Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Feed my Play List ..... Please!

What is it about a new song that makes me want to listen to it over and over and over again. I have been doing this since I was a kid with my first record player. I had a red record player that had a lid on it and it actually ran on batteries. The first album I shelled out my hard-earned babysitting money for was Herman's Hermits - There's A Kind of Hush All Over The World. I bet I wore out a dozen batteries playing that song over and over again. My next question is what happens to make you reach the saturation point with a song? Is it because you just get bored with it? Or is it because a new hit comes along to replace it? And depending on the song, sometimes it gets to a point where if you have to listen to it one more time you think you'll scream. Other times, you just lose interest and stop pressing the play button on your I Pod and hit the forward arrow to find something you haven't heard in a while that get your mojo going. Right now I can't get enough of Rolling in the Deep by Adele. How long before I am sick of it? Any one's guess really. But at a certain point I will get tired of it and I will only listen to it occasionally instead of constantly. It's kind of like sex in a new relationship (I do remember what that was like). You can't get enough of each other - you're all over each other every day - several times a day, and then eventually, you are not. I do see a very interesting parallel here. It's not unlike addiction in a way. You hear it. You start to seek it out. You buy the song. You listen to it over and over. But eventually, you start to crave something new, something that will give you a fresh charge. And on it goes. At least with music, it is harmless and won't land you in the hospital or in a gutter or suffering with an STD. And what happens next? You stop listening to the song so intently. You no longer turn it up when it comes on the car radio. You keep it on your play list, but you sometimes skip it when it comes on. Once in a while you listen to it again all the way through, but not every time. Then it gets relegated to the "has been" list. You hardly ever play it at all. Time passes. Months. Years sometimes. Then oddly, one day you happen to hear it again and it sounds fresh again for some reason. You find yourself cranking it up again, singing along because your brain has filed away the lyrics and you know every word. You feel that same feeling again you had when it was new again. But it doesn't last. Over the next few days you might play it a few times, but it's only a brief encounter with the past joy it brought you. However, there are many songs that you will always love - and no matter when they reappear on the radio, or at a party, or in a movie, or being covered by a new and younger singer or band (never appreciated) and you have this little space in your heart for those songs because they are part of your history now and they often can make you recall a moment in time, a place, a person, an event - a song can transport me back in time so accurately it is almost scary. Sometimes I am actually amazed that I can be continually stimulated by new music - and I really notice when nothing has come along to pique my interest for awhile. And what is it that makes you like a new song? How many times do you need to hear it before it captures you? For me, it varies. It can happen the first time I hear a song, but that is rare. I usually need to hear it at least twice or three times before it sets into my brain like slow firming jello. Not unlike dating - sometimes you're into him on the first one, sometimes it takes 2 or 3 before something clicks and of course there are the songs/dates that never do it for you. Since, I started writing this blog, I have played Rolling in the Deep about 8 times. Not sick of it yet, still grooving to it, still moving to it, still memorizing the lyrics, it is still making me want to dance and turn it up. This one will have some staying power I suspect, but I say that about all of them at first. Am I alone here? Am I like a "love em and leave em" Casanova when it comes to music? Maybe I am. Maybe there is a 12 step program for people like me. If there is, I don't want to be cured. I refuse to join. Just keep giving me more hits. I'll keep listening. Feed my play list. Yum.

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