I Miss Spending Time With The Album

By Will Oliver, October 5th 2010 — with 38 comments Feature

I decided to rant about my frustrations found with the “disposable” nature of our music culture. Sorry that it’s so long:

I love music. I don’t know how it become such an essential part of my life. I can’t play any instrument. My parents never influenced me in any way. It just happened.

I love music so much I started a music blog in order to find a place where I could spill out all of my favorite songs and new discoveries. I expected my friends to maybe read it, but that was about it. I never expected people to read my site daily. I never expected to befriend other great bloggers and even great bands. However, all this has happened to me somehow, and I’m very fortunate.

I always have had a pretty large music collection. I have hundreds of CD stacked in my room making a mess out of my shelves. I also have an ever growing record collection. I get more music than I can even listen to now with the start of this blog. I was already bad enough when I bought albums. I would buy albums based on word of mouth or good reviews and often, they would just sit there. Truth be told, I never really had time to listen to everything that was out there. I still don’t. However, more & more music comes piling in. It doesn’t stop.

You don’t need to be a music blogger to notice this. There’s an absurd amount of new music constantly being pumped out of artists. It’s impossible to keep up. Even if you do somehow stay a float in the myriad of new releases, are you really spending time with records? I bring this to your attention because I’m afraid to say I don’t know if I am anymore.

I find myself drowning deeper and deeper with new albums, new songs, new artists, and hell…even WAYS of finding music. Each day it seems like there’s a hot new buzz band, or a new album from an artist that you could have sworn just released one months ago. Then you have that older band releasing their comeback album. Then you want to dive back and give The Beatles a listen.

My point is, holy shit there’s a lot of music. With blogging, I’m constantly finding myself looking for new music because I love the discovery. However, another part of my new-found job as a blogger is keeping up. New bands will never stop coming.

There have been a lot of good albums in 2010. Some we can even call great. However, upon reflection, I realized I wasn’t getting to know these records very well. I’m jumping from new release to new release like it’s nothing. I was thinking of how I used to spend weeks with an album like Illinois, and it would literally be the soundtrack of my cold winter nights falling in love for the first time. It was a part of me.

While there have been tons and tons of solid albums, I don’t know how many I have let into my life the same way, and it pains me. I love music, but I don’t know if I love how disposable it’s all come.

I think I need to slow down and get myself to focus on spending more time with albums, and less with the kiss kiss, bang bang, nature of this new music culture.

You’re probably lying if this is not a problem for you. If it isn’t then god bless. I just want to slow down sometimes and just divulge in a few albums and get to know them like I used to. There’s so much great music out there, but for some reason, it doesn’t seem the same.

Please leave comments with your thoughts & feelings on this.

  • Bruce Warren

    Great article. I had a similar feeling about four or five years ago and decided that part of my “challenge” was that I needed a “get back to being a fan” plan and to spend more time as a fan with music than I do as a music industry person just sort of processing music for my “job.” Sometimes it is VERY easy to get co-opted by the “professional” part of what you’re doing and all of a sudden there’s not much difference between being a fan and just another brick in industry wall. So, set aside some fan time. Don’t worry about “missing” something cause you’re too busy falling in love as a fan with a record. Don’t worry about blogging the next whatever band who probably won’t live up to the hype. Yes, there’s more music than ever before. Don’t worry about keeping up. Worry about your love of music. Step back: Embrace your inner fan. Then blog about it until the cows come home.

  • http://deathbombarc.com Brian

    In the 00’s, as cassette culture began to reflurish thanks to the noise/DIY scene (and most popularly, Wolf Eyes), I loved that this affordable medium was helping creating a sense that noise was a folk art. In other words, that noise was something for everyone to participate in; and anti-elitism.

    The evolution of this mass into free, downloadable albums is really positive to me in an environmental and financial sense, but I agree it creates this feeling that everything is disposable even when it is great. This disposable aspect existed/exists for the cassette realm as well, but since you have to acquire the tapes somehow, they feel more precious. Although, at least for me, being buried under an avalanche of cassettes is about as common as being buried in links to check out.

    Ultimately, I have to support the digital distribution model heavily because I think everyone should have a place to share their creativity, esp without huge financial and environmental impact. That said, if you got something really amazing under your belt, why not prove it to the world by figuring out a way to press some vinyl. I know it can be tough, but some things are worth fighting for.

    As for listeners, its entirely up to you how much time one listens to something. Maybe you just got to make it happen!

