Know How to Listen

Know How to Listen

By Charlie Doom

>Over and over again I’ve said there’s only one way to listen to music.

First, barricade your front door, plaster your windows with tin foil, feed your phone to the estrous she-boar in curlers who lives next door, drag your mattress onto the floor, turn out all of the lights, lie down on said mattress and make sure your high quality headphones¹ are pressed firmly to your skull (with the volume at 65%).

Second, press play.

For me, music is why I’m late for work in the morning, why I ruin any good relationship I happen to get myself into (I showed up 3 hours late to “dinner with the folks” because I was crafting the dynamics of a mix CD for the car trip). Egad!

I’m a music addict.

But so are most people.

We owe it to the great bounties of Western Civilization: it’s made even something as beautiful as music synonymous with a vice – 80% of the marketing budgets are aimed at prepubescent teens, its portable, easy to get, has a thriving black market and feels sinfully good to indulge in all the time.

Personally, I just can’t stand the freedom that silence gives my troubled mind to wander. That’s why I’m always listening to music; while driving, biking, eating, sleeping – I’d go so far as to say – it’s why I became a musician….

When you listen to music you shut yourself out from the world; you have no friends, no family, no neighbors groping for your attention. There is a risk in that because it’s important to hear the world sometimes, too. Life has its own soundtrack and it’s not in the best seller list on Amazon. It’s all around you. You just have to know how to listen.

Listening to music should be like looking at art, watching a movie or reading a book. It takes precious time and focus, which is why listening to good music is so important. So the next time you buy an album or an MP3, set aside a moment of time for yourself to actually appreciate it and see what happens.

¹If you consider yourself someone who’s even remotely serious about music then you need to invest in a pair of quality headphones – not ear buds. Good headphones are not that expensive and yes, it makes a difference.