Thursday, January 11, 2007

They listened in waves.

Alexis got me "Greetings From Michigan" - the Sufjan Stevens album for depressives, (No, I am aware that all his albums are relatively depressing - but this one is REALLY depressing. It is v. good.) and I had to drive to Lansing yesterday and took it along for company. I snagged two of his other albums from Jess ages ago, and listened to them non-stop for a semester.

But...I use albums all wrong, it goes like this:
1. Scan through album.
2. Declare it crap.
3. Find a song I only kind of like.
4. Listen to this song between 60-80 times, gradually increasing the volume until the bass line makes me nauseated. Keep playing it anyway.
5. Declare this song the best of all songs...EVER, and tell people around me that this song means everything to me, that it speaks my experience clearer than anything I've heard before. Consider calling friends and family and singing the song to them over the phone. Quash the impulse.
6. Continue listening to the song over a set of weeks, and gradually grow lazy about pressing "skip" back to the beginning of the song. Grow fond of the song immediately following.
7. Repeat steps 3-6, until I love the entire album.
Note: The process may be interrupted by making playlists of the same song 20 or 30 times. It's convenient if one has be-mittened hands and cannot properly operate an iPod, but will not lead to whole-album-love.

(It's song three, about Ypsilanti, by the way. I think it's obviously a song about social work, and accurately reflects the paradoxical experience of tenderly loving humanity while vociferously hating humans...Or is it that I adore humans while detesting humanity? Hmmm. Challenging.)