When I was young my parents had records and tapes in our house. I grew up learning how to copy songs from the radio and one of my first purchases with my dog-walking money was a bright blue CD player for $65. I bought CDs from Strawberries music store and the mall and got them for presents. When we got a cd player in the car it was an incredible thing.
Then the internet happened and it was still lawless and I was a little teenager so I learned how to download music and make mix CDs and that era reigned supreme up through the early years of high school, but some of my friends started getting iPods and iTunes became a thing because we couldn’t download it anymore, and suddenly we were buying music for a dollar a song and not exactly “owning” it how you owned a CD. I got an iPod Nano, a touch, each one seemingly better than the last, and then there were smartphones and suddenly online streaming websites and radio, and then Youtube, and now I’m sitting here listening to Spotify with Rami off his iPad.
Though we pay a fee of having our ears blasted with ads ever so often, it’s incredible that we can listen to any song almost ever whenever we want now. My Shania Twain has nothing on this. But at the same time, I used to bring music around with me all the time. In the US it seems like half my life was in the car with the radio on or a CD (or tape) in. I felt like music surrounded me more in general, maybe because it wasn’t hidden in my phone. Maybe just because I’m not paying attention. Not sure yet. Here, even though it’s in my pocket 24/7, it takes effort to remember to listen to music. My free music here is the street performers, the melody floating out of a passing car window, an impromptu concert in a random piazza during the summer.
But occasionally, like tonight, something spurs one of us to use Spotify like we used to use our CD boom boxes that took eighteen D batteries to work and could hold a few CDs at a time. Our minds reel to find the most ridiculous songs of our memories, and we dance around our kitchen while we put away after dinner and Luna looks on from the couch. from Phil Collins to Backstreet Boys to Train to the Beatles to the new Lion King “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (we also had the first Lion King soundtrack on CD). I’m off to enjoy more music on our Bluetooth speaker that would’ve been magic in 1998.