I never feel older than I do when I think about my music listening habits. When I was younger I kept up with what was new in music– at least, the kinds of music I enjoyed. Starting at about the age of twenty, however, I found myself settling on a few acts I really enjoyed and not having patience for listening to much else. Now, in my late thirties, I listen to much of the same stuff I listened to in college, with a few other new discoveries mixed in. I “discover” a new act once every three years or so, long after the rest of the world did and got tired of it.
I am un-hip. Worse, I am formerly hip.
What I have learned, though, is that my relationship to music is very intimate. Music has never really been, for me, a way to be cool or to identify the clique to which I belong. I listen to a song or a piece of music over and over again until it becomes a part of me. It gets under my skin, in my flesh, and it stays there for years, for forever.
I have led a discontinuous life, a life in fragments. It hardly seems like the life of one person. I read over it like a book and it reads about like this. Music, though, has provided some constant framework. It helps me sort through the spaghetti-factory explosion of my existence.
Over the next month I am going to write a series of blog posts organized around songs and the stories and ideas I have attached to them. I can’t promise how often or how many of these I shall write. I also can’t promise that they will all be similar to one another. The first one will be embarrassingly personal, but not all of them will be. If you don’t like one, keep reading; perhaps the next one will be better.
So. Sit back, and if your mental radio can tune in 1970, find the station playing the Velvet Underground and settle in. It is time to remember some things.