#692: Summer of the Album

GETTING MORE TALE #692: Summer of the Album

I’ve had the same routine for over 10 years: get to work, turn on the radio, and listen. I would occasionally hear new bands that I had to get into. I wouldn’t want to do without Greta Van Fleet, Royal Blood, or A Rebel Few in my life. But every routine eventually gets stale.

For the last several weeks I’ve been trying something different. No matter how much radio tries to shake it up, you are guaranteed to hear certain songs and bands every single day. AC/DC, for example, are a radio staple. You will hear them on rock stations every single day, usually from a pool of 10 to 12 songs. In my regular daily album-listening life, I don’t actually listen to AC/DC that often. In fact, I’m less likely to listen to AC/DC when I hear them on the radio daily.

At the recommendation of Uncle Meat I’ve been loading up flash drives and bringing them to work instead. This has enabled me to not only listen to whoever I feel like, but also given me the ability to play full albums.

The first day without radio was an interesting experiment. In the morning, I played the entire Max Webster The Party box set in its completion. In the afternoon, an album I hadn’t played in years: Neil Diamond’s 20th Century Masters! Part of doing without radio is forcing myself to listen to albums that don’t get regular rotation at home. Especially multi-disc sets. It’s easy to listen to a box set when you’re seated at the same desk for eight hours.

A nice big flash drive means I have hundreds of my favourite albums available at a click, but there are pros and cons.

PROS:

1. The chance to spend my listening time with my own music; hopefully neglected music.
2. Hearing full albums.
3. The ability to “pause” when I am interrupted and have to do something else.

CONS:

1. No traffic or news reports.
2. A feeling of disconnection from the community and friends during the day.
3. Missing those new tunes and rarities that sometimes surprise you on the radio.
4. Going from a stereo radio behind me to a mono speaker in front of me.

It was really weird going without the morning radio news reports at first, but I’m used to it now.

This far into the journey I’ve played virtually every studio album by Kiss and Black Sabbath.  I’m working my way through Priest next, and a whole bunch of soundtracks. I actually played Jeff Wayne’s legendary War of the Worlds musical two days in a row, so enthralled was I with the album.  Featuring Justin Hayward, Richard Burton, and Philip flippin’ Lynott, it is an album I am glad to have finally caught up on.  It’s the kind of thing you need to have the time to play, the more the better.

Hopefully, listening to more albums will enable me to review more albums. The unfortunate thing is not being exposed to new and unfamiliar songs. I’ll just have to rely on readers and other sources for that.

With flash drives by my side, 2018 will be the Summer of the Album. Let’s see how this experiment works!

 

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25 comments

  1. I rarely listen to radio, although I hear it four days a week in work. I have my own music playing during commutes to and from the office, when I need to stick my head down and get into something, lunch… pretty much when I can. And I find new stuff that I read about here or elsewhere if I need to mix it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey J,
      I’m going to be counting on YOU (and the others!) for helping me find new music. I miss the surprise of a song I have never heard before, or rarely hear. But it’s going well otherwise!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t done the radio thing in a long time. I actually use Apple Music Hard rock playlist every now and again to find new music. They usually have some great stuff on their. I also use Apple Music and will try practically any album they suggest or just look up old stuff I haven’t heard in a long while. Kinda the same thing you are doing I just don’t have to bring a flash drive everyday as it is all on the phone. With radio it is just the same songs over and over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have no idea what Apple Music is all about so you have to pardon me on that one! The flash drive thing works better for me than my phone, because I have to frequently unplug if — for example if I have to go out to the yard,

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been great. I think I could do up a number more reviews just from this week. I can get used to this. It seems everybody else in the office uses earbuds but I find that blocks my hearing too much — I need to hear if somebody is down the hall calling my name, because we still do that the old fashioned way. Phones? BAH.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The radio is on 5 days a week at work.
    Ton of Green Day/3 doors Down and such….
    New stuff its Greta/Lazys
    The station is on a continuous loop of same ol same ol but it is bette than dead air

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Apparently someone voted for Green Day at the Fest once. They did a spoof version of “The Metal” by Tenacious D. One line was “Green Day tried to kill the Fest…but were defeated, and thrown to the ground!”

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I only listen to the radio when driving at work because the service user in the car with me wants it on. He likes the oldies stations so once in awhile I get the odd cool tune. I have that War of the Worlds album and it’s surprisingly very good.

    Like

  5. I hardly ever listen to the radio. So many bands that they overplayed in the past, I’ve grown to appetite now that they are not forced on me. I hear you on AC/DC. They do the same with so many others too like Tom Petty, Neil Young, and Aerosmith. Artist with a rich and deep catalog and they play the same shite over and over again.

    Liked by 1 person

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