What’s Ten Records a Week?

This blog started when I realized that I don’t seek out enough music. There’s a lot of music that I know and love, but I wasn’t actively looking to expand my knowledge of music. This realization was coupled by my stumbling into this collection of music put up by the MCA in Chicago, and that was one of the first collections I started digging into.

I wanted to have a certain discipline about it, so I decided to listen to ten (new) records every week. To add another layer to this exercise in listening, I decided to write about each record I listen to, and to make sure I would actually do it, I decided to post what I write. I’m not sure why, but knowing that every post will eventually go online made me commit to the whole thing more.

At this point you’re wondering why you should at all care about any of this, and the truth is that you shouldn’t. This whole thing is self-serving and I don’t expect anyone to read any of this. I know I wouldn’t read about someone else’s musical “discoveries” unless they were very close to me.

However, if you feel like your own music exploration is stagnating or you want to get something extra out of listening to music, you might start doing this yourself. Doing this made me listen to music more intently (I need to think what I’m going to write!) but also transformed my writing a bit. At first what I wrote was reminiscent of music reviews, which I detest and wasn’t my intention, and slowly I started getting the hang of how to write about music in a more meaningful manner, and without expressing an explicit opinion. This point is important to me – what I do here is not music journalism or music reviews.

At some point it dawned on me that ten records a week isn’t sustainable. I can’t listen to ten new records every week, write something meaningful about them, and also listen to other music that I already know and like. So I downsized to five records a week, and that was more manageable, but after a few weeks even that became too demanding for me. So I decided to stop for a while, or at least until I’m stagnating again (see week 17). But then I realized that I don’t have to stop if I can maintain the two important principles of this whole thing: 1) perpetually look for new music to listen to, and 2) write about new music I listen to. So I decided to just write about records I listen to without any sort of a deadline or a time frame. Now it takes me a month or two to listen to and write about 10 records. It’s working pretty well so far.

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