Friday, March 18, 2011

buried in the tracklist

I believe in albums.

Much as I like to compile mixtapes for workouts or road trips or for giving friends a taste of what I have been listening to, I firmly believe that albums should be listened to in their entirety. Judging from the amount of thought that I put into getting the tracking of a simple mixtape just right, I can only imagine the sweat and anguish that goes into ensuring that a musician's album is perfectly mixed. The least I can do is listen, to the whole thing, and in the order in which it was meant to be played.

But every now and then, when I have my music on random, I will be stopped dead in my tracks by a song. Inevitably it is one that is buried deep in an album, so that my previous listens have been rather cursory. Sometimes being surrounded by too much sameness can diminish the impact of a particular track. Sometimes it needs to be lifted out of its comfort zone, surrounded by aliens, for it to really shine.

That's how I came to (re)discover this Rae Spoon song today. Tucked in between Brian Borcherdt and Pixies, it was. Definitely misfiled, but not really, if you know what I mean.


What was the last song to surprise you?

8 comments:

Dale said...

I know exactly what you mean although I'm completely schizophrenic on the issue. I love hearing an album or mix tape the way it was meant to be but am also a big fan of the randomness on my ipod. If someone listens to a mix tape I've made out of order though, look out!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

As you can no doubt tell from the post, Dale, I too am a card-carrying member of the schizophrenic music listening society. We need a secret handshake. We could meet every third Monday and scoff at each other's mixtapes.

L said...

I feel very much the same, and I can count on one hand, probably, how many times I've bought a song on it's own. But maybe that also speaks to how it is still hard for me to not buy a physical *something* with music on it. I am so behind the times. :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You are so far ahead of me, I am eating your well-churned up dust, Lesley. I can count on zero hands the number of times I have bought a song on its own. I need that cd cover, those liner notes, the mad scratching to try to get the plastic wrap off...

kelly said...

I've always held that I do not care for rap / hip hop or anything similar to that. I've always thought that white guys masquerading as rap artists was silly. Well, when I bought my truck last year there was a CD in the player, I assume from the last person to test drive, although I don't understand that. Anyhow I let it play and it had some songs that caught my attention, and I have to admit I've come to like. After googling the lyrics I discover they are Eminem...go figure

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm sure I would have gone into that truck with the same notion as you, Kelly, but I guess this demonstrates why we have to keep our minds and ears open. Good for you, by the way!

Allison said...

You've just described one of the great joys of listening to music - being stopped in your tracks by a song. I love it when that happens. I haven't listened to this artist, but I'll have to take a listen now!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

There is a lot to be said for the unexpected, Al. Unlike some people, I am not usually one to hit repeat, so when I do, you know it has made an impact.
You gotta listen to Rae Spoon!