Nothing So Out of the Ordinary, Exactly
"Nuh-uh," I shook my head.
"You should check it out. I think John'll have some stuff that'll interest you."
"Alright," I nodded.
Wes was right.
At CES, I found that there were some rooms dedicated to gear: brightly lit displays, shimmering faceplates and glowing tubes, long tables covered in press kits, cheese plates, and wine. Not that there's anything wrong with that; I love cheese plates and wine. But then there were rooms dedicated to music: simple systems put together in the most efficient manner with rows of seats filled by music-lovers shuffling through discs, waiting their turns to act as DJ, wanting to listen to and share their favorite tracks. These were the rooms I felt most comfortable in. I immediately felt comfortable in the DeVore Fidelity room. There was no sales pitch, no awkward divide. There was a handshake, a smile, and an invitation to enjoy some music. I could forget my press badge, and simply listen. John was demoing a track from a Cat Power LP, I believe, when I walked in.
I knew that Wes liked John DeVore's speakers. I mean, I knew that Wes thought they were good. But, to be honest, I didn't know what that meant, exactly. I was overwhelmed by ideas of what I should be doing, and how I should be doing, and why I should be doing. This was my first CES, and I wasn't sure what I should be listening for. I shake my head at myself now, as I type. There's nothing so out of the ordinary, exactly, to be listening for. I know what music sounds like, after all. I should be listening for music. But I liked John DeVore's approach, and I liked the way people gathered in his room with bundles of CDs. That was good, it seemed to me.
And so: I came back day after day.
And I listened.