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Distracted Music Lover Syndrome

The following is an excerpt from episode two of Season Five of the Y!TMJ Podcast with my guest, Matt Pond. It’s a brief look into current process of engaging with music. – Nate

So, this may be a little behind the scenes here, but a lot of times, I have multiple episodes worth of conversations in a much smaller span of time. Sometimes I record multiple interviews on the same day even though they will release weeks apart. And because of that, there are things that I talk about that find there way into multiple chats because they’re on top of mind. It’s no secret that I have recently been trying to reconcile the affect that music streaming platforms have had on the music industry, for good and for bad. And in these conversations I find myself talking about the disposableness of music. How, before streaming, if you bought an album, you would spend much more time with it, because finances were limited and who knows when you’d be able to buy another record. Side tangent here, but one example of this and one of the most Sophie’s Choice decisions I had to make as a young music fan was the day I needed to decide, Use Your Illusion I or II. Couldn’t afford both on release. Could only buy one of them. And so I bought Use Your Illusion II and it was weeks before I every heard anything off of one! In retrospect, I think I made the right choice, but who knows! What is the Sliding Doors world where young Nate was exposed to the original lyrics to “Don’t Cry” as opposed to the alternate that show up on II? Maybe he hosts a podcast called “Yo! That Jawn Sucks.” Dark timelines indeed.

The concept of spending time with an album comes up again in today’s conversation with Matt. And in talking about this for awhile now, I have come to realize that I have an active role in this. I’m accountable. Just because all of this music is out there doesn’t mean I have to be the guy in the Distracted Boyfriend meme looking over his shoulder at some new album, when I have a beautiful album right there holding my hand. I just have to show restraint. Just because there is a seemingly bottomless cake of music in front of me, doesn’t mean I have to eat more than one slice at a time. And so, this year, I have made a conscious effort to start living with albums again. To spend time with something regardless of what my first impression is. And I want to share with you two very simple ways I have been doing it, in case you’re interested to returning to a time when albums meant something.


First way you can do this, buy an album. I know. This sounds crazy. Pay for music? But Nate, we pay for Spotify or Apple or Tidal. I get it. It sounds crazy. But buy music. If there’s an artist you are interested in, see if they have a Bandcamp page. Go on there and buy a download of the album you want to listen to. Or if they have physical media for sale, pick it up. Not only will you be more likely to stay with the album longer than just clicking it in your streaming app, but you’ll be directly supporting the artist in the process. Good time to do this is on the first Friday of every month. Bandcamp does a thing where anything you buy from an artist’s page on the first Friday, they waive the percentage they take and 100% of that money goes to the artist. It’s a beautiful way to support creators. So give it a shot.

Okay. That’s one way. Another? Pick a new album and make it your car album. Remember when you used to put a CD in your car stereo and it would live there for weeks, maybe months? Do it again. Doesn’t have to be physically in your player either. Pick an album that you want to experience and for the next week, every time you’re in your car, just let that play on your streaming app of choice. We’re not changing the world here, folks. These are two very small changes you can make to your listening habits to help you spend some more time with a record before clicking to the next one. Make an effort to spend some more time with music. You might just unlock something you may have missed in this landscape where we have nearly every song recorded at our fingertips.

Hit me up if you want some album recommendations.

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