Music and Memory: Learning to Embrace Forgetfulness

justin Deep Thinking, Internet, monkey, Music, Popular Culture Leave a Comment

waiter-turntableWay back in 2011, I wrote a piece about how song lyrics and melodies seem to rattle around in my brain for decades at a time. For the most part, five years later, that is still true, but lately I’ve been faced with a newish dilemma that has been making me a tad nuts.

I listen to a lot of music. I zip around genres and styles all damn day depending on my mood and what I stumble across online and through the wonders of Spotify’s Discover Weekly. My big issue now, however, is that I forget about a lot of bands and albums that I’ve been listening to because I flit around so much.

For example, I was organizing my vinyl into the new chunk of furniture we got for just that reason (check out Urbangreen if you want something a bit more substantial than IKEA’s Kallax line.) and came across a passel of records from a band called Weekend. Sadly, I could not remember anything about them. That I had three records of theirs tells me I probably saw them live (I always like buying records directly from the artist: it really helps with tour support), but that was it. Similarly, a five-year-old post on my Facebook Memories page reminded me of The Joy Formidable’s first record just this morning.

My overpacked and failing memory really annoys the ever-living crap out of me. I know that I can only listen to so much music per day, but neglecting albums that should get an occasional nod is just shameful. Needless to say, Weekend is a pretty amazing shoegaze-ish band from San Francisco that I probably saw live a couple of years ago.

I generally keep track of most random tracks I come across through my Spotify Playlist called “Justin’s randomness,” but I’m not always that good at remembering to drop tracks on there.

What I really need is something like Goodreads to keep track of music. I know there are a couple of services that can probably do exactly what I need, but perhaps Spotify needs to add some features that say, “Hey dummy, remember that Grave Pleasures record you listened to three months ago? You probably want to listen to it again.”

Honestly, is it too much to ask to have my own personal music concierge? “Good morning Mr. Bowers, here is your playlist for the day. You may find tracks thirty and sixty-five a bit tedious, but it would be good for you to listen to them anyway.” Shit, maybe I should just start that business.


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