April Tracks, 2020

I use an IFTTT applet that adds tracks that I’ve saved on Spotify to a monthly playlist. In March I tapped the heart icon 19 times.

This was the first month of full lockdown and I actually thought I’d added more songs. I guess my listening went back to more comfort food? Dunno.

It’s a funny old list. Plenty of tracks that I’ve loved a long time: your Lambchops and Bill Callahans.

Hackensack is my favourite Fountains of Wayne songs. Of course I put it on after I found out the news about Adam Schlesinger. I read Tom Breihan’s warm tribute to Schlesigner’s work a couple times.

I fell in love with Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa a few years ago when a Vampire Weekend festival performance was on telly.

I was listening to a playlist on a run when The Only Living Boy In New York came on and it struck me as the right tone for lockdown. It’s a great song.

It looks like May might be about new music. There’s a new Hinds track out. The new Car Seat Headrest album is out and I’m not sure what to think of it yet. Antonie Tonnon and Beastwars have new music on Bandcamp.

What are you listening to?

Listen to Letterbox Lambs on your favourite streaming service

Being in isolation during a global pandemic seemed like a perfect opportunity to join the 21st century. As of today, both of our full-length albums are now available for streaming on all major platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, YouTube etc).
Here’s the Spotify link to our page. Feel free to add some songs to your apocalypse playlist!

Letterbox Lambs on Facebook

Gutterjoy is hands down my favourite song by any NZ artist and has to be in any top ten list I could make. It’s nice to be able to share it right here on this page without it being kinda dodgy.

Both Lambs albums are excellent. Have at it!

March Tracks, 2020

The The - This Is The Day (HD) - YouTube

I use an IFTTT applet that adds tracks that I’ve saved on Spotify to a monthly playlist. In March I tapped the heart icon 24 times.

What a month March, 2020 turned out to be. Like much of the planet I spent the second half of the month isolated at home, checking the news a lot, trying to work, and listening to a lot of comfort music.

Once the PM announced a real, proper lockdown I kindof relaxed a bit. Put on new stuff. Chucked on the more obscure radio streams. Some good stuff was found.

My eight year old daughter picked up on The The’s This Is The Day so let’s put that down as the favourite track. You can listen to all the songs on Spotify or in the embedded player below. I guess a Spotify sub is required.

An aside about The The. In the early 2000s I was “the technical guy” at a small company that ended up running an online music store. We used an open source project to manage the catalog and commerce. I had to modify it a bit suit the music content and display different store fronts but it was a pretty great tool.

The search functionality relied on the database’s full text search functionality. Out of the box the full text search wouldn’t index stop words (things like a, the, and, or) or words shorter than four characters. This meant customers searching for “U2” or “the the” didn’t find any results.

It was relatively easy to come up with a way to make “U2” searchable. “The The” required more work, including installing a custom build of the database. It was more effort than it was probably worth but I figured it out! I was quietly proud when you could find “The The” in our search box but not on quite a few other, more popular, e-commerce stores.

I would be very surprised if we sold more than one The The disc.

February Tracks, 2020

Listen to The Wolf by Shooter Jennings on Spotify

I use an IFTTT applet that adds tracks that I’ve saved on Spotify to a monthly playlist. In February I tapped the heart icon 24 times.

Another relatively eclectic mix, I guess.

My favourite “new to me” track is Shooter Jennings’s cover of Walk Of Life. That was my first ever favourite song. I was ten and I danced with a girl I “liked” while it played. This version is fucking great.

Listen to Satch Plays Fats by Louis Armstrong on Spotify

After watching a bunch of Amoeba Records What’s In My Bag videos, I went on a Satch Plays Fats kick for a few days. A few tracks are from that rabbit hole.

Fade Into You wasn’t already in my liked tracks and the day I after I added it the news that David Roback had died came out.

You can listen to the full playlist below.

January Tracks, 2020

I use an IFTTT applet that adds tracks that I’ve saved on Spotify to a monthly playlist. In January I tapped the heart icon 14 times.

January was a month of camping and travel. I didn’t play a whole lot of stuff deliberately until the last few days when I went of something of a later-Wilco trip, triggered by getting a copy of Uncut magazine’s Wilcovered covers collection.

I’ve been Wilco (The Album) the short shrift for a decade. It’s an excellent collection of songs and stands up as well as anything Wilco have put out. Tracks from it make up half the playlist. Bull Black Nova is probably my favourite.

Pearl Jam released Dance Of The Claiirvoyants in January. Pearl Jame are trying a new direction and style with this track. I listened to it a few times the day it came out and liked it. But I couldn’t even hum it now, so maybe tapping the heart icon was premature?

The rest of the top tracks are a hangover from sitting in the sun with random “radio” streams on in the background. Favourite among those is Holly by Aussie muso Hayley Mary.

December Tracks, 2019

I use an IFTTT applet that adds tracks that I’ve saved on Spotify to a monthly playlist. In December I tapped the heart icon 14 times.

I haven’t gone back and listened to this playlist yet. Much of December’s listening was Spotify radio tunes and nostalgic tunes to keep the mood up as the year wound down.

I have to hand it to Jarvis Cocker for making a great singalong chorus that I’ll pretty much never be able to sing in the car with my kids. I’ll count Running The world as my favourite. What’s He Building? by Tom Waits confused my kids. FFunny FFriends by Unknown Mortal Orchestra was their favourite.

Top Songs of 2019

In early December Spotify compiled my Top Songs of 2019. Leaving aside there is a whole bloody month to go, the results were a little surprising. Venus by Bananarama took the top spot, followed by Battlefords by Hawksley Workman. Tay-Tay’s Me! rounded out the top 3. I know my daughter and I listened to Me! a lot. I would have picked Battlefords for most played. But Bananarama? I suspect the list may not entirely be in order.

There’s some really great songs in the 100 best. Befor We Were Together by Margaret Glaspy is an airworm I was happy to entertain. The various pieces from Blizzard Entertainment games got me through some tough spreadsheets. The National’s I Am Easy To Find contributed a lot of songs.

Fucking Bananarama, though. I remember putting it on for the kids maybe once?

Righto, Spotify. You do you.