Jim Shelley & Book Of Kills

Listening to Flowers & Other Stuff

I guess I can categorize 2015 as one of Book of Kills's best years (perhaps speaking strictly in number terms, the best ever single year), even though for all intents and purposes the "band" is just one person sitting in his bedroom making music by himself these days. I guess the most surprising evidence of the year's success came through the website. An unbelievable (at least to me) 141,427 mp3s were downloaded this year. (You're welcome! Those downloads were all free. And, by the way, who are all these people downloading those songs? Why don't more of you stop and say "hi"? Honestly!) The website was visited 32,905 times. Over 109,000 pages were viewed.

Although it would take me hours to go through CDBaby's individual stream statistics, I'm pretty sure that this was far and away the biggest year for BOK streaming, which honestly is no surprise since 2015 seemed to be the year when streaming completely overtook digital downloads in the United States, if not the rest of the world (where I was recently surprised to find out that, unlike the U.S., CDs and digital downloads are still the preferred method of musical consumption). As I'm sure you probably already know, I can't say I'm pleased with the switch from downloads to streaming, but I don't have any say in the matter. 

Although I don't have the stats for today (December 31st), I'm pretty certain one day won't make a whole lot of difference to this month's top 20 BOK streams, according to iTunes:

1. Jesco White
2. Caroline
3. Ah Ahh Ahhh!
4. Alien Girl
5. I Fell Inside
6. See You Again
7. La La La La La La
8. That's What She Said
9. From Beyond The Mirror Image
10. Heaven
11. If I Should Fall
12. 26 Heavyweight Bleeders On Parade
13. In My Room
14. Savage Destination Down
15. Angels On The Lam
16. Let The World Spin All Around It
17. She's The Kinda Girl
18. Free Assembly
19. Better Yet, Let's Go To Bed
20. Soft Surrender

It should be noted that (oddly...or maybe not since it was New Year's Eve) three different great rock bands made their live debuts on this day. The Beach Boys played under their new name for the first time at Long Beach Civic Auditorium in 1961. The Kinks played their first gig at the Lotus House Restaurant in London in 1963. And AC/DC played their first show in 1973 at Chequers Bar in Sydney. Wouldn't it have been great to see all three debuts?

Also, I should note that Paul Westerberg was born on this day in 1960.

"I'm beyond caring what anyone expects of me anymore."

"Any musician who can stop may be a musician, but they're no artist. If it's in your blood, it can't stop flowing."

"I don't think that there's anything that will make me stop doing it. There may be a time when it's not available to anyone. You may have to come listen at my basement window. But I can't stop."

"Reading music is like listening to flowers. I don't understand the concept."

"The best I can say is it's better for me to write about despair and darkness than to be incapable of getting off the sofa. It's better to write about suicide than it is to contemplate it too heavily."

-- Paul Westerberg