Day 334 of the Big Years

I’m reporting the same mixed bag as a few weeks ago:

  • Writing Big Year: how disappointing can it be? I’ll never set up a “conquer the world” humongous Big Year again – only by pure luck will it work as planned. All that said, I’m inching forward with the book and without the pressure this Big Year has put on me, I wouldn’t be where I am. Smile, Andres!
  • Fitness Big Year: I called it “fitness” and I’m markedly fitter. The discipline is, so weirdly, joyous!
  • Rock Music Big Year: I’ve listened each and every day, and have conquered 110 albums. But I can report no epiphany, no new anchor in my life. Is music dead to me?

Rock Music Big Year: Ben Ratliff’s take on modern listening dilemmas

Where the heck is my music listening mojo? Even after listening to over a hundred albums this year, as assiduously as possible, the old magic hasn’t returned. Music critic Ben Ratliff has a fascinating book out about how music listening has been revolutionised by digitisation and streaming. His title says it all: Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty.

Classifying by genre has lost its organizational power, the unifying concept of the album is dead, and there’s no longer any point in being a completist and collecting your favorite artist’s output. We can listen to anything ever produced, any time, anywhere. Ratliff is a splendid writer and I found his twenty ideas, often radical, on how to find connections between one song and another, fascinating. If you’ve an abiding, serious interest in modern music, do check out Every Song Ever, you’ll sink into the read.

But you know what? None of the twenty nifty assists this floundering soul.