I was in Phoenix a few weeks ago, and I picked up a copy of their alternative weekly to read on the plane ride home.
I came across an article that completely engrossed me.
Jay Bennett, a 40-year-old copy editor, is currently conducting an experiment. As a self-proclaimed aficionado of popular music, he is devoting each day of 2010 to listening to a new album. Further, he is not allowing himself to listen to any of his previous collection.
This fascinates me, mostly because of the reason he is doing this:
Music editor Martin Cizmar called it "aesthetic atrophy" in this space a month or two ago, defining it as "a wasting away of the ability to appreciate new, different, or avant-garde music . . . An unavoidable consequence of aging, though the process can be slowed through therapeutic episodes of forced exposure to various stimuli."
Up until my mid-to-late-twenties, I actively searched for new music. I bought and borrowed CDs constantly. I had my favorites, sure, but I still got excited for new releases. I loved putting down the windows and sliding a new CD into the dash, driving around just to listen. I loved being one of the people others asked when they wanted an opinion on an album, because they knew I had likely heard it.
Now? Not so much. How about you? Do you meet any of the following criteria?
How many of you have had the same damn 10 CDs in your car for the past month? How many of you have an iPod playlist of your favorite 200 songs that rarely gets updated? How many of you have a friend who has burned for you a CD by a new or lesser-known artist and said, "I think you'd really like this," (because your friends are supposed to understand you, right?) only for you to listen to three songs before you go back to that beat-up copy of your favorite CD from your senior year in college? How many of you pretty much stopped remaining current when you became immersed in your career or got married or had kids or simply found yourself with less time to devote to music?
Don't feel bad. It happens to everyone, and it will happen to you — if it already hasn't.
Check out the status of his experiments at Nothing Not New.