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music

I’m caught in a trap, and I don’t want to get out

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When I decided to take some time off of social media I had some grand plans. I was going to blog, read, and yes listen to music. It was a deliberate choice in order to recharge and take shelter from the unrelenting bad news and constant anger.

Yes, great plans… In reality all I’ve done is listen to music, a good 6 to 7 hours of it a day. This is something that I have done for all of my adult life in lieu of watching TV or movies. I haven’t done much of it in the last 3 or 4 years for a variety of reasons. Now I’m back to listening and wow did I miss it. I feel like my psyche/soul/whatever is being refilled. Maybe I was becoming a savage beast?

The choice of music has been all over the place. Punk, funk, soul, rock, hip hop, classical, jazz, you name it I’ve listened to it. A lot of it comes from random neural firings in my head but some of it is from suggestions by Apple Music.

One of those suggestions was the album From Elvis in Memphis. I’m a fan of The King but I’ll admit that I have always been a purist/snob. Give me 50s Elvis or get out! This particular album was released in 69. Think about what was going on in 69. Woodstock, moon landing, Vietnam. What about Elvis? What was his cultural contribution? In 1969 Elvis released his final films, Change of Habit and The Trouble with Girls along with this album. So um, not exactly capturing the zeitgeist of the times.

Suspicious Minds and In the Ghetto are the hits off of this album. Let’s be clear, they don’t hold a candle to his early hits. They are also emblematic of the quality of the rest of the album. It’s a little schmaltzy, maybe even maudlin at times. It is irrelevant culturally and a pale imitation of Elvis in his heyday. So why am I so enamored with it?

There is a qualitative difference between live and recorded music. Plenty of music is enjoyable live and boring during playback. This album isn’t live but it is recorded incredibly well. Elvis in your room will get your attention. I’m only kind of joking when I say that regular systems let me hear what music sounds like. Good recordings on good systems are enthralling. I can not only hear the music but experience it.

So yeah, I’ve been caught in Elvis’s trap, I can’t get out cause I love it too much (baby)…

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