iTunes Top 200: #21 – 29

itunes_image4 years ago, we last counted down the Top 200 songs in my iTunes library. Since my iTunes stats are still intact, across multiple PCs, iPods, iPads, and iPhones, I figured it was time to take another look at my most listened to songs, based on number of plays as of January 1, 2020.

Today, we breach the 50 listens plateau, according to my iTunes stats dating back to late 2007.

#29: The Lonely Island – Lazy Sunday (ft. Chris Parnell)
iTunes stats: 47 plays, most recently on 10/16/2019
Previous ranking: #20

A bit of a drop down the charts for the original SNL digital short that put the Lonely Island on the pop culture map and defined the phrase “viral video”.

#29: Chance The Rapper – Step Up Part 1
iTunes stats: 47 plays, most recently on 1/24/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

An auspicious debut for this portion of the hype video the rapper created for the White Sox used during the 2016 season.

#28: Foo Fighters – All My Life
iTunes stats: 49 plays, most recently on 9/25/2019
Previous ranking: #22

A slight decrease for the live version of the song from the Live in Hyde Park bootleg.

#27: Montell Jordan – This Is How We Do It
iTunes stats: 50 plays, most recently on 1/24/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

A strong debut for the main walk up song for former White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton.

#23: Van Halen – Jump
iTunes stats: 52 plays, most recently on 8/11/2019
Previous ranking: #96

A tremendous jump (see what I did there?) for the song that, for years, was used as the Chicago Cubs took the field at their home games.

#23: Tag Team – Whoomp! There It Is
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The Still Growing 10,000 Step Club

Last year, as I was finishing up my third year with the Fitbit, I took my last look at the top 25 step days I’ve had since I first started tracking my steps way back in July of 2011.  At the time, I had surpassed the 10,000 step plateau 165 times.  In the past year, I have managed to add an additional 52 occurrences, my best year to date, for a total of 218.  With my fourth year using the Fitbit coming to an end last week, I thought it would be appropriate to take a new look at my top 25 step days over the past 7 1/2 years, featuring 10 new entries.

1: 4/14/2018 – 27,470 steps

My best single day total is our first new entry, coming this past April during a trip to New York to see Angelina.  The day’s excursions included trips to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, Central Park, the Guggenheim museum, and the Empire State Building.

2: 7/21/2018 – 27,278 steps

Another new entry, from July’s trip to Virginia, fell just short of the top spot, thanks to a hike up Catawba Mountain to McAfee Knob with Jeff and Val.

3: 6/6/2013 – 24,988 steps

After 5 years as my single day best, 2013’s trip to Disney World falls down two spots.  The day’s excursion to both Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom ended up with a total of approximately 12.5 miles.

4: 3/18/2018 – 23,780 steps

The third new entry comes from last spring’s trip to Las Vegas for the IBM Think conference.  The day’s totals include gallivanting around town, including a trip up to Caesar’s Palace from the MGM Grand to see Absinthe.

5: 10/24/2018 – 23,362 steps

We round out the top 5 with the fourth new entry, from last fall’s trip to Boston to see Angelina for our birthday.  While she was in class, I took tours of Fenway Park and Harvard, before meeting up with her for a late lunch and then heading to the airport for the trip home.

6: 3/22/2016 – 22,493 steps

My former second highest day took place during the ill-fated trip to Disney World in March of 2016.  The day’s excursion started at Hollywood Studios before heading over to Epcot Center with Jeff and Val.

7: 7/27/2013 – 20,592 steps

My now seventh highest total, and my highest at home in the state of Illinois, came thanks to the BTN 5K and a, for lack of a better word, misunderstanding about where I should be picked up after the race.

8: 12/29/2018 – 20,374 steps

The eighth highest entry, and fifth new entry, took place just over a month ago and the trip to Disneyland to see Danny perform with the Lincoln-Way Marching Band.

9: 8/5/2017 – 20,218 steps

The ninth highest entry came in August of 2017 on the first day of my trip to Boston with Danny and Michael.  After landing in town, we traipsed to the Science Museum, a breakfast joint, our hotel, and, finally, Fenway Park.

