|They're just photos, after all.|
On Day Two of the project, Australian writer Jonathan Bradley posted some observations I found myself copying and pasting into my own media-consumption diary of sorts-- this weird little blog. Most of Bradley's music listening is solitary, he says. He writes that "I just don't give a fuck if I can't share music with other people, because usually I don't. I listen to a ton of stuff, and most of it I know of no other person who shares my liking for the music, just because I have my taste and other people have theirs and the two don’t need to meet for us to be friends... The music I listen to is for me, and it doesn’t worry me if I’m not sharing it."
These comments started me thinking. How much of my listening is solitary in the same way? How much is driven by this mad urge to share, share, share?
For sure, I'm usually by myself for most of the music I hear, either listening to the stereo or on my headphones, while working, while making lunch, while half-heartedly squeezing in a few push-ups, while walking the dog, while reading, while playing on the internet, or most precious of all, while just listening. But I've also always been the guy who tells all his friends about the song blowing his mind that particular minute-- a habit that eventually eventually translated nicely into being a a guy who writes about new music for a broader audience. I used to make a lot of mix CDs. I play music for my wife I think she might like, or I take note of her criticisms when I play something she says she doesn't like. I go to a lot of shows. I love being DJ for people-- driving home from a Menomena show in Ames a few weeks ago, when B.P. let me use his well-stocked iPod and I got to jump from something off the latest Spoon album to the Walkmen's "The Rat," the Strokes' "Last Nite," the Rapture's "House of Jealous Lovers," LCD Soundsystem's "Losing My Edge," Lil Wayne's "Shooter" (see?! why do I remember this?). Or throwing together a playlist of newer stuff, everything from Squadda B and OFWGKTA and Childish Gambino and Soulja Boi and Ke$ha and Fiend and Diddy Dirty Money and Britney Spears and R. Kelly to Sleigh Bells and Cults and Tennis and James Blake and Tamaryn and Toro Y Moi and jj and Smith Westerns and Weekend (and Personal and the Pizzas), and putting it on shuffle via iPhone remote while grilling for some people on Saturday. I don't need my friends to like the same music I do-- Mrs. Des Noise wasn't even particularly into music before meeting me. But I definitely like passing music on to other people.
|It's late enough to go drivin'.|
At long last, this was my first time at Val Air Ballroom, a 2,000-plus-capacity venue that dates back to 1939. This was also the first show I've been to in a while where you had to get frisked to go in, and we mostly hung around back. I'm told that besides Josh Homme, the rest of the band was totally different from when they played now-defunct Des Moines venue Hairy Mary's years ago. Homme talked about that gig a bit, describing people doing meth in the bathroom. "I remember standing on the bar, pouring shots into people's mouths, and I thought, 'This is just like my hometown,'" he said. "Y'all a bunch of tough bastards, aren't you?" Most of his stage banter was pretty much like this. I hear the power went out at that Hairy Mary's show, too.
Anyway, they played the album pretty close to how I remembered it from pre-show cramming-- heavy, with some nicely droney jams here and there, though in slightly different order (setlist)-- and then started rattling off hits, whatever fans wanted, before Ladd, Boom, and I headed over for fresh-squeezed greyhounds at nearby Charlie's Filling Station. Everybody says the Val Air can be uncomfortably hot and crowded, but it wasn't that night, though I'd guess there were at least 1,500 people there, probably more. I overheard one guy picking up a quarter, another guy making fun of him, and then the first guy going, "Donald Trump picks up change."
|I wanna know why! (I wanna know why.)|
|Gymnastics exhibitions, suicide missions.|
|Will I disappear or prevail?|
|It's a ghost town!|