Destroying An Entire Library of Music
This has popped in and out my head for the past five years. I always got scared of doing it, because I have so much that I will never, ever find again. I do not have much “popular” stuff, and some of these songs took me weeks to find. Some I’ve lost forever because a site went down or an artists disappeared.
But here is an extremely big experiment thats been playing in my head for so long:
I’ve grown up with depressive, angry, awe-striking music. Chevelle, deftones, 30 seconds to mars, etc. That genre of music (of the popular ones). Then I transitioned into all electronic. About 75% of my library has no vocals.
But listening to my music sets me in a very specific mind set. It will always put me there, and I sometimes want to go there, sometimes I want to get out. Over all, I don’t think its a healthy, ultra productive place to be, and the music is here solely to bring me there.
So, I thought what would happen if I changed all of my music, forever. Never going back to the old stuff. I would lose something like 50 bucks of actually paid for, the rest being generally free or pirated.
But then I would start all over. Scouring for free downloads of off-the-grid music, paying for the best of the best, but adopting a completely new, euphoric, happy, genre.
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It’s not a bad way to go about things. On occasion my laptop will die and I’ll get a new one on warranty, having to start new iTunes libraries each time. My music is, of course, backed up onto an external hd, but I see no reason to re-add it each time.
Lately I’ve not even been downloading music; simply streaming and generating personal playlists online on sites such as hypem.com. This way, I’ve found, the music flows in a much more organic manner; my soundtrack is ever changing as I find new artists.
It can be hard to let go, no doubt, but there is worth in doing so.
@staylucky, I’ll never understand people getting all hung up on the politics of music. “I don’t like this band because the people who listen to it are this way or that way”. Who cares?! It’s about the music, it literally has no affect on the sound of the music who listens or does not listen to it, or what those people say about the band. I don’t like bands to be trendy or part of a cult following.
And I don’t mind Korn or Marilyn Manson. I mostly stay away from that genre because it sounds angry to me, which has little to nothing to do with how intelligent the subject/lyric matter is. That’s why it took me so long to come around to Tool. If I literally feel worse after hearing your song, I refuse to seek out more of your material. Screaming angry whiney artists just piss me off for the most part.
I just had a very similar conversation with a friend of mine. I up until pretty recently listened to bands such as tigers jaw, balance and composure, bane and down to nothing ect. but I noticed damn near every time I listen to them I get a negative feeling, I’m in the same boat as you here because I to enjoy the sound of music these bands produce but their lyrics are depressing to me.
Now maybe this occurs because that is what my reaction is to the memory of this type of music when I got into these bands years ago I was in a very different mind set ( I thought I had a self, I was feeding my ego) than I have been recently which brings me to my point… If I think I would be better off with out something I enjoy then I’m going to get rid of it and move on I’ve been learning it’s good to only let positive things through your ears and eyes and only positive will come. So I say give it a try because you can’t miss something you don’t grasp tightly to. Erase it all that’s what I did and I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything for doing so (:
@ijesuschrist, Haha I’ve had the same exact thoughts go through my head. And i had the same exact taste in music as you originally besides the electronic stuff and more existential/melancholic. I sometimes like going back to it too. Here’s an experiment for you to try though that has been interesting for me: you know how when you listen to an old song and it illicits a specific conditioned feeling/emotional state within you? Well try to listen to those old songs with new ears. Just listen, and see if any new vibes or feelings come up. I’ve been doing this a lot recently and sometimes those old songs sound completely new and different and even have different meanings. Sometimes a change in perception can be even bigger than changing the actual music
@tangledupinplaid21, “Screaming angry whiney artists” Congratulations on the generalisation of the century.
Also, if music is intelligent in such a profound way then it should extend beyond liking it on such a simplistic level. But if I am wrong for this then I will accept that, but it doesn’t change the fact that you are ragging on bands you know practically nothing about.
@ijesuschrist, when I was in high school, I accidentally left my entire collection of CDs in the bathroom. Needless to say, they were mostly gone when I ran back to get them. I’ve always been an eclectic music connoisseur and I was crushed to not have all my favorite music anymore (this was like 30 – 40 CDs that I actually paid for).
Long story short, it was liberating! Even though I started off depressed and trying to recreate my collection, I believe the whole experience led me to better music in the end.
Try your experiment and see where it takes you. Hell, you can always come to HE and ask for musical suggestions. I’m sure you’ll find some dope tunes.
Back your music up incase you regret it and go nuts on 8tracks/pandora listening to new music. Worked for me. I have a friend going through a similar transition from metal to other kinds of music and i’ve noticed a huge difference in his personality.
@staylucky, awwww. ouch :( I will say that their sound is completely misleading. I also disliked them the first few years or so I heard them until I started realizing what he’s singing about. It’s not for everyone. :)
@ijesuschrist, Regardless of what you do, just stop listening to 30 Seconds to Mars. No one should put themselves through music that bad.
Tbh I think this says more about you than it does about the music. I fucking love the Deftones and they never make me miserable or are a band I turn to when I’m feeling down. Same applies to other favourites such as Alexisonfire, Converge, Underoath, Gallows etc
Music is interpretative. If you don’t like it then just don’t listen to it. But don’t “quit” a genre because it causes you to dwell on stuff. It’s pretty standard to listen to angry music because you’re an angry teenager but it doesn’t mean that the music is just a phase.
But, as I said, if you just don’t like it anymore then don’t listen to it. It’s that simple.
@tigerlily, Tigers Jaw ftw!
I think it’s all circumstantial tbh. For example; I love La Dispute, but I remember waiting for my mate in the rain one morning hungover as hell and listening to them just thinking “Fuck this, these guys are depressing and I want to die”. Did the music play a part? Fuck yeah it did. But it was only a part. The other factors were the terrible weather and the fact that my liver was rotting and my mouth tasted like an ashtray.
Had I been well rested and walking in the sun I’d probably be air-guitaring down the street (I subconsciously do this sometimes. It can be awkward).
I guess I’m saying that the music seems to be relating to you on a deeper level because of other things happening in your life. This is completely understandable, but “quitting” it doesn’t solve the other things. Fix the real problems and keep on thrashing :)
Karlheinz Stockhausen once said, ‘We should listen to ‘old’ music one day a year and the other 364 days we should listen to ‘now’ music.’ I take that challenge seriously and fail it often. I think that if you can manage it you’ll reap amazing rewards. Bonne chance!
What you should try perhaps (I did this about a month ago) is deleting your ipod. I erased all 80GB and put a handful of albums on. Reminded me of walking to school as a kid and only have 2-3 cd’s/tapes/minidiscs. Those things would get thrashed!
@ijesuschrist, I lost ALL my music 2yrs ago after my divorce. Well, I had it all in my iPod and when that crapped out, I didn’t want to go back *there* and open the communication and ask for my files and just opted to just let go. I was devastated about losing my music then I slowly started building a new collection – discovered SO many new artists that I know I would not have had I still been listening to my old list. I’ve since downloaded/bought some music I’ve always liked (Beatles, Wilco, PieTasters, Specials, Moondog and whatnot…classics) but I now mostly have music that I associate with me discovering the new me. It’s pretty liberating.
Death of a thing that has nestled too much into our psyche is never a bad thing. After a point it becomes a vice. I say junk it!! Anything that doesn’t give you the feel-goods all the time needs to GO! Everything else is holding you back from all the other amazing music choices out there. People grow whether they like it or not, and will hold onto things familiar when they sense it and are afraid to let go. But you’re here on the fence, so go grow!