Since the year is coming to an end, thank goodness, but I’m also internally screaming, it’s time for me to write another Year in Review post, a rundown of what I’ve accomplished this year, reflecting on the year, and compiling the work I’m most proud of. I did this same type of post last year and the year before and I found that it made me feel a lot better about myself because I’m not comparing myself to other people and I think about how much I really accomplished this year, despite all the challenges. Journalling is fun too and I don’t really do that enough.
What was 2020 like?
Not great and I’d be very suspicious of anyone who says that this year was their year or the best year ever. A lot of missed opportunities. Usually every summer I travel somewhere and this is the first year where I didn’t travel anywhere during the summer. I literally left the town I live in fewer times than I can count on one hand. What a huge change from my usual life where I’d be travelling a lot more often. I spoke to my husband about this and he even says he regrets not going more places during the summer. But hey, at least I didn’t get coronavirus this year! But it was really depressing seeing the numbers and losing faith in humanity.
The Diversity of Classic Rock in Numbers:
I like to give a name to each year of my blog and this was the year of powering forward, full steam ahead. With literally nothing else to do, I had no choice but to write and I can imagine ’21 will be more of the same, because I have to apply for a new passport, then apply for citizenship, then wait till I get citizenship, then legally change my last name to Moon.
I better get a trip to Japan after all of this because all I want is to travel and the thing I hate about living in this country is it’s so small and there’s no variety of landscapes and I’ve basically seen everything worth seeing in this country. It’s not hard! At least when my mum was stuck in America because of visa problems and then applying for citizenship (she only got permission to leave the country twice and those times she left it was to go back to her native country to visit family), there were enough interesting road trips to take and more places to see. Now I see why everyone leaves this country.
Anyway, let’s talk about the numbers because that was the one thing making me happy was seeing the incredible growth of my blog this year and I’ll put this in perspective in numbers:
- 95 posts published this year (including this one). Even better than last year’s 85 posts published!
- Over 270,000 words written! That’s more than 5 NaNoWriMos! My husband keeps telling me to write a book, do I do it?
- A new record for highest views in a day with 1,210 visitors on 7 October. In the 48 hour period of 7/10-8/10: Over 2,000 views!
- Most views in a month: 12,386 views in October.
- Overall views for the year: 97,000+
- Unique visitors this year: 72,000+
- Average daily views: 265
- Viewed in 173 different countries
- 10 most viewed countries:
- Five most read blog posts this year:
In case you missed it/best of:
In this section you can find the posts and series from this year that I’m most proud of. It’s a long list because I make sure to only release things that I know that my readers will enjoy.
- Most viewed new post: – 20 Timeless Political Classic Rock Lyrics – 2,621 views
- 2020’s Pride Month post: LGBT Musicians of the 90s, second most popular new post
- This year, I made two meme related posts: Meme songs of the 90s and Classic Rock Political Compass Memes, ranking pretty high in popularity.
- I wrote about Atheist classic rock musicians
- I wrote about classic rockers who are also poets.
- One of my most ambitious projects was to document the lack of diversity in classic rock radio playlists and I did a whole analysis for two classic rock stations in my hometown of Chicago. I hope to do something similar for other cities and countries (Toronto? London?)
- Gateway Songs that got me into Classic Rock
- Classic Rockers who went into hiding
- Horrible Histories: 1960s Edition – Realising how lucky I am to be living in the present
- Posts about Classic Rock Fashion and Shoes
- Disabled Classic Rock Musicians
- Classic Rockers before the fame (might do a part 2 of this one, we’ll see)
This year I worked on a few series that I’m proud of:
- Political Classic Rock Lyrics (part 2) (part 3)
- Women’s History month posts (part 1) (part 2)
- Completing my unabridged series on black rock musicians (part 3) (part 4)
- Musicians Who Got Screwed Over by managers and record labels (part 2) (part 3) (part 4)
- Last, but certainly not least, Listen to This, Not That is the series I’m most proud of! I really love doing these deep dives into individual bands’ discographies and rediscovering favourites and falling in love with their music again and breaking out of the usual hits and best of’s. As of writing this post, there’s a tie on the most popular posts of this series. The Beatles post was most popular at 71 views. The Kinks received the second most views at 69 (haha nice and yes that is totally fitting)! But I’ve also talked about The Rolling Stones, The Who, The British Invasion, and Psychedelic/Freakbeat. I’m looking forward to continuing this series and as a little sneak peek, in the first couple months of 2021, you can look forward to Listen to This, Not That: Led Zeppelin and Listen to This, Not That: Queen.
