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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Top 200 Albums – #151 – 158

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 #151 and 158, including 7 studio recordings, 2 soundtracks, and 1 live performance.

#158: Icona Pop – This Is… Icona Pop
iTunes stats: 50 plays
Previous Ranking: N/A

A single entry, used as part of my White Sox playlist, allows this album to make its debut.

#158: R.E.M. – Automatic For The People
iTunes stats: 50 plays
Previous Ranking: 141

5 songs, led by the first single Drive, make up this total for the Athens, Georgia based group.

#158: Various Artists – OST – Veronica Mars
iTunes stats: 50 plays
Previous Ranking: 100

2 different tracks, from The Dandy Warhols and Tegan & Sara, make up the total for the soundtrack from the cult television show, which suffered a huge drop.

#151: Bon Jovi – VH1 Storytellers
iTunes stats: 51 plays
Previous Ranking: N/A

A strong debut for this live offering from the boys from New Jersey, thanks to 8 different tracks.

#151: The Strokes – Is This It?
iTunes stats: 51 plays
Previous Ranking: 127

One of the 4 songs making up this total, New York City Cops, was dropped from the American version of the album, released weeks after the 9/11 attacks.

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You Ought To Be In (10) Pictures

Many years ago, using the weekly TV guide that came with the Sunday Chicago Tribune, I started keeping track of all of the movies I had seen over the course of my lifetime. The guide would list the two main stars for each movie, and that is a tradition that I’ve carried on in my database ever since. So, given those guidelines, it is time to look at all of the actors that have starred in at least 10 films that I have seen, as of July 1st.

Today, we start with the 22 actors that have starred in 10 movies that I have seen, a big increase from the 14 at this level 3 years ago.

Jessica Alba

There has been no change for Jessica Alba since I saw her in 2010’s Valentine’s Day in 2011.

Dan Aykroyd

No change in Aykroyd’s total, with 2002 being the last year I saw one of his starring roles.

Kate Beckinsale

Our first new entry, the comely British actress first came to my attention in 1998, when I saw her in both Cold Comfort Farm and Last Days of Disco.  Her heyday was 2006-2008, when I saw her in 4 films over the 3 year span.  2010 had been my last experience with her work, until I was coerced into seeing Underworld: Blood Wars earlier this year.

Kristen Bell

The Veronica Mars star made her first “big screen” appearance in my life with the television remake of Reefer Madness in 2005.  She’s been a pretty steady presence since, with a 2 year gap in 2015 and 2016 being her largest.  The Boss, which I saw earlier this year, is my most recent exposure to her.

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iTunes Top 200 Artists: #101-109

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 wrap up the first half of the list today with a mix of pop and alternative, with a little weirdness thrown in for good measure..

#109: Sam Phillips
iTunes stats: 41 plays
Previous ranking: N/A

Thanks to 4 musical cues from her work on Gilmore Girls, the alternative artist makes her debut on the list.

#109: Color Me Badd
iTunes stats: 41 plays
Previous ranking: N/A

The early 90s boy band makes the list thanks to 3 tracks from their debut album, one of which was used as the walkup music for former White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers.

#108: Katy Perry
iTunes stats: 42 plays
Previous ranking: #83

A 25 spot drop for the pop princess, who added only 13 new listens to the 2 versions of her debut hit.

#105: Dandy Warhols
iTunes stats: 43 plays
Previous ranking: #98

A small 7 spot drop despite 20 new listens to the band responsible for the Veronica Mars theme song.

#105: Bobby Brown
iTunes stats: 43 plays
Previous ranking: N/A

The former member of New Edition debuts on the list thanks to 5 of his solo tracks.

#105: Alice In Chains
iTunes stats: 43 plays
Previous ranking: N/A

The Seattle-based alternative band combined 5 tracks to make up this total.

#103: The Strokes
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Book 8 (of 52) – TV (The Book)

TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick The Greatest American Shows Of All Time – Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz

Lamenting the lack of serious television criticism in book form, like there has been for years for film, former newspapermen Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz team up to rank the 100 greatest American television shows of all time, giving their explanation on why each one deserves its spot in the American cultural landscape.  Aside from The Simpsons, which has been on the air for 50 years or so and took home the top spot after much deliberation, currently airing shows were not eligible for consideration.

Separated into 4 categories, The Inner Circle, No-Doubt-About-It Classics, Groundbreakers and Workhorses, and Outlier Classics, the list runs the gamut from television’s earliest days, with classics like I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners, to today’s (well, yesterday’s) biggest hits.  As we are living in the golden age of Peak TV, the majority of the list is certainly from the past 20 years or so.

My television watching has had me watch all or a good portion of 24 of these classic series, either in first run or syndication.  Those shows are:

The Simpsons
Cheers
Seinfeld
MASH
Louie
The X-Files
Lost
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
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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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Midseason Review – Tuesdays

old-tv-set1Continuing our look back at my thoughts on the new fall season with the offerings I found myself interested in for Tuesdays.

