The month changes over, and again I put the February 2009 MP3 folder onto the EHD and then deleted it from my laptop. It's nice to have that routine; I keep the iTunes playlists I make by month (the desktop folder is albums as well as individual tracks, so ridding myself of it creates plenty of space) and can monitor my listening in a general way. It only accounts for albums when I choose a song from one to represent it, also meaning they're under consideration for my Stranger column.

But what about the rest--the links unfollowed, the downloads yet to be right-clicked? There's a lot of them. The "MP3 Links for Later" Word doc currently stands at 303 links. I receive promotional email at two addresses, filling folders for digital promos on both. One address's folder contains 168; the other, 94. Even if you figure that most of them are for individual tracks--though there are at least 50 albums, maybe upward of 75 or more--and account for some inevitable duplicates, that's a scary number. Remember: this is all in two months. If I listened to all of this stuff, and nothing else, for the rest of the year, I'd be doing a creditable job of keeping up with music on numbers alone, because how could anyone say otherwise of somebody who listened to 565 recordings? What normal person does that? You'd kind of have to be a professional to even bother, especially now, because the inherent purpose of playing that much new music is to test it to see what sticks. Then you whittle it down to something more manageable--maybe not much more, but more. Even people who like music a lot aren't listening to that much. Even professionals; even me.

This is starting to sound like a lament, isn't it? I certainly didn't intend for it to; I drift too easily into melodrama. I bet there's at least 100 links in there that I should really get to immediately, and not just because a good number have probably already expired. If I were feeling more optimistic about the state of music right now I could say that even if 50 of them turn up something good, we're probably in a golden age, but I can't, because I've heard Asher Roth and Chris Cornell, and that is irrefutable proof that Pop 2009 sucks the big one.

This can't be a lament, though, because remember: more than half of my hold file is self-chosen, or at least as self-chosen as a bunch of stuff someone else put on pro-d/l blogs for me to be curious about. This is doubly good because I will likely toss a goodly number of looked-good-at-the-times and therefore waste less of my own time. I might be a month or two late, but that's only ever been essential when I had to pitch early. I still do, but fewer people can even use them, so keeping up a week-to-week sense means less. And I'll get to them. As soon as I've listened to, um, 21 more albums from two weeks ago. Oy.

By the way, I got paid earlier than I figured I would, and I picked up the three CDs mentioned in the prior post: Holy Mackerel!, The Soul of Spanish Harlem, and the new K'naan. Played the first two at a listening party with friends Saturday night; listened again to Holy Mackerel! yesterday (the screaming-est, hence most definitive, item here is Bunker Hill's "The Girl Can't Dance," on which the howl distorts everything else all to hell). I also have assignment listening--much of it older stuff I need to re-hear. I'm looking forward to all of it.

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