  • Chris

    Loved the article, have the EXACT same feeling. It seems there is an almost constant stream of new artists, albums and songs being released every day. Just to stay afloat you have to avoid dwelling on older releases. I think that the “newness” of a song has a huge impact on the listener, as opposed to how good it actually is. By that I mean that an old song might be great, but the excitement of listening to something new and foreign temporarily clouds a listener’s perception of a song. Dunno.

    Lately there’s just been a disconnect between my life and the music I listen to. Like you and I’m sure most of the people on this site, I have favourite albums that I relate to certain parts of my life. It definitely feels as though it doesn’t happen anymore. There are a few stand out songs, but its nothing like it used to be.

    Maybe its us, or maybe its a reflection of a bigger picture: modern society is moving at increasingly rapid pace. Maybe its things like Facebook, Twitter, the internet in general offering us instant-gratification whenever we need it; its this constant-motion mentality today’s environment has subliminally taught us.

    I dunno. Kind of a runaway comment haha. Bottom line is I agree 100%, and its kinda sad. Need to take it slower I guess.

  • http://exurbaninc.com ted

    I agree with you. I’ve been discussing this lately with friends and family. I miss the album — sure there are clunkers on every album, but the album represents an experience that is lost when you buy the single off of iTunes.

    Singles come and singles go — and with them bands. You learn more about a band listening to their albums. You get a better sense for their motivations, their interests, their outlook on life — if not for their whole lives, then at least for that time period in which the album was created. I think that themes emerge on an album even if it’s not a concept album, per se.

    Perhaps the reason why there is so much music and so many bands currently extant, is that the machine (“record” companies & the single-urchasing public) needs singles. Singles aren’t durable, nor are the majority of artists who live (and die) by the single. An album however is durable (I’ve listened to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s debut album about 100 times, it doesn’t get old). Most any band can crank out a great single, but not every band can crank out a great album and repeat the process… one of these days I’ll get around to CYHSY’s second album to test their durability

    I miss the album too — it’s the way things are sold now, in little bite sized chunks to be consumed while going here and there on tiny little players…

  • http://myspace.com/bravestation Derek

    I think since you’ve chosen to run a music a blog, there are expedited external pressures on you to listen, evaluate and reflect. In any case, we’re all feeling the effects of the rapidly changing technological-based music climate, whereby artists have increased opportunities to record, produce and distribute music. That combined with the instant accessibility that the internet has provided have certainly changed the way that the majority of people will forever listen to music…

    Although it’s unfortunate that most of us aren’t able to afford/find the time to enjoy the pleasure of putting the needle down on freshly bought vinyl while holding the artwork and immersing ourselves in the entire experience, I personally prefer the plethora of options that are now readily available as opposed to the top down major label/media paradigm that only provided us with a handful of streamlined artists to choose from.

    Definitely an interesting and relevant topic that should be discussed in-depth more often, but the internet isn’t going away – so why not embrace the positive aspects of it!

  • Will

    Great responses so far from everyone. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    @Ted – Good points, but that wasn’t entirely what I meant. Sure singles are a problem, but even with albums, there’s just so many albums now. It’s so easy for bands to make an album and get it out there. It’s great, but it’s also causing an over-saturation of albums. It’s just so easy to get lost in it all.

  • Natalie

    I don’t know how you even keep up with yourself, let alone the whole music world. For me, I can only deal with one or two albums. I nurse them for weeks. It’s beautiful.

  • http://middleclasswhitenoise.com Sam

    I think it’s when listening becomes a business that it makes it really difficult for albums to break through. I know I’ve listened to albums just to get through them–and I’ve listened to more albums this year than any other. Digitally, my collection is huge and has a lot of fluff, stuff I don’t really care about.

    But there are still definitely stand-outs, and it’s the stand outs that I buy on vinyl, which keeps that collection something very special for me and that’s helped me keep some value in my music. It helps that there’s something very different about putting on a vinyl. These are the albums that carry emotional weight to me.

    Of the LPs that I’ve bought, only a few are from this year, which I think is telling. Typhoon’s Hunger and Thirst being my favorite and most-played.

  • http://coreychan.com Corey

    Awesome post man. I think you’re right when you say our culture is just kiss kiss and then move “on to the next one”. It’s not even about albums anymore, its just about producing a single that will make an artist cash in. In a way, it’s kind of like relationships with women. Kind of. It’s easy to find a find a fine woman to have a sex with and bounce. It’s hard to find a woman to make love to and be committed for the rest of your life. Remember, I said kind of.

