Not an Ad for Google Play but Kinda

After several years of using pandora, I finally broke down and signed up for Google Play. And I love it. After some failures to backup my data over the years, my music collection has been saved on a gummed up data drive and a huge stack of scratched cds. But no more. Now I just search for what I want and listen to it as much as I want or even make a radio station out of it. It doesn't have everything but its pretty great. I was telling Jen last night that I finally took their lead and signed up. I mentioned that its a little expensive at $10 a month but I listen to music all day at work and every evening in the kitchen so it seemed worth it. Shaughn looked over at me and said, "Uh, you didn't consult with me about this first. I'm going to buy something for $10 every month like 2 used cds."

Which got us talking about signing up for those music clubs as kids. My friend, Ruth, who rode the bus with me, signed me up. I loved looking through the magazine and ordering 3 cds at 2.99 when you buy 1 at full price. I bought a three disc Ella Fitzgerald album that I listened over and over one summer. I also got a cd of Chick Correa and Bobby McFerrin playing mozart--where Correa played the piano so beautifully and mournfully and Bobby McFerrin's vocals were clear and precise and made you lean in to listen as carefully as you could. I bought No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom and Bela Fleck's Odelay. I bought Meredith Brooks's album and then was promptly banned from playing "Bitch" in the house.

Mom and Dad got each of us kids a cd player for our 16th birthdays. Mine played cds AND cassettes which made making mixed cds a relative breeze. I made a cd for my friend Anne that had the Wallflowers One Headlight play every other song. You could program it to do things which was fancy and time-consuming. I remember vividly cleaning my room after a particular long period of sloppiness (7, 8, 9, and 10th grades) and wanting nothing more than to lie on my clean floor and listen to The Cranberries.

I remember listening to a Sinead O'Conner album on the four hour drive to Lincoln, dozing in and out looking out the window at the Nebraska terrain. It was an experience that really stuck with me. I think especially because I read later in the insert that Sinead, herself, found that she preferred listening to that particular album with headphones.

During volleyball practice, someone was playing Dave Matthews Band and Coach's daughter, Jacqui, said she had that album. She had gotten it from her cd club, who she also signed up through Ruth. I said I had too but "crash" was just ok, and the song I really liked was the hidden track at the end. I thought she was a poser and I'm pretty sure she thought I was an asshole. But we became best friends anyway--months later on a bus to see the Nutcracker. (Side note: Dave Matthews was in Bottleworks, Shaughn's store, the other week and didn't pay any attention to Reggie, our puppy. Shaughn found this very upsetting and perplexing--"Was he blind or just lacking a soul?!" )

Jacqui and I listened to a lot of music together. We sat on her bed and listened to Lauren Hill's Miseducation of Lauren Hill and Matchbox 20's Yourself or Someone Like You from beginning to end. We sang loudly to the You've Got Mail soundtrack in the car. And played the Jars of Clay Before I Left the Zoo over and over on our way to see my boyfriend, who lived 2 hours away, one New Year's Eve.  

My other best friend, Anne, and I would listen to music for hours in her convertible. We memorized all the words to Barenaked Ladies "One Week" and sang Alison Krauss's "When You Say Nothing At All". We also sang Disney songs with no shame.

The only people I can really listen to a lot of music with and sing my heart out with are my nieces, Sinead and Fiona. They are down to listen to anything I play them. And they aren't afraid to shoot them down. But when we hit on a song we really like, we play it over and over and sing it out loud. It's one of my favorite activities now that I think of it. We sing to a lot of pop music like Fun. and Passenger. Sinead put Miley Cyrus on and we sang along while Shaughn said repeatedly that she wasn't a good role model.

And now, here we are, I made Shaughn listen to Shania Twain "Any Man of Mine" and he made me listen to Yellowman and Ozzy's Sweet Leaf. I'm listening to Tracy Chapman while I write which is fun. I especially liked that in the "Talking About a Revolution" song it didn't skip at the "run run run run run" part like my cd used to. You know, back when I used to listen to cds.

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