Lost in the iPod Abyss

One of the perks of waking up at 3.45 a.m. and being unable to get back to sleep – one of the few perks I must stress since I like sleeping a LOT – is turning on Rage on the ABC (Australia) and watching a random clip play across your screen, it’s title (which on this music program always appears right at the beginning of the clip, and never again) long since gone, as you desperately tried to recall who sings what and if you own it. Maybe it’s an age thing, loathe as I am to admit it, but sometimes no matter how much you strain your desperate-to-please memory cells, you cannot remember the artist to save yourself.

In this morning’s case, I knew the song. I mean, in the very depths of my eclectic music-loving soul, pings of recognition (no, not Apple’s Pings thank you!) were going off like air raid sirens in the Blitz, welcoming the melodies I was hearing at an ungodly hour as an old friend, much loved, greatly cared for, and yet, and perhaps this is testament to the sheer avalanche of sensory input we have these days, or at least what I expose myself to in my ceaseless quest to experience every piece of pop culture I can, I could not recall the title or the artist.

The hilarious part of this, or at least it would have been if I had found it even slightly funny – OK I may have grinned a little bit at the insanity of lying awake at that time of the day trying to remember specifics about a song when what I should have been doing is trying to sleep – is that while I couldn’t do much more than recognise the melody (much like when you meet someone you know that you know but can’t remember their name so you amp up your enthusiasm level to compensate, fooling no one), I knew, KNEW, that the song was somewhere within the sprawling L.A.-ness of my iTunes collection. I have so many songs in there, edging up to 9000 at last count, that finding a particular song could take up to 782 days (that’s if I chose to eschew any other form of anything in my life, and just lay inert soaking up tunes; goodness knows how long it would take if I kept doing all the other things I do in my life), time which I simply don’t have at the moment, or I am unlikely to ever have.

So then it struck me. Do I have too much music? Can you ever have too much music? Naturally the music-listening junkie in me screams ‘NO!’ with a passion and fervency that only a true lover of anything can manage, but I suspect sometimes that maybe I do. There are only so many artists I am truly in love with, that I will drop everything for, and while you can well argue, and likely someone somewhere has, that you owe it to yourself to soak up any and all music, or any form of art really, that comes your way, there must come a point where the sheer quantity dilutes the sheer joy of the quality? I suspect so, and there at times when I wish I was a tad more discerning in my uptake of new music, but the reality is I adore finding new artists, new forms of music expression that are so original and breathtaking that all you want to do is listen to it over and over, and honestly that does mean wading through a lot of other lesser, though not bad, music to find them. It does make, however, for a urban megapolis of an iTunes collection, sprawling away into the sonically-crowded distance.

Oh, and the song I couldn’t remember. Why it’s This Must Be It by Royksopp (off their Junior album), which my stubborn memory finally coughed up somewhere around 5 a.m. (yes I know I should have been sleeping, I know)…

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