I love music. Regular readers of this blog will know and understand this. An early post of mine discussed how music influences me, or more specifically, what music and writing have in common, to me anyway. I’ve blogged on music lots of times, although not too much recently. I’m always hearing new things I like on radio Sirius XMU, or reading about music that sounds interesting in Mojo magazine or on Pitchfork. So I like getting hold of it. I’m mostly talking about albums here. The snob in me looks down on just buying individual tracks. I’m an old timer in that sense. You can tell I’m a music fan when I love the album over downloading seemingly random tracks.
My current dilemma involves buying new music. Although I prefer CDs (for the quality of the format), I’m quite willing to try new music as downloads, especially when the price is good, that always seems to serve as a good introduction. But naughty Amazon.com keeps putting albums on a $5 or sometimes even less, price. So what is a music fan to do I ask you? Ok I shall give you the answer. Buy some music. Bring it on…
So I both do, and did. And you know what, it’s great. Problem is, when you get a new album, especially a half decent, or good, or great one, they take four or five listens to really open up and to begin to get to know the songs a bit. Your mind needs time to decode the layers. Usually a song that sounds great straight away, rarely lasts that long, before fading into the sometimes played. So time is needed to play new music, to fall for the lyrics, the melodies, the beat, the timbre, or whatever facet grabs you most. And I’m now getting a bit of a backlog of albums I’m trying to familiarise myself with. Here is a list of recent buys, loosely grouped into genres although admittedly some could cross into several groups:
Pop / Folk
- The idler wheel is wiser than the driver of the screw and whipping cords will serve you more than ropes will ever do – Fiona apple
- What we saw from the cheap seats – Regina Spector
- Thats’s why God made the radio – The Beach Boys
- Yours trully cellophane nose – Beth jeans houghton
- Home again – Michael Kiwanuku
- Tramp – Sharon Van etten
- Valtari – Sigur Ros
- Bloom – Beach house
- Master of my make-believe – Santigold
- Dr dee – Damon albarn
- Huh? – Spiritualized
Rock / Alternative
- Maraqopa – Damien jurado
- Oceania – The Smashing pumpkins
- Neck of the woods – Silversun pickups
- Open Your Heart – The Men
- Celebration rock – Japandroids
- Ghostory – School of seven bells
- Funeral Blues – Mark Lanegan
- Blunderbuss – Jack White
Dance / Soul
- Hurry up, we’re dreaming – M83
- Wonky – Orbital
- The bravest man in the universe – Bobby Womack
This particular pair are open headphones which means if you are sitting nearby you will also be able to hear what is being played. But as anyone familiar with how headphones work can tell you, you can get a much better sound out of open headphones than you can closed ones. It is to do with the airflow. These headphones really are fabulous, they do a great job of opening up the sound, great clarity on instruments, great separation, they introduce things you have not noticed before. As a downside, they also show up when MP3 quality can be bad (the detail isn’t in the file to play), or when something has a dense mix and the separation is not there. These headphones are great, noticeably different from e.g. a $50 pair. An upgrade from my older pair Grado Labs Sr60i (also very good). And more encouragement to buy more music. Oh well, I love music, what can I do.
Music. It’s my addiction. Am I addicted to buying new music? Well of course, and old music as well. I love it. It is entertaining and inspiring in so many ways. If only I had time to do it justice. This addiction I’m ok with. Oh by the way, suggestions for other new good music are welcome below.
Lexicon word of the day: pudendum.