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hopper
09-06-2010, 05:20 PM
Interested to find out everyoneís different listening routines/habits. Iíve been pretty concerned recently that I donít really spend enough time properly listening and appreciating music. I seem to spend most of my time manically streaming clips on the internet. Almost daily I check through boomkat, fact, dissensus, youtube, pitchfork, honest jons, resident advisor (the list goes on) Ė thereís crazy amounts of stuff uploaded pretty every day, and obviously inexhaustible amounts of great music through history waiting somewhere to be found.

Thing is, although itís all well and good having so many different sources to find music, Iím often not listening to anything properly due to the rate with which Iím skimming through things, often if something isnít really doing anything for me after a few seconds Iíll skip onto the next thing. Sometimes rapid streaming aint really too much of a problem Ė as occasionally it can be abundantly clear that something isnít for you, but quite a few times Iíve wrongly discarded something because Iíve not given it a proper chance, my ears are a bit fatigued from overload and my head is fried from staring at a screen too long. I feel like I spend way too much time just listening to music for the sake of it, itís only every so often that I discover something that gives me the same buzz of why I got obsessed with music in the first place. But I spose you have to be willing to trawl through copious amounts of shit to get these epiphanies.

Basically it seems thereís an overload of available music, and I was wondering how everyone narrows it down, and finds the time to properly sit down and appreciate music. 6-7 years ago when I was 13-14 and didnít have a laptop or go on the internet all that much I used to spend all my money on buying CDs and I would properly cherish everything I bought and listen through every second of the CD countless times, to the point I knew my collection like the back of my hand. I would properly appreciate all the music I had, and grew an appreciation slowly for some albums through repeated listening. I'd give things more of a chance, and digest more styles of music.

I donít really think I do enough of this now because of the rapid rate with which I search for new music. Often by the time Iíve bought a new record, I sometimes find myself on the internet checking out clips trying to think of the next thing to buy rather than sitting down and cherishing my purchases. I also have a backlog of mixes and music from matesí computers, and rapidshare downloads (I like to try before I buy Ė sorry to anyone who considers this immoral). For example Iíve got probably around 100 unlistened to Juke tunes on my hard drive Ė and Iíve got no idea whatsoever when Iím gonna properly go through them.

I find that I often tend to best appreciate music when Iím on holiday or on the move somewhere Ė walking about, train or whatever when the internet isnít there as a gigantic black hole of distraction.

Sorry if that was all a bit long winded, but really interested to know how everyone balances everything out, anyone else feel like they suffer from same kind of overload? Would be good to find out where everyone else sources their music from as would be good to branch out a bit more again.

Brother Randy Hickey
09-06-2010, 05:30 PM
i suffer from the same problem in terms of volume vs quality of appreciation, but for me it predates the internet: i was a music journo for about 8 years, got dozens of releases a week.. i got to the point where i knew if something was worth revisiting, but that time might not be available for months. So something I liked or saw some worth in initially might not take up real space in my head until a year later or something.

Cos I'm out of work at the moment, I listen to music pretty much constantly all day, and it still defeats me, especially since these days my tastes seem to be slipping backwards to proper "oldies" - pre-rock'n'roll R&B, gospel, etc - more than I'm chasing down new dubstep releases or whatever...

Dunninger
09-06-2010, 07:36 PM
Just switch off the computer for a bit and listen to some records on a proper stereo.

IdleRich
09-06-2010, 07:48 PM
I deliberately filter by pretty much only listening to records. I've been unemployed for the last six months or so and been too poor to buy records lately so I feel that that approach has left me somewhat out of touch - been listening to a few things on the internet, youtube whatever but unfortunately my computer has gone weird and won't let me do that so I'm at a bit of a loss.

blacktulip
09-06-2010, 07:57 PM
Wow - you have just described my own situation of the last few years.

I've stopped buying new stuff in recently as one way of coping - maybe cutting access to boomkat and the rest is the next step. I am so nostalgic for the time when I actually listened to and cherished everything I owned, internalising every detail of my favourite records.

