Longterm Groove Destruction
We recently bought a record player for our house. Its actually really nice; its an Audio Technica with really great powered speakers. I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit even though we have a very limited collection. Before we bought it we had a few records: Blunderbuss by Jack White, Born In the USA by Springsteen, Face Value by Phil Collins, Rumors by Fleetwood Mac (which we borrowed from her Mom and its definitely the original album she bought in the 70s). Saturday we went to Used Kids and went nuts in the dollar section which added another 13 records to our total. All of this has brought forward a completely new perspective on music for me. You don’t just play a record and then toss it. It is something that gets listened to over and over again simply because its easier that way. After the six songs or so on one side is played its so easy to just push the start button again. There aren’t thousands of other songs queued up. There’s just those six. And thats how people really consumed music until the last decade or so. You had a very limited music collection, and if you liked music you listened to the songs that you had on hand. People had favorite albums that they played over and over and over again until the buzz of the fatigued vinyl became the sound of comfort. Those were tracks that they lived by. That they hung out with their friends by. Album covers became lap tables. Were notebooks that people marked with memories. This feeling slowly faded in the way that the rigid grooves of petroleum faded with each play. Now we are so far removed that most songs don’t even get the luxury of having their final notes played. The skip button has taken away the hiss of absence between tracks. The true loss in this evolution is the ability for people to actually digest music on a deeper level. Around your 5th listen of a song you actually start to understand and digest some of the lyrical content. At 10 plays you might start to delve into the meaning of what the artist is trying to accomplish. 20 plays you focus on lines that you had previously overlooked; at 50 plays the song has a completely new meaning that you have written in your mind. It has memories attached to it. You have chewed it up, spit it out, remasticated, swallowed, vomited, and taken a paintbrush to rearrange what is left into your own expression. There was staying power in that process. It wasn’t just skimming a verse for a newly relevant status update. These were sentiments that defined periods in people’s lives. Now our lives are defined by the commercials that we hear on repeat more than our favorite lyrics.