Tonedeaf

November 22, 2006 § Leave a comment

I just clicked on the Purchased Music section of iTunes and discovered I’ve downloaded 245 songs. [cough]. I started to berate myself about that flabbergasting waste of money, but then I remembered that all the free downloads are sorted into that category, too— I have two accounts, American and Canadian, so there’s something worth downloading gratis almost every week— and that I’ve received about $140 in gift certificates over the past few Christmases… so not as outrageous as I thought.

But even so, I feel I don’t have the necessary love of music to justify such expenses. I don’t have the proper basis for jumping off, maybe, which is the same reason reading modern fiction bothers me— but there are so many classics you’ve missed that have obviously influenced not only this writer, but influenced his influencers! how can you possibly understand on all the requisite levels?— which is how I find myself reading a Karen Blixen (oops, Isak Dinesen) novel of no great reputation rather than Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. Stupid.

Anyway, music. During my formative years, I listened almost exclusively to Oldies Radio, which would, indeed, have been just the basis I would have desired in understanding modern pop, rock, folk and alternative music(s), had that radio station truly played a mix of “classics from the fifties, sixties, and seventies”. What they really played was a loop of about seventy songs from the late fifties and sixties. Seventy sounds like a lot of songs but I assure you it’s not. After listening for about ten days, they’re pretty much cashed and you’ve got them memorized. Unfortunately, as an 11-year-old, I didn’t quite realize that. I figured the DJ had a master plan, and I was just to young to grasp it. Sadly not. Another instance of overestimating adult intelligence. Hey, kids! There is no greater plan!

So, I missed the seventies and eighties, and I can’t seem to work out a proper Rock Opera and New Wave 101 course for myself. Whenever someone makes a Pixies/Clash/Sex Pistols/Ramones reference (which happens more than you might think), or, God help me, describes something as “so punk rock”, I only make the connection months later. Which I hate.

Then, in classic Kristina fashion, I gave up on that dream and moved on to educating myself about classical music, and I can’t say I know anything more definitively now than when I launched the effort in 2001. Perhaps I am better able to better distinguish one composer from another, but I’m worse than no-good at discerning who is playing which piece, and beyond the basics (Bugs Bunny-type selections, to be honest, plus some Bach) I can’t identify a piece by name.

(Which may not be my fault; how about you try giving your compositions names rather than numbers, deified classical composers. Or maybe you’re all just mathematicians after all, and not artists at all, hmmm?)

But I do know that this Shostakovitch Centenary Celebration is a bridge too far, CBC 2. Christ on a cracker, enough already! Didn’t you learn your lesson with the Mozart 250!; All Mozart Forevermore Week back in July? VARIETY, PLEASE!

In other sound-related news (to me, anyway), I’ve just changed my RealPlayer icon to a kiwi, and a pleasing side-effect is the joyous way she jumps up and down when I start the program. “Hoo boy! You want me again? Ohhhh goody-goody-goody, what’s it going to be this time? I just can’t wait!”

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