From a Deadbeat to an Old Geezer 002: Eight long years roll to a close…

From a Deadbeat to an Old Geezer 002: Eight long years roll to a close…

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Wednesday, 30 December 2015
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Eight years ago I came up with this idea (I was 49 years old then), to write a weekly column for this here music zine/blog, but the idea flittered away and I never wrote issue two. Rereading “issue one”, I really like how it came out and feel kinda bad that I neglected the potential that presented itself to me – to shoot the breeze, to ramble on, to string random ideas together into potentially seemingly cohesive streams of serious consciousness… but as my mind/brain(and even body) ages I make up excuses for its weaknesses and failings and just roll with the blows… and here I am again, ready to give this another go. Let’s see if I can make any sense.

Its close to the end of another year and the Editor in Chief of this long running music zine/blog has sent out a request for its litany of writers to send in their Year End List of Favorite Music. Over the last few years I have trembled when receiving this email because my aging brain does not keep good record of what music I listened to over the entirety of a year. Part of my issue is that I listen to a LOT of music over a year’s time. Also, I do not buy music anymore. I use the streaming services like Spotify, Google Music, and Rdio, so I may listen to something once or twice (and may really like it too!), but in not obtaining a copy to keep, memory of what I listened to may fade away and I may not listen to that same recording ever again.

I do use a wonderful web service for cataloging most of the music I listen to (Last.fm), it’s   accounts of what I’ve listened to is a very good testament to what I liked, but it’s a problematic account too. Mainly because I don’t want to be bothered with digging through it’s pages and pages and pages of documentation of what I listened to… ugh, maybe I’m just being lazy, haha.

So what I end up doing when I get this “Year End” email from my editor is scramble. I go to the archives of the lists that other music zine/blogs have listed from their writing staff as “The Best of the Year” and see what they have all been listening to. I look to see if any of them list music I remember listening to, but in a lot of, if not most cases I see that there was a lot of new music I never heard at all.

Part of the root of this problem is that I don’t really have friends anymore that I hang out and listen to music with. When I was a teenager I listened to the music my high school friends listened to. When I got into my 20s, I followed the foundation of musical interest I had established and built upon it. There were some new friends in that decade that I met and shared musical taste with, but it was the beginning of my becoming more of an isolationist musically, and even though I listened to a narrower variety of music, the music genres I did like, their depths became more complex.  

Then in my 40s, along came the Internet. I remember one of the most exciting and rejuvenating experiences of being a music lover was when Napster came into existence. My ability to suddenly find a world of new friends that I could talk with online about the music I loved, and that I could acquire copies of this music to store on my computer, but also discover a TON of new music that expanded upon my interests, this was a life reviving goldmine of opportunity. After Napster collapsed, the arrival of Lala.com deepened my experience of talking with other people that had serious affection for music, and my repertoire continued to expand. I think Lala.com was only around for about a year before Steve Jobs purchased it, and shut it down. I felt this was a serious blow to the music sharing/streaming freedom of people like me, because I’ll admit it here, another part of my limitations in discovering new music is not being wealthy enough to purchase cds/albums.

Back to my main point, I mainly blame laziness and mental illness (I have bipolar disorder) on my year end panic of having to come up with a list of favorite music. When I read these lists put out by other music blogs, I sometimes cringe when I find that a band I have strong feelings for put out something new in April (or August) and I never heard about it. Likewise, I’m often surprised to find from genre specific searching (I look up ambient, prog rock, experimental) that there are brand new names of performers I’ve never heard of who have been recording for years, if not decades and I have whole new extended catalogs to start to listen to. I also care about the reviews that the other writers here at Ground Control Magazine write, but something that is good about this blog is that the writers have a lot of varied taste in music. There is some music that the other writers talk about that I like, but for the most part our tastes are individually quite eclectic.

After Napster shut down, I was discouraged by the shallower selection of music that Lala.com offered, as I was further discouraged by the smaller catalog of music Lala’s follower (Mog.com) supplied. Using Lala.com removed a bit of the guilt of taking music for free from Napster because they had an online store where you could buy music. Mog.com was the first subscription site I paid for, further removing the guilt. Then arose the more successful Spotify and Google Play, both of which are very full of a lot of music I like, but there are still times when I’ll look for something rare and unusual to listen to and they won’t have it, and I’ll have to resort to digging deeper on the net to find it. The thing though is that there are so many new genres and variations of genres out there to listen to, especially for a listener of obscure and unusual music like me, that I’m never really bored. If anything, there is TOO much new music to keep up with it all.

Okay, so that is pretty much my rant for tonight. I have sketched together a list of new albums from this year that I’ve listened to a few times, enough to say they are my favorites though, I’m not sure. Maybe a better and more honest list would be to tell you about what I listened to the most. New or not new. I’ll work on this new music list for you, but then for my next edition of this column I’ll scour through my last.fm catalog and give you the true story.

One other thing worth mentioning in this posting is that you can count on expecting more reviews from me on this site in 2016. I’ve become a serious investor in the future of this blog and have put forth movement to have the site redesigned. I want to bring you reviews of more than just music too, expect to see book and film/tv reviews from me. I hope you didn’t find this story boring or uninspiring and that you’ll feel like coming back to read more. Also, if you are a writer of any merit and would like to share your opinions of music, books, or film, here on Ground Control Magazine, leave a comment and we can talk about getting your thoughts and ideas published for the greater public to read!

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4 Comments on "From a Deadbeat to an Old Geezer 002: Eight long years roll to a close…"

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shannon abernathey
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Wishing you success on Round 2!

Jeff
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Great article Darko. It’s true to yourself and real. You will do great in 2016 and I can’t wait to read more from you!

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