Friday, June 24, 2005

Music on the Brain

I find it fascinating the way that the human brain seems to change as we get older. One symtom of this for me (and some of my friends) is our capacity for listening to music. Music ruled my life when I was younger, I lived to listen to music. I bought Melody Maker and NME faithfully, I spent all my spare cash on records and tapes, I scoured car boot sales for rarities and I spent night after night lying on the living room floor with my head positioned between the stereo speakers. And I had a proper stereo in those days - you know the kind that you buy in seperate bits - not the ugly space age monstrosities we have now that can't manage to play a record to the end without switching themselves off (that's it they have a record player at all!). And the music, I went through the obligatory phases of youth - punk, new wave, heavy rock, prog. rock, folk- just about everything you can think of really, and through all those phases that came and went I had my steady favourites: David Bowie, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, The clash, Roy Harper, John Martyn, PInk Floyd to name but a few.

So what happened, well for a start LIFE. I had a child, went to college, worked - in short got busy. Does that explain why my capacity for listening to music is less these days? Is my brain to busy with all the things I have to remember? Is it that TV is such a soporific that it stops you doing anything that might stimulate your brain? Could it be that when I am filling my creative space up with art and literature that there is just no space left for music? Or is it just plain old getting older? Or of course there could be some other completely different reason.

I do know though that as well as listening to less music, I also have a smaller capacity for new music than I used to and I am drawn more and more to nostalgic music, the music of my youth and I have found myself downloading anything from AC/DC and Black Sabbath to the Thompson Twins and Ultravox. I worry that this is a sign of things to come and I might turn into one of those difficult old folks who repeats the same stories over and over about how things were different when we were young.

Still on the bright side I have listened to some good music whilst writing this and have even bought two new CDs this week so things are definitely looking up!

On todays playlist:
Number nine Dream - John Lennon
51st State of America - New Model Army
Summertime - Fun Boy Three
Wish you Were Here - Pink Floyd
Lovely to See you Again My Friend - Moody Blues
You're Beautiful - James Blunt
Dub be Good to Me - Faithless
Dancing with Tears in My Eyes - Ultravox
The Wombles Theme

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