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26 Days of Music: A Reflection

I think it was my friend Leslie who dubbed it "The 26 Days of Music", I liked it and went with it. Although in reality, it was more than 26 days as I took weekends off to not listen to music at all.

So one late night in May, I was looking through my iTunes library and saw that I had so much music with zero plays on them. On the whim, I thought up of an experiment: everyday I would only be allowed to listen to music by artists that began with a certain letter. I started with the letter 'A' and progressed alphabetically forward everyday. I updated my Facebook each day and asked friends to recommend me what bands they would listen to based on that day's letter. A flood of recommendations ensued. Because I decided to do this on a whim, I had no foresight into what would happen. Needless to say, it bloomed into something that I did not expect. It was an interestingly experience in that I learned a lot about my friends and myself.

From my friends, I learned what types of music they enjoy, be it today's hits or something from a distant era. I respected all the recommendations and did my best to listen to everything that was recommended. I may have skipped some only if I was already familiar with the artist. I'm pretty narrow minded when it comes to music, mostly taking comfort in "scene" music. But throughout the past month I learned to appreciate new genres and new bands based on these recommendations.

For myself, truly this was a lesson of discipline and perseverance. Do you ever get those days where a certain song will pop into your head and at some point during the day you'll have to listen to it or it'll bug you the rest of the day (or week)? Well, that happened a lot. In fact what really sucked was on day 2 or 3, one of my favourite bands (The Morning Of) released their new album, an effort nearly 3 years in the making, but I couldn't listen to it until day 13... an agonizing 10 or so days later.

Besides discovering music, I think my favourite thing about the whole experiment was the little exchanges that my friends would make with each other. It was nice seeing friends compliment other friends on their recommendations (keeping in mind that these friends do not know each other).

Anyhow it was a fun experiment, but I don't expect to do this again until 10 years or so... when I probably will be really out of the loop. Below is a list of some of my favourite new discoveries. You'll notice that a few letters are missing, it's only because nothing really stood out on those days. Til next time, later geeks!

A - Aradhna, Amy Winehouse, Asobi Seksu, The Album Leaf
B - The Book, The Boomtown Rats, Blitzen Trapper
C - Coeur de Pirate
D - Danielson
F - Free Energy, Final Fantasy
I - In-Flight Safety
J - Jonsi, John Reuben, Joy Division
K - K-Os
L - Luke Doucet, Late of the Pier, Land of Talk
M - Minor Threat, Malajube
N - New Amsterdams, Nouvelle Vague, Nneka
P - Patrick Watson, The Psalters
S - Slow Runner, Scene Aesthetic
V - Voxtrot
W - Welcome Wagon, The Wombats
X - The XX

Comments

Anonymous said…
So your update prompted me to come back to your blog, and although I chose not to read your reviews on Inception and Toy Story just yet, I will after I watch them both on this coming long weekend! :D

In continued distraction, I'm reflecting on your reflection of the 26 days of music. Yay to you enjoying my suggestions of Blitzen Trapper, Luke Doucet and Amy Winehouse! I am, however, a little ashamed to say, I don't know any of the other suggestions! I believe I have lots of music knowledge to catch up on.

But you know how you get stuck on one particular artist or band for a little while and you don't want to listen to anyone else? Well, I'm in that phase, slowly un-sticking myself from Dan Mangan. After that maybe I'll move on to explore some Cat Empire :) Happy listening!

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