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Dear Music: It's not you, it's me...

Shocking admission: I don't want any new music right now.

Okay, fine. It's not that I don't want new albums. There are albums released in the last month that make my musical heart ache for the wanting of them -- the new Greg Laswell, the new Storyhill and the new Josh Ritter are out there right now calling my name, peeking into my wallet for a glimpse at my credit card number, offering to jump into padded mailers and come into my home and my car and my iPod.

But for the first time in years, I don't want to discover any new music. I need to listen to the music I own. I have a musical backlog. I have albums I like that I never listen to; I have albums I don't even know if I like or not because I haven't had the time to listen to them.

I will always look back at my time as a copy editor as one of the pinnacles of my involvement with music and artists, as I spent my entire night plugged into some CD or another that had been lovingly burned and shipped westward by Julia and Marta (Howie Day, Damien Rice, Cities Samplers, Fountains of Wayne, Indigo Girls and others). Despite the work I had to do while I was listening (and anyone who has hung around here for a while will remember my depictions of the work I did while I was listening), I had never before had seven hours a night to listen to music with relatively short interruptions. I miss this about working at a desk.

Even when I was in grad school, I had the opportunity to listen to music while I studied or wrote papers. And true, I leaned more toward what I called my Quiet Music (Josh Rouse, Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, Sun Kil Moon) while I read simply because it faded behind the museum theory well, and toward albums I knew intimately while I wrote (Barenaked Ladies, Matchbox Twenty, Storyhill, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers). I needed music without surprises.

And now that I should, in theory, have the time to listen to all the albums I downloaded over the past four years that I put aside to listen to "when I have time," I don't. I listen to NPR in the car, not music (and when I do listen to music in the car, it's more often than not The Avett Brothers, simply because that's what there). I turn on the radio while I cook. I don't set aside time for music, and until I do, I don't have the time for anyone new. I can't even find the time for my favorites. Painful example No. 1: the fact that So Runs the World Away by the incomparable Josh Ritter has been out for three weeks and it has not yet found its way to me.

It pains me to admit it. But give me some time to get through the Alexi Murdoch and the Brandi Carlile and everything else I've downloaded recently, and I'll be back to "new" new music. The idea of stopping my music collection right where it stands is not only heartrending and completely counter to my character, it's ridiculous.

Now I'm off to revel in the Away We Go soundtrack and sort through iTunes. And if you have suggestions for musical discovery I can file away for when I get off my new music hiatus, let me know.

Comments

( 3 in harmony — strike a chord )
mareserinitatis
May. 24th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
I hate to say it, but I stopped collecting new music about ten years ago. I have no time, nor do I have room for many more CDs. And then I moved in with Mike, and the situation became worse because now we have two overly huge collections with no room.

And frankly, I enjoy a lot of the old music! :-)
lauren_711
May. 25th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
I'm not a huge music person, and lamely, my two music recommendations are going to be coming to you from One Tree Hill. The show actually does spotlight some really good music, they're big on getting lesser-known artists, so if you feel like it sometime, check out their site over at www.cwtv.com, they list the music used in episodes, you might find something you like. My specific recommendations are a band called Wakey Wakey, the lead singer of it is a minor character on One Tree Hill and I saw him in concert here a couple months ago. I don't know how to describe their music exactly, but they're good. The other guy is Tyler Hilton, who played a role on One Tree Hill awhile ago. He's sort of in that Matt Nathanson/Howie Day genre. My favorite songs of his are "Tore the Line" and "Missing You" (cover of that 80s song).
once_scarlet
May. 26th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
I'm lamer than you, Abs.

I don't really *do* new music. My DJ fiance has to either force-feed it to me or else my brother has to come home for the holidays with his ipod full of musicals I may or may not have heard of and introduce me to whole new shows that I shall spend years dreaming of seeing.

Radio was a high school phase for me. I tend to stick with artists I know these days or else the random songs that really grab my attention from tv shows (A Fine Frenzy's "Almost Lover" did that on CSI:NY a few years ago).

The fiance? An audiophile with a cd and cassette collection that I dread dealing with. He hasn't even listened to half of it. I know he hasn't. And he's still on the prowl for more. *sigh*
( 3 in harmony — strike a chord )

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