10: 7/14/2017 – 20,208 steps

We wrap up the top 10 with another trip to Disney World, this time a one day journey with Angelina to celebrate her high school graduation. Continue reading →

2018: The Year In Travel

As I arrive home from California, I thought it would be nice to look back at the many trips I took last year.  Things got started in March, when I headed out to Las Vegas for the IBM Think conference.  Along the way, I took in a show, Absinthe, at Caesar’s Palace, a Barenaked Ladies concert at Mandalay Bay, and a show by The Chainsmokers at MGM Grand, where I was staying.

Following the conference, I took a detour to Phoenix for a long weekend, where I took in some Cactus League action at Camelback Ranch and Peoria Sports Complex, seeing the White Sox, Cubs, and Mariners (twice!).  I also enjoyed a trip to the slot canyons and Horseshoe Bend in Page, followed by a quick trip to the Grand Canyon.

About a month later, I took a short weekend trip to New York.  Danny, Michael, and I flew to New York on a Friday night, where we met up with Angelina and had dinner with the family she was nannying for.  Saturday was a glorious spring day, spent sight seeing at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, Central Park, the Guggenheim museum, and the Empire State Building.  Sunday was spent at the Lyric Theatre, watching both parts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, before heading home early Monday morning.

My next trip came at the end of July, as Val and I headed down to Roanoke, Virginia, to celebrate Jeff’s 50th birthday.  After a day of “work”, the highlight of the trip was Saturday’s hike up Catawba Mountain to McAfee Knob.  Sunday was spent recovering, before heading home.

I spent most of September in Europe, starting with a week in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Aside from work, there was a trip to Castle Ward in to look at Game of Thrones filming locations, a hockey game featuring the Belfast Giants, a trip to the Ulster American Folk Park and a nip across the border to the wonderful town of Muff in Ireland, and a Black Cab tour of locations in Belfast related to the Troubles. Continue reading →

2018: The Year In Music

I managed to see 4 different concerts last year, across 3 states. This is the story of those shows.

The first show was in Las Vegas back in March.  In conjunction with the IBM Think conference, the Barenaked Ladies were performing on the beach at Mandalay Bay.  IBM had hooked one of my co-workers up with a cabana for the show, due to her being a legitimate superfan of the band, which the rest of us got to crash.  The group cycled through their hits, including the theme song to The Big Bang Theory, which was a nice surprise. I don’t think you could ask for much more out of a free show attached to a tech conference.

The next night, there were two shows going on.  We had our choice of Train or The Chainsmokers, and I went with option 2.  The show was at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and it was not quite what I was expecting.  In my defense, I am an old and thus was not up to speed on the nature of the Chainsmokers, so I should have been more familiar with the type of music the band would be performing.  While the two guys I were with decided to bail after a half hour or so, I decided to stick it out and was genuinely entertained, if not in the manner I was expecting.  I can’t say it is something I would want to see again, but I’m glad I did so at least once.  And, hey, you can’t beat the price.

In August, Pearl Jam came to Wrigley Field for 2 shows and I attended the first one.  It’s been a long time since I considered myself a Pearl Jam fan, and the show, while entertaining, certainly dragged for long periods between songs that I knew.

Finally, in October, I traveled to Boston to, on top of Angelina related things, see Garbage at the House of Blues.  The 20 Years Paranoid tour, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of Version 2.0, had played in Chicago the week before, but I’ve already done that a time or 5.  With Game 1 of the World Series taking place across the street at Fenway Park, Garbage put on another fine show, ripping through the entirety of their second album, along with some covers and special treats.

And that does it.  Time will tell what 2019 has in store and I look forward to finding out.

FB4: Week 8

A tremendous week, with my highest one week total falling just 2500 steps shy of the mythical 100,000 steps.  Things got off to a great start on Sunday, thanks to my trip to Las Vegas and gallivanting around town, including a trip up to Caesar’s Palace to see Absinthe.  The 23,780 total is currently good enough for my second highest daily total of all time.  Monday continued the good times, as I traipsed back and forth between the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay for the IBM Think conference.  Tuesday finished with my second highest total of the week, and 16th of all time, thanks to more conference fun followed by a Barenaked Ladies concert.  Wednesday used a post-conference concert by The Chainsmokers to get its total, my 4th straight 10,000 step day.  Thursday was the last day of the conference, followed by a trip to Phoenix, which ended up with my 5th straight 10,000 step day, my longest streak in a year.  Friday was the low point of the week, with 8500 steps, thanks to a trip to Camelback Ranch to see the White Sox battle the Mariners in spring training action.  Saturday was back over 10,000 steps, thanks to a morning walk and an evening trip out to Peoria to see the Cubs battle the same Mariner squad.

