Wednesday, March 09, 2016

125 albums this year so far.

Headphones Girl Venice Graffiti, photo by Michael Dorausch
I hit album number 125 today. A lot of them have been reasonably good. And I have plenty of fodder as a prepare to resurrect the regular Quick Spins feature at Chicagoist.

As I look through the spreadsheet I keep of music I listen to I noticed a trend—there are a lot of 5 out of a possible 10 albums.* Much like a performance review at my 9-to-5, it's harder to reach numbers higher than five. Five means you're doing a fine job. Music-wise these are albums I enjoyed, and wouldn't turn off if they came up again, but probably won't play in their entirety on my own anytime in the near future.

A six or above denotes an album I will go back and play, and the higher the score the more likely it is to be more regular in the rotation of my "pleasure listening." Of course the irony here is that since I feel like I need to give all new music a chance, the time denoted to "pleasure listening" is painfully small.** This year I actually intend to try and do something about that since listening to music more often feels like "work" than not.

How much new music does the average listener take in, I wonder? Do people still listen to albums over and over again? Or do they just hit shuffle on Spotify or pandora and allow themselves to be constantly surprised? I mean, I know that everyone has different listening habits, and none of them are "wrong." Maybe that's my new cocktail party small talk conversation starter, "How do you listen to music on a regular basis?"

*I've always avoided rating things in my public reviews, but some sort of system needs to be in place as far as my private tracking is in place, otherwise there's a chance stuff I liked and wanted to write about might get lost in the waves of new music that's always flowing in.

**I also listen to a ridiculous number of podcasts so they eat into my "pleasure listening" time as well. So it's kind of my own damn fault.


Allison said...

Here's how I listen to CDs: I listen to the whole thing, and start eliminating tracks (either by skipping them, if I'm in the car, or by de-selecting them in iTunes) if I don't like them. After I've figured out which tracks I really like, I add them to my iPod, which I listen to at work. Then I start the process all over again. On average, I listen to 2-3 new CDs a month. I also spend too much time with podcasts!

Tankboy said...

That makes sense. And your iPod basically becomes an awesome mixtape when you hit shuffle!