My iPod Touch is way out of date, being a first-generation 8GB model that was last loaded about five years ago by a friend of mine who had a Mac. That’s a lifetime in technology terms.
I’ve only recently realized that since I have a Mac now, I can load my own iPod! Which is kind of exciting, considering I’ve never done that before. I still have a bit of a learning curve with it, but I have figured out how to search the iTunes store and made a long, long wish list of albums and singles I want to (eventually) buy as my budget allows.
In the meantime, I am loading my CD collection into the Mac one by one, which is time-consuming but also a great opportunity to re-evaluate my music. In other words, it’s time to thin the herd.
Some music I’ve simply outgrown–ABBA, Michael Bolton, most of Celine Dion, everything by Ricky Martin except “She Bangs,” movie soundtracks (Evita, Chicago). Some of the older country stuff (Vince Gill, Travis Tritt) is too sad to keep listening to. Some is just too hokey (Shania Twain, a lot of Terri Clark). Some music only ever interested me briefly (Yanni, Madonna).
On the other hand, the entire Melissa Etheridge and Mary Chapin Carpenter catalogs are moving over, along with everything by Wynonna and The Judds. I can’t toss out the Dixie Chicks completely, but I’ll pass on some of their stuff. The Garth Brooks collection also needs a good culling but has to be represented. Tricia Yearwood, Martina McBride and Reba McEntire, yes. Lee Ann Womack and Sara Evans, maybe. Rascal Flatts and Diamond Rio, no.
From my youth, I have Journey, REO Speedwagon, INXS, Billy Idol, Sheena Easton and Peter Gabriel. My iTunes wish list includes Foreigner, Styx, Quarterflash, Poco, Cheap Trick, Thompson Twins, Mr. Mister, Toto and John Waite (all albums I owned on cassette tape when I was in high school). I am so grateful to be able to get this music back again because our music holds our memories.
Some of my music is pretty much timeless: Norah Jones, Michael Bublé, Jimmy Buffett, Bob Seger, Johnny Cash and his daughter Roseanne.
More recently, I have added albums by Josh Groban, P!nk, Adele and Josh Ritter to my collection. I have some newer singles picked out on iTunes, including “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson and “Home” by Daughtry. Plus, some sweet oldies such as Dennis DeYoung’s “Desert Moon.”
Notable for their absence, perhaps, are monster groups such as The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and U2, as well as all heavy metal, all grunge, all hip-hop, all rap and all dubstep. None of that stuff ever interested me much.
In high school and college, I was all about the Top 40, mainstream to my core except on certain Saturday mornings when I would go over to my friend Kim’s house and she would play “real” music for me from her immense collection such as INXS, The Smiths and The Kinks. She expanded my music vocabulary considerably and I’ll be forever grateful to her for that.
For years after college, I didn’t care about music much. I listened to Top 40 Country on the radio if I listened to music at all because at least I could understand the lyrics.
When I was in graduate school, a music magazine called Paste started showing up in my mailbox for about a year (I never subscribed, so I don’t know how that happened). Every issue contained a CD sampler of about 20 songs from a wide range of music styles, mostly by as-yet-unknown new artists. At the time, I listened to these samplers once or twice and dismissed them as unworthy of my attention just because they were so unfamiliar to me. Fortunately I was smart enough to save them, though, and as I’ve loaded them all into the Mac this week, I realize there is some really awesome music on those discs. I never was cool enough or prescient enough to be a hipster at any age, but eventually I do catch on. Over the past few years, I have slowly begun finding new music I like and buying music again.
I’m really looking forward to building my own music library that includes the best from the past as well as the present, and sorting it out into playlists for various moods. When it comes time to reload my iPod, though, I might just have to spring for a newer, larger model that can hold all the songs. No point in taking the time to put them all in if I can’t take them with me!