I've decided to make May a month of "no new music" - I'm going to try my hardest not to buy any CDs, vinyl or downloads or any other form of sound carrier for the whole month. I'm using up my remaining eMusic credits as we speak so they don't go to waste (new Casiotone For The Painfully Alone album and "The Golden Band" by American Analog Set, for reference). Exceptions can be made for anything already ordered before midnight tonight, i.e. the new Idlewild album.
The reason for this is that it's only just sunk in quite how much music I already have - lost count of artist CD albums, but probably somewhere in excess of 3,000 as a conservative estimate, with singles, MP3s and a little bit of vinyl on top of that - and the total is ever growing. New purchases don't always get time to sink in and old stuff languishes. A month isn't going to make much of a dent on things, but hopefully I'll make some rediscoveries.
Over the last few months I've started a stupid-boy-project to get all my CDs onto the computer. When I was growing up I always wanted a jukebox, and this is my way to have it. I reckon I'm maybe about a third of my way through the albums, but have taken a break to do the singles to let me pack them away properly. To be honest this is making me question the point of the whole thing - should i, as planned, do everything to make it complete, or cherry-pick and have to go back later. At the moment I'm ripping stuff that I may never get around to listening to again!
The sheer volume of music is pretty staggering. Going back to that earlier estimate of 3,000 CD albums and assuming that there's an average of 12 tracks on each, then that gives 36,000 tracks. Rounding down my current last.fm daily plays of 54 to 50, then it would take 720 (nearly 2 years!) of normal listening to get through the whole lot just once. And that's a conservative estimate. I doubt pausing for a month will make much difference.
All the same, I know that my excitement for music is waning slightly at the moment. The excitement of having a new CD is long gone, mainly because I buy too many out of curiosity because they're cheap. Add on to that all the other music floating out there on the internet for free (and I just mean the legal stuff), then it just gets ridiculous, the notion of trying to keep up with everything new. I never thought I'd be someone who'd stop following discovering new music, but I really think I need a break! I just have no enthusiasm for checking things out on myspace or blogs, and to be honest maybe feel it's best that way, if only to retain my sanity.
Anyway, bit of a formless ramble but I'm done now. I'll report back on how I get on with things over the coming month, and we'll see if it helps any. There may yet be need for "Silent September"...
Saturday Live on Radio Four
2 days ago