Exposing your roots digitally: A game you can play at home!

retropod_waist.gifWe’ve all gotten the emails / bulletins / memes asking to throw the iPod — or whatever music media player you prefer — on shuffle and post the first ten songs. Or put those songs into some sort of fake narrative for hilarious (not) results. As I was scrolling through the ol’ tankPOD today, looking to do some housecleaning, I noticed certain bands took up an awful lot of screen time as I scrolled through.
So that got me to thinking, wouldn’t those bands be the best litmus test when it came to really pinpointing one’s musical tastes? I mean, sure, I’ve got loads of super-obscure, truly indier-than-thou bands, unheard masterpieces by regional acts, IDM prone to inducing seizures, and white label singles buy discount cialis online in the tankPOD / diPOD team, but when pressed what really informs my tastes?
So I did an experiment and decided to list all the bands who have four or more albums on my MP3 / M4A / OGG / WAV player in hopes that such information would be rather revealing (full list after the jump). You see, in this age of instant gratification I think it really says something about a band if you feel the need to carry that much of their material around with you at all times. Such a list might prove unintentionally revealing and betray one’s actual musical tastes, even if they are usually hidden under a patina of hipster aloofness.
Of course such a list is automatically going to skew towards older acts, since it takes a few years to push out 4+ albums’ worth of music, but that would make such a list an even better reference for divining one’s musical tastes, since it would probably skew towards artists that helped formulate a particular individual’s musical background. Right?
In my case the result pretty obviously favored artists that came to the fore in the ’80s and ’90s, no surprise there. And it is pretty light on electronic artists, but that makes sense when you consider that most electronic music lives in the world of the single, not the multi-album arc.
The interesting about my own results, actually, is that I almost NEVER actually listen to any of the 4+ album bands on my iPod anymore. It’s almost like they’re there as more of a security blanket. Truth be told, I have so much new stuff coming in every day I need to listen to, for various reasons, I rarely get the chance to peruse deep cuts from my personal catalog … but it’s interesting to note because I think these are the sorts of discs I may not listen to every day (or even once a year), but that I might like to take to a desert island to keep me going in tough times.
Anyway, if you’re interested, my list is after the jump. Feel free to post your own lists in the comments and let me see where your musical soul actually dwells when no one else is around to judge.

The Afghan Whigs (almost full discography)
The Beastie Boys (almost full discography)
The Beatles
Beck (almost full discography)
Björk (full discography)
Blur (full discography)
Bobby Conn (almost full discography)
The Dandy Warhols
David Bowie (almost full discography)
Dinosaur Jr
Faith No More
The Flaming Lips (almost full discography)
Graham Coxon
Green Day (full discography)
Huey Lewis & The News
Iggy Pop / The Stooges (almost full discography)
INXS (almost full discography)
Jane’s Addiction (almost full discography)
Jesus Jones (almost full discography)
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (almost full discography)
Juliana Hatfield (almost full discography)
Kylie Minogue
The Lemonheads (full discography)
Liz Phair (almost full discography)
Local H (almost full discography)
Love & Rockets (almost full discography)
Matthew Sweet
Muse (full discography)
Naked Raygun (almost full discography)
Nine Inch Nails (almost full discography)
Nirvana (full discography)
Oasis
Old 97′s (almost full discography)
Pavement (full discography)
Pearl Jam
Pink Floyd (almost full discography)
Pixies (full discography)
The Police (full discography)
Primal Scream (almost full discography)
Prince
Public Enemy (almost full discography)
Queens Of The Stone Age (full discography)
Rachael Yamagata (full discography)
Radiohead (full discography)
Red hot Chili Peppers (almost full discography)
Replacements (almost full discography)
Roger Waters (almost full discography)
Rolling Stones
Sloan (full discography)
Smashing Pumpkins (almost full discography)
Spoon
Tom Waits
Uncle Tupelo (full discography)
The Velvet Underground (full discography)
Weezer (almost full discography)
The Who (almost full discography)
Wilco (almost full discography)

  • ned

    this explains a lot.

  • http://www.atomicned.com chip

    There are a handful of artists that I have on my iRiver that I will not consider taking off, even if I need space to put on the latest buzz band. Those artists that have a permanent home on my iRiver are:

    * The Damnwells (studio albums, demos)
    * The Frames (complete discography, live shows)
    * Led Zeppelin (complete discography)
    * Guns N’ Roses (Appetite for Destruction)

    Everything else can be moved off and on at any given moment.

  • http://www.tankboyprime.blogspot.com tankboy

    Y’know, something I forgot to mention, and maybe I’ll add it to the piece above, is that I almost NEVER actually listen to any of these bands on my iPod. It’s almost like they’re there as more of a security blanket. Truth be told, I have so much new stuff coming in every day I need to listen to, for various reasons, I rarely get the chance to peruse deep cuts from my personal catalog … but it’s interesting to note because I think these are the sorts of discs I may not listen to every day (or even once a year), but that I might like to take to a desert island to keep me going in tough times.

  • ramirez

    I still listen to about 1/3 of these bands on a regular basis:

    Trans Am
    Clutch
    Nirvana
    Tom Waits
    Faith No More
    bob dylan
    the Beatles
    Beck
    Belle and Sebastian
    Melvins
    Dead Kennedys
    Eels
    (I more of the Evil Queens and I’m there!)
    The Gourds
    Lard
    Ministry
    Neurosis
    Pj Harvey
    Primus
    Sepultura
    Skinny Puppy
    Slayer
    Split Lip Tayfield
    Ween

    Ok, I lied, that is all of them.

    But I do have a TON of 3′ers which are a lot more of the newer bands I’ve gotten into.

  • plong

    That last comment was insightful about the way people use thier portable hard drive music players, tankboy. I think most people just load all of their favorite music on there, just in case. Then they have to scroll past 25 feet of ipod menu to get to the things they currently want to listen to.

  • http://www.tankboyprime.blogspot.com tankboy

    ramirez: Yeah, if I dropped the number to three or more, my list would have been MUCH longer (and populated with A LOT more recent acts), but I stuck with four because that seemed to be the tipping point number.

    plong: Right on!

  • http://ifuckingruleandyousuck.com Gina

    Wow, you’re hard core. I consider myself a fan if I have TWO albums by any one artist… four seems almost impossible.

    Here’s my list of 4+ records in the ol GPod.

    The Beatles
    Wilco
    Weezer
    Veruca Salt

    Pretty short list. But I’m still young. Plus I can’t commit.

  • Public Servant

    Trail of Dead
    The Apples In Stereo
    The Appleseed Cast
    At The Drive-In
    The Black Keys
    Black Sabbath
    Clutch
    Deftones
    Electric Wizard
    EyeHateGod
    Guided By Voices
    The Kinks
    Led Zeppelin
    Mars Volta
    Mastodon
    Minus The Bear
    My Morning Jacket
    Nebula
    Om
    Pretty Girls Make Graves
    Queens Of The Stone Age
    The Rolling Stones
    Scissorfight
    Sleep
    Small Brown Bike
    Ted Leo
    Waylon Jennings
    The Who
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs

  • Kiesha Jenkins

    Andrew Bird
    Barenaked Ladies
    Ben Folds
    Coldplay
    Death Cab for Cutie
    The Decemberists
    The Frames
    The Long Winters
    Mike Doughty
    Miranda Sound
    Our Lady Peace
    Sufjan Stevens
    Ted Leo + Pharmacists
    Tiara
    The White Stripes
    Wilco

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