I love charts and yearlists. This passion started in my childhood. As a child I made lists of almost everything: how long it took to brush my teeth and put on my pajamas (with a all time record of 10 seconds), lists of the time the planes flew over our house to Maastricht Airport, and also of all the licenseplates of the cars in our neighbourhood. When I think about it, I’m surprised that my parents never thought I was autistic.
Fortunately, the urge to list all daily activities decreased over the years, yet never disappeared completely. Every December, my heart starts to beat faster when all lists on television and radio pass. I try to see and hear it all: the 2000 best songs ever made, the best albums of 2011, but also the news and sports reviews of 2011.
Last week an old love crossed my path: the OOR top 50 album list. In my student days I read every edition of music magazine OOR from front to back and from top to bottom. I particularly was interested in the stories behind the albums, the perception of their gigs in the Dutch concert halls and in the reviews of new records. Due to lack of money, I was unfortunately forced to discontinue the subscription. Last week, I rediscovered the magazine at the bookshop at Schiphol Airport. This December-edition looked back on 2011 and ahead to 2012. The top 50 album chart was the way OOR looked back at 2011. I was glad to see I can still agree with the critical list the popjournalists had compiled. The top three consisted of number one PJ Harvey, number two Wilco and number three Spinvis.
I think this way of looking back at a year makes it easier to look forward to a new year. In this case I was surprised to see OOR looks ahead to 2012 the same way I do. OOR considers not only the stories behind the music, the concerts and reviews, but also to the use of media to promote the albums and concerts. Columnist Hooijer, after all the years fortunately still part of the magazine, writes in his preview to 2012: “your speakers at home, in your car, your phone and your computer are connected with each other all the time and continuously are fed with music from the cloud. It’s possible to share your entire music collection with whoever you want. You do not buy music anymore, because all your music is accesible through the cloud. However, the relationship between music and personal identity remains an incredibly important subject. How people talk about music on their facebook page, or how they organize their iTunes says everything about their musical identity. ”
This quote has led to some good intentions for 2012. My first good intention is to establish my musical identity through the cloud. I want to create lists in iTunes and Spotify that are representative for my musical taste/identity. I also want to see how these bands communicate to their fans through social media. The main focus will be placed on albums released in 2012. In December 2012 I want to publish my own chart with artists who not only created the best album, but also have used social media the best way to promote their album/concerts or interact with their fans. I will call it: the crossmedialab social media album Top 50 2012 (suggestions for a more sexy title are very welcome).
After one week in 2012 the chart contains the following albums (in random order): The Bats – Free all monsters; Blaudzun – Heavy Flowers; Hospital bomber – at Butokan; Lisa Hannigan – Passenger; I am Oak – Skulk and Ben Howard – Every Kingdom. It’s going to be a great year!