Tip of the Week: Listen in a new way
I'm a huge fan of music and have spent tens of thousands of dollars over the last 25 years on CDs and vinyl records, the contents of which can now all pretty much be found on Spotify for a small monthly fee (or free with ads). It's a bad deal for most recording artists, who barely make any money through streaming. But, it allows me, the lazy consumer, to play as much music as I want all the time.
It's both opened me up to new music I might not have purchased otherwise, but has made me a lazier listener. I can have Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon" on in the background, so why not? I've heard it a million times. It's not like I need to pay close attention.
But, you can hear things when you're intentionally mindful and paying attention, even to something you're very familiar with. One of my favorite albums is Bonnie "Prince" Billy's "I See A Darkness" from 1999. For years, this and other Will Oldham albums were not available on Spotify. (His label, Drag City, held out as long as it could.) Simply the act of having to get the CD and put it in a machine that plays CDs (which I still thankfully own) makes me more present and encourages me to actively listen. I can hear things I haven't heard before, because I am only listening in the present moment, and not trying to multitask. This album, and all his others, are now available on Spotify. But, I hope I can be mindful enough not to relegate them to background music.