Obvious: Digital Music is Sublime

This goes into the obvious file, but I’ve just got to say that the
emergence of digital music is absolutely incredible. I’m currently on a 6
hour flight from SJC -> JFK, and I’ve been working on my laptop and
listening to music the whole way. [Quick aside: I’ve been flying a bunch of
different airlines this year, but have to say that American is hands down
my happiest situation — more leg room, power outlets in the seats, and
gold status will get me exit row seats, which helps a LOT.]

Anyway, so I’ve just put my whole music collection on shuffle and have been
listening to a bunch of different things. The idea that I could have every
song that I own with me all the time is just wacky. And it turns out that
between my laptop and my iPod, I’ve actually got **two** copies of every
song that I own (and a few that I don’t).

On every single trip I’ve been on with my iPod, I end up listening to songs
I haven’t heard in years — and always listen to one or two a few times,
because they really speak to me. For example, a couple of trips ago, I
ended up listening to British Band music by Holst & Vaughn Williams. The
last time that I really listened to that stuff was in high school, when our
band played a bunch of it — but it all came back to me. Actually, “came
back to me” isn’t quite the right way to phrase it — I think it’s all just
inside me somewhere. The melodies and rhythms and beats all just felt
super-natural to me — and it was pretty emotional to listen to, because it
all brought back memories of a different time for me — I guess it was
about 20 years ago now, in high school. The music hit me at a gut
emotional, no memories level, but it also was fun to think about what life
was like back then. How the complexities and responsibilities and joys were
so different. It’s a little bit like the occasions when I drive around
Austin late on summer nights — the hot, sticky air always reminds me of
driving after football games in high school. Nice memories.

And a lot of times I’ll end up really listening to a song for the first
time — the other day I listened to Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah about 10
times in a row. (You may remember it from The West Wing, from the season
finale of Season 3, when Mark Harmon’s character gets killed.) I had always
really liked the music, but for some reason on that day at that time, I
just really paid attention to what he was doing with his voice, and the
lyrics, and his guitar. I’m listening to a ton more music than I have in a
really long time.

Like I said. Sublime.

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