Music and I have a very interesting relationship. When I was growing up, I just listened to whatever my parents listened to, which meant a lot of Eagles, Beatles, 70s music, and my dad told me he invented Buddy Holly. I was never really interested in exploring music for myself. I was interested in school, and swimming, and winning, and being Good. I guess these priorities just pushed music somewhere down the list around food and math. But like food, music eventually became more important to me. (Math never did.)
As I got older, I realized the only thing I required from music was that it was danceable. Besides that, I cared more about the people making the music, than the music. This is when I was about 14. So, you know, the Backstreet Boys were sooooo cute. And the Spice Girls were made of awesome (still true). After that, I was about 17, so obviously all the music I listened to had to be depressing and express the true darkness of my soul. I discovered The Cure and was pretty much set until I was 21.
At this time, I’m downloading all my music from Napster. I don’t buy a single CD for a decade. I refused to pay for music. At the time, I thought this was completely reasonable, and also I was a broke university student, so sue me. (No, don’t. Ah! Were you ever scared of that? That the government would find your massive ILLEGAL music collection and come after you? I was, so I always tried to hide it. Ha!) I had a large collection of music because I would download discographies (especially after Napster died and torrents rose up) and then never really listened to any of it, or forget about music I’d downloaded. The music I had was eclectic in terms of genre. I would listen to anything, didn’t really matter.
For a very long time, I never listened to any music. Like, I drove in silence. Thinking back on it, it’s really weird. But for about two years I didn’t listen to music. When Matt was in the car we listened to his favourite music (Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen). I was fine with that. When I was working, or editing photos, I put music on but never really registered it and if it stopped, I didn’t notice for a sometimes frighteningly long time.
Now, in this musical odyssey, I am what? 25? And I meet people who know a lot about music and I want to impress them, so I start listening to music. Music starts being to me what it has always been for so many other people; a personal soundtrack that links events and feelings of my life. I imbue songs with my own personal feelings and when I listen to certain songs now, it’s nostalgia times a billion. I listen to everything, downloading GBs of mixtapes in order to find stuff I like. Between Matt and I, we have no space left on our computer. We have to buy external hard drives for our music collections. I eventually throw out all my old CDs. And somewhere along the line, I start buying music. Once iTunes makes buying music easier than trying to find it with a google search, I start buying music. (Also after reading this open letter to Emily White at NPR about the music industry from David Lowery.) I like buying music, it makes me feel all righteous like ha! Look at me being all “for the artists” or some shit. I don’t know, I think I’m just lazy and now have a disposable income; where spending $9.99 on an album that syncs to all my devices automatically seems like a pretty fucking good deal, also–The Future!
The only problem I have is that now I buy music to see if I like it. I go through iTunes and just click on random things, in any genre. I listen to the excerpt iTunes posts and if it grabs me, I buy it. I might want to work on that.
I still like music that is danceable, and listen to music that suits my mood. And right now, my mood is hot and sweaty. How does that sound? Like this:
- Big Mouth – Santigold
- Zig Zag – M.I.A.
- Liquorice – Azealia Banks
- Move to the Ocean (Baauer Remix) – Brick + Mortar
- Barely Standing (ft. Datsik & Sabi) – Diplo
- You Know You Like It – AlunaGeorge
- 1 Thing (siik remix) – Amerie
- Thinkin Bout You – Frank Ocean