How Do You Listen To Music?

Geof asked the question in his recent post. He also mentioned that we could write about it and just let him know. What an excellent idea!

With money being tight in our house, and with me being as picky as I am, I find that I don’t buy a lot of music unless 1) I know I will like it, or 2) it is from a band that I am loyal to.

1) For bands I do know now well, I set a standard as to whether I will spend the money for the new CD or not. I have to hear and like at least 3 songs off a specific CD before I will decide to loosen the wallet strings and pay money for it. Unfortunately this is not always easy. Most of the time the radio is my #1 source of new music. When this is the case, the radio stations have to play 3 songs of the same CD and I have to like all three before I buy. You can see potential problems there. The radio, or whoever, decides which songs I hear…and which I don’t. This could be trouble since most of the time when I buy new music the song or two I like best off the CD never makes it to the radio. I don’t know who or how the radio singles are chosen but I do know “Nobody Asks Me First” and that is a darned shame. Another problem with the radio approach is that even many of my favorite bands don’t release 3 single from the same CD, so if I used that criterium I wouldn’t even buy my favorite music. That’s why there are more ways.

Sometimes I will borrow a CD or listen to one with a friend. If I like the overall content, I will buy it for myself. This is much more fair to the artist, but again is dependent on someone else’s choice (my friend chooses to buy the CD). This CD swapping is something I should really try more often to expand my horizons, but I never really thought about a conscious effort to do this until now. Kudos, Geof. *writes down idea*

The last way I might find a new band is if they open at a concert I go to. At the FFH concert Warren Barfield opened and really impressed me. Afterward I felt sorry that no one wanted him to sign anything in the autograph line, but I had decided that I could find his CD cheaper at Wal*Mart than it was selling for in the vestibule (remember my money troubles). Contrastingly, at the Mark Schultz concert, Matthew West didn’t appeal to me at all, so I didn’t buy his CD (not even at Wal*Mart).

2) The bands I know I like (many listed to the right) I keep track of when they have new releases coming out and I budget money to grab the CD ASAP. I will keep doing this until the band disappoints me, as Smalltown Poets did with Third Verse. I haven’t grabbed their new one yet, but from what little I’ve heard I am getting excited about it (their new website design, however, has also disappointed me :sigh:).

Now onto listening. I just realized that so far nothing has been about listening, but it has all been about purchasing. I’ll keep that part in there for free.

When I buy a new CD it goes directly into the car CD player. It will stay there until I finally feel I need a change (which could be months) or I buy a new CD. The better I like the CD, the less likely I will feel the need to swap it out. The more I like the first CD will determine how long the second CD I buy stays in before I take it out to put the first one in again. After my new CD(s) are sufficiently ingrained into my being I will go back to swapping in old music that I want to listen to again.

Geof’s post has a lot to do with how much play time your Cd gets depending whether or not you like what you are hearing. I can’t say it works that way for me since 99% of the time I only buy stuff that I already know I’ll like. There are no progressions from occasional, to more frequent listening. Actually, quite the opposite is true. When my new CDs are no longer new to me, they eventually move out of the car into the 200 CD changer in the living room. There they stay until I get the urge to once more bring them back to the car for a couple weeks.

This is the summation of my music listening life.

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5 Responses to How Do You Listen To Music?

  1. I used to listen to music the way you do, Roger. It was much cheaper! 😆

  2. Roger says:

    I’m glad to see my system is tried and true, all the world over (OK, I took some liberties)

  3. Kari says:

    You didn’t like Third Verse? huh. I think their first album (and their Villanelle album, but that was before they were STP) was the best. But there are some songs I love on Third Verse. The problem is that on both Listen Closely and Third Verse, the songs I love the best are the covers – Hold it Up to the Light, The Lust, the Flesh . . ., and Beautiful Scandalous Night.

  4. Roger says:

    Third Verse was too mellow/slow for me. It’s not what I like about SP, though I like slower songs (I’ll Give comes directly to mind)

  5. Eric says:

    I usually by my music online (via iTunes mostly), since I rarely like more than one or two songs per CD… I also swap CD’s in my car much more often… but that is because I do about 160 miles roundtrip to work and back, vs the 20 or so that most folks do… one CD can get boring after 2+ hours listening to it every day. 🙂

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