Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This past Saturday I was walking down the street to my barbershop in the sweltering 120 degree heat, when a song by Common came on my ipod. The song was called "Heat", and its from his cd that came out in 2000 called Like Water for Chocolate. A wave of nostalgia came over me during the song, and I remembered how much I enjoyed playing that song and the album in general. After that, I fully expected the next song on that cd, called "Cold Blooded" to start playing. But it didn't happen.

You see the reason it didn't happen is that I had my ipod on shuffle, which means a completely different song from a completely different artist starting blaring through my headphones. I instantly got agitated (with no one in particular of course) and I went through the 45 step process of deactivating the shuffle function, going to the artist, then the album, then the name of the album, and just played Like Water for Chocolate from the beginning. And I was agitated no more.

But the minor agitation reminded me that rarely do folks (including me) play one cd from front to back anymore. We may do it when we first buy something, but after that we just pick and choose songs we like, and never play it again. But there is something to said for listening to something front to back, even if some songs suck ass( and on that Common cd there are a few that do just that). Some artists (like The Roots and virtually all jazz musicians) actually pay attention to how the songs are sequenced on an album, and if you skip around or just listen to selected songs, you miss out on meticulous details that come with doing that. That was one of my favorite things about MJ's Thriller--not only did every song seem to fit perfectly, but EVERYONE knew the sequencing, and it was like being a part of a secret club with 50 million members.

On a related note, the other day my lady was at her computer and she played the Lionel Richie song, "You Are". Immediately, I thought back to 1983 when my babysitter used to play this record all the time, and I told my lady that I remembered exactly what the album looked like, and I even remembered the color of the album sleeve. Aside from feeling old, I also felt like that type of nostalgia is gone. I don't even buy albums or cds anymore, I just go itunes, hit download, and I may not even see the cover art. Perhaps I need to make some changes...

4 comments:

DJ Bonna B said...

Nostalgia is a wonderful emotion. but on the whole album thing. I think most artist do pay attention to sequencing and add interludes. what they fail to realize is what you just said. most people I believe do not listen front to back. I used to love albums that were stories. have you listened to "the death of adam" by 88 keys? great album!

rashad said...

DJBonna,
I haven't heard that album, but it is now on my list

£ said...

Fam, i'm with you. with new music i have severe skip around syndrome. it might be partially my fault, but its partially(read: mostly) the artist's fault too. I think most folks today think in terms of singles rather than the album as an entire cohesive unit. And thus the material lends itself to skipping. That's why i LOVE voodoo and mama's gun so much. it wasn't just a bunch of disjointed thoughts, but more like a novel put to music.

and the beauty of thriller is that the sequencing was top notch AND it had so many singles. How many other artists can do that?

but yeah... as far as actual CDs? i miss the days of poring over cover art and liner notes. its a brave new (musical) world...

scout said...

Totally felt. I'm on a mission to find a bunch of old albums that my mom used to play when I was a kid (blogged about it). Ameoba records will be the hot spot for me this weekend.