Of music and memories

Music is something that has always been with humans for a considerably long time. Everyone listens to music every now and then, each of us have different tastes, but we all have “our” songs. But I have always noticed something interesting about my own patterns of listening to music, and the effects of this, which I think everyone experiences too even if, at times, they tend not to notice it.

Whenever I start to listen to some song, about one in one hundred manage it to my playlist of all-time favourites — songs I will listen to at any time, any day etc. The eternal greats, even if only by personal opinion. The rest have a sort of shelf life of a few weeks. The pattern is quite clear: one set of songs — the size of the set itself varies — is played over and over again, either in order or shuffled, but they play repeatedly.

Ever so slowly a new song or two makes its way into this set and a few get relegated. This is not chronological; it is perhaps as a result of subconscious likes and dislikes that some songs get selected while others are simply left behind even though some are still part of my playlist. Over time, the entire set has been replaced by a new set that trickled in one song at a time over a couple of months or so and maybe, just maybe, one of them made it to my all-time favourites playlist. Continue reading

“The Beatles still sell for €5,99” and other tales of everlastingness

I noticed on my visit to the music shop today that a new batch of low-price The Beetles CDs had arrived. Now I already own all of The Beatles, so I really had no reason to pick up the disc set to inspect it, but I did and one thing stood out: a €5,99 price tag; which is roughly 8 or £5 or ₹500 I suppose. It is fascinating how a rock band that was active for ten years sells, nearly forty years later, for the same price as <a title="My World - enhanced -7 on Amazon” href=”http://www.amazon.com/My-World-Justin-Bieber/dp/B002T921AC” target=”_blank”Beiber’s enhanced My World disc on Amazon.

Without meaning disrespect to anybody, I think that this shows just how popular The Beetles had become by the time they broke-up. In contradistinction, it is an issue of concern that every music group’s gospel — performing every single one of the Beeth’s excruciatingly hard-to-perform symphonies — sells far cheaper than the mediocre music made today solely for cash. Perhaps that is because everybody does it; but should repetition of a classic make it any less of a classic?

Speaking of Beethoven, I recently answered myself a question that had been bothering me: what on earth does Beethoven mean? As it turns out, Beeth is beetroot (yes), and hof is farm. So that gentleman we all so admire is Ludwig from Beetroot Farm.

But are classics really held far less worthy, or does everything modern generally take precedence when it comes to setting prices, or are our tastes as a society changing, or should there exist a very different kind of motivation to last, as former US Labour Secretary, Lynn Martin, put it:

No matter what your religion, you should try to become a government program, for then you will have everlasting life.

Continue reading

The quest for a music cassette, “The power of love”

Everybody’s childhood has something they hold onto even after considerable years. Mine lives in a bucket under the stairway at home, but that is only one part of it. The other is missing.

A thing of the past

Funnily enough, what I call a part of my childhood was never really mine; it even dates back nearly a decade before mine. It was a little, red music cassette known as “The Power of Love” and belonged to my parents.

Once I got around, I used to carry it with me and play it over and over again in-between my classic children’s tales cassette on my personal Phillips Walkman. I was no older than six years of age. And I understood very little of whatever they said in those songs, but it did not matter: for me, it has always been about the music, the rhythm, the tone, the pitch and the feel.

When things begin to change

The songs in that cassette stayed for a very long time until, when I was just reaching around nine or ten, we moved house and a lot of cassettes and large, black, gorgeous looking vinyl records (among other things) either got unwound, broke or were lost. This was one of them. There was also a large, posh-looking gramophone from my grandfather’s era that we got rid of.

Sometimes, when I walk around in melancholy, I can still hear those tunes at the back of my mind. But I realise it is only an illusion; an innocent (freudian?) manifestation of my yearning to get that cassette back. Continue reading

IQ comes with strings attached

Eddie Rodriguez, for Cracked.com, wrote an amusing, yet interesting, article titled 5 Unexpected Downsides of Intelligence. It was interesting, but you know how cracked.com articles can be: playfully funny at first look, with some reading between the lines heavily demanded. So I decided to examine the five traits in a more–perhaps the best way to put it would be conservative–manner (not using expletives, that is, for I absolutely detest them!) Continue reading