Oh, sure, I played it - while I was washing dishes, on the computer, or reading. And I was quite proud of my mid-fi stereo set-up, which seemed to signify the domestic comforts I'd gained after a few very, very hard post-college years. It probably cost about a grand - not chump change, by my or any reasonable standards. And let me tell you, that stereo played loud. But the funny thing was, I would never sit down and actually listen to a record or cd. I always felt antsy. I'd turn it up real loud when I first put it on, then gradually decrease the volume. Then, usually, I'd go do something else - fold laundry or watch TV or something.
I was aware of the problem, but I figured I was just getting older - that my powers of concentration weren't what they used to be. And if I was really excited about music - like when I got heavily into chamber music soon after I bought my stereo, or when a friend turned me on to pre-1940s blues - I could still listen to music for hours. I just needed to really, really like the music.
It wasn't what it was like when I was a kid, though. Why was it when I was a kid I could sit there and just listen to an album? Why did a crappy dubbed tape borrowed from a friend and played on a Walkman seem to deliver such immeasurable delights? Growing up in northern New Hampshire, a new album was an event, a postcard from another world. And ten years later, correspondence from Planet Music had grown pretty sporadic. Having a great time. Wish you were here. XOX Music. "
To read more, buy issue one.