Too many CDs, too little music

I didn't mention 900 cds in my previous post just to ostentatiously brag. I spent a good chunk of my salary on music from the time I was first employed - not out of any desire to outdo anyone, but out of pure obsession. I listened to all of it. Great swaths of music, all day, every day. The genres changed over time - a lot of it was IDM, at first, and then I graduated to indie rock, and then Canadian post-rock... I had a hunger for music that I found constant feed for, on the local radio stations of the South Bay (the regions only redeeming feature) and the recommendations of friends.

But then, at some point, it all dried up. I don't know if I got jaded, or if the music genuinely changed, or if I'm just turning into one of those old people who only listen to their old Smiths albums, but I just haven't listened to much music in the last few years - and I've bought even less.

I sometimes wonder how many CDs I bought just because I heard they were good, and listened to them out of some kind of obligation. Now, I pre-screen anything I might purchase. soulseek is my music sharing application of preference (and in fact, you can find my library there as [redacted]). It lets me discover that no, I don't like Coheed and Cambria. No, I don't like Wolfmother, no matter how hyped. Yes, I do actually like Bloc Party.

I think the last album I actually bought was Ladytron - Witching Hour. It's a gorgeously constructed, anthemic, haunting album that I've been listening to for at least six months.

Six months? That should be decades in music years! I should have gone through at least thirty discs since then.

In an email conversation with my friend Kasey, he wondered why he likes some things and doesn't like others. "Context," I posited. The same way that certain visual aesthetics were charming in 2002 and are tired and old now, things get a tarnish of banality once they've been around for a while, once everything looks the same. The quest for novelty is exhausting, and I don't have the expendable income I once did.

Maybe I'll have to settle for a new album I love every six months, a couple a year. I don't feel bad for the music I download and try out - my closet full of plastic discs tells me I've tithed my share to the music industry, and I've earned the privilege of screening out things I'd stop listening to after a week anyway.

When the RIAA men come to my door, I'm using the "Insanity Due to Boring Music" defense. Wait for the headlines.

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