Sunday, November 27, 2005

Oooo, Look at that Shiny Thing Over There...


So I have decided/realized that I have music ADD. There was a point in my life when not only could I enjoy sitting through a whole album, I would listen to that album over-and-over-and-over-and-over-and-over-and-drive-everyone-around-me-completely-nuts. But that's how I enjoy most things... obsessively. At least until I get sick of it and move on to something else.

I have always loved soundtracks because the variation in music keeps me from getting bored. However, MP3s have completely changed how I listen to music. Now that I have approximately 50 gigs of music, I still do listen obsessively to stuff I love, but it's on a smaller scale now. Rather than an entire album, I now wear the hell out of individual tracks. I usually load up my library and set it on random, unless I'm really in the mood for something in particular. I've come to enjoy such variety in my own music that sometimes even listening to the radio is irritating. I find it very difficult and somewhat grating to listen to an entire album if it's not a compilation or soundtrack, even if I really like the artist. Not counting mixes, the last album I was truly obsessive about was a couple of years ago; Fallen by Evanescence, which I had on constant play in my car for at least a month.

What's funny is that while I accept that 50 gigs is a ton of music, I find that I can never have enough. Even though iTunes says I have enough music to play for 31.3 days straight without hearing the same track twice, without periodic infusions of new music, I would get bored. I know almost every single song and album I have in such a way that hearing it repeatedly makes me itchy to listen to something else. When I travel, I have to select my music very carefully. I have only 3.74 gigs of space for tracks on my iPod and while that's fine for a short journey, after a month I'm thinking about how I can't wait to get home so I can hear other stuff. I've come to love as much variety as possible at home. In the car, I just want to rock out to stuff with good beats.

I don't know how my brain keeps track of all of this music, like remembering all the songs I've heard on my iPod, but I do think I have a musical aptitude that manifests itself in unusual ways. I've played a few instruments and I can tell you that I'm not gifted in the traditional sense (i.e. being in a symphony is probably not in my future). However, I'm pretty good with wind instruments -- I was able to play "Taps" open-key on a trumpet the first time I picked one up -- and I can read music, but if you played a random note, I probably wouldn't be able to identify it. I can't play things by ear and I also am hopeless at composing music, although I honestly wish I had that ability.

What I can do is rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I'm no Mozart or Beethoven, no musical genius in the classic sense. I do have a weird memory for music. I can hear part of a song and most of the time, sometimes without hearing the singer's voice, I know immediately who sings it. I also am really good at picking out subtle musical threads within a song and identifying all of the instruments used. This is really fun in songs where unusual instruments are used, cause I get such a geeky thrill from being able to identify things.

I have DJed a few parties and I found I was totally in my element. I had a blast doing it and I can't even express how much I have always secretly hoped an opportunity would come up to get a job or training as a DJ. Play with music and get paid for it? No-brainer! Now that I think about it, I guess that's part of why I make so many mixes.. because my inner DJ is just whimpering to be let out. ;)

Anyhoo, I added a link to my last.fm profile (previously known as AudioScrobbler). Last.fm is a pretty cool (and free) music social network that connects you to other people with similar musical tastes. It runs in conjunction with an AudioScrobbler plugin you use with your MP3 player, which, as you listen to music, sends the artist and song information to the last.fm server. Your user page keeps track of various statistics and uses that to connect you to 'neighbors' who are those with music tastes close to yours. You can also find a group to join if you feel like being social and talking about music and stuff. You can keep a music journal, listen to streaming radio, and a ton of more features. I really like it and I find it strangely addicting. Maybe it's the marriage of my two loves: Music and Lists.

Lastly, I just want to say that I am unhealthilty in love with the Rilo Kiley song I posted previously. Lurve it.

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