Spotify’s Artist Genres

I’ve got the PHP scripts written to get the genres from their API and store them in my table. Over the last few weeks, I’ve battled some learning-dragons with PHP and JSON both with this project and my election project. Good fights, though, because I learned stuff. Frustrating but in a good way … like a really good workout burns after.

Bad fights with learning-dragons are the ones that last hours, days, weeks … and I didn’t learn anything really because it wasn’t that I didn’t know something … it was that some documentation, tutorial, or something else was junk-jacked all up … so it was just wasted time.

I can tell already Spotify‘s genres are as mystifying and unpredictable as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame‘s nomination and induction announcements.


  • meWithoutYou definitely wins the longest and weirdest genre list award (so far). While using echo as I wrote my script via experimentation, I actually thought “dreamo” was a PHP error.
  • David Bowie is pretty much what I’d expect.
  • That’s really all Prince gets? Seriously? No “rock”? No “dance” something or other?

Major Milestone Monday

After lots of hard work, I have D3 not only working with my database but have album art to go with the albums. It took me a while — even after I got the album covers to appear — to get the covers to display where I wanted them. I had to do math a lot. Still not “done,” but this is a big, big deal. This is my #BadAssTakeover.

I have cron jobs that regularly reach out to Spotify and store the popularity of artists, albums, and tracks. Here is a sampling of the bar graphs I can now do. Albums are in chronological order and the numbers are the popularity scores as of Sunday, April 22, 2018. Their popularity scores are relative to all albums on Spotify but I don’t know how they work … I don’t know if an album’s popularity takes into consideration the tracks’ popularity.

Click all images for full size

Alice Cooper


Alice has tons of compilations which is frustrating for multiple reasons. He’s one of the artists that makes me think a vertical graph might be better.


David Bowie


As you might expect, Bowie has a ton of albums even without compilations.


I’m not sure what the albums without art are … their titles are visible in a sortable table on a different page but I’m busy at the moment …


I chose them as a sample for a couple reasons. One, they have relatively few albums and two, they were played last night on IntenseRadio during The Great Scott Diversion.



I really don’t like Deliverance but a lot of people do and they have a new album out.


Iron Maiden

I feel like I should like Iron Maiden more than I do. Today was a bad Iron Maiden day for me. I’ve been trying to find a relatively inexpensive used copy of Live After Death (on vinyl) and finally found one at a local used record shop but they wouldn’t sell it to me because it wasn’t priced yet. How do I know it was relatively inexpensive if it wasn’t priced yet? The cover was in horrible condition.


Led Zeppelin

I chose them because I wanted to show some really tall columns … all that “gray space” in the screen shots is how high up the columns could go.


Led Zeppelin is another reason my recent … I’ve started buying records again — for the first time in over 30 years — and it’s a lot less fun than I thought it would be.

Meat Loaf


I think all those blank spaces are compilations. He’s like Alice that way. Ew.


Mortification, like Deliverance, are in my database because I wanted a health selection of thrash and black metal and similar artists to compare to each other.


One Bad Pig

Because I love them.


They only have four albums which is sad. Well, they’ve also got a demo and a live album but those aren’t on Spotify.

Resurrection Band/Rez Band/Rez/Resurrection Band


For some reason, there’s at least one … wait … it does say Resurrection Band … I thought Ampendectomy was a Glenn Kaiser solo album. Can you believe Lament isn’t their most popular album? People are dumb.

Breaking Stuff Is Good

In preparation for integrating what I’ve learned in the Grow With Google Challenge Mobile Web course into my rockin’ app, I did some spring cleaning. Getting rid of all the files with duplicate-ish names like handle_albums2, handle_albums3,┬áhandle_albums4,┬áhandle_albums_test, and so on.

I broke the app.

I’m sure I was saving those for a reason but I was also sure I was being a hoarder.

In my attempts to fix it, I realized there was a much more efficient way to organize everything that would fix some ongoing issues. So now I’m doing that.

Progress is good because I am so dying to start the Data Visualization part of the app which is, ultimately, it’s whole purpose. I’ve been dying to put stats up using the data I’ve gathered so far but it would be with graphs made in Excel and … that’s cheating … I want to use D3 … so … no wasting time with stats and trivia that could be spent improving and nurturing the app.

Meanwhile, I am on my biggest David Bowie kick since the 80s. My top five artists change their order and slots a lot but the top five generally stays the same. David Bowie is always there but it’s been a long time since he was the #1 top rotation in my music collection. He wasn’t even #1 when he died. I was too busy crying and did not want to be one of those “I love David Bowie!” people jumping on the bandwagon just because he just died. Yeah, I’m that pretentious prick. I know. I’m sorry.

Finally listening to Blackstar. The videos were so creepy they scared the crap out of me and I couldn’t listen to the title track or Lazarus. And since I couldn’t listen to those, I just didn’t listen to the rest of the album.

The Next Day, however, is easily in my top three Bowie albums. It’s been #1 on my Bowie list since it came out.