I guess it has finally happened – I have officially arrived at curmudgeon-dom. I have become the very embodiment of a, “…crusty, ill-tempered old man.” What has my hackles up today? An innocent post – no, several innocent posts – on Facebook. Those posts simply said: “So-and-so is listening to whatever on iheart radio…”
Followed immediately by another post advising me that another of my friends was “…listening to some other dreck on spotify.”I don’t know why, but those posts kinda’ bug me. Maybe it’s because I used to be a DJ in my early twenties, and LOVED to be the guy that scooped all the other DJ’s when a new song broke. I’d have that 12″ record (yes, VINYL, kiddies) and play it loud, so the other clubs would become jealous. Maybe those posts annoy me so because I frankly have never even heard of 99% of the bands everyone is listening to now. I know I should be more aware of the whole SKA-Zydeco-ukulele “thing” that’s happening with all the erudite, young urban hipsters but I never really liked SKA the first time around, I detest zydeco music and uke’s? Let’s not even go there. Finally, is any one person’s listening habits really so earth-shattering that they deserve a post on Facebook? I would honestly rather know that my friend had a great day at work – sold a house, closed a book deal, signed a bahjillion dollar contract for something – then read a passive post, generated by an app, that lets me know they are listening to the next, new one-hit wonder band.
What I really miss is the excitement people shared when they heard music that they connected with, and they called you up to ask if you had heard so-and-so’s new album (yes, ALBUM) yet. It was that intimacy of sharing, that personal connection between two people about a song that I miss.
I remember reading once that the sole purpose of art – any art – is to elicit emotion: Joy. Hate. Love. Disgust. Music certainly has always connected to my soul and created emotional opportunities for me. To share that with a person – to be there and present when your best friend first hears a song that broke your heart or made you sing along out loud at the top of your lungs in the car – THAT is what “song sharing” is supposed to be.
Listen, I appreciate your shared “playlists.” I “heart” you all for thinking of me. But the next time you want me to hear a song, pick up the phone and tell me about it. Let me know WHY you want me to hear it…