TL;DR: You can now import your artists from Rdio and Deezer directly into Songkick, and control exactly which last.fm artists you want to track.
Most people who know me know that I rather like Songkick - the service that aims to make sure you never miss a gig by your favourite artists again. Over the last couple of years I have built a few things using their API, for example Songkick RSS feeds, and the @kickalert Twitter service that sends you notifications of your upcoming gigs directly to your Twitter account.
I recently noticed I had some issues tracking additional artists that I’m listening to on last.fm, and it turns out that Songkick’s default import functionality is capped, to make sure the vast majority of Songkick users receive a concentrated amount of artists/ notifications of interest to them. Which makes sense, but doesn’t help music-crazy outliers like myself ;)
I also often found that - because I listen to such a lot of different music - I don’t actually want to track every single artist I listen to, so would really like a lot more control over which artists I track on Songkick. When I ran this past the Songkick folks, with a semi-serious comment saying that “if you give me access to your private write-API, I’ll build it myself”, they called my bluff.
So here we are, a few weeks later, and in the process of building something that gives you complete control over your trackings based on your last.fm scrobbles, I also decided to add Rdio and Deezer to the mix, since there are currently no ways to import your favourite artists on Rdio and Deezer directly into your Songkick account (while there already exists a Songkick Spotify app, so I could leave that to one side).
Give it a go here: acousti.co/sk_import - it’s in a slightly experimental state, so be prepared for things that may not quite work (if they don’t, or if you have any other comments or feedback, please let me know on Twitter!)
Since this is the year in which I will hit the big 50, I thought I’d put together a playlist with just one song from each year of my life so far.
The whole sorry story starts in 1964, with “Time Is On My Side” (it was then, not so much now), and then moves all the way up to 2013, one song at a time. Just picking one song per year obviously means there’s lots of favourites that don’t make it, because they had the misfortune to be released in the same year.
Doing this, I found it interesting that the period of the mid- to late-90s was definitely the weakest few years (for me) as far as new music was concerned, whereas for most of the years before and after I had to make lots of hard choices and leave out lots of great stuff.
So here we go - my life in 50 songs….
And look out for “100 songs for 100 years”, coming up very soon (well, in another 50 short years).
Strava has quite a nice way of generating heatmaps of all your rides. Below are my main 3 maps of interest in 2013: London, NYC and the Techbikers Paris-London ride.
New York City
Mostly commutes between Williamsburg and Union Square, and a couple of longer rides to Rockaway and City Island.
When time allows, I bang the drums in a band called (R), and we recently recorded some live demos. Here’s a taster - as the titles suggest, the first one is about drinking, the second one a word of advice to the youth of today. Befitting of a band of middle-aged gits fighting a losing battle against ageing with guitar(R)s, d(R)ums and bee(R).
Here we go, my customary end-of-year post… my favourite 10 albums of 2012. In no particular order:
Metz - METZ
Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
The Men - Open Your Heart
Death Grips - The Money Store
Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself
Sauna Youth - Dreamlands
Unsane - Wreck
Rolo Tomassi - Astraea
Sharon Van Etten - Tramp
Swans - The Seer
I say “no particular order”, but it’s fair to say that METZ is my most favourite of them all. I’m getting close to 50, and yet when listening to “Wasted” or “Sad Pricks” on that album, all I want to do is throw myself into a mosh pit somewhere. Highly undignified.
Here’s all the albums in a glorious Spotify playlist:
Following on from the top albums, a less “scientific” list of my top gigs in 2011. Looking at my Songkick Yearly Report there’s so much good stuff it’s really hard to pick individual shows, but I’m giving it a shot anyway… in no particular order, and quite possibly subject to change depending on current mood, here are some of my most memorable gigs of 2011:
Rather than actually thinking about it, this year I’ve just looked at my last.fm scrobbles of albums released in 2011, and let that tell me what my favourite albums were. Most played = favourite, right? Easy… so here goes, without comment, but with Spotify links so you can check them out yourselves:
10. Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me - Touché Amoré
9. Johnny Foreigner vs Everything - Johnny Foreigner
8. WHATEVER - Teeth
7. David Comes To Life - Fucked Up
6. Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will - Mogwai
5. Slave Ambient - The War On Drugs
4. Bon Iver - Bon Iver
2. Cults - Cults
… and drum roll … number one:
1. Constant Future - Parts & Labor
Death Grips - Klink. This is immense, with Black Flag sample and all…