Thursday, 18 April 2013

Play To Z: Hitting The Wall

Two months is a long time between posts; long in normal time and even longer in Internet Time. Whole memes have been born, bloomed, withered and died in that time. The blog has rested, untouched while Margaret Thatcher jokes pinged back and forth across Twitter and people on Facebook spoiled Game of Thrones twists for their less up-to-date friends.

  So why so long without a post? Well, because now, as I near the end of the project (less than 1000 songs to go at current count), I hit the wall. Like a marathon runner in the final third of the race, I suddenly slacked, and listening to music became an effort. So many great albums lay behind me, now unlistenable until I had reached my finish line. So many new releases floated out there on Spotify and YouTube, tempting me. And worse of all, I hit a fallow patch in my album collection, with long stretches of albums that I had little passion for, with those that I did serving as only brief oases in a desert of mediocrity.

What This Is Happening looks like after 200 songs worth of "eh"

  It is, of course, my own fault. If I kept my music collection trimmed of any fat, this project would have been absent these sort of patches and noticeably shorter. I'd probably even be done by now. But I can't beat myself up too much - every album I own is a window into a period of my life, even the bad ones. It could be a band I once loved who I have now turned sour on, an album I bought out of curiousity and never listened to again, or something lent to me by a friend on the promise that I would love it that I now keep only as evidence that, yes I have listened to it.

  The whole point of this project was to both reconnect with these albums that had fallen to the wayside and to challenge the memories I had of them. In pushing through the wall, I've discovered some albums that I had cast aside prematurely. Coming back to listen to them, I've found new depths to their sound, new meaning in their lyrics. Certain songs have popped in ways they never did before. It's a nice way to measure myself as a person, knowing that I can come to the same song I merely tolerated two or three years ago and now find deeper purpose to it.

  All that said, there's a hell of a lot of material to cover here - over a thousand songs, more than three days of music. I'm going to parcel the random observations out between a few posts in the next couple of days, sometimes going into more depth where something merits a closer look.

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