  • http://pomme2pin.net Paul

    Good thing: the matter is in your hand. Just decide what you like the most.
    Good news: you can even have a successful blog not sticking to the news. Aquarium Drunkard is probably the best example out there.

  • http://www.onethirtybpm.com Erik Burg

    I think you’re absolutely right Will, as a fellow blogger myself (though not on your scale), I feel these same kinds of pressures each day. Every morning as I wade through my inbox and rss feeds I feel like I’m doing something wrong when I gloss over new tracks that are championed as “fresh” “new” and the like. But I think this is how our music scene has changed (yes “ours” as blogs are now the records labels in the case of this music); what we have now are Singles and short EPs plastered on Bandcamp and ready for the blogosphere to devour. What’s sad is that more attention is now paid to some kid in his bedroom with a hacked copy of Ableton or Garage Band rather than bands whose albums are full-scale works of art. I think 2010 is the perfect year to talk about this, as major sites like Pitchfork or Stereogum will run a story about the new Arcade Fire album and then their next post will be a Com Truise remix or a Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. cover. And that’s certainly not to say that those artists are talented, not at all, but it’s amazing how LCD Soundsystem, Gorillaz, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Spoon, and many more “major” bands will put out an album in a year that will, for all intents and purposes, be remembered for it’s “chillwave” (or more sadly, its “post-chillwave”) output.

    The music and blog scene is changing at an immensely fast pace, and it’s sort of scary to be a part of it. You’re an honest and open-minded person, Will, and that’s why you shouldn’t change what you do here. Cheers bud.

  • Jack Conway

    I think what you are touching on here is truly a feeling so many come to realize in today’s music society. Many complain there isn’t enough music out there that is worthwhile, I, as many other people, have been met with too much talent spilling from so many different bands. Too much to where I am losing sight of sitting down to listen to an album constantly but now taking slight breaks for a brief listen then moving on to the next great thing merely to say I am well acquainted with this ever-changing scene. Is there a solution?

  • Benoit

    I feel the way that you do! It scares me sometimes. I’m beginning to get tired of listening to an album when I listen to it three days in a row. My musical brain is getting used to changing from day to day.
    Maybe it’s like the modern days are : fast, changing every day, we can’t concentrate on one thing in particular, our brain is everywhere at the same time. I don’t know when or where it’s gonna end, but it’s kind of scary!

  • http://www.albumoftheweek.com.au/ AOTW

    You make such a great point dude: it really IS hard to find the time to actually sit down and listen to an album, amidst the frantic influx of new tunes and bands and visuals to get your head around on a daily (hourly?) basis. Sometimes with blogging about music we can be our own worst enemy – not taking the time to have a real emotional relationship with the artists or the albums we really love in our haste to get our latest discoveries heard by other people.

    What we’ve got to do is ease back into that space – if not with our writing then at least with our listening: chuck ‘Rumours’ or ‘Tusk’ on the stereo and rekindle your love affair with Christine McVie’s voice; remember why you first got into hip hop (‘Midnight Marauders’ by A Tribe Called Quest – or whatever). Nowadays listening to an entire album, start to finish, is like going back in time.

    And what Ted said is so true: it’s a great way of discovering – or rediscovering for that matter – which bands or artists are really good, not just one-track wonders.

    I’m all about appreciation of the album and it’s good to see others feel the same way.

    That’s it! Great post.

  • Sam D

    If there were a nail to hit on the head, it’d be hurting right now. I find myself having to consciously take hype machine breaks to listen to Sgt Pepper’s. I especially realized how much I missed the concept of the album when Miike Snow came on shuffle. I had had their CD in my car for a couple months straight a while ago and hearing just brought me back to that time entirely.

    I’m not gonna waste more of your time with any more personal drabble though, I just agree completely. Thanks for loving music as much as I do.

  • http://neonmusicalinsight.com Chris

    Tis very true. Everybody has really made great points. The problem that I find myself encountering is since there is so sooo much new music out there, it has to REALLY impress me on it’s first listen for me to return — or offer some bit of alluring mystery to it — which I’m consciously not really cool with.

