Top iTunes Play Count

I've been listening to music almost solely (exception: vinyl (mostly on Sunday's)) via my iMac and iPod for going on two years.

Over that time, here are the song I've listened to most:

1 Blinking Lights (For Me) :: Eels 61
2 Bobby Rodan :: Kenny Roby 49
3 Triggers and Trash Heaps :: Centro-matic 47
4 Little Bombs :: Aimee Mann 45
5 Papercuts :: The Havenots 43
6 I See Through You :: Centro-matic 40
7 Just Like Anyone :: Aimee Mann 39
7 Sometimes Always :: Brakes 39
9 Underwater/Overland :: The Havenots 38
10 Before the Deluge :: Jackson Browne 37
11 Today Is the Day :: Apollo Sunshine 36
11 Rise Up With Fists!!! :: Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins 36
13 NY Pie :: Brakes 35
13 Devils & Dust :: Bruce Springsteen 35
13 Saint Augustine :: South San Gabriel 35
16 The Way :: Bonnie "Prince" Billy 34
17 History of Lovers :: Iron/Wine & Calexico 34
17 Calling Thermatico :: Centro-matic 34
17 El Otro Lado :: Josh Rouse 34
17 Our Way To Fall :: Yo La Tengo 34
21 My Heart Is Like a Day :: The Havenots 33
21 Decatur, or, Round of Applause... :: Sufjan Stevens 33
23 Simple Hello :: Damien Jurado 32
23 Gravity's Gone :: Drive-by Truckers 32
25 Jackson :: Brakes 31
25 The Greatest :: Cat Power 31
25 In Such Crooked Times :: Centro-matic 31

Now THAT could make for an amazing mix disc.

T. Rex

If you don't own T. Rex's "The Slider" and "Electric Warrior" then you are an asshole.

Born To Run

Tower Records opened up the world, but Springsteen's "Born To Run" is where it all began. I think it was the summer of 1980 when I first heard this record. I was seven years old at the time. Every other weekend my mother would drop me off at my dad's house a few towns away. I'd usually spend the weekends trying to occupy myself in front of a television, behind the screen of a video game or shooting hoops in the driveway.

Every night I'd stroll up to bed around 10pm, but this is usually when the night began. As I'd crawl into bed the party downstairs would just be getting started. In the early 80s my dad and his group of friends drank a lot. And I mean a lot. Each night the only warmth and comfort I'd find would be the guitars, words and spirit of Bruce Springsteen's "Born To Run". My dad loved Springsteen. If it wasn't "Born To Run" then it was "The River". But most nights it was "Born To Run". I followed the stories throughout the songs. I followed the struggles. I followed the people.

At the time, very little in life made sense to me. I was lost in a divorce that left me lonely, scared as shit and searching. But there was Springsteen. This made sense. I was hiding on the backstreets of Ramsey, New Jersey until the end.

"Somewhere tonight you run sad and free
Until all you can see is the night"
-"Night" / Bruce Springsteen

The End of an Era

If there was ever a place that shaped my listening habits and ultimately my career course, Tower Records was it. During my teen years, the Tower Records on Route 17 in Paramus, New Jersey provided respite from the conservative crap that inhabited suburban New Jersey. I would spend entire Saturdays listening to new releases at the listening stations. I'd scour the singles. I'd sit and read Rolling Stone or Spin. I was in heaven. Every time I walked out the doors I'd be anticipating my next return.

Throughout college, the Tower on Newbury Street in Boston was my second home. It was massive. When you scurried through the revolving doors you found yourself in a mecca of music. There were FLOORS of cds. Rock was on floor 2, while Folk was floor 4. The t-shirts were on floor 3. I bought hundreds and hundreds of cds there. I spent many Monday nights waiting for the clock to turn to midnight. When it did, the Tower doors would open and the new releases would sit crisply right before your eyes. I bought Wilco's first record at this Tower. And Son Volt's. And tens of others.

The digital age is here for good. And unfortunately that marks the end for Tower Records. The thrill of a manic trip down the aisles of Tower Records left a huge stamp on the early part of my life. Nirvana. Uncle Tupelo. The Replacements. Public Enemy. The Kinks. I discovered them all at Tower.

Tuesday's Return

Since the age of 17 or so, Tuesday's have been somewhat special. And that's because Tuesday's are the day that new releases hit the shelves in the music industry. While in college, a number of friends and I would often go to "midnight madness" on Tuesday's. As the clock turned from 1159 to 1200, the Tower Records on Boylston Street would open its doors and a few music freaks would rush in to get the new release or releases that they just couldn't wait another few hours to hear. I bought Wilco's first record "A.M." at midnight madness, and there were countless others.

With the onset of the digital age and the closing of record stores from coast-to-coast, the lure of Tuesday has lost a lot of its appeal. With a few clicks of the mouse we now have instant access to basically everything that we want. Although I'm a tradionalist at heart, like many, I have fallen into the digital space. It's just too easy.

Today felt like a Tuesday in the late 90s. Although I didn't hop in my car and head to Amoeba, I did find myself spending this evening picking up one release after another. And after the new releases came others that I'd been waiting to cross off my list. By day's end I've picked up four records, three that came out today. New releases by Beck, The Hold Steady and the Pernice Brothers have been downloaded and added to my ever-growing iTunes library. While searching around eMusic, I also grabbed the exclusive live Gillian Welch cd.

I made very little effort to buy these records. There was no rush to the store. There was no rippng open of cd cases. No liner notes. And oddly enough, I sit here with my ears glued to Solomon Burke's "Nashville". I suppose it just isn't the same. But it is Tuesday. And any music lover knows what that means.