Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Access all Areas

Not to get all self-reflexive, but there's something worth picking up on from Somik's last entry (well, two or three things, but this one's the kicker); let's talk about access.

What he said – in case there's anyone else out there with the same degree of ADD as I have – was this:

[…] in my youth it would have been inconceivable to have access to every track in existence at an instant, legally or otherwise.

For me, it's all to do about having a particular mindset.

Music, growing up, was a static, trapped thing, either in a cassette (in which case you could manipulate it, if you wanted) or in a CD, which was – until .mp3 conversion came around – another form of trapping the ephemeral into a physical form. (You could also use that form to move it onto a cassette, but we're skirting dodgy ground regarding metaphors already, so let's move on.)

I got used to that trapped form. We'll come back to this later, but when my horizons really opened up and panned out was a particular time in my life when I started to get a lot of music, for free, legally. When that stopped – and, like a drowning man clutching at driftwood), I tried to keep it going for as long as possible with some previous, now-dead blogs – the importance of music in my life atrophied like an unused muscle experiencing wastage, over time, because I reverted to the feeling that music was now this static, trapped thing when, in point of fact, it was going through a massive period of transition.

Part of my brain is firmly rooted in having to actually haul my sorry self to a record shop, buy the physical thing, take it home and listen to it there. Oh, for sure I've gotten used to .mp3 players, interesting electronic methods of purchasing songs and listening to them, and even more surely I get more mileage out of services such as YouTube and Spotify, but not as much as I should.

Of course, how much I 'should' be listening to as a self-confessed lapsed music lover is another topic entirely.

There's a lot to talk about, here – not least that I can demarcate the periods between which I stopped ascribing importance to music and when it started coming back with two albums, which are White Flag at one end and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy at the other.

One last thing of interest; apparently the CD albums I couldn't afford as a teenager are now going for £1 as 'pre-owned, fully refurbished, quality guaranteed' versions at my local £1 shop.

Make of that what you will. 

- James

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