I closed my eyes, blinked, and suddenly I’d gone a whole year without once procuring new music. No, not once had I gotten all jazzed on a new band—not once had a new song hooked like jumper cables to my soul.
Instead, I’d let my iPod piddle out the same jams over and over—and if we’re being honest, I’d skipped through half. Cuz they were just tired. Mostly, I’d let Pandora play whatever it wanted. Too lazy—let the algorithm decide. Digest it all as background music. No excitement. So sad.
What got me thinking on this was a book I’ve been reading. It’s called Waging Heavy Peace. Neil Young—of Buffalo Springfield fame; of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young fame; of plain-old Neil Young fame—wrote it. And he talks a lot about this matter.
“It’s like a cool pastime or a toy, not like a message to the soul,” sez Neil about how people consume music today.
His take? MP3 quality sucks—you may as well be listening to music under water. There’s no fucking magic! Now, I’m not sure if shit-quality is what spawned my own auditory stagnation—but Neil, baby, I want that magic back!
These new-to-me records, maybe they’ll get me there …
-Angel Olsen, Burn Your Fire For No Witness
-Bob Dylan and The Band, The Basement Tapes Complete, Bootleg Series Vol. 11
-Bob Mould, Beauty & Ruin
-Rodriguez, Searching For Sugar Man