My Most Played Artists, Albums And Songs Of 2009 (According To

With each passing year, it seems I discover and purchase less new music. By “new” music, I’m specifically referring to music that was released within that calendar year. Whereas in years past I frequently bought new releases on the day they came out (even waiting outside the record store before it opened), it’s become increasingly rare for me to purchase new albums. Considering how readily available new music is anymore without even having to leave the house, this may sound odd. That is, until you consider that the same technologies which allow such easy access to new music also lend themselves to bombarding us with too many choices.

Now, instead of occasionally catching a new song I like on the radio or having a friend suggest a particular album, it seems I’m flooded, often indiscriminately, with a proverbial ocean of options. The iTunes home page overloads me with names of artists, albums, and singles. Dozens of people on my Facebook news feed are posting MP3s and links to music videos on YouTube each day. The rare time that I visit a MySpace page anymore, someone’s profile will inevitably start autoplaying some song. People are Tweeting what they’re listening to at the moment, blipping it on, and scrobbling it on I now have so many more suggestions (albeit passively) than I’ve ever had before, but with the same limited number of hours in each day to actually listen to music.

So I find myself going back in time, primarily discovering albums and songs that are new to me but were released years, even decades, ago. That was the case in 2009, perhaps more than any other year. That’s not to say that I didn’t listen to any new releases, just that releases from prior to 2009 dominated my listening during the last year. I found myself getting into Talking Heads and Mute Math releases that I had previously overlooked, while returning to familiar favorites by Bob Marley, Miles Davis, The Beatles, Beck, Bjork, etc.

Having said all that, here are my most played artists, albums and songs of 2009, as charted by my profile:


1. Caroline’s Spine
2. U2
3. The Beatles
4. The Police
5. Sting
6. Mute Math (New to me in 2009)
7. Radiohead
8. Miles Davis
9. Umphrey’s McGee (A new discovery I found via PBS’ “Soundstage”)
10. Bob Marley & The Wailers
11. Stavesacre
12. John Mayer
13. Beck
14. Dave Matthews Band
15. Grant Lee Buffalo
16. Earthsuit
17. Material
18. Bjork
19. Prince
20. Nujabes (New to me in 2009)
21. M83 (New to me in 2009)
22. Paul Simon
23. Van Halen
24. Minus The Bear (New to me in 2009)
25. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
26. Pearl Jam
27. Frank Sinatra
28. The Doors
29. Mike Doughty
30. Led Zeppelin


1. Mute Math – “Mute Math” (New to me in 2009)
2. Caroline’s Spine – “Work It Out” (New to me in 2009)
3. Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Legend” (Consistently my most played album on
4. Material – “Hallucination Engine”
5. Miles Davis – “Kind Of Blue”
6. Radiohead – “In Rainbows”
7. M83 – “Saturdays = Youth” (New to me in 2009)
8. Earthsuit – “Kaleidoscope Superior”
9. Minus The Bear – “Menos El Oso” (New to me in 2009)
10. Umphrey’s McGee – “Live At The Murat” (New to me in 2009)
11. The Police – “Ghost In The Machine”
12. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – “Whipped Cream & Other Delights Rewhipped”
13. U2 – “No Line On The Horizon” (An actual 2009 release)
14. Frank Sinatra – “The Very Good Years”
15. Paul Simon – “Negotiations And Love Songs (1971-1986)”
16. Prince – “The Hits/The B-Sides” (disc 1)
17. Sting – “The Soul Cages”
18. Sting – “Nothing Like The Sun”
19. John Mayer – “Where The Light Is” (live)
20. Vince Guaraldi Trio – “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
21. The Doors – “An American Prayer”
22. One Day As A Lion – “One Day As A Lion” (New to me in 2009)
23. Pearl Jam – “Ten”
24. Dave Matthews Band – “Crash”
25. Jeff Buckley – “Grace”
26. U2 – “Achtung Baby”
27. The Police – “Zenyatta Mondatta”
28. The Beatles – “Help!”
29. Nujabes – “Modal Soul”
30. Talking Heads – “Popular Favorites 1976-1992: Sand In The Vaseline”


