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Sometimes I think the best and worst decision I’ve ever made was to become an obsessive music nerd, but what do I really have to show for it? A few hundred records dating from the sixties all the way up to today, three massive CD booklets, two terabyte hard-drives full of everything from top 40 pop to all but forgotten black metal cassette rips, and thousands of dollars in lost savings in the form of ticket stubs. I don’t regret a single second of it. But I must admit, being constantly inundated with new and unknown media almost every waking hour be it in the form of Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, emails, or friends texting me about what new records have leaked has done considerable damage to the way that I take in new music. It used to be you bought a record and over the course of hours, days, and weeks it would blossom and grow. That first impression was important but even the most off putting records usually revealed some sort of secret, even if I didn’t necessarily enjoy them right away. Hell, Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea was a 4 year endeavor for me to finally see its genius. Now, though, I just don’t have the time to wait. It’s unfortunate and I hate it. Now those slow burners get tossed by the wayside. If it doesn’t hit immediately I move on to something else that does. Rarely does an album ever slowly matriculate into what it was intended to be by it’s creator. In a way that’s probably why I was so attached to Deafheaven’s latest record. Sunbather was immediate. Yes, it evolved into something deeper over time, but that initial listen was a vortex. It was powerful from the get go.

Where am I going with this? Well, music is such a mood thing. What doesn’t connect in one mindset has a strong rapport with another. I think in the way that many of us have an endless supply of records for us to choose, each tailor made for whatever we’re feeling at this very second, we forget to revisit those slow burners and those initial disappointments. Something dismissed months ago can reveal itself to be just what we need. Right now I am currently enraptured by The National’s Trouble Will Find Me. When the album was released I was in a better place. The things that I always wanted were finally all coming together and I had no need for Matt Berninger’s depressing baritone, but as Achebe said, things fall apart. Now what I once hated only a few months ago is everything that I need. If I would have just fallen back to the normal slump of familiar recordings I would have missed out on something that now feels as naturally a part of me as much as my own blood. It’s the most rewarding music re-discovery I’ve had in years. After I bought the record I poured over the liner notes just like I used to do when I was a kid, constantly reading and rereading each lyric as it pours out through my headphones. It demanded my attention, and for the first time in a long time I gave in. It’s an experience I miss. I just have to remind myself from time to time to slow down.





TheSpirit
12.27.13
Amazing work, Adam

Trebor.
12.27.13
yeah I used to know the words to all the albums I had because of lyrics sheets. I'm really bad at lyrics now

Athom
12.27.13
@TheSpirit Thanks!

theacademy
12.27.13
cool blog post. i have read the first half of it before (elsewhere), and i live the second half of it on an ongoing basis, but its always nice to read and relate to someone else's words.

Lucid
12.27.13
great piece, I'm certain most of us relate at this point

Metalstyles
12.27.13
Great post indeed. I'd also add that we shouldn't only revisit slow burners, but also stuff we really liked at some point, but threw to the wayside quickly for that exact same reason - album was cool, great, let's jolt it down for an end of the year list and on we go (seems a lot of us tend to do that to some degree). I've been trying to avoid doing that myself, and haven't always been successful in it either. Upon evaluation it seems that us music nerds are so obsessed with trying to listen to everything there is we tend to forget the real purpose of listening to music: the gratification and enjoyment the right records provide us with.

Giving more time to albums that have hit you or you think might hit you is eventually so much more rewarding than listening to a ton of records from year to year but only forging a strong connection with a few of them.

itchybutthole
12.27.13
Nice read.thanks for sharing

wabbit
12.27.13
Sucks

wabbit
12.27.13
Joke I didn't read it

Relinquished
12.27.13
I was one that didn't have internet growing up and only bothered being involved in it around the same time I found this place. in time I guess I can say that I absorbed the trivialities of what follows hype and hate for music, but I recognised it and didn't let it affect me so much. I built my own project studio within my property and I think it's worth even more surfing and sifting through the internet for new sounds and ideas to create and experiment in the ways I couldn't do with just my gear and decent recording equipment. taking the good and bad by producing something worthwhile.

