record collection

I am not by nature what you would call a “new year’s resolution” type of a guy. I’m more of a “check yourself on a regular basis and make adjustments on the fly” type of guy. Not that there’s anything wrong with making new year’s resolutions, I’ll applaud anything that inspires reflection and then, in turn, change. I just don’t make them myself.

That said, given that I write a blog, January is just about over and the fact that I embrace contradiction with a Leo Buscaglia-like bear hug, I thought I’d share with you a little project I’m going to take on over the next 365 days. While it may not be a resolution exactly, for the sake of this week’s musings it’s close enough.

My project: A-side

As a musician, semiretired DJ, music fan and an internationally renowned maker of mixed CDs, I consume a lot of music. Countless dollars (and perhaps a lucrative retirement package) have been spent amassing what can only be described as an impressive collection of vinyl, tapes, CDs and DVDs filled with the miraculous sounds of pop, jazz, rock, hip-hop, dub, reggae, electronica, latin, Afro-pop, ska, classical, R&B and just about every subgenre in between. It is, to be sure, a dizzying volume of music.

Which brings me to the point of my project: I intend to listen to a different album every day for the next 365 days. And I’m not talking about as background music either. I’m talking about sitting down (or laying down as the case may be) and truly engaging in the experience of listening to an album from start to finish. Focusing on that album only and nothing else.

My reasons for doing this are threefold (outside of the obvious fact that I just plain love music):

  1. Because I’ve got a ton of music that rarely gets listened to and I think it should be.
  2. As I’ve gotten older (sort of) and more distractions have entered my life my relationship with music has undergone changes, which upon reflection, need some attention. Don’t get me wrong I’m as stoked as ever when I hear something dynamic, it’s just the quality of my engagement needs to be retooled.
  3. It’s a great opportunity to make new discoveries and to share them with all of you.

B-side

This one hasn’t quite been figured out yet, but aside from giving you a simple rundown of what I’ve listened to at the end of each month, I thought it might be interesting to create a mix of some of my favorite songs from each album (that’s at least 29),and either post it here or send out a hardcopy to those who might be interested and are very, very nice (you know, for the low cost of a CD and postage). Let me know what you think.

6 comments on “an album a day for 365 days

  • Great idea! I have my vinyl stored on bookshelves by Jazz, Blues, Rock, Classical and Opera. 2 or 3 times a year I will start playing through a category in sequence because I tend to replay the same old favorites otherwise. But I never get through an entire category. Too many records, too many distractions. So I will adopt your approach and this time I plan to keep notes. I will be interested in hearing of your progress. I still have my first album, “South Side Soul” by the John Wright Trio bought in college in 1963 or so.

  • Yep, the old standards in heavy rotation, I know the drill. Surprises are what this task is all about, and when you really stop to listen they present themselves in the most unlikely of places. I’ll be putting up a new page devoted exclusively to this project. It’ll be great to hear if other people are giving it a go. Any suggestions on albums or artists will be greatly appreciated.

  • Hey T, Mad and I are still in South Africa and are still listening to the “36 Steps To Dietary Freedom” mix you made for us. So I guess you truly are “internationally renowned maker of mixed CDs”. Still surprised we got that Hall and Oats track through customs…

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