Thursday, February 01, 2018

How much new music did I listen to in January 2018? Let's find out!

New year, new music! Sometimes I’m not sure why I still am taking in so much new music since I’m not constantly pumping out Chicagoist content, but then I look back through the past few months and realize about just how many bands I’m writing about here. In fact, this site more resembles it’s earlier days, with a mixture of the personal and the musical. And judging by the steadily growing traffic I’ve been seeing here, there appears to be a pretty big appetite for that mix. So thank you for sticking around, and thank you to all the new readers.

I also mentioned last night I’d be revamping the rating system. Here’s my rating system from last year:
I also rate the albums to help me make my year-end list, so to give you an idea of how that works, a 5 is a solid album. It’s the kind of record that I wouldn’t skip if it came up again on shuffle or I was in the right mood for it. So it’s not really “average” it’s more “this is a solid piece of work.” Many, many discs are 5s.   
Going up the scale increases in difficulty. There is more space between a 9 and a 10 than there is between a 6 and a 7, you know what I mean? It’s incrementally more difficult to move up the scale so there are very, very few 9s or 10s, if any.

Same applies for going down the scale. A 3 or 4 isn’t terrible, and might be kept on if it pops up on the radio or something, but 2 and below means it’s probably nigh unlistenable as far as I’m concerned. But it could also mean it’s just not my thing too! It’s not a judgement on a band, it’s a measure of how I enjoy (or am challenged) by the music. So my 2 could very well be an 8 to you, right?
So the same rating system will apply, but I’ll be breaking out the numbers more granularly, as you’ll see below, to give a better idea of where albums falls.

Ready, let’s dig into January!

Total number of new/upcoming releases listened to in January 2018: 47

Number of those releases that rated 7-10: 3

Number of those releases that rated 5-6: 12

Number of those releases that rated 3-4: 26

Number of those releases that rated 1-2: 6

Highest rated album: Franz Ferdinand’s Always Ascending. This got lots and lots of play near the end of the month, and probably got in the way of me listening to more new music because I was enjoying it so much.

New band I’d never heard of that caught me off guard: Unlikely Friends are the easy front runners hear. Another album that got lots of play in January.

Most surprising discovery: Local H’s Live In Europe is an excellent document of the band's current sound, mixing a few hits with the deeper cuts populating their set lists lately. Why is this surprising? It’s hard to accurately capture a band’s live sound, but this does a great job of doing so.

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