Corpsey
09-06-2010, 08:01 PM
Yeah this is one way I think music's been a bit killed by the internet, as much as I can see all the obvious benefits it has as well.

Getting an mp3 player back recently so I can listen to stuff on walks/trains etc. has been an absolute godsend.

cobretti
09-06-2010, 08:01 PM
I had a similar thing to you going on in my teens - no internet, buying music on CD and listening to them obsessively. Since then I've managed to avoid that sort of ADD listening habit that you seem to have fallen in to by chucking new music in to a playlist of new stuff and listening to it as I go about my business, travelling etc. I find that some of the best listening time I get is whilst working or doing some other menial task like painting a room or other work around the house. I reckon listening to a new album or mix whilst also engaging in another activity allows the music to work its way in to your brain in a really effective manner so that something that may not grab you at first often has you wanting to listen to it again when you're purely going to be listening to music rather than doing something else at the same time/ I work in a shop where I dictate what's on the stereo for 8 hrs a day which allows me to get through a whole load of music each day, but I'd say I listen to maybe 75% stuff I've listened to before and the rest is new stuff I'm feeling out. The only limitation there is that I can't really listen to a lot of techno or whatever, about the furthest I can go in to electronic/dance music is house/garage before I feel like I'd be weirding customers out. The other downside is that those 8 hrs of music give me a bit of listening fatigue, so by the time I get home I can't be arsed listening to Aphex Twin or whoever I couldn't listen to in store that day.

A bit rambling, but I'd suggest making playlists and getting through them whilst you work/travel/do other stuff that isn't sitting down expecting to be blown away. I find that any time I do go through clips online, I get very impatient which isn't very healthy if you want to be open to new things. Definitely give albums/mixes a first listen whilst doing housework or whatever.

michael
09-06-2010, 09:02 PM
Turn the computer off is really the best advice.

I spent 3 or 4 hours trawling bandcamp pages last night. Feel horrible and kind of down on the state of music this morning. :) Haha. I may have heard some great stuff, but I don't know.


I find that some of the best listening time I get is whilst working or doing some other menial task like painting a room or other work around the house. I reckon listening to a new album or mix whilst also engaging in another activity allows the music to work its way in to your brain in a really effective manner so that something that may not grab you at first often has you wanting to listen to it again when you're purely going to be listening to music rather than doing something else at the same time
Yeah, I find the same thing. Someone suggested to me that's relegating music to just being soundtrack / background, rather than something you really focus on but a) I don't give a shit if it is and b) really focusing on music when you make music yourself can mean being an analytical, form-focused dick. :D

cobretti
09-06-2010, 09:15 PM
Turn the computer off is really the best advice.

I spent 3 or 4 hours trawling bandcamp pages last night. Feel horrible and kind of down on the state of music this morning. :) Haha. I may have heard some great stuff, but I don't know.


Yeah, I find the same thing. Someone suggested to me that's relegating music to just being soundtrack / background, rather than something you really focus on but a) I don't give a shit if it is and b) really focusing on music when you make music yourself can mean being an analytical, form-focused dick. :D

I find I'm more likely to think about music later, have a melody reverberating around my head etc, if I've enjoyed it as background music earlier on. For some reason a more relaxed approach to listening makes me more open to new music.

hopper
09-06-2010, 09:54 PM
I'd go with what you guys are saying about music working whilst being engaged with something else, I'm doing an art degree at the moment and having an ipod while doing some painting is absolutely brilliant. I'm a bit less demanding about the music while having to think about something else and tend to skip through songs a bit less. Also helps put me in the right frame of mind for doing the work as well.

paolo
10-06-2010, 11:39 AM
I quite often think that there's just too much good music out there to check, I know that there's no way I'll ever be able to listen to everything that I want to but I still feel frustrated that I just don't have the time...

