Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Album

The universe will expand forever (if you don't believe me read here).

One of my professors once said that humans have always struggled with the notion that we are finite creates in an infinite universe. Not only is the universe infinite now, but it is infinitely expanding. Mind. Blowing.

In an earlier blog post, "When current pulls you under" I explored the overwhelming feelings that accompany growing up in this information overloaded day and age. As someone who likes to drink life in as passionately and anxiously as a child opening up presents on Christmas, and as someone who should never be taken to all you can eat buffets (because I will feel the need to try absolutely everything), I am especially prone to this anxiety of not getting to all the music in the world before I eventually bite the dust. What great musical treat am I missing out on right now?

Music in relation to my lifetime is essentially as infinite as the universe is in relationship to humankind. If I live for another 60 years I have approximately another 525 948 hours to live. Now - I'm really only awake for 350 000 of those years, and with a 40 hour per week job I only have 115 000 hours of my life left. Assuming an album is about an hour long, I basically can only listen to about 115 000 albums, but that means that I can't repeat a single album, which is next to impossible if I happen to love it. Which already means that I couldn't even listen to all of the albums in the world's largest record collection. Devastating!

When confronted with this reality, I can do one of 2 things: 1. Go absolutely nuts trying to get to as much as I possibly can or 2. Cherish what life brings my way.

With that said, although my lust for life makes me anxiety prone, I do know how to stay faithful to those records (or Nutella) that I love and re-love over and over. I'll go with option 2.

So, for those of you who desperately sit on twitter to hear the latest, newest, hottest track, you can calm down: you will never get to everything anyway.

Enter, THE ALBUM. The beautiful coming together of songs, in harmony or in juxtaposition. The building, climaxing, and falling. The appetizer, main and dessert of a perfect meal in comparison to the mishmash of an all you can eat buffet. The glutton inside me loves the all you can eat buffet, but the connoisseur in me loves a good meal.

Without listing my favourite albums of all time, I will share with you three albums that I have devoted hours of my life to this year.

The Antlers - Hospice
  • Beautiful and sad at the same time, a portrait of love post mortem that pulls deep at your heartstrings, even if you've never experienced pain like the narrator describes.
Dennis Wilson - Pacific Ocean Blue
  • This album changed the way I listen to music. Listening to it is like discovering the fossils of a dinosaur that we didn't know existed. The creation of a lost soul, and musical hero.
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
* Even though this has just been recently released, I have listened to it over and over, and anticipate that many more hours will be pleasantly wasted to this.
  • Almost a subversion of nostalgia; looking back on our childhood reminds us we've become part of the grind, all of our dreams aren't reality.