Total steps: 97,417

Daily average: 13,916.7

Top 200 Albums – #179 – 190

itunes_imageNearly 4 years ago, we first counted down the Top 200 albums in my iTunes library. Since that time, I’ve successfully managed to migrate my music collection to a new PC with the stats intact. So, I figured it was time to take another look, based on number of plays from late 2007 through January 1, 2018.

We continue things with the next batch of 10 albums that rank between #179 and 190, including 6 studio recordings, 3 compilations, and 1 live recording.

#190: Various Artists – Billboard Top Hits 1988
iTunes stats: 42 plays
Previous Ranking: N/A

5 tracks from this compilation of the biggest hits of 1988 allow it to make its debut on the list.

#188: Tori Amos – Under The Pink
iTunes stats: 43 plays
Previous Ranking: 172

Tori makes her debut on the chart with her second solo album, thanks to its 2 hits.

#188: Montell Jordan – This Is How We Do It
iTunes stats: 43 plays
Previous Ranking: N/A

A single tune, used as the walkup music by former White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton, puts Montell Jordan on the list.

#182: Various Artists – Dazed And Confused
iTunes stats: 44 plays
Previous Ranking: 181

The soundtrack to the movie about high school in the 70s gets on the charts on the backs of 4 entries.

#182: Soundgarden – Superunknown
iTunes stats: 44 plays
Previous Ranking: N/A

4 tracks from the hit album from the Seattle group allow it to make its debut, thanks in part to White Sox catcher Kevan Smith.

Continue reading →

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #61-70

3 years ago, we first counted down the then Top 100 artists in my iTunes library.  Since that time, I’ve successfully managed to migrate my music collection to a new PC with the stats intact.  So, I figured it was time to take another look, expanding out the field to the top 200 artists, based on number of plays from late 2007 through January 1, 2017.

We continue the long slog towards the top with today’s entry, which includes:

#70: The Muffs
iTunes stats: 62 plays
Previous ranking: #67

A slight 3 spot drop for the band most well known for a Fruitopia commercial back in the day.

#69: Bush
iTunes stats: 63 plays
Previous ranking: #68

The British band rode the alternative wave of the early to mid 90s to have 6 songs make up their total, with 28 additional listens in the past 3 years.

#68: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
iTunes stats: 64 plays
Previous ranking: #80

An impressive 12 spot jump for the rap duo, who added 1 new track and 34 new listens over the past 3 years.

#66: Mazzy Star
iTunes stats: 65 plays
Previous ranking: #59

Only 25 new listens contributed to the 7 spot drop for the tippy band.

#66: John Williams
iTunes stats: 65 plays
Previous ranking: #98

The composer of some of the most popular and recognizable film scores in cinematic history, including the Star Wars and Superman series, has a nice 32 spot jump thanks to 42 new listens over the last 3 years.

#65: Warrant
iTunes stats: 66 plays
Previous ranking: #74

The favorite of strip clubs everywhere, and the Adam Carolla Show, added 34 new listens, good enough for a 9 spot jump.

#64: TLC
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iTunes Top 200: #21 – 30

itunes_image3 years ago, we first counted down the then Top 100 songs in my iTunes library. Since that time, I’ve successfully managed to migrate my music collection to a new PC with the stats intact. So, I figured it was time to take another look, expanding out the field to the top 200 songs, based on number of plays as of January 1, 2016.

We continue today with the 10 songs that comprise #s 21-30, with plays throughout the 30s, four of which come from the same band and another three are television show theme songs.

#30: Foo Fighters – Everlong
iTunes stats: 31 plays, most recently on 10/23/2015
Previous ranking: #36

A live version of the band’s biggest hit, from their Skin and Bones album.

#29: Garbage – Bad Boyfriend
iTunes stats: 32 plays, most recently on 10/17/2015
Previous ranking: #27

The first track from the band’s fourth album features Dave Grohl, of Foo Fighters and Nirvana fame, on drums.

#27: Dr. John – My Opinionation
iTunes stats: 33 plays, most recently on 11/7/2015
Previous ranking: #32

The theme song to Blossom, the 90s pantheon to weird teenage girls being themselves.

#27: Katy Perry – I Kissed A Girl
iTunes stats: 33 plays, most recently on 10/27/2015
Previous ranking: #24

A small drop for the song ranked #66 for the decade of the 2000s by Billboard magazine..

