what’s in your CD player these days, mister?

shoot. you all have ipods.

well, to all those purists out there who still stuff a pleather-bound sleeve of discs under their carseat…how do you pick out your albums?

maybe you listen to pandora.com at work, frantically writing down artist names when a tune meets your fancy. or perhaps you spend hours researching top 10 lists, until you are sure a critically acclaimed album will fit your taste. many of you trust a defined genre…it’s, as the killers scream, indie rock n’ roll for you.

but is this all just a product of an ipod era? how on earth did music listeners navigate the oceans of new music pouring out each year before they could click on a free 30 second sample? the music world must have been a smaller place. a city could claim responsibility for creating a band, even instigating an entire music movement. would the seattle-born grunge movement have retained its regional foundation in today’s world, an era where creativity is so freely shared, and “cool” takes literally seconds to spread worldwide?

well, i am thinking of how satisfying it is to sit in a friend’s kitchen, and have him say, “you must listen to this album.” and how, if that twelve-song march is as satisfying to us both, it can feel like a gift being given. and how, he may say, do you hear the cello under his voice?

yes. i say, beautifully genius. 

and i am hoping my children can sit with their friends in the kitchen, without that one kid saying, oh yeah, i heard this song on itunes.

is it possible to be a “relational” music-listener? movie-goer? art-enjoyer?

for me, it has always been about holding someone’s hand. she could teach me to notice a camera angle. i could read a lyric out loud. he would say, wow.

when i have been going to bed the months, i have been listening to the great lake swimmers. i did not know the name of the album. i did not know the band was canadian. but scott liked them and that was enough. so i have this burned-cd and it makes me want to give you a hug it’s so good.

i’m trying to tell you to put away the websites and the magazines. ask your office receptionist about the best movie she has rented in the past month. ask your dad what band helped him graduate from college. tell your little brother about that one painting that stops your breath. and go listen to the great lake swimmers new disc.


2 responses to “what’s in your CD player these days, mister?

  • Jen

    oh adam…you speak my language. music is so “relational.” i honestly feel like my college pals gave me the gift of music. we would sit around our dorms, each other’s cars and express in great detail why we liked a certain song—the way it made us feel, the subtle instrument playing in the background, etc. those moments took our relationship to a whole new level. i often think my jen-love language is a well thought out mixed cd. i can’t express how giddy and loved it makes me feel to have a friend make me one…anyways, i enjoyed your post. i’ve enjoyed your gift of passing along the treasure of a band that great lake swimmers are. (i’ll give it back to you soon)…and i’ve enjoyed our friendship and our mutual appreciation for the music that reaches into our souls and makes us want to dance, cry, or do both at the same time.

  • Bobby

    great lake swimmers was a breath of fresh air. i’m out of the music loop to some extent (living in small-town Appalachia for 2 years will do that). got a question…would it surprise anyone to see a move away from ipods in the future? our generation after all is all about bringing back vinyl and our parent’s old clothes…why wouldn’t we eventually shed the digital age for simpler times?

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