Music drives me


Or, more accurately, music walks me, but that’s just not as sexy a title.

In this case, though, music writes me, as I welcome you to a cornucopia of musically influenced random ramblings.

Maestro, if you please…

You cannot be Sirius!

I’ve had XM Satellite Radio almost since its inception.

Most of that was the fortunate circumstance of my last job being associated with Toyota, which was exclusive to XM when it came out and through its days of battling Sirius.

My job put me in direct (and frequent) contact with the XM Radio account rep, a genial and hard-working man who pointed out I could get XM free on my car because of the company’s agreement with Toyota.

Of course, being a sanctimonious prig, I refused on “high moral grounds”, claiming I didn’t want to be accused of being unduly influenced (by a $10/month service…yeah, right). I did rationalize my way to accepting the $50 new user credits, so I wasn’t a total doof.

I’ve had periods where I let my service expire, only to pick it up later on “special offers”. I also got free service when I got my new Subaru last year.

I’ve tried to give up the service for over a year now, but they are especially tricky. They make you call them to cancel service and the person on the other end of the phone then spends the next ten minutes going through every deal they have in order to hook you back in.

These conversations are the same each time: I tell them I don’t feel right getting a rate that they can’t be making a profit on and they tell me I’m a “valuable” customer (how valuable can I be when I keep re-signing at 70% off their regular rate).

So, once again, I set a date on my calendar five months from now to call them and try to cancel. Until then, I enjoy a wide variety of high quality, commercial free music in my car.

Memories  – of the songs that were

While I fought, kicking and protesting, having to get a cell phone, I’ve long since been converted to the dark side.

Soon after my departure from Corporate America and the company-provided flip phone, I picked up an iPhone (the 3GS, at a time the 4 was well established). It was then I discovered the multi-beneficial aspect of the memory and the ability to create “playlists”.

Having created most of my library from burning discs in the “old days”, most of my music was in .wav format and took up massive space. Still, I was excited at the new use for my old enemy, the cell phone.

When I got my new 5c iPhone (when the 6 was well-established), I decided to rummage the internet to see if there was a converter to this newfangled .mp3 format (it was old to everyone else). I was staggered by the massive reduction in file size that occurred without degradation of sound.

All of a sudden, my 900+ song library fit easily onto my phone!

Best of all, because of my aforementioned XM subscription, I am constantly being remind of old songs that I enjoyed and scribble them down at stop lights and whatnot. Then, when I have enough built up, I hop over to iTunes and download them onto the phone. So much better than the old days of having to buy the whole CD and sometimes getting 8 meh to go with 3 good tunes.

I’m always surprised at the sheer vastness of the internet’s music library. I guess it makes sense. If I hear it on the radio, even satellite radio, it must exist digitally somewhere.

Now, if I could only find a stand alone of the English version of Peter Schilling’s Major Tom

45’s years ago

Oh those unfathomable 60’s.

Though the height of the audiophiliac wouldn’t appear until the following decade, the 60’s (my youth) had the charm and portability of the 45 rpm record player.

Ah, the flipping 45’s. The best sound you could get out of a plastic phonograph. And the records themselves were cute as can be, only a bit larger than the CD’s that would follow them, three decades later.

One of the oddities of that time, at least for me, was that the “B” side would often prove more memorable to me than the “A” side.

Hmm? Oh, sorry, youngsters. In those days, the records had two sides. That’s right, two! Double your fun for the money. Of course, on a 45 you also only had two songs, one on each side.

For example, while Hey Jude is a redoubtable song, worthy of its recognition and longevity, I often found myself listening more to Revolution, on the back side of the 45.

In another, though Spill the Wine was the big hit for Eric Burdon & War, I memorized and more frequently played Magic Mountain (though my 10-year old mind did not quite grasp the possible meanings of “goin’ high, high, high, high on Magic Mountain”).

The fog of time shrouds some of those other little discs I owned, but I fondly remember the “hidden gems” on the “B” side of my old 45’s.

One Response to “Music drives me”

  1. Tim

    I still have a stack of 45’s around somewhere. I agree that side “B” was usually the more enjoyable side.


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