Thursday, March 19, 2009

Top 50,000 countdown

About 2 years ago, I got hooked on this site called - which has taken me back to my childhood feelings in so many surprising ways recently.

For those not in the know, is a music-based social networking site. You download a tiny little bit of software which tracks which songs you play on your iTunes and iPod and presents them in a multitude of charts. It's fascinating stuff, and it's been my bread and butter website since about August 2006. And, as I'm about to click over to the 50,000th song on the chart, I reflected on why it fascinates me so.

49,995: The Church - Pharaoh

And it does go back to my childhood. One of my most prize possessions coming in the glorious double figures was a clock radio one of my family members gave me. Living in pre-JJJ times, I was stuck between a few sparse radio choices for a pre-teen, desperately cool kid. Until I hooked into Barry Bisel and his Top 40 Countdown every Sunday or Monday night. Eagerly, I'd listen to his dulcet tones as he counted down to the top spot for the week (and desperately trying to dodge my 8.30pm curfew to ensure I was awake enough to catch the Number 1, yet constantly waking up the next morning disappointed in falling asleep before it was announced). Barry was a fascinating radio character, interspersing the songs with fascinating tidbits from this world they called rock.

49,996: Tori Amos - Horses

It had me by the short and curlies from that point. I learned how to program the "sleep" and "alarm" functions so that I would fall asleep listening to the radio every night and wake up every morning listening (interestingly - it's a habit only recently broken thanks to a less-than-tolerant partner who does not like the night-time intrusion).

49,997: Andy Mitchell - Tell Me

It's more than Barry Bisel, though. It's also the blissful Saturday mornings spent camped on the lounge floor watching Rage's Top 50 countdown. Lazing about in your PJs, with breakfast crumbs scattered around and anticipating "your song" miraculously jumping from number 48 to number 1 in a week (and being disappointed with it being beaten by Richard Marx YET AGAIN!). It's your Mum being the sweetest she's ever been by waking up extra early to video tape the first 10 or so songs so you could go back and watch them later. It's the skipping to the local shopping centre's dodgy music store (but, by it's nature as the only record store around - the COOLEST. STORE. EVER!) every Wednesday after school to grab the latest copy of the Aria charts and scanning it's reddish/pink ink for the latest trends. And then drooling over the CDs and cassingles on display and dreaming of the day when you could buy it all...

49,998: REM - Aftermath

So here I am, at the age of 32, listening to music and wondering what the magical 50,000th will be. It means nothing, with my 8000 song iPod set to random. My charts will probably not change for some time yet, with the Top 5 dominated by my musical guides Pearl Jam, The Frames, Silverchair, Something For Kate and Augie March. Anyone who spends a couple of hours with me will know they are my top artists.

49,999: Something For Kate - Impossible

And yet... this magical site keeps me coming back. I watch the charts with wonder. I design iPod playlists to deliberately skew the results. I follow artist's links and constantly discover new music....

And, so - with great fanfare, I give you BrisJamin's 50,000th song:

50,000: George - Change

And I'm pretty happy with that.


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