I've even thought in the past that it might be an idea to give up music completely cos I'll never be totally satisfied, I'll always be wanting more. For instance, I've spent the best part of £50 on records this week (:eek:) and downloaded a few mixes, I've only listened to that stuff a few times and I'm already wanting more, it's like a bloody drug

Dr Awesome
10-06-2010, 11:46 AM
I deliberately filter by pretty much only listening to records. I've been unemployed for the last six months or so and been too poor to buy records lately so I feel that that approach has left me somewhat out of touch - been listening to a few things on the internet, youtube whatever but unfortunately my computer has gone weird and won't let me do that so I'm at a bit of a loss.

Does this include on-line record shop samples? Or do you hactually browse record shops?

slim jenkins
10-06-2010, 12:37 PM
Just wrote about what most people are saying here - http://includemeout2.blogspot.com/2010/06/of-digital-archive-and-national.html - musical overload...and I'm old enough to remember buying maybe one LP a week and listening to it properly. Nowadays I skip through stuff online and have to make myself stop (because there's always more music just a click away). On the plus side, being able to instantly download what you want is good...as is the ability to listen out of curiosity and come across unknown gems.

woops
10-06-2010, 01:37 PM
I've been reading David Toop's 'Haunted Weather' recently (published 2004) and there are a couple of lines in there I thought might be relevant to this thread -



In the past, trying to listen to everything had almost destroyed my desire to listen to anything.





Anybody involved in the music industry for more than thirty years suffers excess awareness. This affliction is a type of repetitive strain injury that goes with the occupation.


He goes on in later chapters to talk about 'minimal' microsound improv stuff as a response to the digital glut.

IdleRich
10-06-2010, 02:57 PM
"Does this include on-line record shop samples? Or do you hactually browse record shops?"
Have to admit I browse in shops less and less often these days - well, obviously now I'm broke it's just depressing but in general I spend less time in record shops. A lot of stuff I want I hear from my friends I guess and in clubs etc or ebay, I love just listening to random soundclips on there and buying random stuff.

BareBones
10-06-2010, 03:24 PM
the problem is definitely being in front of a computer. i spend lots of my working day doing the same thing, trawling through shop websites and forums and blogs listening to one minute snippets of music, downloading mixes i'm probably not gonna listen to, that kind of thing. but when i get home it's purely records & radio.

i definitely get nostalgic for the times when you'd sit with the radio on desperately hoping a particular new tune would come on because there was no myspace/youtube/whatever where you could go and listen to it whenever, and how hype you felt if/when that tune did finally come.

and how i'd go and spend my pocket money on one cd album and listen to it to death, like multiple times a day every day until i got completely sick of it. i suppose i rarely get sick of tunes these days because my constant appetite for new music makes it kind of impossible to over-listen to one

cobretti
10-06-2010, 04:28 PM
Riffing on this subject with grizzleb on MSN last night, I realised that the concept of sitting listening to your music at your laptop is much the same as someone 20 years ago sticking a cd on then sitting in front of the deck with their hands on the controls. Before such ease of access and convergence of technology existed, people would put something on and go on to do something else whilst enjoying the music, whether it was reading, cooking, partying or just laying back and immersing themselves in the music. I think that's why I find it so much easier to listen whilst away from the controls so to speak, it's a relatively new phenomenon to have your entire music collection at your fingertips inside a system which will also play all of these tracks. Music wasn't designed for that type of consumption.

woops
10-06-2010, 04:41 PM
Music wasn't designed

ftfy

DannyL
10-06-2010, 08:16 PM
I really enjoy putting mixes on my iPod and listening to them on the walk to work. It's great.

You can never keep up with everything - if you like one genre and can have that microfocus, you might hear most of the good stuff in the genre over the course of your lifetime - perhaps, if they're not making new stuff. There are so many classics I haven't heard, so much new stuff I don't keep up, so many of my own records I've not listened to properly. Just give up trying!