    There have been a ton of great records that I’ve had to spend a bit of time with to allow them to actually “grow” on me — hell, I remember there being a time where I didn’t get Morrissey’s voice, now I have the man’s name tattooed on my arm : )

    I also think what the first commenter Bruce said rings very true. As bloggers, we need to step back from the music and spend time with it, not view it as apart of our business — that could have something to do with why my blog hasn’t been updated in a week, ha. It’s something I, and I think most ppl who are this big of music fans battle with very often. Just try to keep your priorities in check!

  • http://www.tankboyprime.blogspot.com tankboy

    I’ve written about music for going on 20 years now, and never before have I had to dig through so much. And yes, we are losing the simple pleasure of — and critical acuity provided by — submerging ourselves in whole albums for extended periods of time. And that is a tragedy. And yes, maybe it is time to proactively work to turn that tide back the other way, as much as is possible on this brand new landscape.

  • http://shellster129.blogspot.com/ Mich

    I completely agree. This year I took a major step back from trying to listen to as much new music as I could and went back to truly enjoying just a few. I’m happier. I like music again. The magic of truly stumbling upon something great is back. It started to feel so forced that I wasnt having fun anymore, and that is how I know when to walk away, or at least take a major step back. I may not become the career writer I dreamed of, but there is more heart and quality in my fewer pieces these days.

  • http://49suns.de/ juliaL49

    Really great post and I feel the same – well more as a reader but still. I have gigabytes of (free) downloads accumulated that I never listen to. So three years ago I started a little project that I have repeated every year since: for three months I buy no music (and no dvds but that is a different subject) and listen to albums I already own more intensly like I used to. This year though the effect was muddled a bit by Spotify but it still works. In the beginning I still had the nagging feeling if I was choosing the right albums to listen to but that soon subsided because deciding this just isn’t possible. Letting go of the urge to know everything is one part of the experience.

    Like Bruce already suggested, you just have to force yourself to do this. Maybe it works for you, maybe it doesn’t but at least you made the effort and that alone is a great feeling.

  • Jayden

    “Music is the vernacular of the human soul.” – Geoffrey Latham

    Truthfully, I’m surprised; after being sincerely interested and up to date with this blog, I would think you’re the complete opposite of what you’re currently putting into context. I will only listen to the band/artist unless I enjoy the full LP/EP. Music has been there for me throughout the hardest and most emotional times in my life. Whether it do with females, family, distresses and life troubles. When I listen to music I never listen to one track, I have to listen to the full album, on top of that, I need to know what the album consists of. What the artists were trying to get across, what the album truly means. For example, one that recently touched me the most was Hospice. Honest to god I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much if I didn’t know what the meaning of the album was, the story behind it, or the emotional distraught the lead singer of The Antlers went through during the creation of the album and the final stages of production.
    What Im trying to get at is… basically… exactly what you’ve realized in yourself. And if I could give any advice, it’s simply get back to your roots. However, when writing a blog and keeping up to date, I’m sure taking long, thoughtful and emotional time into listening to an album takes away from the competiveness of music blogging.
    Other than that, this is the first time I’ve responded to one of your blog entries and let me finish this reponse by saying, you’re a wonderful blogger and I’ve cherished everything I’ve researched on this blog and I love comparing thoughts and critiques on the same discovered albums/songs throughout these past couple years.

    One Love dude,
    -Jayden

  • Will

    @Jayden

    -Well thanks for being so dedicated to my blog, I appreciate it. I truly do.

    Dont get me wrong, I listen to albums all day, every day. I hope people are not mistaking this post as my way of admitting I’m going away for the LP. That’s far from the truth.

    I’m just so overwhlemed by how many albums there are to listen to, that I feel like I’m starting to loose sight on falling in love with a select few albums rather than hearing and enjoying many at once.

    Maybe I need to breath like Bruce said and find my roots again. Maybe I need a break from blogging?

    I don’t know, but hopefully I’ll figure it out soon!

    Anyway, my point is: I love the album and I am never going to lose that love. It’s just I gotta find a way to rightfully digest all of these albums. That’s all.

  • http://deadendstr.wordpress.com/ Robby

    I agree 100%, miss the time when you actually saved up your money to go and but that ONE album and you just listen to it and you found out all the the things that made it that record, everything that made it so great. You took YOUR time. Great records will still come and go, but no GREAT records will ever be released again…

  • http://dailybeatz.com/ chris

    So true. I was just thinking about this today as I looked at the ever growing list of albums that I’ve been trying to get around to listening to, meanwhile all the albums before have only gotten a few listens. I think I have a favorite album of the year though, and it is no coincidence that it’s the one that I’ve been able to spend the most time with.