I interviewed 33 people this year! If this year had another title, I might call it the year of interviews! I can’t list every single musician I interviewed because I’d be here all day, and I hope no one takes it personally because I enjoyed talking to everyone, but here are the interviews I’m most proud of.
- My friend, Kuba of James Button Band.
- Author Carmela Carr
- Singer/songwriter Mary Devlin
- Flare Voyant – such a great band and one of my favourite newer bands!
- Kostas Miliaras aka Polaroid Buffalo Club – great musician!
- Musician, actor, and director Pennan Brae
- Ryan Guay of Street Pharmacy
- My friend, Sam, aka Obsidian Deluxe/Kultopfer
- Susan Surftone, FBI Agent turned Rock Star, you gotta read this interview!
- Friend of the blog, Roderick August
- Andy Crofts of The Moons – loved his work for a long time!
- Psychedelic rock musician Keith Lannon
- New Zealand musician Craig Payne
New Horizons – Expanding to Instagram
You can’t put all your eggs in one basket, just generally good advice for everything. Running a successful blog means I need to balance my efforts. Sure I can put all my energy into writing great posts, but if I spend no time marketing them and finding new audiences for my work, how can I succeed? I can’t. I was late in embracing Instagram and yes, I wish I could have done this earlier, but better late than never. This blog is primarily long reads, and that’s great for people who want to really get into classic rock and know it better and have a lot of time, but what if you want little bursts of information? To put it into rock music terms, I don’t always want to listen to a 20 minute long epic suite with multiple movements. Sometimes I just want to listen to a fun, short pop song. Enter my Instagram, @thediversityofclassicrock, where I share bite sized bits of information on a different classic rocker every day, five days a week. So far the engagement has been great for such a small account and I’ve received so much praise from followers who have said that they love my account and they’ve learnt so much from the infographics. Here are 10 of the most popular posts:
If you’re on Instagram and you like learning about classic rock, but you’re in a hurry, give my account a follow! 🙂
The New Music Edit: 10 favourite releases of 2020
This is a new feature I’m introducing to my year in review. As you know, I write quarterly features about new music and it’s a lot of new music being thrown at you at once, so to make it simpler for my readers, I’m going to start putting together a yearly edit: cream of the crop new music that I loved this year. It’s a difficult decision to make because every year good music is released, but here’s what I really loved. I didn’t necessarily talk about all of these in my new music feature, but these were releases that I consider the best I’ve heard this year. These are not in any order. I’m awful at ranking things, so consider all these top tier.
1. “Personal Shopper” – Steven Wilson
You might have noticed this one on the 2020 Soundtrack blog post. This has to be one of my favourite songs of the year and it has such a relatable message all about consumerism. Definitely a message you need to hear. Our planet is in danger and our consumption habits are certainly not helping!
2. Sitar Metal – Sitar Metal
I love hard rock and metal and I love sitars. Give this album a listen!
3. The Bonny – Gerry Cinnamon
Honest lyrics sang in a Scottish accent. He’s definitely one of the modern musicians I’ve been listening to most lately.
4. Influence This – Michael Parrett
So good I put it on my perfect albums list.
5. “Synergy” – Pennan Brae
My favourite song from the 2 Below 0 soundtrack
6. Azure – Vinyl Williams
Huge fan of neo-psychedelia.
7. technicolor – Covet
Some great prog/math rock. Mostly instrumentals.
8. Demos 2016-17 – Keith Lannon
Incredible demos and I can’t wait to hear more from them! I love instrumental psychedelic rock.
9. “Discoteque” – Molchat Doma
This was the year that I fell in love with Russian new wave/post punk and Molchat Doma have become one of my favourites, so good to the point where they’re one of my most listened to artists on Spotify. This is basically Belarusian New Order.
10. Casanova – Dripping Sun
This young psychedelic rock musician is so talented and I think Reddit for helping me find out about his music. An excellent debut album. My favourite tracks are “An Omniscient Reality”, “The Isthmus”, and “Osiris”
Found out about this psychedelic rock musician through Reddit. Definitely want to hear more!
Well, that’s a wrap for 2020! Hoping for the best for 2021!
Thank you so much to all my readers and followers for all the support over the years as always and I wish you all a happy new year!
Shoutout to my friend Patrick for supporting the blog!
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