I personally rather live out through experiencing being a part of the scenes to learn and contribute, than to just crusade behind screens confronting everyone and defend an opinion that no was against to begin with. and to live by what's hot and what's not, what's new and what's obsolete, what's right and what's wrong from teenagers who think they know what they're talking about, that's not for me. I had a discussion here where a user was basing his information on what I knew he got from summarized bullshit, pigeon-holed genres, and no sense of the context of the history or scenes we were discussing. it's all trivial and cancerous.

theacademy
12.27.13
little known fact: B2K has never been included in a user list in the history of sputnikmusic

Dimmu Burger
12.27.13
Thanks for this post, it reminded me that I've been wanting to check out Deafheaven and of course I do need to slow down a bit as well and just enjoy the sounds. Well said.

SeaAnemone
12.27.13
okay Adam; but c'mon, back to this userbase deletion thing, seriously...

Omaha
12.27.13
"it seems that us music nerds are so obsessed with trying to listen to everything there is we tend to forget the real purpose of listening to music: the gratification and enjoyment the right records provide us with."

Word!

Wonderful work here, Adam. December reminded me of this again, as it always does from one year to the next. Put ten albums on the Spotify playlist for driving to school, then trivially rank them with numbers by thinking "which of these will I not forget by next week?"

someguest
12.27.13
Good write-up. I've done the same with the Queens of the Stone Age record this year. I can't put it down.

Relinquished
12.27.13
or listen to everything released within a year and rank them as if it's your job

Captain North
12.27.13
Shitty internet connection throughout my life has meant I've managed to always take it pretty slow, and these days my hunger for new stuff has mostly disappeared. Guess I'm more the exception on this site

Tyrael
12.27.13
Very well written, Adam!

insomniac15
12.27.13
Very wise words, man! I agree with everything you say. Until a couple of years ago, I used to obsess over bands, listening to all LPs,EPs,remixes,singles, anything I could find. However, since I started reviewing only new stuff and constantly looking for different bands, I don't take my time to discover their core anymore. There's rarely an artist or a band that makes me check out all the records and obscurities they have. I don't have that patience anymore, which sucks. A lot of time I just go back to the old stuff I grew with because I'm attached to it.

Voivod
12.27.13
This is a wonderful read, thanks for posting.

Emyay
12.27.13
good post. i pretty much always fall into the same trap btut thats why i like this site because even if i have a bad first impression of an album and will not give it a chance, I will see folks jizzing over it and that will inspire me to give it another shot. If it just so happens that I find a grower record myself, I'll make sure to let it be known for others with an open mind.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
12.27.13
ugh

scissorlocked
12.27.13
"yeah I used to know the words to all the albums I had because of lyrics sheets. I'm really bad at lyrics now"

so true

ILJ
12.27.13
great piece, I feel the same way often too. i like what you said about the mood thing, i just had a similar experience. I finally got around to listening to ...Like Clockwork during finals week and the first time around I found it incredibly boring. Just yesterday i decided to give it another shot before i started compiling my end year list and loved it.

Metalstyles
12.28.13
I should do that too then, because upon my initial listens I found ...Like Clockwork incredibly boring as well.

helpoemer420
12.28.13
I listened to Defeater's last album when it first came out and swiftly put it aside, listened to it again yesterday and love it

I'm the same in that I'm constantly swallowing new music I forget about everything else I've already consumed

Sanders
12.28.13
Yeah this is my biggest issue with the way people consume media these days

nicely written

fish.
12.28.13
good write up and agreed. always a dilemma whether to move on to a new record and feel like I'm missing out on gems I've dismissed too soon if I don't other things, or whether to stick to a single record and feel like I've wasted my time if still nothing comes. Most of the albums I now love that had to grow on me I only went back to by accident

fish.
12.28.13
I tend to stick to albums I like anyway (in regards to metalstyles point). Mostly cos most of the time I just can't be bothered to find something else I like

OysterizerInsomniac
12.28.13
This really resonates with me, I've recently decided to take a break from adding new stuff to my music library for a while unless I've either bought it or it'll only be free on bandcamp for a limited amount of time.

