what have you been listening to lately?

I want to challenge and change the way people think about and talk about music. Force them to listen and step outside their comfort zone. Find the losers, b-sides, unknown and walk through the great uncomfortable curves.

In the same vein of saying no to gatekeepers, RSS feeds, and Rolling Stone’s history of music, we need to experiment with everything. Talk to people of all kinds about what music they love and why. Spending time with people from different musical backgrounds – musicians and not, avid followers and people stuck in the past, elitists and top 40 radio folks – they all need to be heard (even if its hard to listen to some of them.) Making everyone’s opinions and ideas about music available and letting them know that what they think and say about music is valid is just as important as listening to music. We cannot rule out music and we cannot rule out people. If every band is someone’s favorite, every song someone’s favorite – listening to the individual can help individuality in music and unique, innovative art thrive.

Whatever it takes for people to engage in the conversation. Little kids need to listen to Led Zeppelin. You need to go see a band live before hearing them on the album. Scan the dial from the Spanish radio stations to the classical and through top 40 and the oldies station – see what’s out there. People need hip hop and they need Lou Reed. They need to be shoved into new sounds while learning where they came from, what the inspiration is. Culture and music history are just as important, or more so, than the medium itself.

Place yourself somewhere new once an hour, a day, a week – or as infrequently as you want. But make it happen. Listen to albums you’ve never heard or go back cataloging. Don’t block it out or knowingly ignore something because you aren’t ready for the challenge and the change. You will lose the growth that music and talking about music brings to life. It gets harder, and consuming. But the best part is there is no right and wrong. There’s just change.

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