February 07, 2005

MUSIC: Silence and a Sampler

When I started this blog a few weeks back, I expected that I would post more about the music I listen to, and have been trying to figure out why I don't.

What it boils down to, I think, is that music affects me in a different way than the other forms of entertainment I talk about here (books, movies, TV). When I read a book, or watch a movie/TV show, there's a part of my mind that's enjoying the experience (or not), but on a different level I'm thinking about why I'm enjoying (or not).

I've never learned to do that with music. It hits me at a deeper level, I think, and moves me in ways that I can't consciously think about while it's happening. When it's over, you can ask me what I liked, and I might be able to say this singer has a terrific voice, or that piano riff made me chuckle, but I'm not going to get much deeper than that. I'm not generally going to be able to talk about how skillful the arrangement is, or how well the guitarist plays, or how well the album holds together as a grand statement on Theme X.

(For that matter, I'm not going to be talking about "the album" at all; I'm a song-oriented guy. If there's one three-minute chunk of perfection on a record, I don't care whether anything else works at all.)

And I suppose I could post more often, even if all I have to say is "I liked it!" Who knows, maybe the experience of making myself say something would teach me to be more articulate and analytical about the reasons. My fear, I think, is that it might also rob me of the experience of being immersed in a piece of music; turning on the analytical part of my brain might just detach me from the music more than I'd like.

An interesting puzzle, which will no doubt keep my mind occupied as I listen to music in the future.

And since I haven't done one of these in a while, a snapshot of the music collection courtesy of iTunes shuffle mode:

Buck Owens, “Waitin’ in Your Welfare Line”
ABBA, “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do”
Jane Siberry & k.d. lang, “Calling All Angels”
Lynn Anderson, “Rose Garden”
The Crystals, “He’s a Rebel”
The Capris, “Morse Code of Love”
Martyn Joseph, “Thunder and Rainbows”
Thelma Houston, “Don’t Leave Me This Way”
Grand Drive, “A Little Like You”
Andrew Ratshin, “Roses From the Wrong Man”
The Temptations, “I Know I’m Losing You”
Marshall Crenshaw, “Mary Anne”
The Weather Girls, “It’s Raining Men”
Bob Luman, “Let’s Think About Living”
Los Lonely Boys, “Heaven”
Billie Jo Spears, “Blanket on the Ground”
Vanity Fare, “Hitchin’ a Ride”
The Supremes, “Stop! in the Name of Love”
Elton John, “Too Low for Zero”
Ricky Nelson, “Lonesome Town”

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