I have XM Radio in my office at work, which is a delightful place to have a satellite radio signal. At home: great idea, not all that much use. At work? All day, every day. Jazz in the morning, singer-songwriter stuff over lunch, harder music in the afternoon (or when no one’s looking) and the occasional diversion when the mood strikes.
Lately I’ve been keeping an eye on the display in the hopes of discovering new music. I’m learning as I go, too, combining my ears and my memory, things like
Henry Thomas, “Bull Doze Blues” = Canned Heat, “Goin’ up the Country”
and so on.
The diversity is great. I’ve been listening to nothing but blues for the past two days. I have found that Starbucks, which programs the Hear Music channel, really does know a thing or two about quality background noise.
But most of all, I’m starting to rekindle my passion for music. I spent a long while battling my ears (which is well chronicled elsewhere on this site, and which is rearing its ugly head again, but that’s a story for another time), and its aggravations—no more live shows, no more loud radios, and for a while everything sounded funny—dampened my interest in listening to anything. But with a diverse and multiplicitous feed, and some decent speakers to go with it, music has re-entered my life, and my entire day is better.
What I’m also noticing is the newly transitive quality of my music awareness. Time was, I’d hunt down music, with the passion of a true collector. Now, I’m becoming happy to just tune into a station that suits my mood, and leave it at that. I’m not buying as many albums or learning as many band names. That has me a little sad, though, and it’s why I’ve been peeking at the radio’s display more often. It’s one thing to love music, but regaining the passion will be another level entirely. I hope I get there.