Focused & Yearning

So Darling Ones,

Because I had an overnight houseguest last night I didn’t get a chance to tell you yesterday was my favorite night of the year. The overnight houseguest was Sister #4 who came in from Brookings because she had a company meeting/holiday party in town. I wrote that first sentence in such a way as to make you think I might have gotten laid and was going to dish some juicy romantic details.

Alas! You should know, getting laid would be a reason to make a day my favorite day of the year. However, I’m talking about Spotify Wrapped day, where Spotify dishes all the juicy music details of your year in listening. I love Spotify Wrapped day because I cannot get enough useless data about myself. Also, it gives me a chance to be smug, sanctimonious, and a smidge sheepish.

It’s a day where my emotions run the gamut. It bums me out because so many of the men I like had lists that were completely made up of male artists, proving for the one millionth time that men do not value art made by women. It also bums me out because people are assholes right out loud judging people for using Spotify, for sharing their Wrapped lists, and in general not appreciating music the right way.

Spotify does suck and vastly underpays artists. I cannot argue against that. However, just because a person uses Spotify does not mean they don’t listen to music in other ways. I have bought (and pre-ordered) an embarrassing number of records this year. Some through Bandcamp, others from the artist’s website, some through record stores. I use Spotify as a try before you buy kinda situation. Just like I use the library to read a book before I buy it. I’m almost fifty, I’m tired of inviting untested garbage into my house.

Because I spend a broad swaths of time completely alone and frequently in a world that isn’t entirely real, Spotify Wrapped feels like a nice check-in that the year actually progressed the way I thought it did. I went through my Wrapped list and was all, “yep, yep, sounds right, makes sense, that’s embarrassing, yep, yep. right on.”

Spotify said I listened to something like 90 hours of Frightened Rabbit, specifically the song “The Twist.” This makes sense because I listened to Midnight Organ Fight every night before bed for months on months on months.

Julien Baker made my Top 5 list. Of course. I listened to Little Oblivions on repeat to see if a song could, indeed, be too sad. And The Marfa Tapes record is in there under Jack Ingram’s name. This might be my favorite record of 2021. With the Julien Baker, the latest Liz Phair,a nd Lucy Dacus’ VBS coming up close behind.

If you are so inclined you can peep my Top Songs of 2021 Spotify Playlist, which includes, much to my amusement, “Just What I Needed” by The Cars, “Magic Man” by Heart, and “Into Your Arms” by The Lemonheads.

Always in love with that song,

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