten the faces of their fathers!»

    3. Immersing myself in upbeat music on my way to work
    My 20-minute walk to my workplace is a perfect opportunity to crank up my MP3-player and shake off that last little bit of morning drowsiness. It has allowed me to discover new sides to The Who's «Baba O'Reilly», «Won't Get Fooled Again» and «Bargain», along with some tracks from Lostprophets' Liberation Transmission, Jason Mraz' «The Remedy (I Won't Worry)» and «Circle of Life» from The Lion King. And nothing beats strolling through the doors at work to the velvet thunder of Beck's «E-Pro».

    4. My father-in-law's insane record collection
    I visited my fiancé's family for the first time this summer, and the one thing you'll notice about the house is all the records. Literally thousands of CDs and vinyls are piled from floor to ceiling along almost every wall. He was more than happy to lend me a few, and so my horizon was muchly expanded in a very short period of time. I can't wait to experience more from Josse M.'s treasure chest of music.

    5. The 2009 Dour Festival
    During the visit to my fiancé's home country of Belgium, the two of us went to the Dour Festival in the southwest of the country. Among the great concerts we went to were: Malibu Stacy (Walloons), Arsenal (what Totowould be like if Bobby Kimballwas a rapper and Stephen Lukather was a DJ), and one of my favorite punk bands, Dropkick Murphys. Apart from the little clouds of ganja smoke drifting across the sea of people from the dreadlock-heads who'd come to see Winston McAnuff and the Homegrown Band, it was excellent. I'd love to go there again.

    6. Moving together with my girlfriend and her music
    We've been living together for three months now, and I'm still only getting to know all the wonderful things about her. Which is great! We listen to music together, watch R.E.M. DVD's together and even make little music quizzes for each other. Among her great Christmas presents for me was a CD labeling kit. The first one I make will be for her.

    7. My Christmas presents
    I've already mentioned the CD labeling kit. Opening yet another present from my fiancé and seeing R.E.M.'s latest release, Live at the Olympia, inside was probably the biggest moment of Christmas '09 for me. Along with, of course, playing Guitar Hero 5 with my girlfriend and little sisters for four days on end.

    8. Seeing Marit Larsen live
    It was every bit as magical and fun as listening to her music is. It was also a bit unreal, having someone's songs being pumped into your ears from the radio for years on end and then suddenly seeing them on stage right in front of you, breathing new life into the music and communicating it to the audience in the purest way you can imagine. Live music kicks ass, and Marit Larsen kicks ass. So, that evening kicked ass. If she ever comes back to Tromsø, I'm taking northern_soul_ along to the concert so we can share that experience together.

    9. Seeing Norway win the Eurovision Song Contest with folk dancing and a fiddle
    Alexander Rybak was the first-ever Norwegian finalist I actually believed could win the whole ESC, and then he did. I was stunned and elated. Sure, I don't give a rat's behind about the contest the other 363 days a year it's not on, but winning is always fun, you can't argue with that. And «Fairytale» ranks high on my personal soundtrack to 2009. Give the happy fiddler a scrobble!

    Erlend A.
    Tromsø, December 2009
  • Eels Week summary

    10. Feb. 2009, 13:11

    One thing I noticed about intensive Eels listening is that it's hard to cram their entire discography into one week. I'm not even sure if I have all their albums. Editors were easier.

    Because of Beautiful Freak always appearing on top in my library, it became the most frequently listened-to album. I feel it's quite representative, as it has the same low-key, droning melodiousness of most Eels albums. When I became hungry for something more upbeat, I could happily switch to Shootenanny!, which today is my favorite Eels album. I'll need some time to absorb the remaining discography, which I'm confident I will without much effort. One thing I know is this: like R.E.M., Eels has some major difficulties creating songs that are actually bad.

    To keep my library 'true', I deleted Eels from it at the end of the experiment. They will return in style.

    My Eels top track picks (and a bit about why I like 'em)
    My Beloved Monster (Shrek, of course)
    Guest List (the guitar sound in the chorus)
    Fashion Awards (so damn crazy)
    Manchild (intro sounds exactly like Everybody Hurts)
    The Other Shoe (nice and wild)
    Theme From Blinking Lights (peace- and beautiful)
    I Need Some Sleep (Shrek 2, of course)
    Saturday Morning (whoo, yeah!)
    Love of the Loveless (I like Beck, and this is not too long a stretch)
    In The Yard, Behind The Church (maybe simply because it reminds me of a Micropops song, but meh)
    Dirty Girl (everything I love about Swedish artists, and none of what I hate. Funny, considering that Eels are American)
    Lone Wolf (I can relate)
    Sweet Li'l Thing (it's a beautiful track that reminds me of my girlfriend and summer days)
  • Eels week

    4. Feb. 2009, 12:08

    started yesterday. Not long ago, my girlfriend heard I Need Some Sleep on my radio. It was the only song by Eels I'd ever heard, obviously thanks to the Shrek 2 soundtrack. She got interested, and it kind of snowballed from there. She's told me how much she likes Eels, and I feel it's time for me to get reacquainted. To add a new touch to Theme Week, I'm actually going to sum up my experiences come Tuesday.

