I think I’m a pretty nostalgic person. Not to the point of being one of those people that thinks everything was better when I was a kid, but I do have a strong regard for my youth. It seems like everything is so much simpler when you’re growing up as you don’t realize the struggles your parents go through to get you things like my first walk man for instance. I loved that little Christmas gift. The problem was being relegated to the 30-45 minutes, depending on the type of tape you bought. It really cut into the type of mix-tape you can make & often times a song would be cut in half from one side to the other.
Then came along the Discman onto the scene & it was supposed to supplant the Walkman. It never really caught on. Sure a lot of people had them but they didn’t seem as prevalent. I was watching Beverly Hills Cop II the other day & noticed the obligatory ’80’s girl in a leotard, with leggings, on roller skates & a walk man covering her ears. You never saw that in the ’90’s. It was bulky & discs skipped with any bump & the batteries died almost instantly.
Now, however, as technology has advanced at a rapid, almost otherworldly clip, so have ways of listening to music. The I-pod has literally turned life into a movie with an endless soundtrack. Living in Hollywood & not having a car (by choice) was tortuous without one. I walked or biked around in a toxic environment of city sounds which becomes monotonous & leads to a jaded perspective of L.A.
Recently, I made the investment, if you will, into an I-Pod that could hold all my music. A vast array of different genres that bring immense joy. I begin taking long bike rides, going to the gym more, walking more as my life became a soundtrack. Watching people argue over a car accident while the Seeds play “Pushing Too Hard” in my ears created a dramatic tension to real life. It created a surreal perspective on everyday nuances that may seem passe to the unplugged ears. By simply listening while watching I became more interested & aware of my surroundings as I tried to fit life to a song.
While a much needed rain fell this week I felt it necessary to ride my bike in the light rain as Okkervill River’s The Stand In’s album played. It was a surreal experience that showcased raindrops as if they were musical notes falling from the sky. Whimsical extensions of my care-free windswept ethereal feelings. The I-Pod has not only created a better way to listen to music longer, but it has unintentionally become the soundtrack of our lives & because of that life has never been more enjoyable.