January 2, 2011

002: The Sound of Shuffle

Please do pardon me as I talk in circles about music.

I finally got the latest My Chemical Romance album for Christmas -- Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys -- and have been listening to it on repeat since I ripped the tracks (from CD, how archaic!) to iTunes last week. It's been a while since I got an actual, physical copy of an album, and having the disc in my hands reminded me of high school, when I would get a new CD and listen to it and nothing else for about a week. I still like getting a hard copy of new music when I can afford it, because album art is one of my favorite things, and looking at the digital stuff that comes with iTunes albums just isn't the same as squinting at the lyrics printed in three-point font in the booklet. On a side note, I feel like I'm too young to be complaining about the kids these days with their iTunes and their Facebooks and how they have no appreciation for the way it used to be, dagnabbit. However, I do think it's just a much less engaging experience to shop for music in the iTunes store than going to a brick-and-mortar store and flipping through CDs or LPs. It's almost too easy.

Since I got my iPod as a college freshman, I haven't often listened to an album straight through. I'm addicted to shuffle. My iTunes library has over 6000 songs and is permanently set to shuffle. (As a result, there are probably songs I haven't heard in about three years.) Even when I listen to a single album, chances are the tracks are being shuffled. I don't know where I developed such an aversion to linear listening, but even things like Green Day's American Idiot and Muse's The Resistance, which are meant to be listened to in a particular order, get shuffled. I don't know why, but after a couple of listens, mixing the tracks up makes it more fun. I suppose it's like listening to a whole new album with songs that you already know; or maybe I just like being taken by surprise.

Oddly enough, when I make playlists, I slave over the tracklist to make sure they're in the perfect order. Go figure.

On a different note, allow me to recommend some of my favorite albums of 2010:

Jeremy Messersmith, The Reluctant Graveyard
Fantastic, moody, amazing.

Sara Bareilles, Kaleidoscope Heart
Sassy and mellow by turns.

Motion City Soundtrack, My Dinosaur Life
Energetic and slightly crazed, in the best possible way.

Enough blathering. Back to work.


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