    Very exaitin'...
  • Theme week: Norway, Sweden & Denmark

    10. Nov. 2008, 20:35

    It's All-Scandinavian week for me. That means Björn Afzelius, Silje Nergaard, Span, Turbonegro, Kim Larsen, Marit Larsen, Kent and Aqua (just kidding on that last one, by the way.)
    Umm... Wish me luck.
  • Top Track Tales: Dropkick Murphys - The Green Fields of France

    8. Nov. 2008, 23:49

    (this is a new thing I'm trying, where I write about my connection to my all-time top tracks.)

    I got into the Dropkick Murphys after their appearance on the soundtrack to The Departed, and this was one of the songs I stumbled across while browsing their music. I had only once before heard Eric Bogle's song, and I can't remember if it was the original or not. I do remember that the lyrics made an impression on me that first time. While listening to the Dropkick Murphys version I also felt the true weight of it, how the music carries the lyrics to a whole new level. A re-listening of the Eric Bogle version probably would have done the same, but this is what happened instead.

    The instrumentation is of little interest, save for the bagpipes. I'm a sucker for bagpipes, at least when they're being used by an Irish-American punk band (this is also apparent in my love for their version of The Fields Of Athenry). The emotional center of this song, however, lies in the lyrics. And they are as loud and clear as they are poignant and moving. Listening to this song takes me to that war cemetery, and my heart bleeds for the millions who have died for a peace that is always shattered again too soon. This is one of few songs that touch me on an emotional level, and I am forever grateful to Eric Bogle and the Dropkick Murphys for that.
  • Norwegian week

    24. Aug. 2008, 14:44

    I was just listening to a friend's station, which contains a lot of bands from her home country, Belgium. I started playing with the thought of listening to only artists for seven days to see how it affected my library/profile/charts. I also want to see if there really is enough good Norwegian music to keep me in a good mood for a whole week.

    The experiment will begin tomorrow. So if you start to wonder why my charts suddenly fill up with stuff like Øystein Sunde, Bjelleklang, Crowtown, TNT, Röyksopp, a-ha and Dimmu Borgir... this is why.
  • First heard, first love, current love

    10. Jul. 2008, 17:15

    It's survey time once again.

    List this week's top ten artists and tell us which song by them you first heard, which one you first loved, and your currently most popular song by them.

    Where the three overlap, I've picked the second-most appropriate track to keep the list diverse.

    1. Flight of the Conchords
    First heard: The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room)
    First loved: Jenny
    Currently love: Doggie Bounce

    2. Toto
    First heard: Africa
    First loved: Hold the Line
    Currently love: Gypsy Train

    3. Suzanne Vega
    First heard: Luka
    First loved: Blood Makes Noise
    Currently love: The Queen And The Soldier

    4. Norwegian Recycling
    First heard: 9 Songs To Save The World
    First loved: How Six Songs Collide
    Currently love: Hey Oh Tonight

    5. Bad Religion
    First heard: You
    First loved: Sorrow
    Currently love: American Jesus

    6. R.E.M.
    First heard: Losing My Religion
    First loved: All the Way to Reno
    Currently love: Crush With Eyeliner

    7. Depeche Mode
    First heard: Personal Jesus
    First loved: Precious
    Currently love: Never Let Me Down Again

    8. Apocalyptica
    First heard: Enter Sandman
    First loved: The Unforgiven
    Currently love: The Unforgiven

    9. Gorillaz
    First heard: Clint Eastwood
    First loved: Feel Good, Inc.
    Currently Love: El Mañana

    10. Moby
    First heard: Porcelain
    First loved: Natural Blues
    Currently love: Lift Me Up
  • An Editors Fortnight

    8. Jul. 2008, 18:25

    Gotta repeat my 1-week-1-album routine with Editors, or I won't be able to sing along to anything but Blood the whole time they're warming me up for R.E.M.. This week it's The Back Room, and next week I'll be tuning in to An End Has A Start.

    This band's sound has a hostile touch that keeps me from immersing myself the way I wish I could. If you have any tips with regards to the listening of these albums (like where best to listen, which position my legs should be in, etc.) please tell me.