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.

Stephen Mejias's picture

Believe it or not, I'm walking on air. I never thought I could feel so free-ee-ee...Thanks for that.

Ariel Bitran's picture

While iTunes can open up your music to you, I find it also addicts me to some very random songs (which end up making their way to my top 25 played.) One includes Joey Scarbury's "Theme from Greatest American Hero (Believe it or Not)." Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" has been played way way way too many times.

Ariel Bitran's picture

I'm flying away on a wing and a prayer.Who could it be. Believe it or not, its just me!(we should have all the readers post a line)

Al Marcy's picture

Life keeps getting better. Even if deaths make us lonelier and illness makes us less active. 'Can't get no worse', never liked it, ever. Being amazed doesn't mean you're stupid. Staying pissed off means you're stupid :)