The Musics

If you had several months to listen to only certain musics, what would they be?

This is just a little variation on The Desert Island Game, which I’ve been wont to play since I was wee. Like, super duper wee. I’m like two inches of beard-length from aspergerish coenobitism here, people.

Of course, I won’t be entirely cut off from the world. I can sit in a library or router’d diner, any time I want, and torrent two albums a minute. But by the same token I can stop at any given bike shop or sporting goods ‘porium & refit myself from tip to tail, near any time I want. The goal is to avoid the need for such a thing. Not the least, lest I have my nose rubbed in how easy the modern world is – for a white boy with a credit card.

Likewise, this is not simply an exercise in survival. It is also about the setting of other goals. After all, if this activity is so easy – and made easier still by a superabundance of preparation – that gives me room to impose other goals upon myself. What kind of food do I want to eat – what is healthiest? What kind of books do I want to read – have read? What kind of music do I want to listen to?

This trip shall provide me the opportunity to break from the easy routine of the restaurant next door & the books at hand. Why not take the opportunity to force myself, just a wee bit, to broaden my musical horizons? Maybe – Maybe – to carry that same adventuresome spirit, too much lacking, back to my ‘umble life here in Stationaryville.

Creating an auditory curriculum is no easy feat. But the imposition of too strict a methodology smacks of the tweed. A happy medium is needed: opportunity to wax self-educational, opportunity to chillax with good tunes.

What, of my collection, have I really been meaning to listen to? And really, really, *listen* to?

-Anthology of American Folk Music

-Art Tatum – Solo Masterpieces, Pablo Group Masterpieces

-Bach – Art of Fugue, Well-Tempered Clavier – various instrumentations

-John Fahey – all of it

-Kronos Quarter – their new 10CD boxed set

-Robbie Basho – as much as I can find

-Thelonious Monk – The Complete Riverside Recordings (I always start with the Prestige Recordings and then end up hitting “repeat” forever)

-Wes Montgomery – Complete Riverside Recordings

-what of the Penguin Crown Guide to Jazz that I have not already well nommed upon

-maybe some mixed classical? should I really build myself a corpus, work through?

-a whole pile of Folkways

…doesn’t sound bad, does it?


0 thoughts on “The Musics

  1. If you’re trying to get away from same ol’, why not get an itty bitty radio and listen to the local stations you’re passing through?

    Also for the record Darius Rucker rocks my socks off.
    But he’s a country singer, and I can’t quite picture you listening to country. (Which is a problem with the radio, I suppose, because there do tend to be swaths of the West that ONLY have country stations. ) But you might like Chuck Berry and Tony Joe White.

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