How many record collections have you had? Not genre, not artist. Material!
When I was in college, some of us had record players. Turntables. Friday night, Saturday, Sunday we’d wrap our arms around a record player and our newest album and meet. Student union. Some off-campus housing. We’d play all the records we brought, sitting around, singing along, doing some homework, and things.
Then life put us in cars, driving to work. No radio station knew my eclectic music list! Some Cash. Some Baez. Dylan. CCR. Blood, Sweat and Tears. I spent hours re-recording everything to eight track tapes. Then cassettes. I had kids by then, and remember them rewinding tapes with a Bic pen, or number 2 pencil, to save on their batteries.
Cassetts were my weaving music. I spent hours with a good beat in my ears and a shuttle flying. Perhaps that accounted for how fast I drove my van, too. It certainly contributed to my hearing aids these days. I used a good deal of volume in a van with no air conditioning and the windows down.
Compact discs. Then I retired from weaving and pretty much lost interest. I sold everything on E-Bay, in lots, some singly. Dr. Hook, “I got stoned and I missed it…” Remember that really obscure favorite of my brother, Mel? It went for an outrageous sum of money. And, I quit listening to music.
I switched to FM, listened to news, commentary, pledge drives.
For some reason this last year, a song comes to me, and comes out. To Laura’s dismay. “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV?” My Irish folk repertoire. Ballad of St. Anne’s Reel. It’s one of those heart ringers. Like Fiddler’s Green. “Happy wars, sad love songs,” Sheridan said. Especially now that I have nothing to do and all day to do it, I’ve turned over replacing my collection.
What an expense that would be, and I have so many other things to spend money on. Netflix, for instance. Then John posted a picture of a little grey stone on his kitchen windowsill, and said he simply told it what to play. I looked all over Amazon for the little grey stone, and couldn’t find it. I asked John, and he said a Mini something. I looked some more, and then it came to me. It’s a Google Mini something. Buy it from Google. I did. Fifty dollars. No kidding.
We plugged it in last night. We by-passed music lists for 9.99, and went straight to the action. I am so pleased. I gave it half a dozen suggestions this morning, and because it has no list, it bounces around genres and artists, playing songs it hopes suit. I don’t know what I’ve heard because the Mini whatever is filling the other room with song after song I remember and like.
In the inimitable Google fashion, it has gone picking and choosing from what it knows so far. At this moment it is playing Woodie Guthrie, Roll on Columbia, Roll on. I need to remember to throw another artist at it every time I go by.