The first record I listened to on Sunday was the Beastie Boy’s “ Paul’s Boutique “.
I spent a lot of time during WWR thinking about what I’d listen to first when the week was over. On one hand I thought of the greatest recordings of all time, but many of these are recordings of performances which pale in comparison to the real thing. On the other hand I thought of listening to music that cannot be performed live, as this is something that you could never hear in a world without records.
In the end I selected Paul’s Boutique unconsciously. I was sitting on the floor playing with my daughter when I became aware that the song “ 3-Minute Rule “ was playing in my head. I sat with this for a minute and thought about how amazing that album was, both in it’s basic musical content and the place it holds in my mind, and I really wanted to hear the rest of the record. I had gotten so used to not being able to turn on music that it wasn’t immediately apparent to me that I could listen to it now that the week was over. Once I realized this I queued up the album and drank it in. It was almost like listening to it for the first time.
Over the course of the week I had a lot of realizations about music, recordings and the industry that has sprung-up around them in the last century or so. I’d like to distill these ideas into something I could share with you that would communicate the insight I gained through the experience. However, like any other situation that you have lived through it is hard to isolate the intellectual ideas from the visceral experience and I’m finding it very difficult to communicate these ideas without the context of the emotional state-of-mind that comes along with abstaining from recordings for a week. If I’m ever successful at this, I’ll let you know, but until then I recommend experiencing a Week Without Records for yourself and then perhaps we can discuss these topics over the backdrop of shared experience.
See you at WWR 2012!