Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How To Listen To Music

From the latest Drag City mailout, perhaps to be included as a footnote in all independant record label mailouts from this moment forth:


...earlier in this email we were railing against modern consumers and their parasitical non-consumerism — tough stuff — when we stopped to think for a moment, are we selling the youth of today short? Maybe they don’t know how to listen to a record anymore. This could be a lost art outside the ghetto of aesthetes who traditionally buy our long-playing product. So here’s a little checklist:

  • Decide what you like. This may come as the result of self-searching, following by reaching into the world in order to evaluate the music it has to offer.
  • Having evaluated the variety of products available to you, take the plunge — buy one!
  • You are now in possession of something special. It requires your attention in order for you to determine if it also requires your faith and devotion. Take it home, it’s time to find out.
  • Conducting the ritual of listening is up to you — when you want to listen, and where. We suggest you choose a space that allows the music to come to you in a relaxed state over a system that lets the sound breathe.
  • Listen to the record all the way through. It’s saying something to you, something you might not be able to hear if you subdivide it by songs, taking time and attention away from it in bits and pieces.
  • Spend time with the record, absorb the artwork and whatever details are available to you. It’s like a lover, don’t ignore him/her.
  • Congratulations, you’re listening to music. It’s not wallpaper, it’s not your ringtone. It’s like a book or a movie, worth your undivided attention, giving back to you the value of the time you put into it."

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