Better late than never

A few additions to my iTunes library

Back off, whippersnappers. You can’t call me an old fuddy duddy anymore. I have officially joined the ranks of iPod users everywhere. Yeah, I know. The iPod Touch came out about four years ago, but I would rather interface with people than machines.

I don’t keep up with the latest gadgets. I still have my hot pink iPod Shuffle, but I haven’t used it much because, frankly, it’s been hard for me to let go of CDs. There’s just something special about holding the music in my hands. It’s almost as if I can touch it the way it touches me.

Plus, I love reading liner notes.

When I was working on my master’s in journalism, I took a creative nonfiction class. We had to pick a place and convey a message about life by SHOWING the details about the place. I wrote about the Troubadour on Santa Monica Blvd. in California. Inspired by the lyrics of Joe Walsh’s “Sad Café” and the accompanying liner notes, I did my own research and found myself metaphorically there. I wouldn’t trade that homework assignment for anything. And I got an A on my paper!

It’s not that I don’t like anything new. It’s that I deplore reading instruction manuals. It’s slow torture. Blame it on my attention deficit syndrome—my trig teacher actually called me a spaz—to my face. I’d rather somebody tell me, better yet, show me, than have to wade through written details. So I chucked the instructions to the iTouch and asked my techno wizard son to help me.

That’s when I fell in love with iTunes.

I’m not a dummy. I’ve been handing out iTunes cards to my students as prizes and gifts for years, but I have never indulged myself. My laptop and I went for a little visit for coffee and free Wi-Fi, and while I was supposed to be revising my manuscript, I clicked on the iTunes Store.

Like a kid in a candy shop I wandered through the delectable selections. I didn’t realize how easy it was just to click and buy. Click and buy. Whole albums if you want to. Yeah, I hear you. You’re saying, “She’s just now figuring this out?” You’re rolling your eyes too. Stop it. You’re embarrassing me.

My credit card statement hasn’t come in yet. I’m still clicking and buying, but I’m also transferring my old CDs to my iTunes library.As Tom Petty says, “The waiting is the hardest part.” The cool thing is I’ve re-discovered some old tunes that have been stacked up and covered with dust because I’ve been too lazy to trade out the disks in my dinosaur disc changer.

The little listening device is blues heavy right now, and I haven’t even gotten to my Stevie Ray Vaughan collection. I have so much more to load. Back in the late 90s when I wrote for several music magazines, my mailbox overflowed with free CDs sent to me via publicists. (The best perk of writing about music!) I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to transfer all my CCM. My classic rock collection is already there waiting on me, as are Dierks Bentley and Taylor Swift.

The Internet is a wonderful thing for obsessed music fans. It’s like a nice genie that grants unlimited wishes. All I have to do is Google, and I have the lyrics and chords to any song I want. Now I can own my own copy with just a click.

I remember the day I first heard “Hotel California” by the Eagles on the radio. I begged my dad to  drive me to the store so that I could buy it. Back then singles came out on 45s, so I flipped through the record bin, searching for a song with the word California in it. (BTW, Dear students, 45s are round pieces of vinyl that play songs on a record player. Never mind. Go Google it. You’ll figure it out.) Anyway, it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the Eagles. Now I have pretty much their whole collection, and I’ve seen them live. And did I mention Joe Walsh called me? What? Did you really think I wouldn’t say that–again?

So what’s today’s pick?

When I was transferring music today, I found a little surprise tucked inside the sleeve of a re-discovered Sheryl Crow CD, 100 Miles to Memphis. I’m talking about her Detours album. Wow. Didn’t know I owned that one. I downloaded it to my iTunes and randomly clicked on a track, and like serendipity I discovered a song that resonates. Sheryl Crow’s “Drunk with the Thought of You.”

So guess what I’ve been doing all afternoon? Here’s a hint: I’m armed with a six string, and I’m sitting in front of a laptop, lyrics, and a tab. I’ve been playing with writing my own stuff, but I like to learn how to play the songs of artists that inspire me. Sheryl Crow is one of those. I may not agree with her politics, but I envy her voice.

So what’s the next step in my better late than never iPod journey? Playlists. But I’ll save that for the next blog. What’s new with you?

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7 thoughts on “Better late than never

  1. My iPod is hot pink… Wonder if it is a “shuffle”?… I still have a LOT of vinyl, but no turntable. I’m just caught in a time warp – “Lets do the time warp, again” – name that movie!! I’ve never sent a text message and don’t know how.

    If you’re into the blues… Cybill Shepherd – “Talk Memphis to Me”. I have the CD if it’s not on iTunes. I don’t think it was mass produced. Yep, gotta keep them CD’s — I suppose they will go the way of “albums” and “beta” and all the other things we thought were perfectly fine until they came out with something “new and improved”. N & I – humph! What was the stuff we used to have, “Old and Lousy”.

    You always make me think… and laugh. 🙂

  2. I have a box of albums in my closet, and, like you, no turntable. My dad does though. He even has an old reel to reel. I used to love listening to it.

    I’ve never heard “Talk Memphis to Me.” Cool title. I’ll check that out.

    Thanks for reading. I figured everybody would just make fun of me. I am just excited to find all this cool stuff.

  3. LOL, I have an iPad 2 and an iPhone. I have found out though that Amazon is so much cheaper then iTunes. They are more aggressive competitively. Also, iTunes now has sixty nine cents songs! I, like you, have a zillion CD’s. When I first started, I would just rip greatest hits collections, then I started to long for whole albums. We are in the process of watching “No Direction Home,” which has me aching to go rip my Dylan collection. Last week we watched a documentary “Who is Harry Neilson and Why is Everybody Talking About Him.” I was surprised to find I had already ripped all of his cd’s. Thanks for another great post, Tee

  4. What! You mean you can buy songs digitally on Amazon? Oh my goodness. I must go check it out. Shhhh. (I hope no one is listening. I don’t want everyone to hear how un techno-savvy I am.) Will those load to my iTunes library too?

    Thanks again for reading, Kuby. My friends have an iPad, and those things amaze me. I’m not sure I would ever figure out how to use it. I actually watched a video showing people in concert using the iPad to make music like a piano. I think there was a keyboard app or something. Very cool. It’s unbelieveable what you can do with those.

    I’m beginning to think I would like an iPhone very much. It would be nice to have the music and phone together. I’m always losing one or the other.

  5. @ Mary “Let’s Do the Time Warp Again” from “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, lol. I was doing my grad work in comp lit in Wichita Falls. The theatre did that movie every Saturday night for over a year.

    Tee – I’m trying desperately to learn my iPhone. I’m scared to death of the thing. But I’ve got a ton of tunes on it; at least I’ve got that far. And in perusing Jimmy Buffett tunes, I found a song I’d loved 30 years ago: “Rhumba Girl” by Nicolette Larsen. Jimmy does it as “Rhumba Man”. I bought both versions. It went downhill from there; I’m afraid to look at my iTunes bill now!!

    If things go right, I may be able to get an iPad later – IF I can master my iPhone!

    @kuby2u – I love Harry Neilson; what a talent and what a loss. I’m off to find “Put the Lime in the Coconut” – thanx for reminding me.

    Great post, Tee, as always.

    • Thanks so much for reading. Last night my laptop was not working right, and I resorted to my iPod to send a message. I later had to apologize to the receiver and explain that I was not intoxicated. My fingers just aren’t used to typing on a virtual keyboard. I’ll learn…eventually. Thanks again for reading. You always, always, always encourage me.

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