Sunday, November 13, 2011

Simplify Simplify

I've been overwhelmed by music this year. It's been insane. The music industry has been an institution in flux for some time now but I've felt that shift more than ever before this year. I've always loved music. Always felt challenged by it, inspired by it, wanted to hear as much of it as possible. But that desire has been tempered, in large part, by the fact that money was always an issue. Without going to far into the argument, I've never been a huge fan of illegally downloading music. Having had friends try to make it in the industry I know how much of a difference buying a record can make for a small band. So, for the most part, I've tried to stick to music I could afford. That, though, is becoming less and less of a buffer. Bands are increasingly making music on their own and releasing it for free. Music blogs are presenting more and more legally downloadable music. Suddenly, the restraining influence of a budget is gone. Bring on the tunes. Looking through my music I've added around 900 songs in the last 4 months. That's about 15% of the music I've ever owned. I know that's nothing for some people, but the trend is crazy to me.

All that to say, I'm realizing that the destruction of the barriers to information that has happened over the last 15 years has made me a man of very diverse influences. Music, movies, books, data are all at my fingerprints and I've become something of an information hound (that's a very polite way of putting it). I'm realizing lately that it's not necessarily a good thing. I rarely process information anymore. I rarely digest media. I rarely consider the impact of anything in my life. It's really no wonder that my generation is so freaking nomadic, so incredibly unsettled. We're never forced to sit and savor anything.

This thought process has been an ongoing one, but it really hit me again watching an interview with Donald Glover. He was talking about his new Childish Gambino project and was asked what albums really impacted him. He was able to instantly rattle off a few choices. THat's becoming harder and harder for me to do. I rarely give anything time to take hold. I'm really trying to get back some of that. I want to read a few select books this year. Really read. Not the speed reading I'm used to. I want to sit, savor, marinate. I'm trying to let a couple albums really sink their teeth into my brain. I want to watch a couple of movies over and over and get back some of that love for dissecting a shot or a line or an edit. I miss those days.

Maybe this is nostalgia rearing it's ugly head. Maybe it's a healthy response to a crapload of information. I'm not exactly sure. I don't hate the fact that I have a world of information at my fingertips but I'm not going to ignore the fact that it could mess me up either.

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