Vegard Skjefstad

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Tag: Music (page 1 of 17)

2018 in Music

It’s 2019, and I’m publishing a post summarizing something that happened in 2018. What is this madness!? Here’s my 2018 in music.

Normally, the post that lay out my year in music comes when Spotify decides to unleash their own annual recap. In 2018, that happened in early December, and while it was tempting to sum up the year then, I wanted to wait for all my 2018 data to be available. And not just the data from Spotify, I wanted all the juicy stuff from our friends over at last.fm as well.

First, let’s see what the Last.fm general listening summary says about 2018.

Compared to 2017, the number of tracks played (or “scrobbles” as last.fm calls them), is down by 8%. This should not come as a shock. I listen to music mostly when I’m at work, and in 2018 I spent a few months at home on parental leave. I’m a bit surprised the number of tracks I listened to didn’t go down even further, to be honest.

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2019: The Year of the Concerts?

It’s time to pop in the ear plugs and get back out there.

For someone who listens to as much music as I do, I rarely go to concert. I think the last gig I went to was a good 5 years ago, when Anniken and I saw Biffy Clyro raise the roof back in 2013.

I’ve used Spotify for a decade now, and it’s years and years since I bought a CD. While Spotify is a great service for listeners, lesser known artists doesn’t exactly get rich from the Spotify royalties. So going to their concerts is a great way to support them. Tickets are usually ridiculously expensive, though, so I’ll have to be a wee bit selective.

Here are some of the bands and artists I regularly listen to that will visit a venue near me in 2019:

  • February 3: Mastodon (with Kvelertak)
  • February 16: Skambankt
  • February 22: The Midnight (sold out)
  • March 12: Florence + The Machine (sold out)
  • March 20: Dave Matthews Band
  • May 19: Mumford & Sons
  • June 8: Ólafur Arnalds
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When Will Marcus & Martinus Take Social Responsibility?

Teen idols like the Norwegian pop duo Marcus and Martinus have an unbelievable amount of influence. When will they use it for good?

Our 4-year-old daughter has somehow discovered Marcus & Martinus, a Norwegian pop duo. The two identical twins rose to fame through a national song contest back in 2012, at the age of 10. They charmed everyone, and toured every single mall in the country. In 2015, the brothers released their debut album “Hei” (English: “Hi”). Now the two have reached their sweet 16, and the boys’ management has put their cross-hairs on the world. The song lyrics are in English, and they’re doing songs featuring other international artists.

How our daughter figured out that Marcus & Martinus is a thing, I don’t know. I blame the kindergarten for this. I’m blaming them for everything weird she’s doing, to be honest. And that’s a lot. She’s is particularly hung up in the song “Elektrisk” (English: “Electric”) from their first album. A section of the lyrics, translated to English by yours truly, goes like this:

Ooooo-oo-oo-oo-oooo / Electric / Ooooo-oo-oo-oo-oooo / You are electric

And so begins my argument.

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2017 in Music

Just as sure as the year is coming to an end, I’m starting to pump out my annual summary posts. First up is my 2017 in music.

Unlike last year, our friends at Spotify have managed to get a recap up this year: Your 2017 Wrapped. This year’s edition is pretty shitty, to be honest, but it contains some of the basic information you’d except from a company that knows everything about your listening habist. Another music service, Last.fm, provided an awesome summary feature last year that showed a lot more fine grained, and interesting data in their annual summaries. Unfortunately, they won’t be releasing the 2017 version until January 2018. It makes a lot of sense in terms of data availability, but doesn’t help me much since I’m writing my own summary now.

So we’ll have to make do with Spotify’s half-arsed effort. Here’s my 2017 in music according to Spotify:

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Thank You, SomaFM

When there was nothing good to listen to on the radio, Rusty Hodge decided to create his own radio station. So begins the story of SomaFM.

In 2001, I was hard at work on my college thesis. Together with three other students1, I was working on “Project Magoria”, a tick-based, browser-based, online game. It was influenced by Planetarion, but set in medieval times. Although the end result wasn’t amazing, it gave us our first real-world experience with JSP, Linux, Java, SQL, and MySQL.

The thesis also gave me my first real-world experience with trying to get anything done in an open office space. Those of you who work in an open office space on a regular basis, and have a profession that requires you to focus on a task from time to time, know what kind of amazingly stupid idea an open office space is in that context. Numerous studies have shown that the open office space is terrible for people who need to focus. And still many people insist that it’s the right way to work for everyone. My escape in 2001 became to slap on a pair of headphones, and listen to music, preferably electronica. And my main source of mind expanding electronica quickly became the recently launched online radio channel SomaFM.

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