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Date: Sun 08 Jan, 2006 at 16:21
Headline: Return Of The Music
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William Miller: So Russell, what do you love about music?
Russell Hammond: To begin with? Everything.

-Almost Famous

Greetings & Salutations!

I have mentioned before that one of the big differences between Christmas as a kid and Christmas as an adult is that one actually welcomes gifts of the socks & sweaters variety -- or at least I do, as the purchase of new clothes doesn't traditionally rank as a high priority in my life. That said, I can still appreciate a good toy when it comes to me, and I have been doing so for a few weeks now since becoming the proud owner of an iAudio-X5. It was given to me by the PTB at Iodynamics as a Christmas bonus, a reward for the past year of toil, though I can't imagine anything I could have done for them that should earn me something this...lovely.


Now, I realize the fact that I'm still flat-out marveling at this piece of technology puts me a bit behind the curve, pop-culture wise. This has clearly been an iPod world for some time. Tim has had one of the original Apple variety for a little over a year now, and I've always thought it was a cool idea, but didn't really get it the way I do now. 20GB of extremely malleable content, audio and video, both microphone and line-in recording capability, and fits neatly in my pocket...it still just blows me away to think about it. But even leaving most of the groovy bonus features and handy practical applications aside, here's the main thing: through this little black box, I seem to have reconnected with music itself, in a way that I honestly thought was no longer possible.

Perhaps it's that I make music professionally, and on some level that can be numbing. Perhaps it's because technology has made so much musical content available that it's hard to take in at an appreciative pace. Perhaps it's just a function of growing up. Whatever the reason, in recent years it's become more and more difficult for me to listen to music for pleasure, especially new music. This development in my life was met with considerable distress at first, as I had always, as far back as I can remember, listened to music with my whole life attached. But it came to be that while I still enjoyed creating and performing music, simply listening just wasn't touching me like it used to. Not very often, anyway; I was not immune to the occasional twinge of nostalgia when listening to something I adored as a teenager, but in general...it wasn't happening. I didn't like it, but I really didn't know what to do about it, so eventually I came to accept it.

Well, no more.

With so much content at my fingertips at any given time and place, and listening through headphones (always a more intimate form of experiencing music, which I haven't done regularly for ages), I can have an entire universe of music with me, within me, at will. Ok, not my entire collection, but enough to suit any mood -- or create any mood, for that matter. I've found myself paying attention again. I'm rediscovering a lot of albums and artists that I thought had exhausted my devotion. New stuff that I've discovered in recent years and merely liked at the time, I now love. It's astounding, revelatory...and a bit embarrassing to be so openly gushing about, but I can't help myself. This goes straight to the heart of what I do and why I do it, and suddenly it all seems to once again matter in the same way that it used to. I simply couldn't be more grateful.

Ok, starting to blither now. Time to talk about something else. Cisero's tonight! First time we've played out since last September, first time we've played with Flanders since last June. Should be fun...

bye for now,

TB