I stopped listening to music. Then I started again.

I stopped listening to music in 2012. It was an accident really. I was having some inferiority complex issues due to my master’s program, and I realized I could double my learning by engaging with audio books. Audio books became my thing. It was particularly funny because just a few months prior I had had one of those stupid stoned conversations were everyone I was with asserted how great music was, and how we couldn’t live without it.

The audio book habit stuck, partially because I suddenly got to busy to read (adult life is hard). Music took a back shelf and I never really looked back. I would at best deal with music when I needed something in the background. But I stopped caring, gradually, until I realized that I pretty much never listened to it.

But here is the weird thing. I had a god damn trove of unlistened to music that I had collected from the various people I had met here and there. It was time to take a dig at it.  I decided that in 2017 I would give myself the medium task of listening to an album a month. Specifically, I would listen to the Album at least once within that month, but often multiple times.  So here is the breakdown.

January – All Day, Girl Talk.

Technically, this is one album length song. Or so I heard from a reliable source. Was recommended by the vinyl episode of a podcast I listen to. Super Cool Album.

February – Run the Jewels 3

My brother recommended this to me. He was (and in that I was the puppy in that relationship, I was too) a huge fan of Company Flow when we were kids. This kind of took me back to those days.

March – Sandanista! The Clash

I hated this. I don’t get the fucking point. So far it was the worst music ever.

April – Mucho Barato, Control Machete

This was given to me by a friend from Mexico. It’s a Mexican hip-hop band and I really liked it.  Some of the tracks on here are amazing.

May – Bitches Brew, Miles Davis

This was just about the most perfect backgroud music ever. However, if you asked me to hum a note of it now, I don’t think I could. Still, I have kept it on my phone and still listen to it when I need to get some writing done.

June – Ready to Die, Notorious B.I.G.

Wow, this album has some god damned hits on it. I was surprised how many of the songs on it I already knew, and how many I already liked.  I was pretty happy to have discovered this album. Shame I discovered it so late.

July – Buenos Aires Paris – The Electronic Tango Anthology

This shit sucked. If you put on this album, or Gotan Project, or Bajofondo, I frankly would never be able to tell the difference. Sure, this shit was cool when I first heard it fifteen years ago. But now? I don’t fucking know anymore. I feel like this is the music that people who rent lofts they can’t afford listen to while they empty out the contents of the roaches from their ashtray into a bowl and, after the first hit, try and feel sophisticated. I, however, just don’t buy it.

I’ll try listening to it again the next time I am stoned.

August – Jeff Buckley – Sketches for my Sweetheart the Drunk

Should I be concerned that, while I remember enjoying listening to this at the time, I can no remember none of it? Not really. I still remember a lot of the other albums.

September – Asian Dub Foundation – Rafi’s Revenge

I don’t know. This album seemed familiar, despite the fact that I had never heard of it before.  I am pretty sure that this is a sign of cliche. Some songs were fairly catchy, others annoying. Pretty mediocre.

October – Jorge Ben – Samba Esquema Novo

I listen to albums on repeat, and as I sat bored at work listening to it I barely noticed when this cycled through. The whole thing was kind of same-y, but not bad.

Novemeber – Chico Buarque – O Essencial De Chico Buarque

How did I end up with all this Brazilian music anyway? This album felt like deja vu; I was in a different job in a different country and suddenly I felt like I had done all this before. It was that similar to the album prior.  Was it really? No, but it had that sme kind of non-distinct pleasantness of background music.  Meh.

December – Mio fratello è figlio unico – Rino Gaetano

At the last minute I realized that I only had 11 new albums on my phone, so I had to quickly find something that I hadn’t yet listened to. Unsurprisingly enough, I found many things which I had only listened to a song or two. Ultimately I decided to listen to Rino Gaetano. I liked it enough, but mostly because Rino’s voice is so very captivating.  The music was good enough, in a way that is somewhat typical of Italian Rock (that’s not a throwaway statement; I actually know something about the subject). But from my perspective it may suffer from a chicken or egg dilemma. Did this album sound familiar because it copied or was copied? WHo knows.


Well that was interesting. 2018? Might go for an album a week.

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