The Sound of Music

A lot of memories of my youth involve sitting around and listening to music. Of the various forms of entertainment I had available at the time and well into the mid-1990s, it was the only thing that was truly available "on demand."One of my first memories is me getting up to my mom's turntable and putting on Dark Side of the Moon, second side. I liked Money, what can I say? There was a cassette tape of that album and Wish You Were Here that I had for many years and subsequently wore out I played so much. I never bought records, as by the time I could afford them, they switched to CDs, but I did buy some music on cassettes.I have a few things on cassette that I never managed to buy on CD, but most of the cassettes that I still have are either mix tapes I made or albums that friends gave me. That's how music was "traded" back in those days—you made a cassette of a friend's album or CD and gave it to them. Don't worry, I eventually bought most of the stuff on CDs.In fact, I bought quite a lot of CDs—something close to 200 of them. I've got a couple of booklets of them. I've even bought CDs recently (as in the past year) for stuff I wanted to truly "own." Perhaps I'm old school in that when I buy something with money, I like to get something physical in return. At least when it comes to music.Earlier, I ran across a blog post that referenced a video showing how the Pink Floyd song Money was put together. That led down a YouTube-induced rathole that led me to a video that talks about the making of Dark Side of the Moon.It got me to thinking about something it seems I rarely take the time to do anymore—listen to music. Not as a background to some other activity, but as an activity in and of itself. I used to do that for hours, well into my college years. Sure, it was background at times as well, but there's something about putting in an old album and just kicking back and relaxing.A good record album—particularly a concept piece like Dark Side of the Moon—is like a good book. It tells a story, it makes you use your imagination and makes you think. Unfortunately, Dark Side of the Moon and other Pink Floyd albums are the gold standard for concept albums, and even low-quality "concept" albums are few and far between.Part of that is few bands know how to do it. These days, though, people don't buy CDs (though I hear vinyl records are making a comeback). People are buying their songs for $0.99 a pop on iTunes, Amazon.com, or getting it as part of a subscription.Of course, with a wife and family, my life is simply not conducive to sitting around all the time listening to music. Some of it isn't exactly kid-appropriate. Then again, I heard the word bullshit in Money at a very young age (not to mention other naughty words in other songs) and I turned out ok. Maybe I should kick back and listen to some music more often ;)