    But I guess the problem is that I don’t know what to do about it, because when 10 people tell me how great an album is, I certainly want to give it a listen.

  • http://therecommender.net THE RECOMMENDER BLOG

    Music bloggers are busy folk, often holding down ‘real’ jobs, or school careers, whilst attempting to blog every day. In order to find new content to blog about you have to search music out and that often takes a lot of time, so all in all in it sounds as though it’s a time issue.

    This is particularly problematic if the blogger tries to be first, or simply not late, with the bands they’re writing about. To keep on top of it all it seems the chase is constantly on, forcing the blogger to put down what they were looking at so they can pick up on the next one. Their attention is forced onto the next thing on a daily basis.

    But there’s a wider issue at hand here. There’s less focus on albums as a collective piece of work, as people select which single mp3 to buy/download etc. In a world where we can drag and drop around iTunes folders and double click the track we want on Hype Machine or Spotify, it seems that we skip around like girls in a school yard. It seems criminal now that I think about it, but I now have a Radiohead playlist, with a selection all of my favourite tracks of theirs across the albums, so I simply play that instead of, say, OK Computer in it’s entirety! WTF! We’ve become expert ‘filler removers’! The problem is that albums are magical in their entirety – take Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars, or Sargeant Peppers – they simply demand to be listened to from start to finish. Are we losing context through our shuffle buttons?

    Are there more LPs released now than before or are we simply more in touch with things than we used to be? I honestly don’t know the answer. The way the heads of industry moan you would imagine that they’re investing less in music these days. I guess the ability to bypass the labels means that ‘bedroom artists’ are reaching us more than ever before.

    Various comments have correctly raised the issue that we are in fact living in an ever-more disposable world, a ‘throw-away culture’, with rapidly changing environments and trends. We all know instantly and are better informed, more quickly, than ever before. This is the result of a an internet world that focusses on improving communication constantly – it’s never been easier to keep in touch, but is this at the expense of standing still. Are we always looking ahead and no longer looking around? If people keep passing you things, you have to let go of what you were initially holding onto.

    This is none more evident than in the Simon Cowell world of pop, which creates music with the sole intention of generating the maximum amount of money. Extreme commercialisation forces the producers to focus less on the long term and more on the short term gains, so they force feed us the next single, the next best thing, the next star and doesn’t ever allow time for growth or gestation. It’s the music equivelant of battery farming! This changes the mindset of the wider public over time and the results of decades of this have resulted in a borader reduction in our patience. Even those people who care about this pop struggle to remember last years X-Factor winner, right?

    Saying all this, I suspect that we still have the power to choose. It’s a dangerous mindset to always look forwards and never stand still. We can choose to to pause if we want to and to take the time to melt into a good album. It’s almost impossible to put down the new Foals or Everything Everything LPs mid-listen, so they’re still being written. It’s up to us.

    Make the time, change the mindset, don’t panic about missing anything and try to remember the rewards you once received from investing your time in a good album.

    Either that, or like me, don’t blog every day, so you have more time (or you could instead give up work/school? lol)

    …or you can totally cave in and enjoy the simple pleasures of a ‘shuffle button’.

    Thanks
    Mike
    @ TheRecommender.net

  • thomas

    this was wonderful.
    we live in a society that doesn’t appreciate “ALBUMS” in the first place. Singles are all that really matter these days. I’m a big fan of spending days and days obsessing over an album like Illinoise or In Ear Park, or Pet Sounds or whathaveyou.
    my point being that even though we live in an age where the music business is dead, and ‘good’ music really is hard to find, im glad that people can still appreciate the art of a wonderful album

  • http://doublehawkmusic.blogspot.com/ Double Hawk

    I found that once I started my blog and began reviewing music, I spent so much more time with the album than I would have normally. Usually, I would just listen to the one song I bought the CD for or just listen to it once and never again. But when I write reviews, I have to listen to the album several times to really get an honest/accurate review of it. My favorite albums that I still to this day play on repeat were discovered and processed that way. I haven’t reviewed as much recently and I find that that has caused me to not look into bands like I used to, and that saddens me. There are still those albums (whole albums) though that stuck with me, that left such a major impression, but with people focused on singles so extremely, no one is going to discover the brilliance of certain bands.

    This post was awesome, thank you.