FooFighters#25: Foo Fighters – Everlong
iTunes stats: 35 plays, most recently on 10/30/2015
Previous ranking: #23

The second version of the song to make the countdown this week, this one being a live version from the band’s concert in London’s Hyde Park.

#25: The Crystal Method – Bones Theme
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Top 200 Albums – #112 – 119

itunes_imageMy latest desktop computer arrived in late 2007, at which point I transitioned all of my music off of my laptop. 2 iPods, 3 iPhones, and an iPad later, that computer is still my main repository of music, with iTunes updating its stats every time I listen to something.

Having already gone through cassette tapes and CDs, and digital music, it’s time to roll everything up with the Top 200 albums whose songs I’ve listened to as of September 2014, according to iTunes. Today we continue climbing up the list and look at the 8 albums tied for 112th with 35 listens.

#112: Barenaked Ladies – Rock Spectacle (Live)
iTunes stats: 35 plays
This live album from the Canadian band ranks this high on the strength of one song.

#112: Nirvana – In Utero
iTunes stats: 35 plays
The last studio album from Nirvana uses 4 different tracks to make up this total.

#112: Liz Phair – Whitechocolatespaceegg
iTunes stats: 35 plays
10 different songs make up this total for this third studio album by the one-time indie darling.

#112: Soul Asylum – Grave Dancers Union
iTunes stats: 35 plays
Soul Asylum broke through with this, their sixth studio album, which uses 3 songs to achieve this total.

#112: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons – Greatest Hits Volume 1
iTunes stats: 35 plays
This greatest hits package has 3 songs make up its total.

#112: Various Artists – Juno (Music from the Motion Picture)
iTunes stats: 35 plays
3 songs, from bands like Mott the Hoople and The Moldy Peaches, make up the total for this soundtrack album.

#112: 10,000 Maniacs – Our Time in Eden
iTunes stats: 35 plays
Only 2 tracks from this breakthrough album make up this impressive total.

#112: Various Artists – Music From Gilmore Girls
iTunes stats: 35 plays
7 different tunes, including many of the musical cues from the show, make up the total for this soundtrack album.

Goodbye, iPhone 4S – Music Edition

A little more than a week ago, I upgraded my phone from the iPhone 4S to the newly released iPhone 5S.  The biggest difference, aside from a slightly bigger screen, is the jump from 3G (or 4G, if you believe AT&T’s hype) to LTE.  I had the 4S for a little under 2 years, and in that time, we traveled the world together (well, at least going back to the UK) and have listened to a lot of podcasts and music. Here is every song (all 2079 of them) I’ve listened to on the phone, with some (ok, very little) bonus commentary.  Godspeed.

 

Let’s Go-Go-Go White Sox Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers 33
He’s a Pirate Klaus Badelt Pirates of the Caribbean (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) 32
Take Me Out To The Ballgame Harry Caray 31
Thunderstruck AC/DC The Razors Edge 31
Gordon Beckham Intro 29
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye Steam Billboard’s Top Rock ‘n’ Roll Hits: 1969 29
Don’t Stop Believin’ Journey Journey’s Greatest Hits 27
sox05_montage 27
We Are The Champions Queen Queen: Greatest Hits I & II 27
Your Love The Outfield Play Deep 27
2008 White Sox Central Division Champs Montage Chris Tannehill WSCR 670 The Score 25
Take Me Out To The Ballgame Nancy Faust 25
Harvester Of Sorrow Metallica …And Justice For All 20

You would hope that these numbers would have been higher, but this past season’s miserable performance by the White Sox has put the songs on their playlist out of mind more often than not.

Cannonball The Breeders The First 1000 Years- Rock 19
Man Or Muppet Jason Segel The Muppets 15
It’s Time For Our Song Miss Piggy The Muppets 14
Get Out There And Help Those Guys Jason Segel The Muppets 13
Main Title LOST Soundtrack LOST Soundtrack 13
Are You A Man Or A Muppet? Amy Adams The Muppets 12
How Charming, A Finale Uncle Deadly The Muppets 12
I’m On A Boat (ft. T-Pain) The Lonely Island Incredibad 12
Down At The Ole Barbershop Kermit The Muppets 11
Me and Drugs David Cross Bigger and Blackerer 11
The Antichrist Howard Stern Private Parts: The Album 11
Continue reading →