Why am I now listening to Neutral Milk Hotel and other thoughts

I’m writing this while listening to the new Bon Iver album 22, A Million. I love this record. This is my third time listening through it. It really feels like an album that should be listened from beginning to end as a piece of music instead of just one song. It has so much emotion in it. This record feels like something that would inspire someone to tears of joy with its beauty. Music has been on my mind a lot lately. How much I love listening to it and how much making it has meant to me in my life being the focus, triggered by listening to great albums from artists or groups I love.

On my commute to and from work I usually listen to episodes of the podcasts I like or the radio if the San Francisco Giants, the greatest baseball team in all the world, are playing at the time. Lately I have been trying to throw in listening to music as well. I do subscribe to Apple Music and have access to this massive library of music, so I should take advantage of it. On a recent trip home I put on the Misfits record “Collection.” Listening to the song Bullet I heard the line “Texas is the reason” and my brain exploded realizing that the band Texas is the Reason must have gotten their name from that song. A quick Wikipedia search confirmed this in the band’s biography. I tweeted about it and my shock at just figuring this out now. I mean, where have I been?

But, before you think the title of this post is misleading I should admit that I just listened to Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” for the first time the other day. I know, as someone who has been somewhat of a music aficionado, especially of the indie music scene, I am as just as surprised as you are to hear this news. But, of course I loved it as it is a phenomenal record. I agree with the Apple Music description calling it a masterpiece. No wonder Jeff Magnum hasn’t released new music. Is there a point to writing new music when you’ve done something that good? Could anything, regardless of how good it is, be accepted by people who’ve heard this album as good enough?

A common conversation amongst people is to talk about music and a question that comes often comes up is what is the first record someone bought. As time has gone by people adjust this to first vinyl, first cassette, or first CD someone purchased, depending on the age of those involved. I remember my first CD I ever purchased was Pink Floyd’s “The Division Bell.” Do you think that anyone will ever ask someone if they remember their first iTunes purchase? In our increasingly digital lives it stands to reason that one day there will be people who’ve never bought or listened to music through any analog means. They will have only every downloaded or streamed it. If you’re wondering, my first iTunes purchase was the Team America soundtrack.

All of this thinking about music lately has got me considering making music again. I have been in bands before and have even done solo electronic stuff. I really like making experimental, weird, electronic music. I’ve about doing a podcast of sorts recently to put out long form instrumental songs, but I think I really just want to make weird music and put out an “album” if I want. I’m going to give it a shot and see how it feels. Maybe I will release something someday. I will make sure to announce it here, because internet?

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