There is a bookshop in Rathgar I pass occasionally. It has the opening hours marked on the door. Usually when I pass, it is a Sunday and the shop is closed. No Bernard Black hiding behind the curtain sneering at potential customers, just a simple, cute message printed on Sunday’s timetable – ‘Reading Time!’.
Similarly, Sunday is frequently ‘Listening Time’ in my house. I gather up all the demos, albums, digital files, vinyl (if I’m lucky) and spend a large part of the afternoon catching up with what I did not have time to listen to during the week. Yesterday afternoon, I picked out a slew of tunes for this April’s podcast to be recorded this week when there is time. I still have an inbox stuffed with about 120 emails I haven’t read yet.
My mate asked me once – “Do you ever get sick of listening to music?”, which I thought was interesting coming from him, being a bass player in a moderately well-known band. It knocked me back a bit though, when I quickly realised that the answer was no, I never get sick of listening to music. Ever. Unless I’m incapacitated by some crippling cryogenic mishap which hasn’t happened just yet, I’ll probably take the chance to play a few tunes on a stereo. I no longer listen to music before I go to bed but I never reach a saturation point.
I’m fascinated when I meet people who know this blog and express gratitude for turning them onto some tunes. Two and a half years this blog has been running – 730 posts and 4378 comments. On average, 3000 unique visitors a day visit the site. I often think of how people take these songs away with them, how the songs affect them, where they may listen to these songs – whether it be an iPod, a car or a house party (It’s happened – I’ve been told). Are people as obsessed about music as myself?
Comparatively, I go to a LOT of gigs these days. I recurrently meet the same group of like-minded individuals people at gigs. We know each other in the venues but not those circles. The conversation immediately turns to what gigs you’ve been to, what you’re planning to see etc. There’s a very relaxed and specific understanding amongst us. I’ll probably never go to their houses for a meal or anything, but when we meet, it’s a shared passion for music which we are indulging in and it’s a nice thing when it happens.
This week, I am reaching saturation point with my gig-going exploits. There’s simply too much on and I fear for my health (and my wallet) if I went to all of them. I missed Giveamanakick and Adebisi Shank on Saturday. I’m bowing out of Jape and Robotnik in Crawdaddy tonight. Likewise with Crystal Castles on Tuesday. It seems the saturation point has not come from within me as I expected. There is simply too many albums I want to listen to, too many gigs to go to. It’s all external. There’s the small matter of work as well, which in fairness is informed by all of the above. I am overwhelmed by choice. I wish there was more hours in the day. I wish there was more ‘Listening Time’.