I should have prepared something earlier.

I don't have a site counter (never want one, not for a personal site) but I'll guess a couple people have come this way via the Chicago Reader story, which not only gets points for "Only the occasional freak will adhere to Matos's regimen," which is not entirely unreasonable, it also paints me as someone who's actually keeping to my own regimen. I've been failing a lot. I'm 18 albums and a digital 7-inch (love that phrase) behind. I'm writing an eMusic Dozen and revisiting lots of things for that, and I'm getting some other stuff rolling that will cut down exploration time. So it'll take a while. I'm kind of anxious because I still have that new-product-eyeballing thing going on: It's been here a week and I haven't listened--take it away. Try three weeks. The three (of 11) volumes of Lux and Ivy's Favorites that I've played (2, 7, and 9, not in that order) are basically the same. It reminds me of how Sublime Frequencies' titles, for all their tape-collage renegade-ethnography steez, wound up kind of running into each other sonically. So my rule with L&IF is that I'll slot them in even after I run out of other titles, and that this is OK. You have to make exceptions to stay sane, and employed.

That's why I don't count promos as part of the regimen, as it were. Since the idea was to watch my consumption, keeping the focus on what I actually purchased, downloaded, or requested seems quite enough; the other stuff, when I play it, is out of professional obligation even if it occasionally turns to love. Listening to promos is my job; I wanted to make sure I was paying attention to that which I'm allegedly procuring for enjoyment. (And yes, that includes random MP3s, even when those are to help me keep up.) Not that my listening is anywhere near a normal ratio between random promos and "other," but you can see what I mean.

I've been thinking about a simpler analogy/explanation of what the idea here is: grocery shopping. Like most people, at the grocery store I buy what I can afford, can get home comfortably (two bags if walking, more if taking a cab), and what I will actually eat and not have sitting around going to spoil. Sometimes I go shopping two nights in a row, to fill in preparation gaps and/or round out areas I missed (breakfast, for instance), but the idea is that everything I buy I'll eat.

Now imagine if you kept going to the market and buying new boxes of cereal when you have three uneaten boxes sitting at home. Out of jelly? No, but here's some preserves. That's great but, uh, when am I gonna eat it all? Oh, right: I can invite friends over and cook for everybody. And you can't really do that with music: you don't play other people songs neither of you have ever heard, you play them the ones you like, the ones you've pruned down from hours of prospects.

I listen to lots of music and still do other things, but I also realize how squeezed for listening time I often find myself. I try not to crash-course too much on due dates; it's something every writer does a little, but I did a lot of it over the past couple years and I don't like its effects. Thus the stack suffers; and in the case of this one, it exists primarily because there was a lot of extra downloads on eMusic to be taken care of. So the question for me is whether I absolutely need to use all those free d/l's or not. The answer, it's becoming clearer, is starting to be no.


  1. hello, just read the Chicago Reader article, and I've got to say this is something I've been suffering from for a long while. my HD is full of stuff I can't keep up with, I've got about 300 email promos that are waiting for me this month lots of lists to go through, and it has been taking more and more of my time for years but I try to keep up because I have an mp3blog. I've tried to impose rules of not downloading for some time, but frankly I've failed. This reminds me that I have to be serious in considering a cure to this malady. Thanks for the encouragement. Will be spreading the news. :)


  2. Read the Chicago Reader piece with interest. I add several albums weekly but don't sweat it too much. If it takes months for tracks to pop up, so what?. I use Lala.com and web albums at around .80 a pop are ridiculously easy to accumulate. I've only fallen behind because I'm busy compiling playlists on the site. Can't say I'm sorry that I no longer listen to albums consecutively. I am my own radio-station programmer. Good songs will prevail, album filler isn't worth worrying about.