As is often the case, this post, How do I consume my music?, was inspired by old buddy Greg Burgas’ post. Before I get to the crux of the matter, let me address some of his introductory comments.
He writes: “I still buy physical compact discs because, like comics, I like the physical objects, but I’m certainly not averse to getting something only digitally.” This is true of me as well. I know I HAVE various recordings that are digital only, but I have not organized them in any systematic way.
“I don’t listen to Spotify or any other music service, and I rarely listen to the radio.” Ditto. The radio in the car is controlled by my wife and, to some degree, my daughter.
“I don’t tend to find a lot of new music, which is fine with me. A lot of the bands I like are still releasing albums, and I’m good.” This is largely true. I’m more likely to buy the new Bonnie Raitt or Elvis Costello – I bought them both in 2022, though Elvis now has ANOTHER album.
Most of the artists who put out their first albums in the 21st century, I learned about them from watching Saturday Sessions on CBS’ morning show. Regina Spektor and especially Jason Isbell are the examples that immediately come to mind.
The crux of the matter
“My point with my friend was: If you liked something for years, why don’t you listen to it anymore?” Well, I think it’s just how different minds work. I remember a trip to Cooperstown back in the 1990s, and we had Talking Heads’ Speaking in Tongues on probably the cassette player. And when Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place) came up, they did not remember it, even though they owned the album! They fell in love with it anew.
“I have a CD player in the car.” The new car does not, to the disappointment of both my wife and me.
“So my Question is: How do you consume your music? Do you listen to music?”
I consume my music almost constantly, roughly seven CDs per day. I had a portable CD player at work, and now at home. And I play them more or less systematically, based on the artist’s birthday. I play musicals in June and movie soundtracks in February. At some point – ooh, in 2007! – I wrote about that.
If I have no CD player, I’ve been known to go to my Amazon list, which is comprised not only of albums I’ve bought there but random freebies I don’t recognize.
“What do you do in the car if you don’t listen to music? Audiobooks? (Gasp) Silence? Let me know!!!!!” My wife will listen to National Public Radio. But if the daughter is listening – she often has her own devices – we’ll listen to the pop radio stations. And my wife has listened to books on tape.