These days, I seem to spend time for music as much as I spend time for doing political science. I do love music. I remember I’ve begun collecting cassette records when I was in middle school. Aside from several Indonesian bands, my brother introduced me to listen to western rock bands like The Calling, Coldplay, and Oasis. Coldplay’s A Rush of Blood to the Head and The Calling’s Camino Palmero, for instance, have never failed me.
Then back in high school, I took my music to the next level. My friends and I forged a band. We were not that good at playing instruments though. But there was a regular art performance coming down. And we believed that we had to perform something to look “cool.” So there you go. We rented a studio. We practiced music a lot more than we had for our exam days. And crazily enough, we took sometime to practice in the midnight on the third day of national examination because our school was going to hold a farewell event for us right after the national exam was over! Yes, it was crazy. But looking back, it was worth experiencing too.
The upside of having a band in the past transcended when you start listening to music of your interests. This is something that I bumped into quite recently. During my grad school years, I was given privilege to get access to record stores – the independent ones. America was such a heaven for music junkies. Independent record stores were perhaps literally available in every corner of the town, including in small counties like Athens, Ohio where I lived.
Despite the presence of big corporation like Barnes & Noble or Amazon, independent record stores, and so do indie bands, withstand. The stores catered vast collections of used CDs and vinyl records from hugely different artists from various genres. With very affordable prices. Starting from $2 or $3, you can get your all-time-favorite albums on your pocket.
And by chance, I lived with a roommate who liked to buy CDs. He told me to come to local record store near campus to look around. So I went there. I ended up buying two or three CDs (Bob Dylan and Pat Metheny’s albums) to be played in my music player I inherited from my Indonesian’s mate who was about to move out of state.
I didn’t really figure the keen experience of listening to music until quite recently. My music playlists were used to be exhausted me. The playlists were barely improving. Perhaps because by then I was not literate enough to a set of ‘good’ music playlists. But I’ve come to like watching some blues and rock covers on youtube for quite awhile. These covers enthralled me. There was hardly a night passed without watching some covers. I wanted to learn that. So I thought it’s time to buy me a set of music gears. I decided to buy a used Fender electric guitar, an amp, and an effect – all from online stores.
As a student, these gears ripped me off. But they helped me a lot to keep me sane. In fact, music was a great escape when I felt fed up with politics. Likewise, getting your hand an instrument makes you become more sensitive about sound, rhyme, beat – all those stuff. And the side effect of that is that it induces you to listen more, meaning, in my case, buying more CDs! So whenever I got a chance going out of Athens, I made a visit to used record store. It was a great experience. Getting to record stores and finding your favorite albums in there, I bet you, is an experience that cannot even begin to compete if you listen to your music from youtube or simply download it from iTunes.