  • Nina

    Up until high school it was all about the album for me — playing The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Squeeze, The Band, Marshall Crenshaw, The Grateful Dead (I’m an oldies dork)…I only had physical CDs of these bands, and an old Walkman, and that’s how I listened to music. But come high school and mp3 players, I turned to the internet and lost touch with connecting songs with albums. I don’t know whether this was a good thing or a bad thing (or just a thing thing) but I tended to forget about bands and songs once they were off my mp3 player, getting lost among the thousands of other mp3s. As my listening habits changed when I got to college last fall, though, I returned to the album. It’s true that I rarely pop a CD into my computer or car stereo (although I do buy tons of cds), but I listen to bands by album much more often than I used to. That’s how this past year I came to connect with specific albums, not only songs. What I’ve found, though, is that this causes me to go through intense phases where I listen almost exclusively to one album for about a week, and then play it all the way through at least once every other day for the next month or so. It’s a lot of the same thing, but that’s how I listen to new albums by bands I love now. For bands that aren’t my “top favorites”, though, sometimes it’s still only about select songs.

    It’s interesting, though. I am beginning to see my listening habits changing into something obsessive. My latest thing is playing albums 2 or 3 times in a row. It’s worse with songs; I’ve listened to Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome” close to 200 times in the last three days, and I’m not exaggerating (thanks, last.fm.)

    Overall, I don’t think what I’m saying is completely relevant to your post. But when I read what you typed, this was my initial reaction.

    Jeez, I just read through what i wrote, and it’s kinda dumb. I hope you can make some sense of it. I just spent over an hour reading a 19th century Russian novel in translation. My brain’s a bit foggy, hah. Hope you can find a way to deal with the overwhelming supply of music out there! just keep sharing it with the rest of us through your blog — as long as it makes you happy. :-)

    –Nina

  • Eliza

    I love the album. I really do. But do you think that because albums are so easy to churn out in the modern music world that quality has gone down? It’s hard to listen to full albums sometimes because only a few songs are worth it. I think there have been a handful of albums this year that have three or four really good songs. I miss the days when I felt attached to every single track. I also feel that so much of music culture today is focused on consumption rather than on digestion. There is pressure to go through as much music as possible as quickly as possible and always be at the front of the wave. There is hardly time to let music settle within. Everyone who loves music and actively partakes in music discovery is susceptible to this. And I don’t know if there is a solution. Thank you so much for your insight. I think that your followers are ready to follow you wherever you take your blog.

  • http://clickthat.blogspot.com Bencky@msn.com

    Wow…I Had The Same Feeling…Yesterday October 6th…haha what a coincidence! i definitely agree with you, there’s no such thing like listening to an album and havin the feelin that it grows on you and you know you’ll listen to it for the next 3 weeks because it’s just getting better! (sorry for my english i usually speak french)

  • Andrew

    Just adding to the chorus that appreciates the post and agrees with the sentiment. I spend a lot of time with my music. It’s playing through my computer most of my work day, in the car on the way home, in my ears when I walk the dogs, and on my nightstand when I fall asleep. In all that time with my music, I am constantly rethinking what I’m playing, wishing I had more time to really listen to a new artist, and regretting leaving behind cherished favorites. There just isn’t enough time in the day for all the music I want to hear. I’ve only had this feeling for a few years – the few years that I have had virtually unlimited access to any music I want. I’m beginning to wish I had fewer choices, but I have no idea how I could make that happen.

  • http://www.getbombshell.com Teri

    I still put CD’s in may car with only one or two options to choose from. I forces me to listen and develop a relationship with the music and consequently forces my kids to do so as well!

  • Jessi

    I feel the exact same way. I find that I sometimes have to shut my brain off, lock myself in a dark, cold room and force myself to listen to one or two records over and over again. At least I know I’m not alone in this!

  • kat

    Want to agree with you entirely.I work in the music industry within the a&r field and music supervision, but unlike many folk, where it’s about capitol gain – I agree with you entirely. There is a strong lack of focus on the the listening of the album from start to finish. It is totally unfortunate, a hit for me isn’t the one song that gets radio play, and media exposure. A hit is the memory that remains of the music ten years after…something that is created by sitting with an album…not through a click, download, save it to the latest playlist..
    your blog is great, i’m a fan, thank you.

