Friday, July 20, 2012

How Did That Get There?

I bought a new iPod for my recent road trip so I could download my entire music library to give myself the full range of music to match whatever mood I found myself in. Over the course of the trip, I made it through a variety of genres and in each one, more than once as an unfamiliar song began to play, I asked myself, “where did that come from?”


To be honest, I have not completely listened to much of the music in my library because I like free stuff. My 15.2+ days of music consists mostly of purchases I have made over the years – either digitally or on CD and transferred. Still there are a few dozen albums I raided off the free downloads on Amazon and other sources (LEGITIMATELY!).


The problem with most of the Amazon free downloads is that they are sampler albums from many smaller studios. Some of the artists they feature are quite good and may well make it into mainstream circulation at some point; however, far too many of the artists will never make it out of their garage. Most of the songs that made me scratch my head at how they came to be in my library came from these albums. One takes this risk with freebies.


Of course there are a few of the collections in the library that I listened to on repeat at one point and now wonder what I ever heard in the songs. Conversely, some of the collections have grown in favor with time. And of course there are the classic standbys that are as good today as when they came out.


I enjoy the way the standby classics transport me back to earlier events. Certain songs I hear transport me to high school while others take me back to the dorm at college. One in particular takes me to a San Antonio dance club in 1986 (I Wanna Be a Cowboy). The power of music never ceases to amaze me in the ways it can alter my mood, recall memories, and cement new experiences into memory that any other medium.


Free stuff is too alluring for me to resist, so I will continue to download the good, bad, and ugly as it becomes available. You never know when that rejected song will be the one most perfect for a special occasion.


Or which one will have me again scratching my head.

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