Okay, first off, for the uninitiated, here's the deal.
I'm weirdly obsessive over things I shouldn't be obsessive over. One of the ways that manifests itself is that I keep track of every time I hear a particular song over the course of the year (assuming, of course, that I have it in my library). iPod, CDs in the car, radio in the car, radio in the wife's car.....all of it. Again, weirdly obessive.
All of that to let you know... when I say 'Top 30 most listened to', I mean it.
You already know this, but Spotify, Grooveshark, and YouTube for all of these.
Edit: This is what happens when your time gets all taken up, and don't remember to reschedule your post.
30. The National - Conversation 16
"I was afraid, I'd eat yours brains... cuz I'm evil..."
29. The Let Go - Nightfall (feat. P.O.S.)
A random rap group I'd never heard of, but this song has a pretty good P.O.S. verse on it, and that's usually enough to get me to listen.
28. Coldplay - Every Teardrop is a Waterfall
Mylo Xyloto wasn't nearly as good as Viva la Vida, but I'm still a sucker for Coldplay.
27. Bon Iver - Calgary
(12th favorite song of 2011)
My favorite song from my favorite album from this year.
26. OneRepublic - Good Life
This song was inescapable, and my wife loved it... so I heard it a lot. In fairness, it's not the worst song the radio has to offer, it's fairly inoffensive, even if it does boil down to Ryan Tedder talking about how awesome being rich and famous is. Still, if that's acceptable (and even welcomed) by people when discussing rap music, I won't hold it against pop music.
25. The National - Exile Vilify
(3rd favorite song of 2011)
I still have no idea what this song has to do with Portal 2.
24. The Vaccines - All in White
(11th favorite song of 2011)
I have last.fm to thank for this one. Their "best of 2011" tag didn't give me anything else that I hadn't heard before that I actually took to heart, but this song was worth it.
23. Foster the People - Helena Beat
The words make zero sense ("yeah, yeah, it's okay/I tie my hands up to a chair so I don't fall that way") and I had a hell of a time telling if the singer was a chick or a dude in the beginning (for the record, it's a dude), but this song is blazingly catchy. It was apparently a single, which makes wonder how on earth it didn't make any sort of impact, it has that feeling of classic MGMT.
22. Bon Iver - Beth/Rest
This song is so insanely 80's. The electronic piano, the light saxophone. I usually hate that style, so why do I like it here so much?
21. TV on the Radio - Second Song
(6th favorite song of 2011)
This song would've been much higher on this list if I'd heard it before June. For some reason, this album got no hype. It came and went, to the point where a lot of people simply left it off their year end lists. That couldn't have possibly been because it wasn't good, and it was certainly memorable. It's a mystery.
20. Lil' Wayne - Right Above It
I didn't like I Am Not a Human Being, and I really didn't like Tha Carter IV. For some reason, though, this song stuck with me.
19. jj - STILL
This song was released on the free Kills mixtape on December 30th last year. jj do a half decent job of mixing the chilly Scandinavian icy pop sound with hip-hop - never better than this song, though. As a bonus, it swipes a nice Dre sample.
18. Cinnamon Chasers - Lux Deluxe
This one was weird. I found the song via a music video (one of my favorite music videos in a long time). Even though the song wasn't anything special at the time, through repeatedly watching the video, I started to enjoy the song itself.
17. The Antlers - No Widows
(23rd favorite song of 2011)
I wouldn't have gotten into Burst Apart without this song. Perfect nighttime listening.
16. Tim Hecker - The Piano Drop
(30th favorite song of 2011)
My wife recently asked me to explain how on earth it was that I liked this song. It has no conventional structure, no melody - it's essentially a pitch-obliterated organ run through a million effects. I still don't know how to answer that question.
15. TV on the Radio - Caffeinated Consiousness
Heard this one first at Trinkenspiel 2011. It amped up my expectations for Nine Types of Light (unfortunately, as I noted earlier, those expectations were quickly forgotten). Thanks, Crat.
14. The Clash at Demonhead - Black Sheep
This band doesn't actually exist. Metric did the version of this song for the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World soundtrack, but this is the actual version you hear in the movie, only the full thing. I like this version a lot better, even though I love Metric.
13. Jonathan Coulton - Want You Gone
(27th favorite song of 2011)
Better than 'Still Alive'. How is Coulton going to top this?
12. Radiohead - Codex
(2nd favorite song of 2011)
The first song that really grabbed me from The King of Limbs. Still my favorite.
11. Yeasayer - Madder Red
(most played song of 2010)
Yup, I was still listening to this song a ton at the beginning of the year. Not so much as the year went on, but enough that it shows up here.
10. SALEM - Trapdoor
What a wretched song. It's misogynistic, it's got those annoying pitch-shifted vocals, and when it's performed live, the results are entirely horrifying.....and yet, I could not stop listening to it.
9. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong
(7th favorite song of 2011)
Shame this was one of the only good songs on this album.
8. Anamanaguchi - Another Winter
Another Scott Pilgrim song, this time from the video game. It's one of the catchiest video games songs ever. It's one of those live band/8-bit video game song hybrids, only where every single other one of those bands is utterly awful, this one is awesome. The entire soundtrack is fantastic, but this song is really something.
7. Adele - Rolling in the Deep
(17th favorite song of 2011)
My wife's favorite album and favorite song of 2011. I really didn't mind, though, because it is a hell of a tune.
6. Foster the People - Pumped Up Kicks
(15th favorite song of 2011)
This one snuck up on everyone, but my favorite part about this song was how many people were saying prior to June/July "oh, dude... you have to hear this band Foster the People", and then after this song went insane, they were all trying to distance themselves from it. Lame.
5. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Summer of All Dead Souls
(10th favorite song of 2011)
Yup, I've said about as much about this one as I have to say about it.
4. SALEM - King Night
A lot of these plays were playing it for other people. Still, though, this song really stood out for me. I love the superdark style of it, I love the fact that it's woven around a farking Christmas carol, I love that little jagged synth line that ends every other line. I just love this song.
3. The Weeknd - House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls
(5th favorite song of the year)
The rest of the album is good, this is just on another level. The sample is responsible for a lot of that, but The Weeknd seems to realize that this song is going to be his 'big deal', so he takes everything up a notch. It's almost 7 minutes long, but goes by in a blur - a druggy, sex-crazed blur.
2. Tyler, the Creator - Yonkers
(4th favorite song of 2011)
I had no interest in Tyler after Bastard. His overly confessional, rape-fantasy filled, hyper-violent style held no interest for me. Then this song came out. It didn't change anything about his lyrical style - he's style talking about murdering Bruno Mars and his conscience committing suicide. The beat is an absolute monster, though, and he fills the song with enough clever lines to where I really really dug it. I thought that maybe he'd brought his game up a level or two, so I bought into Goblin.
1. The Go! Team - Buy Nothing Day
(favorite song of 2011)
No surprises here at all. It wasn't even remotely close (this one almost doubled 'Yonkers'). Beth Cosentino gives her best vocal performance, and gets a song out of it that no one associated with it will be able to top - or even really come close to.