But I Don't Even Like Pearl Jam!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Let me start with this: I used to be extremely emo.

Before emo was what it is now - before it was My Chemical Romance & Panic! at the Disco - emo was The Get-Up Kids & Gloria Record & Brandtson & Lovedrug all these bands I still adore.

It's nearly impossible for me to find selfies or solo pics from my emo days, but in addition to the photo above, here's a smattering of the ones I did find - complete with lots of black eyeliner & sweepy bangs & band tees & weird thrifted stuff that I intentionally mismatched.


I no longer, uh, present as extremely emo. Although my wardrobe is still mostly black, it's decidedly less morose. At 35, I don't own a single band T-shirt, & I wouldn't dream of donning the colorful plastic jewelry that was so present during my Myspace days.

But I still love the music.

Truth be told, I don't listen to much music these days (podcasts & audiobooks ftw), but when I do, I usually turn to music I already know I love - which is, for me, all my old emo loves. I no longer prioritize finding new music or even listening to new music put out by my existing favorite artists because I mostly like to listen to what I already love.

Still, I was excited to check out Spotify's customized roundup of my listening habit, both from 2019 & from the decade. Here's a look at my top artist of the decade, which is one of the most on-brand results of my life. Not embarrassing at all:


The Rocket Summer, a longtime solo project of Christian artist Bryce Avary, produces some of my favorite emo-pop jams. I tend to listen to The Rocket Summer when I'm feeling down & need a pick-me-up, or when I'm already feeling good & want to heighten that mood. It's excellent windows-down-while-driving music.

I also liked looking through my yearly favorites. In almost all cases, the songs & artists featured here take me back to a particular time & place, reflecting the state of mind I was in then. Flipping through them, I was transported back to where I was, physically & emotionally, each of these years.

2011 was the year I moved to New Hampshire, & I listened to a lot of Selena Gomez in my car. In 2014, I listened to Ingrid Michaelson's "Afterlife" on repeat after my breakup, a reminder that I was resilient & strong & would be OK. And 2017 was a Smallpools kinda year, rockin' out to feel-good tunes while wedding prepping.


Overall, these results are pretty unsurprising: emo-pop & a lot of regular pop, that's me.

But what about 2019? What about this year?

Well, this is where my alleged stats ran into some issues.

Spotify tells me that in 2019, my top artist was Lizzo. Again, no surprise there! But the top song of the year? Well, it's a song I have literally never listened to on purpose.


I know exactly two songs by Pearl Jam, "Daughter" & "Better Man." And while I like both of those songs a lot, I'm not enamored of Pearl Jam's rock-heavy style, nor do I love Eddie Vedder's voice. I know, I know, big fans will find this blasphemous - but Pearl Jam is just not my jam.

So how did a Pearl Jam song I've never heard beat out all the other stuff I listened to this year?!

At first, I was baffled. But the day after I posted about it to Facebook, I got this comment:


UGHHHHH. Husbands, man!

So the mystery is solved - but damn, how many times did Mike listen to this song?! To beat out my Lizzo listens, he must've gone reaaaally hard.

Good news, though: There's not a Pearl Jam song to be found on the "Best of the Decade" playlist Spotify generated for me. It's all Lizzo & Taylor Swift & Bleachers & HAIM & Bastille &... fine, & a Train song & Idina Menzel's rendition of "Let It Go," among other embarrassing tracks - but not an Eddie Veder vocal  to be found.

Wanna listen? Here ya go - & happy (not Pearl) jamming!

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