I am advancing in age. As I get older, my mind wanders. A disturbing trend has made its way into my morning and afternoon commutes.
Well into my foray of interstate travel, time will elapse as I drift off, only to come to attention after listening to Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall" for 5 minutes without realizing it.
Worse yet, there have been times my mind has come to attention just as I hear Norman Gilliland say "you just heard Beethoven's energetic (name a movement)". Beethoven used to be so exciting, and now it’s become boring...
As the music plays in the background at work or on my commute, I drift off to daydreams. Usually thinking about how I could have one upped my co-worker when he got a dig on me or what I am going to eat this weekend.
I have thousands (yes thousands) of recordings. Every format. Tons of equipment. I take music seriously. And yet, I am numb.
Once in a very great while, I still get goose bumps when the right notes click for me. But it is only under the right conditions. And that is exclusively when I am devoting myself to listening. No exceptions. Sorry to all you youngsters who think your phones and cheap headphones are giving you the full experience. They aren't.
Listening to music is like reading a book. You really can't do it when you are doing something else. Jogging, working out, studying with music on is not listening to music.
Sadly, music has become the background noise that is the soundtracks of our lives. It isn't singular. It has become a condiment. Music is filet mignon that has been ground into hamburger for our fast food sensibilities and consumption. I blame technology. The digital era made it too damn easy to make music portable, accessible and misused.
I used to think about getting home to listen to music on my stereo while traveling. Over saturation has numbed the desire to dust off my records. Old records. People don't really make much music anymore. I know that is an old person thing to say, but it is true. There is such little money in creating a recording that will be distributed digitally for free upon its release that artists don't do it much anymore.
No more midnight sales at the record shop. No more record shops.
Just 256 kbps streams, that flow through the ears, barely touching your soul.
(Now get off my lawn)