7:00

The Muppets – ABC brings a new version of the Muppets to television, this time as a work place comedy.  Basically, The Office but with Kermit.

Possibly the new show I was looking forward to the most, but it suffered from tone issues.  A new showrunner is taking over, so hopefully things will more resemble the Muppets everyone knows and loves.

The Flash – A surprisingly fun adaptation of the DC superhero.  The first season was very satisfying and I hope for more of the same.

Still a lot of fun, though the Flash’s secret identity is one of the worst kept secrets in Central City.

8:00

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Another new status quo, following the end of last season and the events of the latest Avengers movie, as we head in to season 3.

More of the same from the fine folks at Mutant Enemy and Marvel.

Scream Queens – Emma Roberts and Jamie Lee Curtis team for this horror comedy, hopefully in the vein of the Scream films, from FOX.  I’m certainly willing to give it a shot to impress.

I lasted a few weeks, but once the show came back after the World Series, the schedule got busy and I had to drop it.

iZombie – The zombie comedy, which was a midseason surprise last spring, returns for a full season.  I have a lot of faith in EP Rob Thomas, so I’m looking for good things.

A surprisingly enjoyable procedural from the people who brought us Veronica Mars.

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Book 3 (of 52) – Mr. Kiss And Tell

Mr. Kiss And Tell - Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

Mr. Kiss And Tell – Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

Veronica Mars returns in this second novel following the events of last year’s Kickstarter-funded movie.  This time out, Veronica investigates the brutal rape and attack of the sister of an old friend while Keith works on a lawsuit against Dan Lamb and the sheriff’s department on behalf of Weevil.

With another movie likely off the table, Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham have been continuing the story of Veronica Mars in book form, and this second novel picks up some threads from the first while bringing a new A-story.  I am certainly enjoying the trip, which brings the characters from a favorite show in to the current day, allowing them to age and be adults.  Hopefully there will be more on the way.

2014: The Year In Movies

Movie_Reel_222014 was a bit of an improvement over recent years in movie watching for me.  I managed to watch 78 movies last year, 16 more than 2012 and 2013 and my highest total since 2011, although it was my third consecutive year under 100.  Again, many things contributed to this, chiefly the insane amount of TV I’ve been watching and the awful amount of time I spend either at work or getting to and from work.

Here’s a look back at the first 50 movies I did manage to watch last year and what recollection, if any, I have of them. The films are listed in the order I saw them.

Repeaters (2010)
If Groundhog Day took place in a rehab and affected 3 people more messed up than Bill Murray.

Smashed (2012)
I have very little recollection of this film.

Your Sister’s Sister (2012)
2 messed up sisters and a mourning man share tequila and secrets.

Lovelace (2013)
Amanda Seyfried portrays the first lady of porn, Linda Lovelace.

Columbus Circle (2012)
A thriller about a shut-in who witnesses a murder and needs to leave her comfort zone.

A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)
The latest installment brings Bruce Willis to Russia.

The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
Jason Segel and Emily Blunt are engaged forever as life keeps getting in the way of them actually getting married.

Hell Baby (2013)
A comedy about a possessed woman who is about to give birth to Satan’s spawn.

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (2012)
2 lost souls find each other as the world is literally coming to an end.

Would You Rather (2012)
A sadistic host tortures his dinner guests for his own pleasure.

The World’s End (2013)
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Top 200 Albums – #100 – 111

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 hit the midway point, looking at the 5 albums tied for 107th with 36 listens and the 7 albums tied for 100th with 37 listens.

#100: The Beatles – Abbey Road [2009 Stereo Remaster]
iTunes stats: 37 plays
7 songs make up this total for the remastered version of the last Beatles album ever recorded.

#100: Mazzy Star – So Tonight That I Might See
iTunes stats: 37 plays
Only 2 songs make up this total for the so-called dream pop band.

#100: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons – Very Best Of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
iTunes stats: 37 plays
The second straight week with an appearance of a greatest hits package from Frankie Valli and company, this one uses 4 tracks to make up its total.

#100: Garbage – Shut Your Mouth EP
iTunes stats: 37 plays
Live versions of Wild Horses and Only Happy When It Rains make up the total from the CD single for Shut Your Mouth.

#100: Offspring – Smash
iTunes stats: 37 plays
4 tunes from this debut album from the California punk band make up this total.

#100: Various Artists – OST – Veronica Mars
iTunes stats: 37 plays
2 different tracks, from The Dandy Warhols and Tegan & Sara, make up the total for the soundtrack from the cult television show.

#100: The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night [2009 Stereo Remaster]
iTunes stats: 37 plays
Only 2 tracks from the remastered version of the album released along with the movie make up this total.

#107: The Beatles – Revolver [2009 Stereo Remaster]
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