1. Mute Math – “Without It” (New to me in 2009)
2. John Mayer – “Free Fallin'” (acoustic)
3. Talking Heads – “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)”
4. David Mead – “Human Nature” (New to me in 2009)
5. Regina Spektor – “Laughing With” (An actual 2009 release)
6. Caroline’s Spine – “The Light Inside”
7. Material – “Ruins (Submutation Dub)”
8. M83 – “Kim & Jessie”
9. Kool & The Gang – “Summer Madness”
10. Sting – “The Lazarus Heart”
11. Minus The Bear – “The Pig War” (New to me in 2009)
12. M83 – “Graveyard Girl” (New to me in 2009)
13. Mat Kearney – “Closer To Love” (An actual 2009 release)
14. The Police – “Spirits In The Material World”
15. Jack Johnson – “Badfish/Boss DJ” (Sublime cover)
16. Frank Sinatra – “Summer Wind”
17. Umphrey’s McGee – “Hajimemashite” (New to me in 2009)
18. Radiohead – “House Of Cards”
19. Beck – “Farewell Ride (Subtle Remix)” (Remix new to me in 2009)
20. Earthsuit – “Wonder”
21. Bjork – “I Miss You (Sunshine Mix)” (Remix new to me in 2009)
22. The Flaming Lips with Stardeath And White Dwarfs – “Borderline” (Madonna Cover)
23. David Byrne – “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” (Live in Austin)
24. Caroline’s Spine – “Bombs Away”
25. Jeff Buckey – “Hallelujah”
26. Miles Davis – “Blue In Green”
27. Jose Gonzalez – “Teardrop” (Massive Attack cover)
28. The Police – “Darkness”
29. Jeff Buckley – “Last Goodbye”
30. One Day As A Lion – “If You Fear Dying” (New to me in 2009)



  1. So, does this make you open to suggestions, or are you just disgusted with media in hypertime? The Internet has no shut-off valve, and I can attest to be overwhelmed by possibilities.

  2. @Captain Video : I am most certainly open to suggestions. If a person actually takes the time to contact me personally with a song/album/artist suggestion, that really stands out to me. It’s not just part of the “noise” out there cluttering the landscape. That sort of thing stands out and, in fact, is how I tend to find most of my new music anymore. You’ll notice M83, MGMT, Minus The Bear, and Mute Math were actually suggested to me by people I met via the internet and (as you can see from the blog entry) ended up on my “most played” lists.

    As far as being “disgusted with media in hypertime,” I wouldn’t necessarily call it disgusted. It’s just that the onslaught of a seemingly infinite number of choices gives one much more to wade through when trying to find something worth listening to. I love all the choices, it’s just a bit (as you said) overwhelming.

  3. I can appreciate that. For what it’s worth, I have a recommendation. I can’t be sure you’ll like it, but I’ve spent a lot of time inside the BSP and think you might.

    I was introduced to the Bad Scary Place in 2004, by a friend who had wandered into it crossways while looking for a picture of lard. He was actually a tutor in college, and all the tutoring took place in one room, which meant very little tutoring got done at all. Which was fine. We all huddled around the CRT monitor and got to see what culture looks like when things are rearranged.

    I had never seen anything like it before – and, at times, I came across surreal artifacts that made me think of it. If you’ve got some time, you might enjoy the work of the Fossil Aerosol Mining Project. They have a website, which is… hard to describe:

    The only concrete connection between FAMP and the BSP is that both they and you take things and sort of rearrange them into new things. Actually, make that two connections: Neither is readily accessible as a metaphor.

    I’ll just stop talking now.

  4. @Captain Video – I had a chance to go check that site out. Very cool, and very much my kind of thing. I definitely understand the connection, as well as how that site is also quite different from the BSP. Thanks for bringing that to my attention!

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