Atari
12.28.13
I can definitely relate to this. Nice job

Irving
12.28.13
I couldn't find quiet I went out in the rain I was soaking my head to unravel my brain.

tommygun
12.28.13
great article agreed hard

ShitsofRain
12.28.13
i know that feeling

ProjectFreak
12.29.13
i consume music way less than you and i still agree with all of this, except i still don't get the national

ShitsofRain
01.09.14
best review for trouble will find me

BigHans
01.14.14
Agree 100% with this. I could have written this. Its why I still very occasionally buy a CD even when I have no real need to.

NightProwler
01.14.14
Great article, I really enjoyed reading it. I definitely get the feeling you're describing (despite being merely 21 years old).
I, myself, also enjoy "the final product" of a record-purchase (be it vinyl or cd), but ofc I don't have the money to buy all the music I want to hear. Therefore, I, too, must resort to the occassional listen via Spotify, and often as well just throws "whatever seems boring" out the windows; if it intrigues me, I'll listen to it again (and maybe again) - but if not, I won't go back there again.
However, if I have bought a record, and I think it is just PLAIN AWFUL, I will eventually return to it and might find something I did not hear upon first listening.

BigHans
01.14.14
Having an actual CD does affect your experience with the album. I mean, for some unGodly reason I bought Yeezus on CD. If I had ripped it onto my iPod, I might have listened to it twice. But since I have the disc and it just sat in my car's player, I jammed it everytime I was too lazy to turn on the ipod or forgot it in the house. So anyway Ive jammed Yeezus probably 25 times and even though it kind of sucks its kind of awesome and if I hadn't done that I would have only listened once and said it was the worst shit ever because the first time I heard it I literally wanted to kill Kanye.

osmark86
01.15.14
great points in this Adam. it's really a bit of a catch-22 situation. on the one hand I want to refrain from consuming new media like a starving mongoose, but at the same time I don't want to miss out on something I'd potentially find incredible. I suppose the latter scenario is just something you have to accept in order to allow for the former however hard it may be for a raving music nerd like most gentlemen frequenting this site. it's not without stress, but as you point out, it might just be worth it.

Athom
01.15.14
For the last month or so I've only been putting in effort on getting albums I was already awaiting, instead of nabbing every promo I can get my hands on and I must say, it's made my life so much more rewarding as far as listening to and enjoying music goes.

InbredJed
01.15.14
Maybe it's because I'm not on staff here or perhaps I'm just less socially connected in general, but your new approach describes what my discovery process has been like most of my life.

Since I joined this site 3 years ago, the amount of music I have been exposed to has grown immensely, but I became consciously aware of what you wrote about and made an effore to be specific in my listening. I feel really fulfilled by the music I discovered this year, some new, some older.

Thanks for putting a finger on the pulse of audiophiles today.

evilford
01.15.14
I make it a point to revisit most albums I've heard from time to time. every now and then, one grabs me like it never has before and I love it hard from then on out.

I bought a couple ISIS records when they came through my town in 2006 cuz my buddy wanted to go to their show. they were cool but they really didn't blow me away. after a few months I pretty much forgot about them. four years go by and one day I'm cleaning out cds I'm never gonna listen to again. I came across a few I was curious about because I hadn't listened to them in a really long time; Oceanic was one of them. so I put it on and halfway through the album I was fucking floored, didn't know why I hadn't been listening to this since I bought it, all that lost time. now they're one of my favorite bands and Oceanic is one of my favorite albums. if you would have told me in 2006 that that band would end up as one of my favorites, I would have been pretty confused. it drives me nuts sometimes to think that what could be one of my favorite bands/albums is buried in with stuff I'll never listen to again so yeah I have to do that from time to time and I'm glad I do, I've discovered so many albums and bands that I now love that didn't leave great first or second impressions

kingsoby1
01.15.14
i dont know if something can really be a slow burner rather than your taste actually changes over time. ie, i didn't like gucci mane a few years ago, but now i do. i loved prog metal when i was in high school, but now it bores me. i even notice my taste changing over the months.

Cygnatti
01.15.14
I didn't come here to feel things. ;_;

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