  • Michael

    Agreed. I often finding myself compiling to do lists for new albums that I need to listen to. I then often find myself listening to it just once or twice so that I can say I crossed it off the list. I’m not getting the full experience I don’t think, which is probably a shame because I’m sure there’s some really good stuff that I’ve probably missed out on because of this.

  • Markus

    Hi Will, I agree with you. I would describe myself as a an “after-work” listener and my Last.fm accounts tells me that my daily listenings are at an average of 22 Songs.
    After work I get home, have dinner and get to check Mails, Facebook, Music Blogs etc. . I discovered with your help some really good stuff that I wouldn`t miss anymore.
    I have difficulties to really get trough the amount of new&fresh stuff that are out there in the blogosphere. I follow 5-6 music blogs (PMA, Indieshuffle, etc.) and every day there is a new hot fresh must listen to song or band.

    So, I sit on my desk and there are 15 new songs every day that I should listen to because its on yours or others blogs. From this 15 new songs are 1-3 that really attach my interest so I give them a second try. At the end I have listenend to 20 Songs (daily Last.fm average 22 Songs) and maybe 1 or 2 are really really do it in my Itunes. If I don`t make it one day to check the new stuff it staples for the next day and so on.

    Your problem is my problem too. I don´t have the time to get deeper in albums I really like. After 1 or 2 full-listenings there is something new out there. There is no time to give an old classic The Doors, Bruce Springsteen etc. a listen because you have to listen to the new fresh stuff. I think you understand what I want to describe.

    Maybe you should do slower, more exclusive. Your have a lot of followers and readers and in my opinion you shouldn´t post every new band or song. To make it on your blog should be more exclusive, exclusive for the Band that made it to your Blog and exclusive to your followers. You have to decide if a song really has the “special tune” to make it on your blog. Do more filtering.

    One last point, maybe you can create something like a weekly roundup. News, Artists, Songs that were really on your mind this week. And then you could add a mixtape with YOUR 10-15 Songs of the week. This could be new songs but also older songs that you`re listening to. From artists we know for a long time and new artists. Your know what I mean.
    Because on Sundays i have a lot of time and really ould listen to your exclusive collection.
    (sorry for my grammar and mistakes i made)

    Greetings from Germany

    Markus

  • Will

    Markus,

    You seem to have hit the nail on the head. We’re pretty much on the same page.

    I used to do like a weekly round up of cool songs from my inbox but stopped once my inbox got back logged. I also have been considering doing mixtapes/playlists in order to help filter all the good songs and put them in one place for people.

    All in all, having too much good music to listen to is a good problem to have, isn’t it?

  • Desolatejoy

    Hi Will,
    It’s heart warming to see your piece getting such a strong & positive response. As you have said it goes to show that there are alot of music fans, who differ in the way they digest tunes, but are feeling the way you expressed in your writing.
    For my part ,as someone who regularly consumes their musical input via the internet or radio, it seems that the industry has lost a way to regulate itself. At a time where there is no commercially strong scene or dominant rock/indie group(s) major labels have swaned off to Pop-sville where they know they can generate quick cash whilst waiting for the next great leap forward. This isn’t all bad as it has redirected the power back into the hands of independant labels (see Sonovox with Arcade Fire etc) but what it has meant is that, we the music listener, are left sifting through reams of bands that would have previously been vetted by big label bigwigs. In a sense we have become our very own A&R men!
    Again this has brought many positives to the fore with blogs like yours being a good example, but what it has shown up is that we are not good censors. That major label bigwig? If he doesn’t get a semi & see dollar signs from playing a bands e.p. then he bins it.Where as we, the kinder, gentler music fan would probably give them a mention & maybe even ask them to forward the album for a review when its done!
    And I think this is where Markus is right…perhaps it’s time that your site cranked up it’s objectiveness. Become more exclusive. Allowed your choices to reflect WHO YOU ARE & not just whats making waves this week. It’s a hard thing to do because you want to give everyone a chance but you shouldn’t feel bad about ditching a song that doesn’t make you want to spend 45 minutes of your time entranced by the album it came from. Hell, when I was Rock & Pop buyer at my local HMV store we’d not listen to an album if we thought the FRONT COVER was rubbish! Stupid I know, but you must have faith that if the music is good enough it will find you in the end.
    Less is more as they say.
    Here’s hoping you can re-ignite your musical mojo ;->

    Don’t forget to check in on me every now & again at http//:dontbelieveinbeatles.blogspot.com (if you have the time ;->)




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