on music…

After all these years, I still haven’t worked out how to write convincingly about music. It always has been, and remains, one of those things where two parts of the brain don’t seem to connect and produce the right output. Yesterday I was trying to describe Sufjan Steven’s “Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois” (my most played song in 2005, according to iTunes), but only came up with cliched rubbish that didn’t really convey the sense of the music at all. It’s a cool song, though. I actually spent the flights to and from Madison listening to Come on Feel the Illinoise! on the iPod, which seemed appropriate. I’m tempted to say that Illinoise was my favorite album of 2005, but that honor probably belongs to Blinking Lights by The Eels. Check ’em both out. I did have one disturbing realisation about music this morning. I was reading the latest issue of Mojo, which listed their Top 50 albums of the year. I had maybe thirty of them. Am I only buying albums because they’re well reviewed? Maybe? Sounds shallow, though. sigh.

Speaking of shallow, I bought my first cd of 2006 yesterday: Nickel Creek’s Why Should the Fire Die? I’m using it to test a thought that I had about the iPod. I love iPod, but does it lead to you not listening to albums, just songs? I think it does. I mean, I’ve had some of the year’s best reviewed (ha ha, see?) albums on the iPod for a while, but have no real sense of them as albums. Rather, I know songs here and songs there. It’s something I’m going to keep an eye on.

I do have one music-related New Year’s Resolution. I intend to buy/consume less music this year than I did last year. Why? I’m adding new music to my collection faster than I can listen to it, which seems dumb to me. So, I’m going to list here all the new music I buy, and monitor whether I actually listed to it. Or, at least, I will until I get bored with doing it, which seems to be how New Year’s Resolutions work anyhow .

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