There was one radio station in town when I was growing up and it specialized in novelty songs and country-and-western that was about ten years out of date. I still get shivers when I hear “El Paso” or “Ghost Riders in the Sky”. I remember in high school taking albums down to a young DJ so that he could play rock on the air. My older brother introduced me to the Kingston Trio, the Mamas & Papas and Paul Butterfield. In high school I listened to The Beatles and Rolling Stones like every other kid in America in the early 70’s. I also listened to Terry Reily and John Renbourn and John Mclaughlin. I had one group of friends that I partied with where I learned to like Frank Zappa and Bob Dylan. I had another group of friends with whom I drove around late at night listening to Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath. One guy taught me to love B.B. King. There was a girl who explained Joni Mitchell to me, biblically. I was actually one of about ten people in the country with an 8-track recorder and I made copies of albums for people to play in their cars. I had a Sony 4-track reel-to-reel deck and made copies of albums for myself. I sold all of my stereo gear and music when I left for college because I wanted to be able to put everything in a backpack and hitch hike where-ever and when-ever I wanted to.
At Antioch I evolved a taste for The Grateful Dead – and learned about Marvin Gaye and Issac Hayes and Pattie LaBelle. I played Disco at dances (and mopped the beer off the floor afterwards) without ever really understanding it at anything more than a visceral level. I had more of a connection to the bluegrass and jazz I listened to on WYSO. After college I didn’t have any money and neglected music for many years – listening to Spiro Gyra when everyone else was into Talking Heads and the Police. In New York I listened to jazz on WBGO (especially Ruben Blades and Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria and all the afro-cuban stuff). In Seattle I started out listening to blues and jazz on KPLU but soon switched to KCMU (now KEXP) and during the late eighties began hearing a lot of new stuff that I liked – indie and singer-songwriter mainly.
This is my collection of MP3s. It emphasizes stuff from the 70’s and stuff with a west-coast influence. I suppose that says something about who I am and how I look at things. I use iTunes on a Mac and I have a just under a terabyte of music. Most of it I bought as CDs or from AllofMP3, but some of it came from Will or from friends or was downloaded from Dime or Indietorrents.
When Will left for college I started a project of logging every album I added. Since I was grabbing album art and track lists in order to properly tag the music, I started creating a page for each album with that content. Later I included a copy of a review on each page (mainly clipped from Pitchfork .) Then the server hiccupped and we rebuilt the website with a CMS and the dynamic pages Will set up were a lot more appealing than the effort involved in redoing all my old pages. (After college Will converted me to the cloud which is why this is just another WordPress blog.)
Here is a photo gallery documenting the first upgrade of the music library hardware. We took Will’s external hard drives for back-up devices and bought him his own 2-TB network device so that we could mirror each others’ collections. (In the fall of 2010 I replaced the network device with a new computer that had a big internal drive and a lot of RAM because the performance of iTunes was unacceptable after the “upgrade” to v.10. The new system is awesome – importing and editing are faster than I ever remember them being – even back when I only had a couple hundred gigs of music.)
Here is a log of the music I acquired since December of 2006
Here’s what I’ve listened to between November 2004 and April of 2015 (when it maxed out at a million tracks logged.)