Well, Some Things Haven't Changed
What's amazing (and absolutely obvious, depending on how you look at it) is that I listen to music differently now. I mean, my teenage ears don't have very much in common with my soon-to-be 30 year old ears.
I've only just discovered this.
Through the use of iTunes.
Hopefully, this'll be the last painfully obvious discovery I'll have to make. At least for awhile. Kelli laughs at me. "Like a baby taking its first steps," she tells me. "Pretty funny considering where you work," she says.
Yes, yes, I know. But let me explain. When I was younger, and just becoming familiar with certain bands (Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr., and more) and just becoming familiar with a certain instrument (the electric guitar), all I listened for was how loud, how distorted, how mutated through effects and playing style a guitar could be. The bands I listened to were perfect texts for such study, innovators of the shape and sound of the electric guitar. I learned a lot, I think.
But I swear: I never even heard bass. Seriously, bass didn't exist to me. (Sorry, JA.) Drums were an afterthought. Vocals were either good or bad. I either sang along, or I didn't. And anything else was probably either cool or weird. I just didn't care very much. This is not to say that my love for the music was a sham. I loved the music very much, I loved it passionately and furiously. I simply wasn't hearing it all.
My recent addiction to iTunes has got me searching deep into my collection of music, listening to albums I hadn't even thought about in years. Jon Spencer's Extra Width, Mudhoney's Piece of Cake, and The Flaming Lips' Clouds Taste Metallic are sitting on my desk right now.
And they sound better than ever. There's more to them than just guitar, you know. I listen differently, I hear differently. This is what I've learned. Simple, but wonderful. Imagine my shock when I heard marimba on a Mudhoney album.
It was as weird and wild to me as when I saw Mudhoney's Dan Peters sitting at the bar before a late '90s gig at Maxwell's, drinking a martini. A martini?! Sean and I, clutching our bottles of Bud, made jokes and silently mocked.