Songs from the 2000s

While I got started with my first MP3s in the early/mid 90s and started expanding my tastes during college, it wasn’t until my post-rave days in the early 2000’s that I would self qualify as truly “music obsessive”.

Part of that change probably had to do with exposure from the tastes new coworkers and friends after I graduated. And, while I have fond memories of Amoeba and KCRW, a lot of it probably also had to do with my music collection finally crossing the virtual/physical threshold and fully embracing MP3s as my “record collection.” Shortly after, I went all in on the cloud, storing all my music on my server.

While I hadn’t gone to many concerts growing up, in my post-college life I more than made up for it. I became a regular at the Derby, Spaceland, the Troubadour, the Henry Fonda, the El Rey, heck, even the Glass House out in Pomona (and anywhere else playing music). Multiple shows a week were not uncommon, sometimes with friends, but more often than not by myself – heading in early and catching all the opening acts just in case they were any good (not often, but the ocassional payoffs seemed to make it worthwhile). After Upcoming got rolling, my show-going time dropped significantly (something something irony about seeing all the events but being too busy), and after moving up to the Bay area (and starting to travel frequently) this trend has worsened (only slightly offset by an increase in festival going, and by finally succumbing to SXSW Music: The Best Thing Ever).

Still, my music consumption has continued unabated. It continues to fascinate how much my musical tastes/experience has been shaped/facilitated by changes in the new media landscape (where attention, not distribution is the limiting factor). And while it’s been enormously interesting/satisfying watching the future of music coming (Topspin, Spotify, etc.) in an abstract way, it’s also been great looking at how it’s impacted own personal musical journey.

All of this ramble is to give a bit of preface and context for what I’ve put together. A couple weeks ago, I got it in my mind to try to make my own “decade” list – not something authoritative, just something to map my musical (and of course in turn, my actual) decade. Rather than a short list of albums, I’d pick out songs. This was at first rather discouraging, but with some encouragement, I redoubled my efforts and over the past few days I’ve plowed through my collection and culled almost 1200 tracks (and over 500 artists) from this decade. I then wrote some code to process those lists and dynamically generate a playlist that I’m calling “Songs from the 2000s.”

Each time the player is loaded, 40 songs, 4 from each decade are randomly picked (in year order, of course) from the aforementioned set of songs. An artist will only be called once. Rather than try (or rather, pretending) to be comprehensive, what I’m hoping give is a taste of my musical journey.

Here’s to the next decade.