I actually have quite a few SSW albums that I buy and don't play for a while, 'cos I don't think of myself as "into" that music. But actually I really enjoy sitting down and popping one one late at night, and soaking up the whole thing. There's something about simple songs, a bit of fractured guitar and the gathering dark. I have listened to "Tin Luck" by Ron Cornelius every night this week, and am about to do so again now!

hopper
10-06-2010, 11:05 PM
nice quotes woops - think I need to remember this sorta thing more often. What sorta microsound stuff is he talking about - stuff like Raster Noton and Touch? I still try and listen to ambient music as often as possible, as it rewards attention and headphone listening. Same goes for Autechre's stuff, as Slim's blogpost puts well.

I definitely share that yearning for the excitement of waiting for a tune. I really like the way Mala keeps his tunes under wraps and makes efforts to keep that excitement and effort/patience to access the music. There isn't quite that same excitement any more, I remember the excitement of waiting ages for a release and the only way I would be able to hear it properly was to wait until the release date and then get home and put the CD on. It would become a proper event, last time I remember that same kinda buzz was for untrue.

shaolinsoul
11-06-2010, 03:27 AM
nice quotes woops - think I need to remember this sorta thing more often. What sorta microsound stuff is he talking about - stuff like Raster Noton and Touch? I still try and listen to ambient music as often as possible, as it rewards attention and headphone listening. Same goes for Autechre's stuff, as Slim's blogpost puts well.

I definitely share that yearning for the excitement of waiting for a tune. I really like the way Mala keeps his tunes under wraps and makes efforts to keep that excitement and effort/patience to access the music. There isn't quite that same excitement any more, I remember the excitement of waiting ages for a release and the only way I would be able to hear it properly was to wait until the release date and then get home and put the CD on. It would become a proper event, last time I remember that same kinda buzz was for untrue.

feel ya bredrin.

Its like the internet has made music so abuNduntly available to me, ive become desensitized to the whole music listening experience. Although I wouldnt take it back there was so much charm back looking back at my younger days trying to catch Weekend rush/kool fm on a saturday night after playing outside even rinsing my old dreamscape tape packs and fast forwarding to my favorite parts. I heard those tunes a billion times but they never got old for me..never.

Then a few years later the internet comes along and im saying raah that track was by Wax Doctor/Photek/Rufige Kru...I didnt even know all that time I just liked the beats..what a badman.
(Yeah I couldnt go raving in 1994 because I was only 9 years old, but if I could I would :))
Fastforward to 2010 its like I have to keep with new music. Its an addiction. Every morning check the same sites I like, Boomkat, Hardwax, Rush Hour. Youtube some Krome & Time bits while im cleaning my house investigate the Basment records back catalog.

slowtrain
11-06-2010, 03:43 AM
(this may relate to the toop quotes) But I've found this as well, going from having like 50 CD's that I knew back to front, to literally thousands of albums in MP3 format, and I just can't really remember the music all that well.

It bugged me for a bit, but nowadays I've just kind of accepted that I might only ever get an hour of enjoyment from one album I've downloaded, and will never listen to it again, but hey, I still got a good hour out of it, right?

I suppose its a more Cageian approach in that, I just listen... Doesn't really matter if I don't fully 'appreciate' it, just listen to it..

DannyL
11-06-2010, 08:20 AM
I think part of this comes out of the fact that we are process-driven ie. we like to manipulate objects and explore environments purposefully, rather than being "designed" for passive consumption. Thus the act of looking for new music is one thing, the actual listening another. A lot fo music culture valourises the former (rihgtly so as well) - digging, road trips, sourcing artists for obscure recordings etc etc. but it's a very different thing to actually listening to music.

Dunninger
11-06-2010, 09:45 AM
I think it's important to find some good sources you can trust and don't think much about the rest, not only for music but for any kind of information. No need to check the new arrivals of 10 online shops and a long list of mp3 blogs that only give you a copy of the promo text and a rapidshare link. The good stuff will come to you sooner or later. The fear that something great passes by without you noticing it is useless, because it happens anyway, you can't do anything against it.